BOOK REVIEW: Storm (Dark and Dirty Sinners' MC #8) by Serena Akeroyd
"I only ever wanted you," she cried out, and this time, she started sobbing. "Why didn’t you want me enough? Why?" When her fist pounded on my chest, I let her. "Why did you have to break us apart? Why couldn’t you have just come to me? I would always have been there. Always."
I have been in such an MC romance kick lately that I have been flying through large series in this genre. One thing that I very much appreciate with MC romances is that we are introduced to so many characters, or "brothers," in the first book or two of a series, and more often than not, the author will write a book for each of them. It drives me a little nuts when I am so into one of the MC romance series and I fall in love with some of the characters, but then I never get to see how their own story progresses or even ends. Also, it is not often that I decide to write a long blog about just one book in the series. However, this book had my emotions and thoughts all over the place. So why not share what I think and get your opinion on how you think it went?!
Storm is the 8th book in the Dark and Dirty Sinners' MC series by Serena Akeroyd. I thoroughly enjoy an MC series where the women are strong, independent, and hold their own against these men who see themselves as big, bad, protective bikers. So with that in the mind, the first book in this series, Nyx, had me hooked. I have loved each and every one of the books so far. Each man, and you are introduced to most of them in some way or another in the first book or two, has such a backstory that intrigues you. As most MC series go, the men are players, can have any "sweetbutt," and do. Yet, when the heroine of the story is introduced, their whole world changes, and they cannot see any other woman besides the heroine. I love seeing the attitude change in the characters when they find their person.
Storm has popped up in each of the books before his own story, and I have to say, I was not thrilled in reading about him and his actions in the other books of the series. I actually read comments by others, and even the author, that it is the one book in the series that you could choose not to read and you will not miss the overall events and big picture storyline for the series, due to the infidelity of Storm's character.
We are first introduced to Asher, better known as Storm, in the first book of the series, and I have to say, I was really not impressed by him. When I learned he was married, though his wife left him at the start of the series, I was even more so thinking that he was going to be one of the bad ducks of the group that usually pops up in these series. However, as we learned more about Storm in the other books, I could not just skip his book. I needed to know his backstory. If there was a way that he found some semblance of peace with himself, and his wife Keira, than I had to see how it came about!
I am all for a good redemption story, and honestly, Serena Akeroyd did it. Once I finished this book, I had tears in my eyes and just thought about the love between Storm and Keira and contemplated the growth, self reflection, and development that they both experienced. As I type this and am thinking back on the whole story, my eyes are tearing up. This story got me. That is the only way I can think to say it.
Quite honestly, the book summary on Goodreads did pull me in when I was contemplating reading it or not. As I mentioned, this book deals with infidelity and is a redemption story. A little backstory on these two characters - Storm and Keira met when Keira was a senior in high school. Storm is a few years older than her and was coming to the school to meet up with a brother. Storm saw Keira across the way - and the world stopped for him. Keira noticed him right away and just saw a young man that had her captivated. She didn't see a dirty scum of a biker, as Storm considers himself. From that moment on, Storm kept watch over Keira.
When they finally spoke to one another, it was awkwardly sweet as young love often is. We learn quickly in the story that Keira is the daughter of a tough and abusive pastor. Storm is the son of a "sweetbutt" who could never give up the drugs to care for her children and is in and out of jail constantly. Thankfully, Storm had been taken in by the club president, Bear, and his wife, Renee, as Renee was Storm's mother's cousin. Bear and Renee saw Storm as another true son to them. If they could have adopted him, they would have. I digress at the moment...
Anyways, Storm and Keira quickly fall for each other and find out Keira is pregnant. Keira's mother is afraid to confirm with her father that Keira is pregnant, so she lies to him and tells Keira that she is going to get her an abortion. Keira runs away and calls Storm. Storm and Keira get married, but from the get-go, it is a learning curve for the both of them. Keira runs away every time she is upset with Storm, and Storm has hidden from her that he has an addiction to drugs.
Storm and Keira's book begins in Ohio, where Storm is given the chance to be the new club president in a different chapter of their club - a fresh start for him. Storm and Keira's daughter got herself into some trouble in a previous story, and even though Keira and he are no longer together due to his cheating that Keira found out about, she agrees to move to Ohio with their daughter, Cyan, to be closer to Storm so that they can work together to help their daughter.
Storm is a character that I could dissect all day long. He is emotional, overprotective, unapologetic, and selfless, but thinks that he is the biggest piece of shit that does not deserve an ounce of happiness or forgiveness. The moment he saw Keira all those years ago, he no longer saw any other woman. As I mentioned, Storm has substance abuse issues. We learn that he was hooked on crack from the moment he was born thanks to his mother. As a teenager, he would smoke weed to try and help calm his anger down and even to try and help him sleep. He then went down the rabbit hole of other substances.
His brothers were always there to help him when they noticed him heading down the slippery slope. They would lock him up for him to go through withdrawal. They would never leave his side. And this happened repeatedly. We learn that the reason Storm cheated is two part. Keira left him (and she is not to blame for his actions when she runs, only he is), so he turned to drugs to make the pain go away. While hopped up on drugs, one of the sweetbutts who is quite obsessed with Storm saw an opportunity and took it. When Storm realizes what happened, for all he saw in his mind was Keira come back, he turned to the drugs to take away the pain of what he had done.
Thankfully, Storm has come to his senses of what he is missing and losing when he relies on substances. He has been attending NA sessions, and he is punishing himself in a way to stop him from ever cheating on Keira again. I will not say exactly how he is punishing himself (I had to reread the lines to make sure I was reading it correctly, my goodness!), but he took the initiative to try and prove to Keira, even if she will not ever take him back, that he is in love with her only, and that there will never be another woman for him.
Keira, with the help and exposure to the other woman from the MC, is learning more about herself and coming into her own. She grew up with a very sheltered upbringing, and then jumped right into living with Storm, which was a completely different way of life. Storm kept Keira away from the MC, and she never pushed to be included. As Keira becomes friends with the other ladies, and reflects on herself, her actions, and her words, she begins to speak up more to express exactly what she wants and what she expects from Storm as a man and within a relationship.
Honestly, their love story is far from perfect. There are so many bumps along their road, and the both of them are broken and damaged in their own ways. Looking at them on paper, you truly wonder if they can, or even should, find a way back to each other, but who can ever understand one's heart, its actions, and what it wants? Do we have any right to question someone's choice in a life partner?
Storm and Keira defy the odds. Storm finally opens up and is truthful with Keira on all of the things he kept hidden from her - his past, his substance abuse issues, his sex addiction, the truth behind his cheating, everything. Keira accepts who Storm truly is and strives to help him, to be that support and reliable person to help him through his recovery. She no longer just wants to be a doormat in their relationship - but an equal partner with Storm. And Storm finally accepts that his woman can hold her own, be his strength, and will not cower or crumble in the face of difficulties.
I could write pages upon pages about this whole book; there is so much to unpack, but I will end here and hope that I have tickled your fancy into giving this story a chance. It is a beautiful telling of building bridges between the past, present, and future. It is forgiving past mistakes and actions and finding a way to forge a new future together with honesty and trust. And the series of epilogues that followed? Tears galore running down my cheeks. Absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.
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