The biker gangs passing through Lobo Norte don’t scare Ofelia anymore. All those men are the same: scarred, homeless, and broken…just like Ofelia. They’ve become a blur of forgettable faces watching her strip. She takes off her clothes, takes their money, and wipes them from her memory instantly. But Trouble is different. A biker with a wolf tattoo and tortured eyes, he sees beyond Ofelia’s tough disguise to a more fragile woman within. She’s drawn to him like she’s never been drawn to a man before - at least, not since she survived hideous torture at the hands of her ex-boyfriend that left her scarred physically and emotionally. She can’t forget Trouble. And she definitely can’t push him away. There’s magic between them that neither understands. But maybe if Ofelia and Trouble can find the truth, they can release each other from the chains that bind them to Lobo Norte, to the Fang Brothers biker gang, and to the dark.
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I would give this story more of a 4.5. But it’s great. This is a short story that, wonderfully, didn’t feel short. It had some great characters. The main characters, Ofelia, a witch, & Trouble/Cooper, a newbie werewolf & biker gang member, were great, each with their own troubles, pardon the pun. And Ofelia, though very appealing, had physical flaws too, scars internally and physically, which I loved; it’s more realistic. And realism was a plus in this story. There weren’t unanswered questions unattended to or blanks in the story. An exception is that the author never completely describes anyone. That can be problematic for some people, but it was okay with me. it was certainly noticeable, and is quite different. But there’s something freeing about needing to fill in the blanks about how these characters appear physically. There’s something freeing and more unbiased about requiring the listener/reader to image these characters based on our own stuff. And I think it’s telling however each listener/reader does that. And it might be telling when listeners require these specificities. Do we need to know whether a character is more like us or more unlike us physically? I think the author is on to something.
The story centers totally around a no-where bar that hosts fights & nearby prostitution & where paranormal creatures (succubus/succubi, incubus/incubi, werewolves, demons) are the norm. It appears to be somewhere near the Mexican border and be rural, including the trailer Ofelia lives in and dust. The story has a gritty feel, a spooky aspect, not like ghosts but like the presence of fighting, hidden spirits or forces. And fighting, literally, occurs too. There is some violence that may be a bit over-the-top for some listeners. It’s not often, but it’s there. I loved the balance of rawness and romance. There was grit but not so much sex. Sex is often alluded to, and the sexual tension was constantly there. But the act of sex was rare. There is a kind of masturbation scene between Ofelia & Cooper, with Ofelia as the happy recipient. But it happens in an unusual fashion or way. Cooper is not actually an active participant but more of a kind of facilitator. I can’t say more without spoiling it. So there are 4 hours of build up to the culminating sex scene in the last 54 minutes or so of the story. I didn’t miss the sex or think that it should’ve occurred sooner. It happened organically, just as it should have, in the time it should have. I really liked that they didn’t jump into sex of any sort immediately, though they did act on their immediate attraction.
The story focuses on how Ofelia and Cooper accept and act on their being mated and the unveiling of unknown parts of Ofelia’s life & what she is, though the latter aspect is not fully answered in this story. At the heart of these questions is a devil tarot card that finds Ofelia. There is a HEA, though the story continues. We learn that there are 76 tarot cards remaining that need to be found for Ofelia to get some answers. I anxiously await the next installment.
I was so confused in the beginning but I stuck with it... ended up liking the book! I really didn't like the Fang Bikers... but Trouble aka Cooper won me over... the smexual heat in this book borders on angsty as nothing really seems to happen until way... way into the book...but it was well worth it! Nice mystery adventure throughout the story with finding the meaning behind the tarot card that just won't go away!
Narration was pretty good... many shift in voices...no two characters really sounded the same... Down is one of my favorites.