Echo is nothing like his twin Ezra. Retrained, patient, and genuinely good, Ezra has found his mate and settled into life with the Hellhounds Motorcycle Club. Echo, on the other hand, has been cast out by the club president and promptly finds himself captured by slavers. Broken and alone, Echo can’t help thinking he has earned every iota of his pain.
Mace told the Club, Echo, the rogue incubus who caused so much trouble for Wolf County, was killed. Yet he let the man go to spare his brother Ezra, and because the imprint he left on Mace was more powerful than he wanted to admit. When a gang of slavers invades Wolf County, Mace is reunited with the scrappy Echo. The two cannot resist their need for one another, but before their relationship can progress, Mace will have to deal with the fact he lied to the club. And the Hellhounds will have to face the menacing Collector, a faceless enemy who threatens to bring chaos to the well-ordered Wolf County.
Breaking Mace is the second in the Hellhounds MC series and a direct sequel to Revo’s Property. The writing style and even, quick paced flow of this novella is similar to the first. The story flies by and I was definitely left wanting more of the relationship between Mace and Echo. There were noticeably more editing errors in Breaking Mace than in the first book, and, while they didn’t clutter every page, there were enough to distract me and pull me away from the action. As with the first in the series, there is minimal world building, which is again an opportunity lost, but there is just enough description to establish a loose sense of place. There is wild lawlessness in the dystopian world created by the author and readers are convinced early on that while the Hellhounds are far from law abiding, they are a far better choice than the vast nothingness beyond Wolf County.
Echo is never given quite the depth of his brother Ezra, but he is decidedly more complex than he was in Revo’s Property. Unrestrained and wild when in comparison to Ezra, Echo has long searched for some sort of solution to his addictions. He was resigned and even welcomed death when Mace spared his life. Now he just needs Mace.
Mace is a bit of a caricature, though not excessively so. He is a typical grouchy, uber-Alpha who has led the Hellhounds through will and an iron fist. But since the death of his first mate, his mental stability has faltered and while he doesn’t have a death wish, there isn’t much tying him to the world anymore. He’s stoic and quick to anger, but we’re never given any deeper insight into his psyche. He and Echo have form a sort of insta-love and theirs is definitely an all or nothing relationship. Despite a lack of believability in their love affair, the author does a great job of highlighting the passion between Echo and Mace. They are definitely a couple who work together, even if we’re never given much romancing.
Breaking Mace is far from perfect but the concept of a violent motorcycle gang maintaining law and order in the shadow of the Apocalypse, is no less intriguing here than it was in the first installment. The novella suffers from a lack of world building and weakly rendered characters, but it has just enough of a hook to keep readers hanging on. I’ll be interested to see where the series goes from here, especially now that we have an outside evil threatening the club, but I can’t help hoping the author offers up stronger characters and a deeper overall plot in further installments.