by Kiersten Hallie Krum
Last year, at the 2013 RT Convention in New Orleans, the sultry setting of The Big Easy inspired four romance writers to create a new, erotic motorcycle club (MC) series.
Now The Deacons of Bourbon Street are ready to hit the road, burning rubber out of the gate with the debut of book one, Make You Burn by Megan Crane, tomorrow, Tuesday, August 4th.
Ladies, start your mothereffin’ engines.
I had the chance to sit down with all four Bitches of Bourbon Street–Megan Crane, Rachael Johns, Jackie Ashenden, and Maisey Yates–at this year’s Romance Writers of America national conference. What followed was a riotous, naughty, frank chat about the bad boys of Bourbon Street, the bad ass women in whom they meet their matches, and all the filthy goodness yet to come in the series.
Click below to hear the entire chat (headphone use is recommended for a better listening experience).
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.
Scroll on down for my review of Make You Burn and then leave a comment to be eligible for not one, but TWO e-book copies graciously provided by Loveswept and Megan Crane. Be sure to check back for a review of each new release in The Deacons of Bourbon Street series in upcoming months.
Make You Burn: A Review
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.
If you’re thinking, “say, that sounds like Sons of Anarchy!” you get a gold star! The Deacons of Bourbon Street is like the Sons of Anarchy spin off we wanted and never got with less blood, less objectionable behavior toward women (sorta), and more seriously sexy times flavored with emotional angst with a guaranteed happy ending.
I devoured Make You Burn in one sitting. And then I read it again. In the weeks since first receiving the galley, I think I’ve read it 15 times. Conservative estimate.
You want this book. You have no idea how much you want this book. But don’t worry. Ajax will show you.
Look, bad boys in leather on motorcycles in New Orleans? It’s like someone made a checklist titled “What Turns Kiersten On” and then wrote four heroes who fit the list. Starting with Ajax.
Ajax is a total alphahole, no question. Full stop. There are no limits with Ajax, no boundary he won’t cross, no extreme he won’t push over or push someone else over if he feels they need said pushing. He has a code, a fierce, unbreakable code, and that code literally is his life. He doesn’t take people’s concerns or objections into account. He says what is going to happen and expects people to make it happen and he’s big enough and mean enough to follow through on what he promises will be the fallout if what he wants doesn’t happen. He’s absurdly gorgeous and is obscenely filthy in every delicious way and is ridiculously gleeful about it. He’s often got shit attitudes toward women, at least on the surface, and sees no reason to change his mind any time soon. But he also has an out-sized mental and physical strength. He knows exactly who and what he is and makes zero apology for it, which is its own kind of sexy. His confidence is intoxicating and anyone who encounters him knows he’s good for whatever he says he’s going to do. He puts a capital A on Alphahole and you just want to thank him for it as you test the durability of the nearest flat surface while taking off your pants and that’s before you get to his dirty, dirty sex skillz.
Sophie is his match in every single way. She’s fierce and strong-minded with a sharp mouth and a steel spine. But she also has a wealth of compassion that is at odds with the harsh philosophy with which her father raised her single-handed. She confronts life head on, stepping up to whatever challenge is presented to her. She can hold her own with a cadre of bad ass bikers and navigate the complicated pathways of MC culture without a second thought. She is the princess of the MC, whether she likes it or not, and she really, really doesn’t like it. When Priest sent his chosen sons away, it was Sophie who picked up the pieces and kept the business going, kept her father living. Ajax rolls back into town the night her father dies and sets off all her brewing resentments about the club, wraps it up in outrageous sexual demand, and puts a bow on her soul-crushing grief. He is the shining example of everything her father denied Sophie: love, acceptance, pride, intimacy. And she meets Ajax toe-to-toe without fear and challenges his every command even knowing he’ll push her far beyond her comfort zone every time.
For both Ajax and Sophie, the lost of Priest is a cataclysmic event. From the day he was exiled from New Orleans, Ajax has been waiting to come home. He’s pictured it in minute detail and it only took the death of his father figure to make it happen. Ajax’s strong sense of duty is literally etched into his skin, a tome of obligation he willingly shoulders as he sets out to reclaim his club and his city. He takes one look at Sophie and knows he’s going to claim her too…eventually. Though he’s happy as a pig in slop to be back, the club and New Orleans are very different from when he left…and still neither as much as Sophie. But he now has to navigate without Priest there guiding the way and this new shape to his old life takes more than a few hits out on him. And Sophie is basically a solid, right hook.
Sophie has played second fiddle to the club in her father’s heart her whole life and dreamed of the day when Priest would place blood over brothers. A day that will never come now that her father is dead. Instead, she’s left to come to terms with the fallout and the dubious legacy Priest has left behind if not left to Sophie. Does she stay on the fringes of the Deacons as Ajax pulls the club back from the brink, a life she loathes but can never quite bring herself to leave? Or strike out on her own to find the life she should’ve made ten years ago? Ajax’s homecoming heralds the return of all Sophie has enjoyed 10 years doing without: the brotherhood, the biker bunnies, the blood. But from the moment he walks through the door, Ajax spins her world completely upside down. Even as he pisses her off and turns her on, he’s also the only solid thing she has to cling to in the upheaval that just erupted through her world. Every moment with him reminds her of what she’s lost but at the same time, he’s the epitome of what she can’t quite abandon. An addiction she can’t give up even if it kills her.
On the surface, Make You Burn is a smokin’ hot, MC erotic romance and holy crap, does it deliver on that promise. But it’s also a story about dealing with immense loss and struggling to find purpose and balance in the face of excruciating grief–and what happens when the life you thought you hated is the person you can’t possibly live without.
Jump on and take a ride with The Deacons of Bourbon Street.
DON’T FORGET to leave a comment to win a free copy of Make You Burn.
Get an extra taste of the sinful stuff with a trip through the Make You Burn Pinterest Board.
Add some boogie on the bayou with Megan Crane’s Make You Burn playlist below.
And follow Lady Smut. We’ll burn you right up.