Tally is a twenty-year-old single mother struggling to finish nursing school. Has she made mistakes in life? Sure, but her daughter isn’t one of them. She works hard, she studies even harder, and she’s only a few weeks away from graduating.
She’s living her life the best she knows how when she witnesses a near miss motorcycle accident between a car and a biker. A biker that happens to be the most talked about teacher at her college.
The moment she meets those startling blue, narrowly-escaped-death eyes, she realizes quickly that life as she knows it has changed. No longer will she be content to let life pass her by, even if it puts everything she’s worked so hard for in jeopardy.
Tommy is a highly skilled doctor. A teacher. A veteran. A fully-patched member of The Dixie Wardens MC. He’s lonely, but also set in his ways. What will it take for this man to accept that he needs to make some changes in his life? Apparently, it’ll take a guy in a truck, who’s preoccupied with his phone rather than focused on the road, nearly plowing into him on his bike at seventy miles per hour. Oh, and a twenty-something year old nursing student witnessing the entire thing from only a few feet away.
It only takes a second, a single heartbeat in time, as he looks into her worry-filled eyes to realize that he’d give anything for a single night with her. He may lose his job in the process, but after that one incredible night turns into an amazing weekend, he knows it’s worth the risk for the promise of her forever.
I am a lover of all of Lani Lynn Vale’s books, but the Dixie Warden Rejects is fast becoming a favorite series. Vale put a lot of effort into honing her craft and growing as an author in 2016. She tried new things, she branched out into darker, grittier storylines, and while readers largely embraced these things from her, there were some who questioned where she was going with those changes. Well folks, all of that experimentation served a purpose and has led to this series. As readers, we need to understand that authors must take some chances, spread their wings, mix things up and do things differently to nurture their skills so they can flourish in their careers. Vale did all of that, and as a result, she has most definitely grown as an author—the evidence of it is plain to see right here in this book and in this series.
I love a good forbidden romance, and Tommy and Tally’s is a fantastic one. A full patch member of the Dixie Wardens MC in Alabama, a teacher at Tally’s school and an ER doctor, Tommy is a sexy, older man who commands her attention right from the start. A single look passing between them at an inopportune moment was all it took to ignite the fire that burned between them. While Tally is much younger than Tommy, she is also a single mother and is mature beyond her years. She felt the same attraction to him that he felt for her, but she had to prioritize her education and budding career. Tommy understood and respected this, but there was someone in their lives who wasn’t quite as understanding or accepting of their budding, secret relationship.
I don’t think it’s physically possible for Vale to write book that doesn’t include her wicked sense of humor, and I, for one, am grateful for that. This author is funny, and she gave readers plenty to enjoy in the form of witty back-and-forth banter, sarcastic commentary and slap-stick style moments. Vale expertly layered this humor within an exciting, interesting suspenseful plot to produce a story that had me laughing out loud while sitting on the edge of my seat. This is something Vale does exceptionally well – ratcheting up the suspense and diffusing it at just the right moment with just the right amount of humor. All of it came together into a story that grabbed my attention right away and held it as I slipped into devour mode to see how this would all play out. Amid these alternating moments of tension and hilarity, a beautiful and sexy love story was playing out between Tommy and Tally that totally stole the show. Lani is the master at creating these amazing and real romances between everyday people, and it’s something that I absolutely love about her stories. Tommy and Tally’s love, while forbidden due to their circumstances, was still very genuine, and the chemistry between them positively sizzled off the page.
Fear the Beard is classic Lani Lynn Vale, but with a new and exciting edge. She’s matured as an author, and it’s a thrill for me as a reader and a fan of hers to see this transformation of her talent in her stories. I’m just so excited about this series, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the stories! I absolutely loved Lani Lynn Vale’s Fear the Beard, and it gets five smooches from me!
~ Danielle Palumbo