rising tide coverRating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel

 

Rory is used to being underestimated. He is small, blind, and an academic living in the violent world of motorcycle gangs. Rory was raised by his brother, Aaron (aka Smokey), the president of the Broken Chains MC, and Rory hates knowing that Aaron’s enemies see him as the weak link in the chain and a way to get to Aaron. But Rory is strong, smart, and a fighter. He doesn’t want pity and he doesn’t want coddling by anyone. Rory also knows that with the fight continuing to draw out between the Chains and their rival, Hydra, that the time has come to take action.

Nate used to be a club member, but eventually he had enough of that life (ultimately becoming a sheriff, of all things). Nate knows many people see him as a traitor for that, but he learned that his attempts at being on the right side of the law were never going to work. He is now a nomad, not an official member of any club, but still working to help the Broken Chains in their fight against Hydra. He also knows he wants Rory, but should never have him. Not only is Rory much younger, but Aaron would be furious with Nate if he knew about Nate’s interest in Rory. That doesn’t stop Nate from wanting Rory with everything he has, however.

Rory isn’t looking to have anyone tell him what to do, least of all his brother. And he has wanted Nate for years. With things coming to a head with Hydra, Rory has no interest in putting off his desires any longer and he makes clear to Nate he wants him in return. The men act on their attraction, and each begins to imagine what life might be like after this fight is all over. But there is no chance of a happy ending for anyone while Hydra remains a threat — and stopping him may require the ultimate sacrifice.

Rising Tide is the final book in the Broken Chains MC series and wraps up both the series arc, as well as the relationship for Nate and Rory. Things have been building in the conflict with Hydra since the start of the series, and so this book will best be read when familiar with at least some of the other books. Rory and Nate have both been prominent side characters in the series, and Rory is a particularly fascinating one. He was basically raised by his brother, but has no real interest in the MC life, preferring academia. It could have been easy — and far more common — for Lindsey to make Rory vulnerable, innocent, and lost amidst the violence of the MC world. But instead, Rory is strong, confident, and quite comfortable with the violence that accompanies the MC life — and definitely able to dish it out himself. Rory doesn’t want pity or coddling and he has a wicked tongue he will unleash on anyone who tries to give him either. So he is a really interesting juxtaposition of the historian working on his doctoral thesis, but also a man who can stand up to kidnappings and violence with barely a blink.

Rory has wanted Nate for years (even counting the period he hated Nate), and Nate wants Rory in return. Nate is wary, worried about the age gap, worried about what Aaron might think. But Rory is having none of being told what to do by anyone, including his brother. If their lives are all on the line, he is reaching for what he wants, and that is Nate. The two men are a really interesting couple and fit together really well. Neither one is used to much more than hookups, but when they finally get together, they soon realizes their hearts are involved. I loved Nate’s unconditional acceptance of everything that makes up Rory. I also loved the bit of a softer side that comes out for each man when they are together.

The club has been on edge for years waiting for this final showdown with Hydra. Rory knows something must change, that they are falling apart stuck in this waiting game, and he is determined to find a way to break it. It means putting lives at risk in the ultimate gamble, but the club knows that is the price they must pay for a chance to put this all behind them. Most of the story focuses on the build up of the plan and figuring out how to get everyone on board. I felt like the actual confrontation happens quicker and later in the book than I was expecting, and felt a little too “off page” for the ultimate conflict to tie up the series. Not that I wanted to see anyone really hurt or in peril, it just seemed like it all is over too soon given the build up. However, everything ties up well and we get a nice resolution for Rory and Nate, as well as the other members of the club we have come to know.

If you are a fan of motorcycle club stories, or just books about hard and dangerous, morally gray men, definitely check out the Broken Chains MC series.

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