Wicked Ride (Realm Enforcers #1) by Rebecca Zanetti #BookReview
Accents. So yummy when they’re on, so painful when they’re wrong. Kellach Dunne—the hero of Wicked Ride and a Dark Protectors universe character introduced in the parent series—is an Irish boy through and through, and Ms. Zanetti takes a risk in portraying his accent that pays off big time. Step 1: Spell it out by sound so readers develop a guided ear for the lilts and stops. Step 2: Write the dialogue in normal English to keep from annoying, alienating, or confusing readers. Step 3: Try to read a line out of Kell’s mouth without hearing his sexy brogue in your head. Brilliant!
“Aw, darlin’,” he breathed, his gaze hardening. “If you wouldn’t have lied, I woulda put you down.” The Irish brogue licked along her skin, and she shivered. “Now? Now you’re gonna come.”
Rebecca Zanetti has taken the plunge into Motorcycle Club territory and the setup isn’t your typical MC situation. Guns and the Irish may (seem to) go hand in hand, but any fan of Ms. Zanetti’s Dark Protectors knows that Kellach Dunne is no criminal. There’s a new drug out on the streets, and it’s lethal to witches. Kell has infiltrated a Seattle MC posing as a gun supplier in trade for the lethal drugs to (ostensibly) ship off to his Irish club brethren. Fans of the parent series will enjoy quick glimpses of previously introduced characters and news about others. This is the first time we’ve gotten a good look at Daire Dunne, and what a fine, stoic hero he will make, when his time comes.
While I didn’t love this book as much as I loved most of stories in the Dark Protectors series, Wicked Ride is fun, fierce, and fantastical (in a rather science-y way). Ms. Zanetti set the bar scary high with Marked when she wrapped up the epic events of the DP series, so it may take readers some time to find their stride with this new set of characters.
Overall, I found the cast of characters less engaging than I expected. This could possibly be due to my general distaste of female cop characters combined with my discomfort with the seedy atmosphere so common in MC stories. Some aspects of the deeper relationship between Kell and Lexi (including the witchy-mate changes that manifest in her) also happened more quickly than I was comfortable with. However, Ms. Zanetti introduces some promising personality conflicts, and peeks at secrets waiting to be revealed definitely dial up the intrigue. Heads up for those readers who are drawn to MC stories for the brotherhood of bad boys and motorcycles: this isn’t that kind of story. Yes there are clubs that feature heavily in the story arc, but they’re not the main base of operations.
“Who protects you?” he murmured.
Her head jerked to the side. “I protect myself, dumbass.”
“I’m stronger than you,” he said mildly.
“I have a gun,” she returned, before pivoting and heading into the dismal restaurant.
God, she was stubborn.
Lex is fierce, a seriously skilled fighter with lightning reactions and near-suicidal courage. She’s also intellectually impressive, not in a Kane-Kayrs-smartest-person-on-earth way, but in how she sees through the clutter of a situation to piece together the puzzle. And she approaches everything with a straightforward, hands-on attitude. And independent! Hats off to a strong, independent woman! This chick is truly remarkable, even if she is a detective. *wink*
Then she had to deal with a fire throwing, dangerous, probably deadly witch who had a truly mistaken view of her as a mate. That one would probably require a weapons discharge.
Of course, fans of Ms. Zanetti are probably already half in love with Kell, and for good reason. Bossy, magnetic, dependable, and fearsome: Kellach Dunne is one Irish badass you don’t want to cross!
The last thirty percent of the book passed fast and furious, in fine Rebecca Zanetti form. If the Sins Brothers series had a fiery tryst with the Dark Protectors universe, they’d birth a story like Wicked Ride, where family ties matter most and the the things that go bump in the night are almost certainly never human. And oh are there some intriguing mate matches coming up in this new series—all promising saucy heroines, badass alpha warrior men, steamy sex, and yummy supernatural goodness.
More Memorable Quotes
Can you guess who these two future lovebirds are? (Character names removed to prevent spoilers)
“The witch nation and the demons are allies right now, and we need it to stay that way. Whatever personal shit you two have going on needs to end.”
“There’s nothing personal between us,” [she] said, tossing her head.
“The fuck there isn’t,” [he] countered. He turned and gave a short, traditional bow. “I give you my word your feisty cousin and I will not unbind the strong treaty between our people, no matter how long it takes me to tame her.”
Girl talk is always the BEST! (Character names removed to prevent spoilers)
“Sexy as sin Kellach isn’t here, but you’re welcome to join us for some dishy girl talk. You in love, avoiding love, or trying not to believe in love right now?”
[Lady #2’s] lips twitched, “Avoiding love and not quite sure it exists for everybody. You?”
“Oh, I know it exists, but I think it’s a force for evil and not good,” [Lady #1] said cheerfully.
[Lady #2] slowly nodded. “I’ll change my answer to that one.”
Wicked Ride is…