Book Review – Fearless by Lauren Gilley

by Maryse on July 15, 2015 · 13 comments

in My Book Reviews

Fearless: The Complete Novel (Dartmoor Book 1)
Over 850 pages worth of bad-boy… NO!!! Bad-ASS biker grit, and I didn’t squirrel!! It was good! I do get what had so many in our reading crew in a reading frenzy and book fog, many of ‘em unable to start anything else but MORE like this, once they finished it. Why? ‘Cause after hours and hours and days upon days of reading, by the end, you feel like you’re a part of their world!

My video reactions to the first 3rd of “Fearless” (tee hee!) :P

In fact I read it for 4 or 5 days straight, finished it a couple of days ago and still don’t know what to pick up next. Where do I go from here? ;)

Joy: Maryse…. I’ve been completely immersed in Fearless the past few days, did you finish it?? I completely LOVED it!!! I’ve now started Price of Angels!!!

Maryse: The thing about 800 page books is… I’m so intently reading that I forget to socialize…. I’ve been pretty much ignoring the world for what… 3? 4 days now? LOL!!

Danna: I fell so hard for every one in Fearless. I’m scared to start the next book because I too ignored the world! Ahhhhh…Mercy.

Niki: Maryse, it took me five days as well to read Fearless too!! Had to stop reading to work but I loved how I was able to pick it right back up and dive in!! Great writing and a great story!!

MichelleS: I am at about 85% with Fearless (it’s a LONG book) – love it so far! If you like Sons of Anarchy, then you will love Fearless – because, I swear it could be a whole season of that show!

Paula: Finished Fearless and loved it – 5* for me and now on to the second one..

Misty: I loved fearless!! I finished the 2nd in the series too and it was really good also!!

Teresa: Just finished Fearless OMG! Loved it.

Nathalie: Oh I just finished Fearless!!! I’m normally a fast reader but this took me a few days and I had to take breaks in the beginning… But it was all worth it!

This book has everything we love in regards to the true-grit, raw and dirty biker world.

They were not smooth men, the bikers in her life, not fine, or well-loved by Mother Nature. The life – the wind, the sun, the drink, the sin, the violence – it took their soft layers away like sandpaper, over time, until there was a certain stark pride in their wrinkles and dark patches.

Including the old “legit business purposes” (that the community respects them for, and the law mostly leaves them alone over) but with a whole, very discreet back-end of full-on criminal activity and murdering those that need to… be “gone”.

This author pulls NO punches. We (the readers) may like ‘em (these rough biker men), and they may do good deeds (at least for public persona purposes) and they may have true loyalty and protection when it comes to their family (the MC and their women) but believe me, these are bad guys, too.

The Dogs used their real businesses as a way to fund riskier, more profitable illegitimate businesses. To the outside world, the Dogs had gone legit, but they’d never been more outlaw.

Lots of crazy stuff going on on, from opposing bad guy biker clubs wanting to rule the roost, to politicians wanting to take the reigning MC down, to jerk-jocks in school planning dangerous coups against the teenage MC princess, to a deliciously forbidden love story that is the main focus amongst the criminal chaos.

Forbidden I tell you!! Not only ’cause the MC enforcer (pretty much referred to as the “monster” of their club) falling in love with his “charge” (the VP’s daughter *gasp*!!!) which is frowned upon, anyway. But what if I told you that he’s known and protected, and practically raised her (even though he was young, too) since she was a little girl, and now that she’s 17, and he’s 30… they’ve fallen in love…

Those two had never had a prayer. The energy had shimmered between them, dark and healthy in a way no one else had seen and so, so strong.

That’s right!!! MORE moral and therefore, absolute emotional CHAOS!

F**k her. F**k her perception and her round t*ts and the way her mouth trembled and the way she’d turned into a woman before he could detach himself properly. F**k her for that – for becoming someone he wanted when he still loved her for the little girl she’d always been.

Oh *gasp* that is just… SO wrong in every way and yet just tears my heart out for him!!!

“Thirteen years is a big gap when I’m me and you’re you.”

She sighed. “I know. Everyone’s going to think…”


“But they don’t get it.”

He twitched a smile, his eyes soft and warm, his face full of that sweetness he only gave to her. “No, fillette, they don’t.”

A lump formed in her throat. “Okay, so… we’ll just have to keep things quiet, until I’m old enough. When will that be? Eighteen? Twenty?”

But Mercy was shaking his head.

Ava felt her stomach sink; he was right: they couldn’t put a number on it. For the club, her father, it wasn’t about the age as much as it was the circumstances. There were too many memories of Ava perched on Mercy’s knee.

So much HEARTACHE AND PAIN!!! Gah!!! The LOVE story… it runs throughout.

She sucked in a breath through her teeth, unprepared for the sudden ferocious stab of pain in her belly. The hurt that came spilling out of her heart and began to boil in her insides. Heartbreak was never cured; it just went into remission. And here it came roaring back…

And it’s 800+ pages of pure crazy. Well, no… not always *crazy*. Sometimes even a little slow. Too slow (which is when I found myself skimming).

Ela: OMG Maryse! This book is longer than KA long and that’s really long! LOL

Nancy: Reading it now & I understand “took a few days”! I’m at 20% & feels like I have been reading along time, but lucky it is so good to keep your interest. Please have Mercy!

Leeann: I’m at 41% and can’t put it down!!!

Niki: just stopping in to say Fearless was awesome and didn’t feel like 800 pages to me even if it did take me five days to read :)

Maryse: It took me 5 days and hours upon hours in a row of reading. A great story, excellent writing, got to know ‘em all so well, but OMG the length. That is my only complaint, I think. Mind you, this was released as a series, so reading “each book” separately might have given me more excitement in that regards.

MichelleS: I too, just read Fearless (and it took me 4 or 5 days, I lost track) so I know how you are feeling.

There is plenty of downtime, lots of introspection, lots of “get-to-know-you” moments for us the readers, and for the characters themselves. Good characters that might be bad… bad characters that might be good. This book keeps us guessing. Loyalties are tested, and there are plenty of suspicions to go around. Surprise reveals  and consequences that I didn’t see coming but enjoyed, and some reveals that weren’t as monumental as I expected them to be.

Maryse: It was pretty great!! My only issue was the length of it. Writing, story, characters, drama, bad stuff, good stuff, it was all good. It was just at times a little long so I’d *almost* squirrel. ;)

Kandace: yeah I think the bundle did that

Maryse: Yes… I have no doubt had I read each installment as they were released I would have gone insane over it with no risk of squirreling. BUT!! I didn’t squirrel, so that is saying something! I sat and read an almost 900 page book in about 4 days!! YAY ME!!! LOL! It was very good!

Kandace: I’m gonna guess 4 stars from you.

Maryse: yes 4 stars!

Kandace: I almost gave it 4. Then thought about it and figured any book at can make me read 800 plus pages is more than 4 stars. So I can it 5 imperfect stars. The writing is a little shaky and she would benefit from a sold editor. but shrugs.

Maryse: I loved her writing? Really? The writing wasn’t my issue… it was just that it was like… never ending. And the “bad-guy” stuff was bad, but not as bad as I would have liked. I’ll. admit I did skim a little of the club business but Mercy made up for it.

Kandace: Oh yeah Mercy was perfection! She was really descriptive which made us feel her world and why the heck did all the different POVs work so well normally that would have drove me nuts

Maryse: Agreed!! Oh and Maggie was my absolute FAVORITE character

Kandace: She was the QUEEN!

Maryse: and I struggled a bit with all of the different characters… right to the very end. I’d have to stop and think… who is this guy again? Like *spoiler* I totally missed him altogether for the whole first half maybe even 3 quarters until he walked in at the *spoiler* as a *spoiler* and I was all… so? Who IS this guy? Why is this a climax of the story? So I had to do a search and look him up LOL!

Kandace: oh yeah I did the same thing but I was in such a Mercy fog I didn’t fret about it. I think the appeal for us is we got a good story we could get lost for days in.

Maryse: Agreed. A whole world to become involved in, and to end up feeling like we belong to. No doubt!

Kandace: reminded us of the days we binged on the Fever series and Outlander. Everything is so sort and predictable now days.

Maryse: Exactly! And there were a few “bad guys” and for various reasons sprinkled among ‘em I enjoyed unravelling them all.

So all that to say I’m glad I read it. It was one of my more favorite gritty biker books that I’ve read (because it “went there” for the most part and I personally loved the author’s writing style). I have a feeling I would have loved it even more if it was “tighter”. Had there been a little more *oomph* where I expected there to be, and a little less… “drawn out” where it wasn’t needed. ‘Cause towards the end I started to feel as if it was the book that never ended (even though I liked it plenty… I couldn’t believe that at 90% I was still reading for what felt like hours). LOL!!

MichelleS: My problem with Fearless was that it was just too long. I loved it. Loved the writing style. Loved the story. The characters. The dialogue. But needed editing!!!! Now…. the next one Price of Angels is a manageable 423 pages. Michael is the Sergeant at Arms in the MC. The one who never smiles. Everyone avoids him. He’s creepy and quiet and loved to read. Remember that scene when Mercy goes into the bar and the waitress doesn’t flirt with him because she is obviously scared? But she goes over to Michael’s table? Kind of setting up the next story….?

Maryse: ahhhh okay sorta…. yeah!!!! And I agree… my only two real complaints was too long, and then I had to keep backtracking to figure out who was who.

Thanks for the recommendations my friends!!! When we talk about gritty books and risqué issues, then I can say that this is IS the kind of grit I’m looking for. Exactly this!

MichelleS: I, too, still wanted gritty – after Fearless – which is why I went with the next in that series (it’s about Michael, the quiet, broody, “creepy” one and that waitress at the bar they all go to). So far so good – definitely darker subject matter than Fearless, if you can believe that!

4 stars!

It was so perfect, and it was so disastrous.

And they’d be sliced to bits before it was all over.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

bev July 15, 2015 at 9:44 PM

So 4 stars, a definite rec then?
Its a couple books in one but the start of a series?

Jenn July 15, 2015 at 10:07 PM

Looks good. On my list.

Maryse July 15, 2015 at 10:16 PM

Yep bev! I recommend it, but it’s a long one so if you don’t mind that, then yes! If I could have figured out where “one installment” started, and where one ended, I might have taken breathers between each, so I could get that OMG WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN thrill, ya know?

Maryse July 15, 2015 at 10:17 PM

Yay Jenn!! :D

MichelleS July 15, 2015 at 10:24 PM

Totally agree! 4 stars only due to length. Unnecessary length. Like that one book in Outlander? Remember that one? I’ll never reread it because of length. Really, my only complaint. The story was great! And I’m reading the next book now… So obviously loved the author & the world.

Tracey July 16, 2015 at 1:59 AM

Think this will be my weekend read I love long books keeps me out of mischief :)

Nancy Parken July 16, 2015 at 7:42 AM

I’m at 66% & not minding the length at all, but maybe it is that my husband had knee surgery & we are home bound. I prefer reading a whole book then having it piece meal. The story is good, the writing is good & Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Great review Maryse!

Ela July 16, 2015 at 8:47 AM

There’s a point you hit in this book, which I just can’t explain (maybe 40%) where you’re just *read read read* NOTHING ELSE MATTERS! I’m at 57%, yes after days of reading and am already recommending it to my peeps!

bev July 16, 2015 at 9:20 AM

Ouch, Nancy. I hope he is up and around soon.

Audrey Rodriguez July 16, 2015 at 4:24 PM

I guess I’m the only person that gets so excited when a really great book is long! This is a 10 star for me!

Maryse July 16, 2015 at 4:35 PM

Oh I love long books… just depends, I suppose…

Heidi July 16, 2015 at 9:39 PM

I really did love this book. I found some parallels between fearless and undeniable; the age gap, the mc princess, the forbidden romance, the name. With that being said, I still found it to have its own unique storyline. Writing was really great, descriptive almost to a fault. I agree about the editor and the fact that there seemed to almost have too many characters. It was a little difficult to keep it all straight. I finished it in a little less than 48 hours…..I may or may not have ignored my kids almost a whole day!!! I’m anxious to get into prince of Angels next. This is definitely a series I’ll continue!

Melania July 19, 2015 at 10:58 PM

4 stars for this book and thank you so much for recommending this book.
I enjoyed reading it and love Ava and Mercy/Felix.

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