Being part of a motorcycle club is what Gunner has known his whole life. Five years ago, he fled his old club when they threatened the life of his baby sister, and he has made a new life for himself as Vice President of the Broken Chains. Gunner is never quite at ease, however. He knows his old club isn’t going to forget the way he bested them and it is only a matter of time before they find him. But, for now, Gunner does his best for the club and for Maddie and is as content as he can expect to be.
Logan is Maddie’s dance teacher in a class for both Deaf and hearing kids. Logan himself is Deaf and gets by with a series of jobs, including cooking at a restaurant and doing deliveries for the Broken Chains. He also can’t help but admire Gunner as he brings Maddie to class. But it is clear the man is in a totally different world than Logan. Logan has a hard enough time fitting into his own life; being a brown-skinned, gay, Deaf man means Logan has enough trouble figuring out exactly where he belongs. Crushing on a hot guy in a motorcycle club with a totally different life isn’t going to get him anywhere.
When Logan finds himself in the middle of some serious trouble, the Broken Chains step in to protect him. It means keeping him out of sight, and Gunner is assigned to keep an eye on him. Being in such close proximity is hard for both men, as the attraction is so strong. But Gunner and Logan also fear they are in now way right for the other. Yet despite that, the feelings between them are too strong and they can’t help but act on their attraction. However, just because the men are hot for each other, doesn’t mean they can work together as a couple. But when danger threatens, Logan and Gunner realize what is really important. Now they have to figure out if they can get past the crisis and find a way to be together.
Tidal Wave is the first book in E.M. Lindsey’s new Broken Chains MC series and it’s off to a great start. I’ll admit, motorcycle club stories are not always my thing, but I would read anything Lindsey writes and so I gave this one a shot, and I am so glad I did. In hindsight, I can see why this trope is perfect for Lindsey’s strengths. They excel at amazing character development and motorcycle clubs tend to feature men with complex pasts and complicated lives. So here Lindsey really shines in building two fascinating men in Gunner and Logan. Logan, in particular, is such a well-developed character. He exists between two worlds and two cultures. He was raised in an Acadian community in Louisiana with both his mother and father’s cultural background. Those friends and family understand what is like to be a man of color, understand where he comes from. But as much as his parents may try, they are hearing and can’t fully relate to Logan’s deafness. Now that he has moved away from home, he is making new friends in the Deaf community — but they can’t really understand the other half of him. So Logan is straddling these two worlds and not fully fitting in with either one of them.
As with most motorcycle clubs, the Broken Chains are not always on the right side of the law. But they are overall good men and they care for and protect one another. When Gunner and Maddie are at risk, the Broken Chains are there for them completely. Even when Logan, a civilian not affiliated with the club, is threatened, they will do anything to protect him. There is a sense of brotherhood and found family that really shines through here. I loved seeing how the club members respond to Logan’s lack of hearing by trying to learn to communicate with him better. They don’t wait for him to adapt to them, but instead they adapt to him. Logan gets immersed in this totally unfamiliar world with people who speak a totally different language than him and it is overwhelming at times. So it’s nice to see the club members really make an effort to do their part in helping with the language barrier.
From a romance end, things are somewhat a slow burn, at least in terms of really moving the relationship forward. The men are into each other from the start, but it takes them a while to accept that they really have anything to offer one another. At times, I wished for things to move a bit faster, only because it sometimes felt the same issues are covered more than once. The story also felt a little slow through the middle, perhaps as a result of the way the relationship is paced. But there is such a sweetness between these two men, a way they look out for and take care of each other, that I really enjoyed.
There are so many interesting characters in the book and I feel like this series is ripe for so many great stories. I can’t wait to see where Lindsey takes things next and I think the series is a perfect fit for their writing style.