Review: Outlaw by Katana Collins

Reviewed by Shelly

This story was initially distributed as a serial (in three parts) and later distributed as a single complete book. In essence, it’s the second part of Katana Collins’s Harrison Street Crew. After doing a little digging, I found out the former which completely explained why I felt as if I missed some vital information between characters with the two As – angst and anger. There’re more than a few relationships that felt established and left me slightly perplexed.

During the parts, we get a pretty even measure of what each character is feeling. For me, that didn’t help so much because at thirty two years old, Patrick Flanagan is a child in a man’s body. Regrettably, Michelle Chiccarini the ADA just came off as a corrupt public servant who couldn’t stay away from the prowess of the ‘club’ VP, Patrick. The same ‘club’ that she’s been trying to take down for the past year because of their criminal activity. Please note there will be spoiler alerts. It’s a case of who’s worse – HSC, the Sauceda gang or DA’s office.

Part 1 – Michelle Chiccarini rushes to the hospital to see what’s going on with her best friend Charlie. She’s been in an accident. In her panic to see what’s going on with Charlie, Michelle gets frustrated and walks out the hospital doors. Harrison Street Crew (HSC) Vice President Patrick Flanagan sees the beauty, chases her down and offers her some comfort. They have sex in his car in a parking lot. I already see where this is going and I don’t like it. Had I read this in it’s original format, I’d have never made it to Part 2.

There’s some character development and a bit of plot formation (Patrick is accused of murder) during this first part but the main focus was on the H/h attraction. All that is fine and dandy, but how as ADA do you internally validate having sex with someone that you’re investigating? I even had this thought, well maybe she doesn’t know who he is really but then I thought about it for two seconds and realized that if you’re investigating someone you would have many pictures of what that person looked like. Where’s the moral compass in Michelle’s behavior? I thought it was lacking in this single instance but I was very wrong. I seriously wondered if this a going to be the typical story about a gang of folks who steal cars, race cars and extort businesses for money.

Patrick just came of as a complete and total jerk. He’s completely entranced in the brotherhood of the gang he’s a member of. He’ll give his life and liberty for that gang. His whole life and person is wrapped up in that gang. He gave up his relationship with his loving mother and father for that gang. All that just came off as being tremendously sad and I really don’t want to feel that kind of pity for a hero.

Part 2 – Picking up where the first part left off, Patrick’s survived an attempted bombing by their rival gang. That gang is very upset that Patrick might have killed one of their members (the very one he’s been accused of killing by the DAs office). What I found interesting about that was a member of HSC had previously killed a member of their rival gang. That’s one of the big plot points that I was missing and was passingly curious about.

While Patrick is having his bombing, Michelle’s parents anniversary dinner is happening and the dynamics of that family get played out. There are three brothers, Mark, Vince, and Remy, but Remy is the one that Michelle seems more focused on. Allegedly, Remy beat up Charlie during the time they were dating. It’s not an action that takes part of this story – it’s just something that keeps coming up in Michelle’s mind. And then Michelle finds out more about possible beatings by Remy. Remy is a powerful guy and although Michelle loves her brother, she comes across as scared. She says she’s this big bad ADA who lives to fight crime but when it comes to her brother she’ll just take her time about charging him. Heck, she won’t even threaten him with charges. Nothing. Nada.

The pacing and action in this installment pick up tremendously and makes it almost tolerable to read about this ADA and gang member who are sexing each other while trying to prove his innocence. In a contemporary romance, my suspension of rational thought can only take me so far and what Michelle said and did were too many times in opposition.

Part 3 – After breaking into her boss’s office to return a file that Patrick stole from the DA’s car the night before, Michelle gets shot. I didn’t feel sorry for her.

The night of stealing state property, Michelle and Patrick concocted a plan that she would go to her boss’s home, after he’d already suspended for her personal relationship with their suspect (Patrick), then distract him so they can get the available evidence. The conflict in that should have been so strong for Michelle, but she didn’t exercise that strength.

After their adventure, Patrick calls his physician father to come and take care of Michelle at the HSC headquarters. They didn’t trust Michelle’s brother, Vince, who is also a physician because they don’t trust strangers because those weren’t the untrustworthy folks. Laughably ridiculous but unknowingly there actually be something there but then again the same gang members who’re spouting that diatribe need to look in their own mirrors. Brotherhood isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I enjoy a good story but I’m old school enough to like a clear set of boundaries set. Heroines whose morals and ethics don’t waiver. Heroes whose morals and ethics don’t waiver. And oh yeah, that integrity thing. So important.

This ends with a HFN and cliffhanger. I’m guessing the resolution for all this is going to be in the 3rd book.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: D

*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon

Outlaw: The Complete Novel
by Katana Collins
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Swerve

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