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REVIEW:  Into the Storm (Signal Bend #3) by Susan Fanetti

REVIEW: Into the Storm (Signal Bend #3) by Susan Fanetti

ITS

Dear Ms. Fanetti:

I read and really enjoyed the first in the Signal Bend series, Move the Sun. The second entry, Behold the Stars, which Jane reviewed, I could barely finish, it was so violent. So I bought this book with some trepidation, but with the hope that your voice, which worked so well for me in Move the Sun, would work again for me. I was pleased to find that for the most part, this was the case.

Signal Bend, IN is in recovery from a war. The Night Horde MC, which runs the town, took on a drug kingpin in the last book and won, but not without horrifying collateral damage to the town and even more, to the townsfolk. Showdown Ryan suffered some of the worst losses. His oldest daughter, Daisy, was killed and his wife packed up their two younger girls and took off. Showdown takes all of the blame for the losses. He knows that as the #2 in the Night Horde, his family was a target and they paid the ultimate price for it. He is empty, he is barely putting one foot in front of the other and more than once has considered ending it all. He can’t bear to go back to the home where his family was attacked, and has been existing at the Night Horde’s keep.

Shannon Bannerman has been hired to run the Keller Bed and Breakfast, a new venture owned by the President of the Night Horde’s wife (and protagonist in books 1 & 2), Lilli. Shannon came to Signal Bend from the big city, which makes her a curiosity for the people of Signal Bend. She is extremely over qualified for the job, but also wants it desperately. It seems clear to the reader from the start that she is running from something. Shannon is very attracted to Showdown, but knows his story. She knows that it’s incredibly unlikely that he’d ever have any interest in here. Despite that, when the opportunity presents itself, Shannon lets Showdown know she’s attracted.

“What is your problem?”

At Shannon’s sharp question he turned to see her standing there, holding her arms across her body against the chill. The stance made her cleavage even more distracting.

“What?” He tossed his butt to the ground.

She took a couple of steps closer. He could reach out and touch her if he wanted, run his finger down the cleft between her breasts. He clenched his fists.

“You have to know I’m interested. You act like you have some kind of claim or responsibility or I don’t know what. But then you ignore me – or you don’t, and you say what you said in there. What the hell is your problem?”

“No problem. Just not interested.”

Her brow creased at that, and her eyes narrowed. Then she surprised the shit out of him by taking the last step between them and grabbing his face in her hands. She leaned in and kissed him, her lips silky on his, her mouth open. She tasted of tequila. He felt her tongue tracing his lower lip. He hadn’t had a woman’s mouth – her tongue!- on his mouth in…Christ, five years? Since Holly would even let him kiss her like this? His cock turned to cast iron, heavy and hard, and it was all he could do not to grab her. But he didn’t. He didn’t grab her, or kiss her back. He sat there feeling shocked and tormented.

When she pulled away, she searched his eyes for a moment. Then, with a sad little twitch of her lip, she nodded. “Okay. Sorry.” She turned and went back into the clubhouse. – Kindle location 1222

Of course, he’s interested. And soon after, he makes a move. Showdown and Shannon’s love story develops at a very slow pace. He thinks he’s emotionally dead, but she offers herself to him, and the more he knows of her, the more not just his libido, but his emotional self awakens. He begins to see that he has things to live for.

There are things that I really enjoyed about this story. I thought that Showdown’s emotional growth, from angry, emotionally unavailable man to one who is able to love was credible. Given that I’d gotten to know him in the previous two books and certainly, read the horror of the last book, I was glad to see him find some happiness. Shannon was a bit harder for me to get a bead on. She has a secret, and is technically running, although you never made me invest in what she was running from. I think because you delayed too long in delivering the backstory on her. Her conflict seemed manufactured because it arrived so late in the story and you’d built little to no foundation for it. So I wasn’t invested at all in that aspect of the story’s resolution.

That being said, I read the book in one sitting, and enjoyed getting to see the characters in a situation that was much less horrifying than book 2. As in the previous books, the sex scenes are plentiful and hot. And in the end, I was glad for having spent time reading the book. My hope in reviewing this book is that those who were put off by the extremity of the last book will give your work another chance. Because I felt like this story had potential and delivered on a good portion of it. I’d definitely read more from you. Final grade: B-/C+

Kind regards,

Kati

 

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REVIEW:  Move the Sun by Susan Fanetti

REVIEW: Move the Sun by Susan Fanetti

MTS

Dear Ms. Fanetti:

I saw Jane tweeting about your book and immediately went to Amazon to buy it. I love biker books (as evidenced by my obsessive reading of Kristen Ashley last year) and your book sounded right up my alley. In doing a little digging around about your book to write this review, I’ve discovered that it is Sons of Anarchy fan fiction. Since I don’t watch Sons of Anarchy and had no context for the book, it didn’t affect my enjoyment at all.

Lilli Accardo has just moved to Signal Bend, Missouri. The town itself is run down and has an extremely small town feel. It suits her purposes perfectly. As she pulls up to the realtor’s office to pick up the keys to her rental home, three Harleys roll by. Lilli quickly discovers that the power in this town belongs with the Night Horde Motorcycle Club, which acts as protection to the town. The President of Night Horde is Issac Lunden. Big, brawny and incredibly hot, Lilli is immediately drawn to him, but her reason for being in Signal Bend may prevent her from involving herself with the highest profile man in town. Her first night in town, Lilli heads to the local watering hole for a beer, and finds herself flirting with Issac. He’s attracted and she’s interested, but is naturally wary of any involvement. A bar brawl breaks out, and Issac is blown away by Lilli’s ability to defend herself. She’s much tougher than her willowy frame looks. He begins a single-minded pursuit of her, knowing that when they get together, it will be incendiary.

He’s right. They have incredible chemistry, and he begins to think the unthinkable, that perhaps Lilli is The One. But she has secrets she’s unwilling to share, and when he has his tech guy dig into her past, they find that it’s very obviously made up and that there is an impenetrable wall around digging further. Issac worries that Lilli is gunning for his town and his Club. While she assures him that she has no interest whatsoever in the protection that the Club provides for drug sellers, he remains suspicious of her unwillingness to share what her purpose is in moving to his tiny town where no one ever willingly moves. Even as he worries about Lilli, Issac’s town and his Club are threatened by a big time drug lord looking to set up shop in his territory, bringing a very real threat of death to his own people. He’s fighting for his town’s life and well-being and fighting for his love, whose secrets he still doesn’t completely grasp.

This book was such a pleasant surprise for me! First, the town is vividly drawn, and while I felt like the Motorcycle Club aspect of it is probably toned down for the readers, it was still believable. I really liked Issac, which is no surprise because for all his gruff looks, he’s a total Caregiving Alpha. He respects Lilli a ton, knowing that she can protect herself and that she’s tough and possibly a killer. But he also spends a ton of time taking care of her. Comforting her, and loving her. It’s very clear almost from the beginning that he’s falling in love, which I really liked. Even more, I loved Lilli. She’s definitely got a tortured past. She’s incredibly smart, and driven by demons. But she’s kind and when she finally allows herself to fall for Issac, it’s incredibly moving and sweet. I referenced their chemistry earlier in the review. The sex scenes between the two are erotic, emotional and inventive. In this case, the couple is having relatively rough sex, but as the book progresses, it becomes more and more emotionally charged as they fall more deeply in love.

If I had any complaint about the book it’s that Lilli’s purpose for being in town takes a long time to be revealed. I did like the judicious use of flashbacks to tell her backstory, but by the time I hit the 40% mark in the book, I was more than ready to understand what she was doing in town. You also used the word “growl” in relation to the hero 29 times in the book. I  kept waiting for him to turn into a werewolf. I actually tweeted about it because it became a bit like a drinking game for me. “Hero growls with pleasure” DRINK! “Hero growls out words” DRINK! Not a big deal, but certainly distracting for me as a reader.

All of that being said, this was a really enjoyable read that does not, in any way, read like a first novel, nor a self-pub. It’s polished and reads very smoothly. I predict big things for you. I know I for one can’t wait to read more of this series. Move the Sun gets a B+ from me.

Kind regards,

Kati

 

UPDATE: The author contacted me: “I did notice that you said MTS is fanfic, and that’s not accurate. It’s all original content. I cut my fictional teeth writing SOA fanfic, but there’s no Sons of Anarchy in MTS.”

 

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