Review: Vicious Cycle by Katie Ashley

20622381Vicious Cycle
(Vicious Cycle, #1)
By: Katie Ashley
Publisher: NAL Trade
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: Romance


Deacon Malloy’s life is dedicated to the Hell’s Raiders motorcycle club. Tough, hard, and fast with his fists, he serves the group as sergeant at arms. But his devil-may-care approach to life is thrown for a loop when the five-year-old daughter he never knew existed lands on the club steps.

Alexandra Evans is devoted to all her students—but there’s always been something about Willow Malloy that tugs at her heart. There’s an aura of sadness about her, a girl in need of all the love Alexandra can give. When Willow stops coming to school, Alexandra’s search leads to a clubhouse full of bikers…and a father hell-bent on keeping his daughter always within sight.

The moment Deacon sees Alexandra, he has to have her in his bed—and he’s never met a woman yet who couldn’t be persuaded. No matter how attracted she is to Deacon, Alexandra refuses to be just another conquest. But it’s Deacon himself who could be seduced—into a brighter future for himself, his daughter, and the woman he’s falling for against all odds.


Alexandra is a kindergarten teacher. She has this bright little girl named Willow who excels in class, but she hasn’t shown up in quite some time. Alexandria’s tired of calling the father and getting no response. So, she decides to take matters into her own hands and decides to pay him a visit. The only problem is, she has no idea what she’s stepping into. Not only does she learn that he’s part of the local motorcycle gang but he’s also a new father to a little girl he never knew he had, a little girl who had just watched her mother be murdered in front of her. That murderer has just made a threat on Willow’s life and Deacon isn’t letting his daughter go anywhere off the compound. Not wanting to see her bright pupil fall behind, she decides to home-school Willow. Pretty soon the line between Alexandra and Deacon begin to blur.

I was really excited about this book. I’ve never read anything by this author before but I loved the sound of the story. However, this just fell flat for me. I know I will be in the minority with this one.

This book made me feel like I was reading a fan-fiction of Sons of Anarchy (TV show). Not that that is a bad thing because that show is addicting. They run guns, they have “church” (where the guys get together and discus the shadier dealings in the club’s business), Deacon’s [adoptive] old man was the president of the club before he was killed, not to mention Deacon falling in love with an innocent woman who loves his child more than the drug addicted mother ever did. There were just a lot of similarities. So, I was in Sons of Anarchy heaven and was pretty much picturing the set of the show the entire time. In the end the story itself just didn’t work for me though.

The story started out strong with Willow coming into Deacon’s life and having to go from an outlaw to being a dad. His character was very difficult to get behind. Sure, he likes to sleep with all the girls who aren’t attached to a guy, but that wasn’t what bothered me about him. When he first meets Alex, he flies across the room, pins her against the wall with his arm to her throat as he yells and swears at her. Later on, he chokes her out when they are having an intimate moment and I’m not talking about a sexual moment but a heart to heart moment. He literally snaps and starts choking her. The timeline on this book is unclear but I got the impression that everything happens within a month’s span. Which means that Alex goes from being attacked by this guy to falling in love with him… within like a week. I’m sorry but I’m calling b.s. on that one. I just could not get over how with the snap of a finger the relationship went from volatile and keeping their distance to madly in love. I think that for me is what killed this book for me. I just felt like not only was the romance unrealistic given the fact how Deacon treated Alex leading up to them falling in love but the story felt like it was revolving just around the romance and everything else got left behind. I was hoping we’d have club business involved considering the book is written in Alex’s and Deacon’s POV but instead we get him sitting around thinking about Alex and talking about her to his brothers. We are told that they run guns, but we don’t see it. We get a lot of tell but no show when it comes to the club. Not to mention that if you are not familiar with the terminology that the clubs use you may be a little lost on some things. The author tries to keep you up with what they are talking about but some things slip through the cracks and if I hadn’t watched Sons of Anarchy, I’d have no clue what the heck was being said or done.

I had really high hopes for this one but in the end it just didn’t really work for me. It was pleasant enough to read but I was neither sucked in nor rooting for any of the characters. So much could have been covered in this story to make it above and beyond and instead all I got was a couple of bad characters and a sub-par storyline.


1favepart“Across the room from us, Willow sat at one of the round tables. She was swathed in a frilly pink boa, and a glittery pink tiara sat on her head. Seated with her were two young men in their late teens or early twenties who wore cuts similar to Deacon’s. The table was set for a tea party. What cause me to do a double take was the fact that the two men also sported boars and tiaras. When they met my gaze, they both appeared to be in the seventh ring of hell.”


5 Thoughts on “Review: Vicious Cycle by Katie Ashley

  1. Oooh, SoA. I love/hate that show. So do they treat their women bad here too?

  2. This one didn’t work for me at all. Even less than you. Whew! I really was excited about it too but. Ah well.

    • I was too. I had been in the mood for something like this and was hoping it would get me out of the book funk I’d been in but it just pushed me down farther. It had so much potential though.

  3. If you can’t root for the characters it’s hard to like a book.

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