Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Blog Tour: Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway for Make You Burn (The Deacons of Bourbon Street #1) by Megan Crane

If you're a fan of motorcycle club romances, make sure you check out this first book in a new series! I have an excerpt and more for you to enjoy!

The Deacons of Bourbon Street #1
Megan Crane
Releasing Aug 4th, 2015

Meet the Deacons of Bourbon Street, bad boy bikers who are hell on wheels—and heaven between the sheets. Megan Crane revs up an irresistible new series co-written with Rachael Johns, Jackie Ashenden, and Maisey Yates.

Sean “Ajax” Harding’s oaths are inked into his skin. Once second-in-command of the Deacons of Bourbon Street motorcycle club, he left New Orleans to protect the brotherhood, and only the death of his beloved mentor, Priest Lombard, could lure him back. Walking into the old hangout gives him a familiar thrill—especially when he gets an eyeful of the bar’s delectable new owner. A wild ride with her is just the welcome Ajax needs. Then he realizes that she’s Priest’s daughter, all grown up and totally off limits.

Sophie Lombard loved her father, not his lifestyle. She’s done with bikers . . . until Ajax roars into town—arrogant, tough, and sexy as ever. And although he treats her like the Catholic schoolgirl he once knew, Sophie’s daydreams tend to revolve around sin. With the very real possibility of heartbreak looming, Sophie knows better than to get too close to an outlaw. But every touch from Ajax is steamier than the Louisiana bayou—and heat like this may just be worth getting burned.

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She was an accident waiting to happen. 
To him, if he had anything to say about it. And he usually did. 
Sean Harding—who answered only to his biker road name, Ajax, and he could count the number of times he’d had to correct someone about that on one hand—figured she was his own fucked up Welcome Back card after ten years of exile from the only home he’d ever known. 
And as welcomes went, she’d do. 
She was a lick of sweet sugar on a sweaty Louisiana afternoon like this one, still hot as hell in early October. She wore tight and sparkling gold hot pants that made her fine ass into a kind of bayou music, sexy and dark. She was in high, high shoes that showed off long legs made to wrap tight around a man’s back while he fucked them both through the nearest wall. She had a giant, golden, feather headdress on her head that moved when she did, a glittery mask across her eyes in case he’d forgotten he was back in the great and gritty pageant of New Orleans and all its masquerades, and most important, she wore nothing but tasseled gold pasties on her perfect, mouthwatering tits. 
None of which would have been worthy of notice or comment on Bourbon Street after dark, in all its edgy commotion and the enveloping, inviting sin on all sides, but it was high noon on a goddamned Tuesday and she was moving gracefully in and out of groups of tourists in pastels and fanny packs who were still sober enough to keep their hands to themselves—if not their eyes. Or their cameras. 
Home sweet fucking home, Ajax thought in a hard kind of satisfaction, following the twitch of her ass as she sauntered straight down the center of dirty, dangerous, sometimes magical Bourbon Street in the direction of the Priory, the bar that had once been the center of his entire world. Almost like she knew he was heading there now, and was leading him home like the horny, not-too-bright but clearly exhibitionist stripper he sincerely hoped she was. 
Well. It had been home until ten years ago when Priest, the only version of a father Ajax had ever acknowledged, much less respected, had issued the order that changed everything. And Ajax might have told his actual, biological father to go fuck himself—a message he’d backed up with his fists, a piece of rebar, and his first arrest for assault when he’d been all of fourteen—but Priest had been the President of the Deacons of Bourbon Street Motorcycle Club and Ajax didn’t defy his MC’s orders. He’d been the VP, a position he’d fucking earned. He’d obeyed and enforced his president’s orders, even the ones he didn’t like, because they’d been good for the club and that was the only thing that had mattered to him. 
It still was. 
Even if that kind of blood loyalty meant he’d had to leave his beloved club, his brothers, and his city behind in the wake of a bullshit deal gone bad, all a part of Priest’s attempts to bring the once-outlaw MC over to the right side of the law. Less hassle, more money, Priest had said, and Ajax had backed him. 
Ajax had always backed Priest. He’d taken an oath to the Deacons when he was sixteen, the youngest full member ever to be patched into the club, and he’d meant every word. He was a man whose oaths were inked into his skin, his promises visible art he wore on his body and had carved into it, proudly. He didn’t break his fucking promises. 
He believed in the life he’d chosen. Even if he’d been exiled from that life for the past ten years. 
But now Priest was dead. And that changed everything. It had brought Ajax home at last. He’d been on his bike and headed east from Houston within the hour of getting that call from the Deacons’ old lawyer. 
He hadn’t particularly enjoyed the life he’d crafted for himself since he’d left New Orleans. Ajax had been an excellent mercenary, mostly because he hadn’t given much of a shit if he survived each operation. And maybe because of that, he and the outfit he’d worked for were damned good at what they did. Sometimes they’d acted as security for shady motherfuckers who wanted the nuclear option at their fingertips should shit fall apart, which it often did. Sometimes they’d operated as their own form of Special Forces for assholes who could afford to buy their own, personal armies. They sold their services to the highest bidder and they didn’t ask any questions. It was nothing Ajax hadn’t done in one form or another for his club, but it wasn’t his club. 
It was never his club. 
Mercenary work was a collection of dangerous men who happened to band together and might at any moment shoot each other in the back if shit went down that way, never a brotherhood. Never any kind of family. 
Never a cause Ajax would consider wearing on his own skin. 
Ajax had always intended to return to his home and his club one day. Preferably by riding his shit-kicking Dyna, black as sin and a hundred times louder, straight into the heart of the French Quarter with his cut on his back and his middle finger held high. But ten years of working as a hired gun in some of the world’s least hospitable places—worse, even, than the shithole shack out in the bayou where he’d been born and beaten on by his drunk asshole of a father for his first fourteen years—had taught him the value of reconnaissance and restraint. Or anyway, how to fake it when it suited him. 
Thinking about ancient history and all the grief that went along with it pissed him off. 
And when Ajax got pissed off, he fought or he fucked until he felt right again, and not always in that order. 
So when Miss Gold Hot Pants pushed her way past a pack of drooling engineer-types, all chinos and narrow shoulders, to enter the Priory, Ajax decided it was a sign. He could keep his grief and his fury to himself. And he wouldn’t mind a quick, hot, satisfying bang in the Priory toilets to take the edge off the only version of mourning he’d allow himself, before he got down to business. It wouldn’t be the first time. 

 ★★★★ stars

Coming home can be difficult, but coming home after losing someone important is even harder. Ajax is home but he's grieving the loss of his mentor and surrogate father Priest. He still hasn't been able to figure out why he and his brothers were exiled a decade ago and now he's tasked with calling his brothers home. Things have changed though, both in his city and family. The biggest noticeable change is Sophie Lombard, the daughter of the man he respects most. 

The attraction between Sophie and Ajax was instant and undeniable. It seemed like even before they'd exchanged names they were getting off with each other. I like how the insta-lust between them was not confused for insta-love on either of their parts. I really liked Sophie. My heart hurt for her knowing she'd lost her only family. I also hurt when she realized her father whom she'd sacrificed so much for hadn't cared enough to do the same. It was certainly jarring. I liked Sophie and her wits. She was smart and mostly level headed. She was reliable and responsible for someone so young. She also had a wild streak.

Ajax was an interesting character. I liked him, sometimes. Other times I felt like he was too overbearing and rude. Ajax might have been short on words and emotions but the ones he shared and showed carried a lot of weight. I also felt horrible for him when I learned how he came to be a Deacon. I loved Ajax's loyalty and commitment to family, even if he knew pursuing Sophie broke the rules. Once he made Sophie his, she was his concern, even if she didn't like it.

I think I liked watching Sophie and Ajax butt heads as much as I did seeing them get along. I was a little concerned about how blase they were regarding Priest's death especially when they realized it might not have been an accident. I don't feel like it was given the attention it deserved and when you have characters like Sophie and Ajax who have strong connections to the deceased, it felt wrong. I do feel like the murder mystery was pushed aside and Sophie and Ajax's bedroom romps took center stage. Now I'm not complaining because they were hot, but I would've liked the story and sex to be balanced. However since there are more books coming, I'm hoping that there will be more about finding the truth. 

As it is, I'm really excited to see Megan Crane writing something new and unfamiliar. It's definitely the hottest book of hers I've ever read. I like that she's pushing her boundaries. Overall, this book was a great introduction to a new story and characters and a great way to start off a new series. I'm already eagerly looking forward to the next book.

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Megan Crane is a New Jersey native who had great plans to star on Broadway, preferably in Evita, just like Patti LuPone. Sadly, her inability to wow audiences with her singing voice required a back-up plan. Accordingly, she graduated from Vassar College and got her MA and PhD in literature from the University of York in England. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on AIDS literature, mostly so she could wallow in her obsession with the remarkable multimedia artist David Wojnarowicz and her idol, the bitter and hilarious David Feinberg. After many years in the rain and subject to the whim of seasons, she followed the sun to Los Angeles, where she lives with too many pets and an artist named Jeff. She is still plotting her Broadway debut.

*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*



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