Ex-Con Part 1-3 by Katana Collins (Harrison Street Crew)

Available: Part 1 – January 7 2017 Amazon/B&N

                  Part 2 – February 7 2017 Amazon/B&N

                  Part 3 – February 14 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Swerve

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

Ex-convict Shane McGill is as rugged and wild as they come. Bad to the bone and back on the streets, he’ll do anything and say anything to survive. Even if that something means joining the one car club he had worked so hard to avoid. But there’s one person out there who can match him toe-to-toe…the hot mechanic pin-up doll of a woman with the body of a goddess and tomboy attitude would even give him a chance.

Is Fast and Furious your favorite movie? If you answered yes, well then this is probably the book for you. Because reading this book was a lot like watching any of the movies in that series. Lots of street racing, lots of gear wrenching and just enough sexual tension to keep you on edge.

I have to admit first off, that one of the sole reasons I picked this book up was the ex-con draw. I feel like those heroes are generally the underdogs and I love that type of hero. Plus there is the whole bad boy thing that totally gets my *ahem* motor running. Shane wasn’t an overly complex character, but I felt from the beginning that he was missing part of the backstory to the Harrison Street Crew he was trying so hard to avoid. It was pretty annoying too that none of the other characters clued him in for so damn long. In fact, that was my main gripe about this book overall. Everything was so long and drawn out. And not in the sexy way you’re hoping I mean it for.

Charlie is a female mechanic/ shop owner in a very rough area of town. She’s looking for street cred by street racing to break into the inner circle of all the car owners looking to take their vehicles in for upgrades. She knows her stuff and craves the thrills but it often leads to her taking unnecessary risks. With mounting bills she’s gambling every time she buys into yet another race, especially those against the famed leader for the Harrison Street Crew, but it’s her only option in making enough money to cover another months bills. When the HSC newest driver turns out to be her newest employee she’s conflicted about keeping him on. Ultimately her attraction to him wins out as she begins to trust the stranger who claims to have been “out of town” since she moved in.

Of course, by “out of town” Shane means maximum security prison, but the pretty mechanic surely doesn’t need to know all that. Especially since he just needs to make enough money to get his cherry ride running again so he can flee the state and break his parole. Except the more Shane learns about her plight and the shady characters who seem to be tailing her, the more he wants to stick around to protect her. But sticking around might mean both their deaths.

At the heart of the story I really enjoyed it. The ex-con/female mechanic aspect was awesome, original and something that instantly drew me. I liked both Shane and Charlie too. The sex was good but felt a bit to scripted and predictable. Except maybe the hood of a car scene, that one was pretty hot. I found the stalker aspect of Charlie’s ex the most interesting parts of the book. I hated how she was unable to confide in her best friend or her family about their past and his abusiveness and I understood her reluctance to get involved with a man like Shane because of that past. I was rooting for Shane to really show her he was different. Which of course he did.

The problem for me was the slow pace of the entire book (or 3 sections depending on how you’re reading this one). It was SOOOOOOOOOOOO slow. Nothing much happens for parts 1 and 2. The action doesn’t actually rev its engine until part 3 and then even that is fleeting. I found myself skipping around way to often for my liking.

I do think future books might be better executed due to not having to cover so much information, so I will be looking for those when they come out. However, this one was a bit too slow for my overall liking.

I give Ex-Con by Katana Collins 3 stars!


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