Book Review – Unattainable by Madeline Sheehan

by Maryse on September 22, 2013 · 26 comments

in My Book Reviews

Unattainable (Undeniable: Book Three) - This book IS LIVE ON AMAZON right now!! <— Note: This is book #3, so make sure to read #1 (Undeniable) & #2 (Unbeautifully) first.
Another stand-out installment in this gritty biker-series that had me riveted from page one. I was excited to start it, and I was even more ecstatic as I read it. And yet… *sigh* I’m torn, ’cause I don’t even know how to explain to you the kind of… devious thrill I get while reading these.

What was it about being invited on the back of a bike that drove women crazy?

It was insulting.


I squeezed my eyes shut.

And it was hot as f%&k.

YES!!!! I am SO there.

Yet, with this… there’s so much more to it, than just being on “the back of a bike”. Not that I’ve ever been on the back of one… er. Oh! Except when I was nine, and my uncle brought me to breakfast on the back of his Harley. That was fun! Apparently I “leaned” into it a but too much. Poor guy had to compensate for my extra… what? 50lbs? How much does a 9-year old weigh, anyway?

*whoops* Totally off track.

Anyway, there’s something so exciting about anticipating the next shocking reveal.  The moment I know should appall me (and it does… it does ;) ) but at the same time, I can’t believe it went there, and I’m kind of glad it did. Okay. No. I’m really glad it did. Indulging my deviant side. Ah come on. We’ve all got a little bit of it in us, don’t we? Noooooo? It’s just me? Ummm hmmm. Sure. ;)

These books tell me a story, and introduce me to a lifestyle that I have no access to in real life. Which is good thing. ‘Cause I mean… I know for a fact I couldn’t hack the life of an “old lady”. But I’ll certainly step into the imaginary shoes of one for a day.

Girls are stupid like that. Falling in love with what they can never have the untouchable, the seemingly larger than life, the unattainable.


And this author indulges my bad-girl side. Safely. The only thing that suffers is my mind. That poor logical thing has to war with my crazy heart and they both can barely stand each other during these reads. ESPECIALLY in this one.

As I was explaining these to a friend last night, they’re awesome (some of my favorite books) but you have to be open to… where they take you. You don’t have to agree with it, or even like the events (or the people) or want to “be them”… but expect the outrageous (and I mean outrageous!) and go into these, not expecting a life lesson… but a guilty pleasure. Go in for the rude. Whoops. I mean ride, but rude works, too. ;)  It’s almost easier to recommend these kinds of stories if they’re shows or movies, then reading them as books ’cause recommending these books is so much more personal. You just can’t help but internalize them and then second-guess your response. I feel like I always have to be careful in reminding readers, these stories pull no punches. In fact, they’re gonna punch YOU in the face many times! But I’m totally game for that.

Ruthless bad-ass criminals that do what they want, when they want, how they want (and I mean anything. You piss ‘em off, ya might just get a punch in the face or three… or a bullet in the head – woman or man. Sometimes… it doesn’t even matter). You tangle with them, you live their lifestyle, and sure… you get their “protection” but you also have to abide by their rules. It’s not a free-for-all. There is a hierarchy here. A different kind of justice prevails and “fair or unfair”, social norms and righteous indignation do not belong.

Yep. I have a kind of dark fascination with this underbelly of society, I read these twitching excitedly, grinning, grimacing and cringing in delight. And then every once in awhile,  it gets to be even too much for me (well, you know… something happens that even I stop and think – OMG how am I gonna review THAT?)

THAT? What’s THAT? Well, I’ll tell you. In just a second…

So what’s it about?

Cage and Tegen have been best friends since childhood (raised in a motorcycle club). Cage being the son of the club’s president, and Tegen, the daughter of one of the sort of… “old ladies”. More like a mistress to one of the guys. Anyway, Tegen’s always crushed on Cage, and Cage… didn’t reciprocate. Until one night, he did. And then proceeded to kick her out of bed the next morning in typical “bad-boy” fashion telling her “it wasn’t like that for him”. And Tegen’s red-headed temper and fiery ways exploded every chance she got. And I get it. Whoa. That was… ROAR!!!!!!!! (and yet SO expected. Come on Tegen… really? But wait. That would have totally been me, too, so who am I to judge?)

I wasn’t careful. I let that love blossom uncontrollably until it was in full bloom, exploding from within me, with nowhere to go. It wasn’t the same for him. The older he grew, the more he changed. Gone was the sweet, caring boy he’d been, and in his place… He became the cockiest, most self-centered, self-serving, egotistical, narcissistic, and depraved motherf$%ker I’d ever met in my life.

She loathed these men, and loathed the one she used to trust and feel safe around. If Tegen’s around, watch out! Bad-ass bikers or not, she’s always in their face, screaming. *whoo* Kind of exhausting actually, and I’m telling you, as “bad-guys” as these guys are, the restraint they showed around her outbursts was quite impressive. No worries, these bikers are still plenty hard-core in this one.

Anyway, this is about them. Older, mid-twenties now and stuck seeing each other after a few years of separation. Cage now thinks she’s hot, and she has never gotten over him. And still despises everything about him (while secretly suffering in love with him). You want tumultuous love affair? You got it! You want another mega-alpha male that says stuff that should make you want to kick him you know where, and instead, you swoon? You got it!

“Take it,” he said hoarsely, grabbing her hands and interlocking their fingers.

*whoooo* excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor….

But there was something else. Another storyline that I wasn’t expecting that I went crazy for.

And this… is THAT.

OMG you guys, THAT is the part that had me connecting full-on. The character that I was introduced to past installments (actually participated in something that I abhorred in the first book), but I didn’t see him coming in this one. Oh, I knew he’d be in this one, but I didn’t know how much he’d steal the show, for me. Dirty and his story blew me away.

Dirty. He was dirty. He was filthy, both inside and out. He was a hollowed out, rotted piece of sh!t who should have quit breathing a long time ago yet, for some stupid f#$king reason, Deuce wouldn’t let him.

His past broke me, and his present (his coping mechanisms) revolted me. I was BEYOND conflicted. How??!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Okay I’m not that far in yet, but I can already tell, Dirty’s story is going to be my favorite. Whoa. This is going to hurt…

Nicole: That was my favorite part of the book!!! I would almost like a novella of those two, needed more!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: OMG. I did not see that coming…

Cézanne: I’m only 14% in and me and a friend were just discussing that. I like Dirty.

Maryse’s Book Blog: I’m where u’re at.

Melany: I finished it…and loved him. More so than Cage…somehow.

Louise: Dirty so far—a tearjerker! Wondering about Elliie!

Amy: According to my Kindle, I’m 14% in. At this point, I’m thinking there should be 3 separate books: One for Cage and Tegan, one for whatever is going to happen with Dirty and Ellie, and one for Hawk, Jase and Dorothy.

Brandi: LOOOVE Dirty!!

Melissa: It’s totally going to hurt

Christy: Just finished it !! Just found this series on Amazon read all 3 in 2 days so I have a Hell’s Horseman hangover. I hope there will be more in the series.

Mandi: I am at 14% as well and have to agree with you all the way!

Darla: I just finished it! I want to be dirty….I mean, I freaking LOVED Dirty. Between this series and Sons of Anarchy…I’m going to end up leaving my husband and becoming somebody’s old lady in an MC.

Maryse’s Book Blog: LOL!!!

Louise: Omg Darla! I’ve been thinking the same thing! Find a MC that needs 2 old ladies!

Melanie: I loved Dirty, I was so shocked how much and how deep his story really was. I could have read a whole book about him. And Cage is such a little Deuce even if he doesn’t want to admit it.

Claudia: Dirty it’s my fav!! I wish she would write a book just about him..

Catherine: It’s 3am and I just finished. Tegen & Cage delivered all the drama but Dirty & Ellie stole my heart. I am too pumped to sleep right now. Loved it!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Still reading… still sooooo into Dirty’s story. Now THAT is a tortured soul. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Mary: I loved Dirty. X

Jennifer: Just finished and it was so freaking good!!! What a ride! Can’t wait for the next book!

Kandace: Did you finish? I felt bad for a “certain” person. I want someone to be HIS number one. Dirty’s story was my favorite. And D’s story is the hottest mess of them all. I hope hers is next.

Heather: Loved this book… I am still reeling from it! Dirty, What a heart breaker. Cage, I loved his story. ZZ, damn! D, deserves her HEA. Once again, cannot wait for the next one! I absolutely love this author, she ROCKS. I remember how I felt when I read the first book, I was so emotionally wrung out! Couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks.

Trisha: Just finished the book. I was floored at the Dirty business. I found myself tied to those characters over the main ones.

sidenote: skip just a bit of this below in case you want to go into this not knowing anymore. No spoilers really, but again, me analyzing myself in connection to the story…

How could I possibly connect to this… well… beautiful monster. Beautiful? Oh yes… “Dirty” is just a part of his coping mechanism.

…she would f%^k him willingly too if she knew what he actually looked like.

How can I empathize with him, and hope for him, considering…? He wonders that, too.

Every day he struggled. He struggled with remembering, he struggled with forgetting, he struggled with all the f%^ked up, perverted bullsh!t that went round and round in his head,

“Dirty” has self-loathing down pat, and he punishes himself by hurting himself, loses himself and then hurts others and then hurts himself even more because of it. He’s caught in a vicious cycle and one side of me felt the need to hate him, once I found out just how depraved he was. But, in his head, in his memories, I felt destroyed for him, too.

F$%ked up was all he’d ever known.

One thing’s for sure, I pretty much mostly only wanted Dirty’s story. I wanted to live out every moment of his “current situation” (not so much his past, but I was willing to go there with him, if he needed me to). His realizations, his torment and his tiny moments of reprieve. His disgust, his outright terror, and the one thing that could connect him to his humanity again.

Because when he was alone he could shake, he could tremble, he could scream and yell, he could punch walls, he could punch himself. Alone he could cry. Alone he could let the fear out…

I wanted to devour every second of every day of him with him… and as Ellie, once she came into the picture. And we mostly did… for a good portion of it.

And that will be mostly, my only “qualm” about this book. What was almost my favorite book in the series, what started out as OMG 5-stars right from the start, and for the whole first half kind of… lost some of it’s momentum. Dirty’s story was monumental for me. HUGE. And handled with such care and detail and devotion to his healing. And such a risk, considering his “coping” mechanisms. I don’t wanna say it. Just know it’s bad.

He was getting as much attention as the “main characters” and I was LOVING it. His story was so much deeper, so much more painful and had sooooo much potential. I was blown away and so excited (hoping) that we’d get to experience him… coming back to life.

And at a certain point, considering how much detail and thought went into his story in the first half, I feel like he was somewhat rushed through for the second half. I thought to myself, maybe it’s because he’ll be getting his own book? Maybe we won’t be getting his HEA in this one, we’ll just be tentatively “healing” with him, for now, and when he gets his own book, we’ll go through it all with him? And I don’t want to say too much about him in this review, other than… I think I needed more. I feel like I missed… a lot. Through his eyes and through Ellie’s. Sure, we got plenty, but there was SO much more I wanted to experience though her eyes. And through his. I dunno. I feel like we got plenty, but emotionally, I was so there, and then… *sigh* His story could have been phenomenal. It could have been it’s own book. Maybe the best one. Either way, he stole the show. Maybe there’s more to come?

Sidenote: My personal analyzing is over. Okay, you can start reading again… ;)

Do I recommend it? OF COURSE!!!! A solid, perfectly placed book in a series that I’m crazy about. The way this author writes, you internalize and live it, instead of just watch it. Almost as if we’re them or at the very least agreeing with them. Rooting for them.

It’s a totally different kind of entertainment. You have to be in it for the ride, in for the danger, in for the crazy reality and the “morally ambiguous” (<— that’s putting it mildly). In for the love that makes all sorts of horrendous and brutal mistakes. Maybe even accept that some characters might not have an “HEA”.

I dunno. All I know is while I struggle with so many parts of these books (from their violent outbursts, to their sexual exploits), as a whole I can’t get enough. Bored? Never with these. There’s always something that has you gasping in outrage, and just as much of it will have you sighing in deeeeep emotional love. And then… it just might tear your heart out, too.

And you know what? In all of that chaos, there are life lessons.

There is personal and emotional growth. There is a trust that develops overtime. And each book almost seems to heal them, more and more as the series progresses. Most of these guys have come from broken homes, abused childhoods, and are severely damaged. Alone. But together, they become family, and there’s just something about that connection, that protection, and that sense of solidarity that has me beaming even after all of my flinching.

“You’re family,” he’d growl. “And I take care of family.”

I simply… love these books. I can’t put ‘em down, and I read ‘em slow just so I don’t have to be finished too quickly. So I can live with them (and love with them) for an entire day. And maybe even part of my night, instead of just a few hours.

4.5 stars! (5 stars for the first half, 4 stars for the second half).

Here are the books to come —> Undeniable Series Reading Order

P.S. Bring on Jase!!! He’s always been my favorite since book #1. And while Ripper is my “current” favorite, I can’t wait to finally spend an entire book with Jase. I’m hoping he takes the cake. Oh right… he’s gotta take it from Hawk. Eeeeep! I can’t wait! (and yes….. I think Hawk deserves her more, but like I told a certain character in the book, “Christina” ;) … “I can’t help it. The heart wants what it wants and I want Jase!” ;)

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Melinda September 22, 2013 at 5:48 PM

According to her web site, the story of Dorothy, Hawk and Jase is next. Then it’s ZZ’s book!

Roni September 22, 2013 at 5:49 PM

I LOVED IT!!!!!!! I wonder if ZZ will get his own story. I wish she would have made Ellie and Dirty they’re own book. Crossing my fingers that she will. We all love that bad boy that needs fixin!!

Roni September 22, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Woo Hoo Melinda thanks for the news

Lisa B September 22, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Got the book last night and am half way through and so far..LOVING IT! I actually stopped reading A Little Too Far, just to start this book. That’s saying a lot! This is one of my all time favorite series and anyone who hasn’t read the first 2 books, you are missing out! ;) . Unfortunately, had a bunch of stuff at home to catch up on before work tomorrow, so haven’t been able to read anymore today! I am itching to get back to it. I foresee a late night!!! :)

Maryse September 22, 2013 at 6:21 PM

And it’ll be a GREAT night, Lisa. Lucky you!!!! :D

V. September 22, 2013 at 6:29 PM

OMG ZZ is getting a book? Excellent!!!! I spent my whole Sunday reading Unattainable. For me Unattainable was the best so far. Loved it. I think I cried for most of the last 90 pages.

Maryse September 22, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Wait wait wait!! I didn’t say he was getting one… I was simply begging. ;)

Oh wait… I just re-checked the reading order and yes. I can confirm that ZZ IS scheduled for a book. HOOORAYYYYY!!!! :D

Sheesh… how did I miss that? I’m the one who typed it in, after all… *sigh* head in the clouds.

Andrea September 22, 2013 at 7:07 PM

I’m pretty sure ZZ is getting his story because I’ve already seen the cover on her website. She even said that Ivy will probably get her own story as well.
For me this book was all about Dirty and I hope we get to see more of him!

Toski Covey September 22, 2013 at 7:32 PM

FInishing up tonight! I LOVE ZZ <3 Can't wait for his book :)

Amy September 22, 2013 at 10:20 PM

I’m looking forward to this one! The first two made me feel like I needed a shower to wash the dirty feeling off – and I loved every minute of it. Guess that says a lot about me, right? ;)

Linh September 22, 2013 at 11:05 PM

This one was just okay for me. The two story lines were completely separate. There was no connection. It jumped back and forth and the transition wasn’t smooth. I would have rather she wrote two separate books instead of throwing it into one. Only 3.5 stars from me.

Maryse September 22, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Usually that kind of messes me up, a bit too (back and forth, when normally I just want to stay with the main couple) but I was SO into Dirty’s story that it mostly worked for me.

Still my fav of them all is #2. Ripper blew me away.

Jean September 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM

WHAT?!?!!? I thought this wasn’t coming out until 10/1! I am on it, been waiting for this one for a long time and your review has me so excited!!! Total change in my TBR list that’s for sure!

Sarah September 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM

loved the review. I’m on Team Jase too!!!!! *screams*

Trisha Sullivan September 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Dirty is a crazy freak and a great character! Didn’t see the ZZ thing coming, but with all the alpha male, crazy testosterone mixed with alcohol and drugs, well shouldn’t be surprised. Loved the book, could not put it down. No disappointment here just waiting for the next…..

Maryse September 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Yep Jean!!! It went LIVE on Amazon early. This is not an early review. I one-clicked it too, as soon as it went up. :)

Jean September 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Good thing I read Wallbanger (which I loved) over the weekend, which left me all happy and feeling good before diving into the craziness of this one! BUT I LOVE THE CRAZINESS!!

Maryse September 23, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Oh u are gonna have SO MUCH fun!!!

Annie September 23, 2013 at 12:49 PM

When I left my raving review of Madeline Sheehan’s masterpiece Unattainable, I couldn’t even bring myself to mention Dirty. He just …. Gosh, I needed time to just absorb that whole side story before I could talk about it. It really did outshine the main story and I wanted so badly for him to be healed through all the chaos and mayhem around him. What a complicated character and one I totally fell in love with, damaged and broken as he is. Those inner dialogues/rants of his, just seriously brought me to my knees. He is a diamond in the ruff and again, the question needs to be asked….. “Does Dirty need a new name?”

Maryse September 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

He will… but I think there’s still some healing to go…. I TOTALLY connected to that story. I got it. I hope he gets some sort of novella or his own full length.

Kim Cheeseman September 23, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Maryse-I absolutely LOVED this story…My heart actually dropped when I read the words “he did die”…no spoiler cause I did not say any names.
I really wanted to know more about Cage and Tegan is a bit much, but I think she HAS to be this way in order to survive in a life style as such with Cage!!! I LOVE Madeline’s writing!!!
(and the going with 2 story lines – I really fell hard for Dirty/Michael also) JR Ward plays with many more story lines than just Madaline’s 2…and I really like her writing also)

Maryse September 23, 2013 at 2:58 PM

YES!!! I said it to a friend. These books (especially Ripper and Dirty) have that delicious and addictive JR Ward feel to ‘em. Gritty and rough (although these take it to the next level), but Ripper and Dirty reminded me of Z and V.

LOVE!!!!!!!!! AND the feel of these biker brothers as a whole… yep.

Patty September 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I have a question…..its been awhile since I read book 1 and 2, should I reread them to familiarize myself again or does it do enough reflection that I dont have to. As it is I’m reading loving me, trusting you by C.M. Stunich, but I had to reread losing me finding you first……..when there is so much time between sequels and you read so much in between I start to get lost in all the stories. So should I reread or skim through?
Gotta love a good biker book….sqqueeeeeze

Jill September 23, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Completely agree with your review.

I honestly thought that Ellie and Dirty would be continued in the next story as well. Maybe they still will be…??? I feel like there is SOO much to his healing and their relationship that it just can’t be summed up like it was. I NEED more from them. After everything he went through in his childhood/life there is just so much more to tell… their story can’t *spoiler*… (uh, is that bad that I want them both to be more ‘tortured’? I swear I am only feeling this way cause it’s a book. I am a nice person). ;)

Also, I felt so awful for ZZ. That poor man! He has to be messed up in the head with everything that has happened to him with the two West siblings! Poor guy can’t catch a break – or a woman!

Maryse September 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Hi Patty!

Well, I had no problems keeping up, but I’d say they are worth a re-read anyway. So much stuff going on, and excitement and many characters to “re-live” with. Especially since I didn’t pay that much attention to Dirty in past installments, and yet he is SO important in this one. I would have loved to get to “see” him again as he was in #1 & #2.

Patty September 25, 2013 at 2:45 PM

OK……I definitely wouldnt mind re-reading them…I have been addicted to biker books lately…so funny since I will not let my husband buy one…and I have never riden myself….lmfao… thats why its even more forbidden. And the way book 1 was so taboo, I think I will reread that and skim book 2…dont want to fall that far behind.

Gotta say a big bike run went by my house this weekend…..Not one Tack in the group….but I had a big smile on my face.

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