Title – Vicious Cycle
Author – Katie Ashley
Publication Date – June 2, 2015
Series – Vicious Cycle, #1
New York Times bestselling author Katie Ashley revs up the danger and sexual tension in her brand-new Vicious Cycle romance series.
Deacon Malloy’s life is dedicated to the Hell’s Raiders motorcycle club. Tough, hard, and fast with his fists, he serves the group as sergeant at arms. But his devil-may-care approach to life is thrown for a loop when the five-year-old daughter he never knew existed lands on the club steps.
Alexandra Evans is devoted to all her students—but there’s always been something about Willow Malloy that tugs at her heart. There’s an aura of sadness about her, a girl in need of all the love Alexandra can give. When Willow stops coming to school, Alexandra’s search leads to a clubhouse full of bikers…and a father hell-bent on keeping his daughter always within sight.
The moment Deacon sees Alexandra, he has to have her in his bed—and he’s never met a woman yet who couldn’t be persuaded. No matter how attracted she is to Deacon, Alexandra refuses to be just another conquest. But it’s Deacon himself who could be seduced—into a brighter future for himself, his daughter, and the woman he’s falling for against all odds.
Vicious Cycle is the beginning of a fantastic MC series that will leave you wanting more. Knowing how well she could write a rockstar, I was excited to see Katie Ashley delving into the MC world. She knows how to create a bad boy with a secret sweetness that will melt your heart and well… other things. Deacon and Alex’s story was hot, fun, and surprisingly heartfelt. We didn’t just get to know this unlikely couple, but we got to dive headfirst into the Hells Raiders MC. Filled with fascinating and vibrant characters, I can already tell I’m going to love reading all of their stories. With Vicious Cycle, Katie Ashley has written a great MC read that will suck you in from the start and steal your heart. Katie Ashley managed to evoke many emotions from me throughout this book including anger, sadness, betrayal, frustration, joy, lust, and love. I was able to lose myself in the gritty and raw MC world, while holding onto very real emotions that kept me grounded in the story.
“Being good isn’t always easy. No matter how hard I try.”
It was obvious from the beginning that Deacon was going to be a tough nut to crack. His first reaction to meeting Willow and his actions upon initially encountering Alex had me questioning my ability to fall for him completely. Katie Ashley did a good job at slowly revealing the softer sides of Deacon, the pieces of him that yearned to be loved. His vulnerabilities and flaws were exposed over the course of the story, allowing him to unexpectedly win me over. My one issue with him was his relationship with Willow. While, he got better at being patient and making an effort during the second half of the book, the initial emotional impact he claimed to have felt with her wasn’t very well reflected in his behavior until much later when Alex was firmly seated in their lives. With Willow’s appearance in his life being such a big point in the story, I wished we could have seen more of that relationship develop.
“Those emotions you’ve buried so fucking deep in the ground come bursting out of their grave like it’s the Second Coming. In a way it is – it’s the Armageddon of your soul. As the emotional torment claws at your skin, you wish for your own death.”
Alex was my favorite part of this book. Her intelligence and strength just floored me. She never backed down from Deacon, never shied away from a challenge. She stood her ground, protected the people she cared about, and ultimately revealed herself to be a fighter through and through. She is one badass heroine and I loved every honest, mouthy moment of her in this book. Katie Ashley has a knack for keeping me on my toes. She has a good sense for balancing a reader’s expectations with surprising twists that keep the story feeling fresh and alive. There was one particular moment near the end with Alex that I honestly never even considered, but it made Vicious Cycle that much more thrilling. The epilogue was perfect, leading us into the next book, and I have to say, I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Vicious Cycle is the first book that I have read from the highly acclaimed Katie Ashley, and I can definitely see what all the hype is about! Ashley’s writing in this new series takes readers on a journey of survivorship and love, right alongside one of revenge and despair. She creates characters you’ll want to know and even come to love despite their shortcomings.
“He was the darkness, and I was the light – we were the perfect storm of opposites, raging against each other in perfect harmony.”
Deacon is a hardened biker who embodied every stereotypical thought you’d have about a man in a motorcycle club. He was protective, grumbly, and certainly knew nothing about pink tutus and sparkly things. It was very interesting to watch him have to adapt to the situations he was presented with, especially when he surrounded himself with such strong-willed women. He was so stubborn and set in his ways, yet there was something about Alexandra that made him like water; he fit to her and bent in ways that he just couldn’t with others.
“How fitting that a real storm was brewing as I found myself in my own emotional one.”
There was something about the way that Alexandra was written that was such a paradox for me. In some ways, she was so delicate and demure, but then there was this ferocious, independent, strong-headed woman who reared her head. I also appreciated that she never really second guessed her feelings for Deacon. She was thinking with her heart instead of her head, which most people do, and so it made her character that much more relatable to me. Even with the inherent danger of dating him, she could see the good he tried to hide and trusted him implicitly. It was a special connection to watch develop as the story progressed.
“When someone hurts the people I care about, I don’t wait for a judge and jury – I take matters into my own hands.”
As soon as I started reading the Prologue, I knew that I’d be hooked from beginning to end. In one chapter, I experienced a whole gamut of emotions and knew that I’d be in for one heck of a ride. However, I do wish that the story went deeper at times and got more into the nitty-gritty. There were instances that everything felt very surface, and with the transformations Deacon was making, I just wanted more from him. I think readers will immerse themselves and get lost in this new series of Katie Ashley’s. The main characters, as well as the spinoff ones, definitely leave their mark and with the way Ashley ended Vicious Cycle, I’m already waiting for the next in the series!
When I pulled up outside the pawnshop, a nervous shudder ricocheted through my body at the sight of Deacon waiting on me. After quickly turning off the car, I grabbed my bag. With my eyes firmly on Deacon, I fumbled with the door handle for a few seconds before I was able to throw it open. When I unceremoniously tripped on the uneven pavement, which sent me flying forward before I could right myself, the corners of Deacon’s lips turned up with a teasing lilt. “Glad I can amuse you,” I blurted before I could stop myself. I cringed as his dark eyes widened with surprise at my response.
“I’m glad to see you made it.”
Jerking my chin up, I countered, “I’m not late. I told you I wouldn’t be able to get here until three.”
“No, Miss Evans, you’re not late.” He flashed me a wide smile. “I’m just glad to see you.”
“You are?” I questioned, unable to hide my surprise. Was he implying what I thought he was? Was I going to have to set him straight that while flattered, we would only ever have a working relationship?
“Yeah. Willow’s been pestering the hell out of me all day about when you would get here.”
“Oh,” I murmured. The shit-eating grin that stretched across Deacon’s face caused warmth to flood my cheeks. I stared down at the pavement, silently willing it to open up and swallow me and my embarrassment.
Deacon’s finger on my chin caused me to jump. “Don’t worry your pretty little head about me coming on to you, Miss Evans.”
“Thank you. I appreciate that,” I murmured.
“But don’t think it’s because of something decent within my character. You’re not my type.”
I sputtered with indignation at his words. “That’s good to hear since you’re most certainly not my type either.”
Deacon merely grinned. “You know, Rev told me to tread easy when it came to you. He thinks you’re some delicate little flower I could crush. But he’s wrong.”
“Is that right?”
He nodded. “You’re a tough little thing when you have to be.”
“Life has done that to me,” I replied before I could stop myself.
“Doesn’t it to everyone?”
The tone of his words surprised me. I realized that within his statement there was insight into Deacon’s own character. I couldn’t help wondering what life had done to him. But I had the feeling I would come closer to unearthing a buried treasure in my backyard than learning Deacon’s secrets.
Add to Goodreads
Don’t miss the rest of the Vicious Cycle series:
Redemption Road (Vicious Cycle #2)
Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)