BB Blaque-Southern Ballz

This is the 3rd book in BB’s Royal Bastards MC contribution to the Royal Bastards shared world. Her chapter is in NYC and is called the Rotten Apple. Southern Ballz takes place in Brooklyn, which is the only borough that isn’t part of the Rotten Apple chapter. That’s because it had recently been Malevolent MC territory, and Red Hook, the national prez for the Malevolent has ceeded it over to the RBMC. This is the story of Blitz, who is currently the acting prez for Brooklyn.

Blitz was a Malovent who was traded to the RBMC for FOCUS, who is now a Malevolent. Blitz was in the Marines with FOCUS and Bishop. He has PTSD. He’s done a lot to treat it, but he still is dealing with nightmares and being triggered. Blitz is usually OK now, but only because of all the work he’s put in and all the things he does to control it, like chew gum and make sure that no women spend the night with him. He has a routine that he follows. He wakes up, goes for a run, hits the weights, and then goes to the local VFW for a couple of drinks, and a chance to talk to Ronnie, the sweet waitress there.

Ronnie really looks forward to seeing Blitz when he comes in. She has a thing for him, but she doesn’t know that he has decided that she is too sweet and innocent for him, so he sees her strictly as a friend. That’s OK, Ronnie has a secret that Blitz doesn’t know. She has a rockstar secret identity. As Vixen, she is the bassist and lead singer for a band called Vixen’s Kiss. And they’ve just been booked to play a gig at the RBMC Brooklyn chapter’s open house. She has plans for Blitz.

On the night of the open house, Vixen’s Kiss keeps playing Ballroom Blitz until someone points that out to Blitz and he takes a look at the singer of the band and realizes that Vixen is Ronnie. And let’s just say that serious sparks start to fly.

I grew up with a former Marine who survived the Vietnam War, and one of his experiences is remarkably similar to one of Blitz’s. Dad had PTSD, but it wasn’t really accepted or treated back in the late 60s and 70s the way that it is now, not that the treatment is always all that great. PTSD in a loved one means that everyone is dealing with their PTSD too, and you can end up walking on tiptoe to keep everything calm and to avoid triggering people. It’s a vicious cycle, and what doesn’t trigger a person one day can turn into a massive trigger the next day. It isn’t easy for anyone. I can really feel for Blitz and Vixen and the situation that they are in.

I like Vixen/Ronnie a lot. She has a lot of guts and strength. I do think that she does jump to conclusions a lot, but I get why she does. And really, I’m not sure if conclusions is the right word, really, but she does jump off and does get angry because of certain things. And again, I get it, it’s easier to be mad than scared, and scared would’ve been an appropriate reaction sometimes. Not necessarily THE appropriate reaction but AN appropriate reaction.

I totally get Blitz too, and I have mad respect for him. He has done a lot of work to deal with this PTSD, and he is honorable within the framework of honor for his world. He is really trying to do the best for his guys and for the MC as a whole. That means interacting with a lot of people who don’t know him and may not trust him. Since he came up from GA, South Pole GA to be exact, to Brookly, he is a kinda stranger in a strange land. There is some resentment against him because FOCUS was so loved by everyone. Crucifix seems to be riding his back hard and it’s all really frustrating to Blitz, but that doesn’t mean that he’s going to stop doing everything he can to make his chapter successful and to show everyone he’s a good guy.

This one isn’t as dark as some of BB’s other stories. What darkness there is surrounds Blitz’s PTSD more than anything else. While there are some outside forces at work, I feel like the biggest driving force is handling the PTSD. And that might sound like I’m downplaying everything, but PTSD at the level of Blitz’s and in someone with Blitz’s training can be a hug deal. I think that BB does a really good job of showing the effects of PTSD on everyone involved. It isn’t glamourized, it isn’t downplayed. It is just shown in all its naked truth.

I really enjoyed this book, and I’m really looking forward to the next book. I’m hoping that we get a story about Tarot. Also? I’d love for Tarot and Barely to meet.

OK, that’s all for today. Go check it out. Happy reading!

K. Webster-Dragon

K is back with her newest RBMC book. This is a MM book. The previous 2 are MF. You don’t strictly have to read the other two before reading Dragon, but I would definitely recommend it, because you are going to have a better understanding of what is going on in this book. OTOH, if you just want to read a hot MM story that is really intense, this is definitely the one to read.

So, Cove and his twin sister were rescued in the last book. Cove has decided that he’s now going to prospect with the RBMC. It’s the only place where he feels safe now, and his older sister is already associated with the MC. Cove is gay, and there are a lot of really nice looking guys around. He sort of fools around with a guy named Nick, but that’s coming to an end. Then, there’s Dragon. Cove is pretty sure that he hates Dragon and that Dragon hates him. But, there’s just something about Dragon that keeps pulling Cove’s attention. Cove is totally aware of when Dragon is around, because there is just that draw.

Dragon has been through some seriously fucked up shit in his life. It has broken him. He is totally a different person than he was when he was a teenager, in the before times. His family thinks he’s dead, Dragon thinks that it’s better that they do, but he keeps track of them anyway. Dragon is the go to man when the RBMC needs to have some seriously fucked up shit done. He doesn’t want to have a relationship, but then there is Cove, Baby Prospect, BP. He doesn’t want to want Cove, but he’s just fascinated by him.

When the two of them get pulled together, with this seriously massive magnetic pull, it really is intense. They are really good together, and their relationship is just really intense, just the two of them together. Dragon is one of those people who has a very intense focus, and when he focuses in on Cove, it’s obvious and wow.

The overall story is a continuation of what we’ve been seeing, but ramped up times 1000. Mostly that’s because Dragon is so involved in the beginnings. In fact, he really is the beginning of the story. Or at least when the RBMC comes into it. And that’s what broke him. He really does have a huge dose of PTSD, which, well, yeah, he would.

I actually do like Dragon. Yeah, he’s more than a little fucked up, and he has a really messed up POV on life because of what happened to him as a teenager, but he is also incredibly loyal to his brothers, both the RBMC and his actual blood. He doesn’t go to see his family, because he doesn’t want his darkness to touch them, but he does keep track of them and wants to make sure that they are safe. I think that if he ever heard that his family was in trouble, he would be there to fix the problem. He probably wouldn’t let them see him, because Dragon doesn’t think that he really deserves any love or anything good in his life. But I really do like him so much. There is just something about him.

Cove may not have had the same kind of fuckedupness that Dragon does, but he does have his own issues. And again, I don’t blame him, he went through some stuff too. A good therapist would make bank dealing with this chapter. I like Cove too. He does still have a little of that new guy shine on him, which does make him a little naive sometimes, but not a whole lot. OK, naive may not be the right word. It may be more like he’s still new and is still learning the ropes, so sometimes he trips up.

Dragon is definitely my favorite of K’s RBMC books. When I was done reading it, I just kind of sat in a sort of shook silence. It was very intense and I just had to catch my breath from it. I had a hard time starting a new book until the next day, because this one was just so much in my head.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

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