Silver Bastard, by Joanna Wylde

silver bastard

Grade: B

Doing it at: 5%

Catnip: Alpha Hero; Motorcycles; He’s basically a criminal; #teamanal; Property; Sexual Healing; Terrible Parenting

Shame Scale: This one gives you shame on the whole “I’m a feminist and this shouldn’t do it for me” level

Fantasy Cast: Charlie Hunnam; Anna Kendrick

What do we taste like: Sunshine and beer, and tequila for good measure

Book Description:

Fourteen months. For fourteen months, Puck Redhouse sat in a cell and kept his mouth shut, protecting the Silver Bastards MC from their enemies. Then he was free and it was time for his reward—full membership in the club, along with a party to celebrate. That’s when he saw Becca Jones for the first time and set everything in motion. Before the night ended he’d violated his parole and stolen her away from everything she knew.

Five years. It was five years ago that Puck destroyed Becca and saved her all in one night. She’s been terrified of him ever since, but she’s even more terrified of the monsters he still protects her from… But Becca refuses to let fear control her. She’s living her life and moving forward, until she gets a phone call from the past she can’t ignore. She has to go back, and there’s only one man she can trust to go with her—the ex-con biker who rescued her once before.

Puck will help her again, but this time it’ll be on his terms. No more lies, no more tears, and no more holding back what he really wants…

Mary and I, when we were first carefully feeling out how deep into the trash book world the other had fallen, were pretty delighted to find out that we both LOVED the Reapers M.C. books by Joanna Wylde. We both feel like we shouldn’t be so into these books; all the heroes are super alpha “you’re my woman and I own you.” They are all criminals. There are some blurred consent lines in most of the books. If these books weren’t your cup of tea no one could blame you, I imagine they could be pretty triggering. However, we just can’t stop with them, and when Silver Bastard – the Reapers extended universe book – loaded into the family library I was all “STOP EVERYTHING GO GO GO.”

C: I’ve been contemplating how I’m going to write about the bikers and their not quite rapey ways without sounding pro-forced sex

M: You can talk about how they’re good shame books because you know better, and this is nothing like you’d want in real life, but there’s the fantasy of a super-aggressive man who throws you down on the bed and forces you to take the pleasure your feminist mind wants you to reject

C: Yes, firmly explain that we know no one wants to be raped and rape is serious but it’s ok to like the alpha fantasy.

My feminist mind doesn’t even try to reject it anymore.  She’s like “we like what we like!”

M: We’re not really feminists

C: We aren’t militant feminists.

M: We’re modern feminists. We do what we want and we won’t be constrained by someone else’s manifesto

C: That makes us the best kind of feminist

So, with that important talk about what we do and do not condone in real life, let’s get to the good stuff.

Silver Bastards opens with Puck Redhouse on the day he’s been released from a fourteen month prison sentence, Puck went in because of something that went down with the Silver Bastards M.C., and now that he’s out he is at a party with his “brothers” at some extremely shady guys house. Puck’s main goals on his first day of freedom are to get laid and get drunk. He’s well on the way to both when he spots Becca. If not necessarily love at first sight, its certainly lust at first sight. Puck’s not crazy about Teeny, his sketchy host for the evening, but he does facilitate Puck taking Becca upstairs. They go to a gross bedroom, where things quickly progress to her giving him a Beej, followed by a super unsexy passage:

She turned away, reaching down to grab a half-empty fifth of rotgut vodka off the bedside table, taking a big drink, and swishing it around her mouth. Then she spat it out on the floor so it mingled with the pooled beer before taking another swig.

More sex stuff follows, and Becca seems surprised that Puck wants her to enjoy herself and that she IS enjoying herself. That is until Puck decides to add her to #teamanal. Becca starts crying, and Puck basically pulls out to comfort her and then just before he passes out he hears her say “Tell him I did good, okay?”

When he comes to in the morning and stumbles out he runs into one of his brothers and tells him how guilty he feels about what happened, and that he wouldn’t be surprised if she cries rape after how upset she was with the unwelcome ass banging. Their creepy host has been eavesdropping and Puck has to basically tell him to fuck off before heading back to the bedroom and noticing that there are school uniforms hanging up in there; and notebooks on the floor. And the notebooks say Becca. Longish story short, Becca is 16, Teeny is her stepfather, and he’s been forcing her to sleep with people who might help keep him and her mother in drugs. When Puck discovers Teeny beating Becca with a soup pot, presumably for not pleasing Puck in bed, he does what any level headed biker dude would do. He beats the shit out of Teeny, throws Becca on his bike, and takes her to Idaho (these books are all set in Idaho which was basically a non entity before last year, but now seems like it must be a super fun breeding ground of hot dudes!) to start a new life.

Jump it forward five years; Becca is legal for all things now, she’s in beauty school, she’s working as a waitress, and she’s found a surrogate family of sorts NOT with the bikers. She sees Puck very occasionally around town, but he has never made any sort of move on her since their first dramatic meeting. That doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking of her, and as he details later,  he’s thinking about her while beating that bologna at least once a week (we don’t get to hear what he’s thinking about the other 6 days a week). Becca doesn’t know how she feels about Puck, he scares her — like most bikers do after her upbringing — but she still feels comforted knowing he’s around. She knows that he would never let anyone hurt her. When he comes into the restaurant where she works and causes a scene with some guys who are hassling her, Becca jumps in with a pot of hot coffee to defend Puck who she thinks is being hurt. Obviously she isn’t immune to him, or indifferent. But she doesn’t know what exactly she is towards him.

The Silver Bastards M.C. has a lot of stuff going down involving a new strip club in town, the town mine that provides work for most of the residents, and some shady teenagers at a boarding school/lockdown facility on the outskirts of town. Puck is in the thick of all the drama, but that doesn’t stop him from finding the time to finally decide to claim Becca as his old lady. From reading the previous Wylde books, as well as some other dirty biker fiction ( I like what I like!), I know that being an old lady basically translates to being property. The women who are attached to the club are expected to not ask questions, to not do anything that would reflect poorly on the club, and to follow orders when given.  It’s similar to being a mafia wife, which I would also be just awful at doing properly.

Becca isn’t sure how great she’ll be at it either. She knows that she’s attracted to Puck and to basically no one else ever at all. She knows he makes her feel safe. She knows the sex is mind blowing now that they’re having it again, finally. But the whole property of a biker? That’s scary territory for a girl who grew up watching her mother attach herself to any biker who would have her, until finally settling with the pedophile creep of the century. Sex with Puck is different from her introduction to sex in so many good ways, he basically teaches her that she can trust a man and that sex can be all pleasure and zero pain. This isn’t an example Becca can ever remember seeing, women were always passed around for whoever wanted to use them, and she watched Teeny beat her mom for years.

Speaking of her awesome parents, her mom has resurfaced and is providing the other major drama in Silver Bastard. There is a lot of actual plot happening in this one, plot that I don’t want to spoil because if you’re at all into alphas you should really read the Reapers and then Puck & Becca’s story. The characters are not perfect, a lot of the time they’re complete assholes. BUT unlike a book I hate-read recently, you still root for them. Puck is a criminal, but he’s charming and he loves Becca. Becca is bad tempered and doesn’t make good decisions, but she’s feisty and smart, as well. Plus as a bonus it gives you some ridiculous lines like this:

“Settle down,” he murmured, cupping my cheeks with his palms. “You know I’m all about the thrust and repeat…”

The THRUST AND REPEAT. What is there not to like?