REVIEW–Bender by M. Stratton

Book Title - Bender

Author - M. Stratton

Stars - 5

Buy Link – AMAZON

Since high school everyone thought Jake Bender would end up behind bars; after all, he comes from a long line of bad boys. He spent years away from the place he called home. When he finally comes back, everyone thinks he's just a punk kid all grown up who’s now running a dive bar called The Night Club. What they don't know is he heads up a special task force, which cleans up neighborhoods and makes them safe again.

Stormy Ryan has always felt more comfortable with her books than with people. She loves to spend her days within the pages of her books. When her second-hand bookstore is robbed for the third time in as many months, her employees quit leaving her to run the shop on her own. With the pressure of having to deal with her shop and people, not to mention the declining neighborhood, she is at the end of her rope.

When closing up her shop late one night, she is held up and the neighborhood bad boy saves her, putting both of them at the forefront of a psychotic’s obsession.
Being bad has never looked so good.

I am a huge fan of Michele Stratton's writing. But this book is even better than my favorites of hers. One thing this author does better than any other is create creepy bad guys. Her villains are so far over to the dark side they make you shiver. This book has it all, sexy characters, great story line, wonderful suspense, everything! I read this in one sitting because I just had to know how it works out.
Stormy Ryan is a woman who is just good. After losing her family, she goes about trying to help the children in the run down neighborhood enjoy the love of reading by opening a bookstore so she can give them the books they want to read. She spends more time with a book in her hand than interacting with people. She has always been an outsider, but it has suited her just fine.
Jake Bender started out life being branded a bad guy, but he really isn't. His home life had been awful, his dad was an abusive drunk and his mother didn't survive it. Even the principal of the high school told Bender that he was worthless.
As Bender came up on graduation, things were bleak. No one had a good thing to say about him and he got in a lot of trouble. He was headed towards a life behind bars when a man named Murdoch approaches him and shows him a way to still be tough, but do some good too. He takes him up on it and spends a couple decades cleaning up neighborhoods, getting rid of the bad guys with his team. He ends up back home where his old neighborhood has become very dangerous and the police and others are in the bad guys back pockets. But there is a woman trying to do what she can to make things better, and now the worst kind of bad men have her on their radar. When Bender meets Stormy, he knows he is in trouble. He has never felt like this about anyone. There is a reason Murdoch wants him to save her and settle down, but Bender doesn't know this. Nutter, the worst kind of creep, wants Stormy for a terrible reason, and he is going to do what ever it takes to get her. He and his partner Mick are buying up all the properties in the area. But they aren't alone in their pursuits. Bender is determined to save Stormy, but she is very independent ant they don't always agree. He is scared that Mick and Nutter will get her when he is not near. But something is happening between Bender and Stormy, and neither of them are willing to ignore it. Can Bender and his team bring down Nutter and Mick before it is too late? Can Stormy save the kids in the neighborhood? What is she hiding from them all?
This book will have you on the edge of your seat rooting for Stormy and Bender. When things go sideways, hang on tight because it is a heck of a ride that will have you gasping in shock at what happens! I am going to have to read it again now that my pulse has slowed down so I can catch all the details I might have missed when I was perched on the edge of my seat. Heck, it is so good I might read it a third time just for fun.

Heidi Ryan gives Bender

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