Guest Review: Happy Birthday by B.D. Roca

Jake Rushman is on the run, but it’s too late. He’s being tracked by an expert.

Motorcycle Club Enforcer Nick is tough, but even he has a conscience. It’s slowly destroying him, together with memories of his parents’ ugly deaths. Nick eliminates the guilty, but Jake Rushman is the innocent witness to a murder. It will be one kill too many.

Determined to find redemption, Nick plans to trade his life for Jake’s. Neither man counts on the fierce, powerful bond that the collision of their opposing worlds brings, and Jake refuses to let Nick sacrifice himself. He offers Nick the one thing he's never had: hope.

But with a violent past tracking them, Nick might be forced to do the one thing he promised himself he never would—kill again.

 Guest Reviewer: Samantha

Nick cut him an arctic glance. “You still want that little secret to stay secret?”

Mike went the color of putty. “You wouldn’t.”

“You’re right, I wouldn’t. Not unless I heard you talked. In which case, all bets would be off.”

“You’re a fucking bastard, Nick. I thought you were better than—”

“I’m a paid killer, Mike. What the fuck were you expecting?”
Jake Rushman saw something he shouldn't have seen - a witness to an unfortunate and bloody crime - and now he has to run for his life. But nothing is ever that easy, and Nick, the man sent to cut any loose ends, is hot on his trail.

The thing is, Nick's tired of the life. Since fifteen, he's been enforcing for his MC, and it's eating away at him. This time, he knows his target isn't some low life who deserves what he gets. No, Jake is innocent, and Nick has a plan, one that ends with trading one life for another.
He was on the edge of a cliff. And he wasn’t jumping, he was diving, a huge swan dive, like those famous cliff-top divers in some exotic place he’d seen on television once. Only they landed safely, bodies cutting into seawater like knife blades.

And his dive was a killing one.
To my knowledge, this is B.D. Roca's first published story, and it's an awfully good one. While I teetered around a 3.5 or 3.75, I decided to round up on the basis that as a first time published author, I was impressed with this debut.

The story and short and fast paced. At times, it suffers from this pace. There are pieces of the story that end up feeling constricted, too many emotions squeezed into a small space. What helps is the way the author writes. Their style is not for everyone, but for me it was quite poignant and I enjoyed the flow.

One particular instance of the short-story-syndrome (I made that up, but whatever), is how Nick's mind goes so quickly from suicidal to hopeful. I'm not saying that can't be an instantaneous thing, but not enough depth was put into the story beyond why he was suicidal. His past behaviors were hinted at - he's an enforcer, he's killed plenty - but the reader never really gets exposed to the raw essence of those feelings. With that, some of the emotional content at the beginning surrounding Nick's idea of suicide felt stunted. The author could've dug more and really exposed their character.

One other small issue I had was some of the typos or grammatical issues. There weren't an incredible amount, but there were enough that I made note of a few. At times, I think it was a bit difficult for me, as a reader not completely familiar with Aussie turns of phrases, to understand (which is my thing, not the authors. An author should be able to stay true to their dialect), but others were just some jumbled sentences.

BUT, all that being said, this story had a whole lot of good going for it. It has a plot that is attractive to a reader and a real nice dash of heat. Nick and Jake were steaming, and the author balanced the number of sex scenes to the actual length of the book, so it wasn't overloaded.

I mean, I'll say it, I love a good MC story with a morally ambiguous character. To me, that's hot. I just wish we could've seen a tad bit more of it. I almost wanted the transition to be harder - to see some bumps in the road, but I think that just goes to the length of the story and what the author intended. That being said, I think they achieved their goal of a hot, fast story that will satisfy a reader.

I'll certainly be looking forward to more from this author, as I see a great deal of potential in their words.

For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes

No comments:

Post a Comment