Title: Beard Mode
Series: The Dixie Wardens Rejects MC Series #1
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: February 23, 2017
Cover Model: David Byers
Photographer: Michael Stokes
Aaron don’t ever call me Fatbaby’ Sims is lucky to be alive. Or at least that is what everyone keeps telling him. He doesn’t feel lucky, though.
He’s scarred, has more than a little bit of a bad attitude, and there isn’t a single day that goes by that he doesn’t wish his wife would’ve just finished off the job.
After being denied his old position at the fire department, he leaves, and doesn’t look back. He heads straight to Alabama and into the semi-welcoming arms of The Dixie Wardens MC. There he becomes a part of a brotherhood that forces him to get back in the land of the living.
Imogen is a smart girl. A girl who doesn’t always make the best decisions.
Her heart is in the right place when she walks into that prison, but it doesn’t take long for her to realize that her heart shouldn’t have had any say so in the matter. Especially when one wrong move lands her in the arms of a scarred man that looks frightening enough to scare any sane woman away.
Immediately enthralled by the angry man, she tries to get closer to him. But the harder she tries to get to know him, the further he pushes her away.
The only thing Aaron wanted to do after his now ex-wife was sent to jail was escape. Escape the awful memories. The pity-filled eyes. The curious glances.
He does a damn fine job at ensuring he draws as little as attention as possible, but then that annoying woman with her startling blue eyes starts hammering away at his resolve. Makes him feel when he doesn’t want to feel.
Imogen comes into his life and carves out a place for herself, obliterating his defenses one heated kiss at a time.
It doesn’t take long, and he realizes he’s in deep. Too deep to ever want to come out.
“Lani Lynn Vale has a way of taking your soul and twisting it and tearing it up, but then somehow, some way making sure that the book still makes you have a goofy freaking happy smile, and all in love with her by the end of it.” - MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews
“It was sooo good and I am sooo excited that this was my first Lani Lynn Vale book...gasp....can you believe I have not read one of her books yet??” - iScream Books
“Don’t think about it, just go one click this book and you’ll enjoy it like, I did. One thing about this author is she keeps getting better every time. You will never be disappointed about it, I promise.” - Fabulous Ladies Book Blog
I have to say that this was a fairly entertaining read that really grew on me by the end. I had a hard time getting completely sucked into it at first, mainly because of my apprehension about the h, Imogen. I didn't really click with her at first and of course, it made it hard for me to invest fully in the story. However, a few chapters in and I found my preconceived notions about her were unfounded and instead she was kind of adorkable.
As for Aaron, he was definitely likable but I grew to love him once the book really started picking up and he dropped the brooding loner persona a bit more. It's hard to picture him not only as a brother in an MC but as a man in a relationship when it seems he rather be alone reading a book. Once he was opening up more and basically coming alive in the story I started to really enjoy the whole thing so much more.
I found myself laughing out loud all throughout the story. Aaron and Imogen are so good together.
“Don’t do it,” I whispered worriedly. “This would change everything. I have to see you every day at the complex. You have your car in my shop. You also are a police officer.”
“What does being a police officer have to do with anything?” he asked, humor lacing his voice.
“It has to do with the fact that I find men in uniforms sexy, and if we do this once, we’ll be doing it again,” I snapped at him. “And you better be sure, because I’m a grade A clinger. You put that big wiener in me, and I’m going to not be responsible for what I do next.”
“What kind of clinger is a grade A clinger?” he asked. “Can you give me the definition? Maybe use it in a sentence?”
“Imogen won’t stop calling. We have to get Imogen away, she’s a grade A clinger,” I tried. The bed started to shake, and I realized that it was his laughter that was making it shake.
“Hey!” I said in annoyance, slapping my hand on his back twice. The light next to the bed turned on, and I got my first good look at Aaron’s face. His laughing face. “I’m being serious. I will suck you dry. I’m needy. I have a problem with worrying about my loved ones. You do this, you open this can of worms, and I’m going to be calling you every five minutes to make sure you’re okay. I’m going to want to be with you. I’m going to be that woman that you can’t peel off your back even if you want to.” His face still look amused, even after my explanation.
They had excellent chemistry and I honestly liked that this was kind of a slow burn. They didn't jump into bed together and that was not only great but refreshing.
I liked that we got to meet the other members of the Rejects and saw how they interacted with Imogen and Aaron while giving us a glimpse into men we'd obviously be meeting more in depth as their stories are revealed.
My only gripe about this story and I may have only run into this problem because I was reading an ARC, was that there were times when there were continuity issues. Time jumps when I didn't feel like there was a natural progression or it may have said two years but then it really was two months or two weeks. Or in one sentence Imogen was laying on the bed and the next they were unlocking the door to her apartment. All of these things were annoying but didn't really detract from the overall story. Again, this may not be a concern in the published book, either.
Overall I'd definitely recommend Beard Mode, I think if you're a fan of Lani Lynn Vale you'll want to give this one a try for sure.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***
I’m a married mother of three. My kids are all under 5, so I can assure you that they are a handful. I’ve been with my paramedic husband now for ten years, and we’ve produced three offspring that are nothing like us. I live in the greatest state in the world, Texas.