Exquisite Sin (Iron Horse MC #6)


I thought once I finally fled the strict confines of my old church I’d be free. Safe from the demons masquerading as holy men. Unfortunately, there is just as much evil in the real world as my former home, and the demons that want to destroy me are still on the hunt. My hero comes from the most unlikely of places, a knight in black leather who is ready to lay down his life for my own. My church may have called him a sinner who was leading me into damnation, but to me he is my salvation.

I’ve spent my life alone, my heart and soul claimed long ago by the Iron Horse MC. My loyalty to them was unquestionable before a certain freckled angel entered my life. Now my devotion to my club is torn between doing what my President wants, and what my woman needs. It kills me that I’m forced to leave her side when she needs me the most, but if I stay with her much longer I’m going to get her killed. Except my absence doesn’t make her any safer. By the time I figure out the true threat comes from within, it’s too late to do anything but pray to a God who turned his back on me long ago for a miracle I don’t deserve.

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Exquisite Sin is the sixth book in the Iron Horse MC series, and the second of a two part arc featuring Hustler and Lyric.

There was a looong wait for this book! The previous one was released nearly two years ago and fans have been waiting since then for the conclusion to Hustler and Lyric’s love story.

Although the wait was painful (and to my mind unnecessary), Exquisite Sin was well worth it, IMHO.

To begin with, this is a series that should absolutely be read in order.

I loved Exquisite Sin; it is quite possibly my favourite book in this series. There is a good balance of action, love, sex, and world building – although Swan annoyed the heck out of me.

The biggest drawback was the ending of this book. It is very sudden and the book ends with the climactic action scenes. There is almost no let down after this drama. It also means that as a reader, you don’t get to ever see Hustler and Lyric together outside of a crisis situation.

(I strongly believe that the 15 years later epilogue at the end doesn’t count).

One of my favourite quotes came from a new background character, who is lending a shoulder to a heroine in need:

The thought of discussing my relationship concerns with this big, intimidating man had me nervously looking away. “I’m okay.”

“I’m okay, you’re okay, we’re all fuckin’ okay, until we’re not okay. Am I right?”

I slumped back against the couch then threw my hands in the air. “I’m fine!”

“Little girl, I got three grown daughters and a wife I’ve been lucky enough to be married to for over twenty-five years. I know when a woman says she’s fine like you just did, it means she’s anything but.”

Mayburn, Ann. Exquisite Sin (Iron Horse MC Book 6) . Honey Mountain Publishing. Kindle Edition.

With the release of this novel, author Ann Mayburn announced that it would conclude the Iron Horse MC series. Talk about disappointing, considering she has introduced us to awesome background characters that deserve their own HEAs! Luckily, she has also teased that we will revisit her MC world with different chapters of the Iron Horse MC, so hopefully those characters we love like Sledge and Hulk will just migrate over there.

I guess this means if you prefer your romance to be fully completed, it is an awesome time to start reading this series though! If it is new to you, pick up Exquisite Trouble first.

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Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille

*This is the first novel in the Redemption series



He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more…

Makayla never thought she’d set foot in an underground mixed-martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it’s these guys. Trouble is, at her first sight of the club’s owner she’s the one feeling breathless.

All sleek muscle and restrained power, the man they call Torment plays to win at any cost. Whether it’s in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when to use a soft touch and when to launch a full-on assault. He always knows just how far he can push. And he’s about to tempt Makayla in ways she never imagined…

—                  —                      —

Against the Ropes is a MMA themed romance novel. The hero, Max “Torment” Huntington is a wealthy businessman by day and the owner of an underground MMA club by night. He is also the undisputed king of the octagon in the place, and is surrounded by a plethora of characters. Although, that makes sense considering the types of people who would choose to train and compete on the illegal circuit, rather than the legitimate one.

His heroine Makayla is terrified of violence due to a traumatic incident in her past, and as such, is barely paying her bills working in a dead-end hospital administration position even though she has a degree as a paramedic. Until her BFF talks her into working ticket sales at an underground fight club and she gets drawn inside, chasing a gate-crasher.

This novel approaches the bdsm scene but wouldn’t actually be considered erotica  – at least by my standards. Torment has dominant tendencies, something Makayla hasn’t experienced before in a relationship, but the sex is pretty tame compared to my usual reading. They don’t get into anything too kinky together.

Castille did a great job of introducing a supporting cast of characters who she will (presumably) be writing about in future books, as this is apparently the first in a series. Rampage, Jake, Amanda and the good doctor all jumped off the page. The story flowed well and proceeded at a good pace and I finished it in one sitting.

My main issue with this novel, and why I intend to downgrade my rating, is the author’s apparent lack of research into MMA. I may not be an expert but mixed martial arts is my favourite sport so it is a huge pet peeve when authors don’t do their research. Castille kept referring to “ropes” in the octagon as if it were a boxing ring. Octagons don’t have ropes and the “corners” have very open angles it is easy to maneuver out of them, compared to the 90 degree corners of a boxing “ring”. Small details like this take very little time to research and I would have enjoyed the story so much more without glaringly obvious mistakes.

I do intend to read the second in the series. Hopefully the terminology will be cleaned up!

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