Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Book Review: Stripped Raw: Coffin Nails MC California by Miss Merikan

Stripped Raw: Coffin Nails MC California (Sex & Mayhem, #3)
From the blurb:

--- What’s left when you strip away the lies? ---

Sam. Loyal to the Coffin Nails MC. Lives by his own rules.
Weakness: Damsels in distress.
Jolie. In a deeply ambiguous relationship with the Coffin Nails MC. Lives from paycheck to paycheck.
Weakness: Bad boys.

As a patched member of the Coffin Nails MC, Sam is finally living the life he was destined for. A life of Harleys, guns, drugs, and eating pussy. A life of brotherhood above all.
When he goes to pick up some pot brownies for the club president’s old lady, he meets a girl so sweet, his inner wolf wants to eat her there and then. What is supposed to be a typical fling, gets damn more complicated when the Coffin Nails decide to involve the pretty blonde baker in their drugs operation.

Jolie has a knack for baking delicious cakes, but when it comes to her taste in men, she is a self-professed failure. After a disastrous relationship, she is still picking up the pieces and working three jobs to manage the financial carnage her ex left her with. The last thing she needs is a hot piece of tattooed hunk stomping into her life. Sam calls her ‘Candy’, but with a talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Jolie should be called ‘Trouble’.

To be with Jolie, Sam would have to disclose a secret he kept locked away for years. A secret so raw, that it might destroy his place in the brotherhood he’s fought so hard to be a part of.

Heather's rating:

Woah, lots of thoughts and LOTS of mixed emotions about this one! There were parts that I LOVED and parts that were... yeah, not so much.

*Warning: some spoilers ahead*

It makes me upset when I see this book shelved incorrectly as "gay" or "m-m-romance," but I'm going with the assumption that people just saw this series as a gay series and didn't actually read this book. Without question, this is M/F romance, people.

I'll start with what I adored. First of all, and I'm going to tread REALLY carefully here, but I've been looking for more books with trans MCs for quite some time. I've read a few of them (Potato Surprise: A Brimstone Prequel, The Burnt Toast B&B, Static), but I had yet to read a M/F book with a trans character until now. And I'm THRILLED that Miss Merikan went there, and went there so WELL.

Sam was such a MAN, such a butch, motorcycle-riding man's man, that I adored that Miss Merikan made him trans. I loved everything about how Sam approached his sexuality, his body, his relationships. He was cocky, sexy, and could charm the pants off of any girl (including me!!!). I was really turned on by him, especially because of his confidence. Sure, he was anxious about revealing himself and discussing his status openly, but that was just because of the dangerous world that he was involved in. I also liked how well-researched and accurate Miss Merikan's portrayal of Sam was. I loved the little details about his erection rod and the cyberskin materials of his packer. It felt exactly right. I really liked the sex scenes in general, though I found them to be wayyyyy too frequent for my liking.

Segue that into the things that I didn't like so much. I really wasn't into Candy. I found her to be a really odd character. She was always accidentally flashing her boobs or vagina at people, which I found to be really odd. I also felt uncomfortable at how everyone was always sexually harassing her in a really dangerous-feeling way, and while in her POV I could see that she wasn't reacting in a way that felt authentic. She was sort of just giggled or didn't react, which I didn't understand. I really liked how she was sexually with Sam, though, even if the book was 1/2 sex scenes.

The plot was my least favorite part. It was SOOO not my thing. This was a MC club that is into very dangerous things: drug running, killing, and stealing. I have a really hard time with plots that are like that, and I found all the side characters to be just disgusting. I also had a hard time figuring out what was going on and who was who, but maybe that is because I jumped into this series in book 3.

I'm still looking for my perfect, hot, romantic trans book, but this was pretty close in many ways. I hope more M/F authors take a risk like Miss Merikan.

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