ARC Review of Ace of Hearts

Ace of Hearts by Chantal Fernando
The Cursed Ravens MC, Book 1
Available 11 June 2018
Published by Pocket Star
"The New York Times bestselling author of the “swoonworthy and addicting” (Kim Karr, New York Times bestselling author) Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club series is back with more bad boy bikers in this first novel in the Cursed Ravens Motorcycle Club series.

Erin Dawson had the perfect life growing up in a perfect home with a perfect family. Her parents gave her and her sister everything a child could want. But after learning that the man she’s called “dad” her whole life isn’t actually her biological father, Erin is determined to find the man who is.

Armed with her original birth certificate, she finds her father, but begins questioning if her mom had been right all along to keep this information buried. It turns out he is the president of a motorcycle club, which could not be further from the life Erin leads. But, she’s determined to get to know the man who she gets her striking blue eyes from. Despite getting what she wants and finding her biological father, it’s the slightly older, much rougher but incredibly sexy biker Ace that catches Erin’s eye.

As the new “princess” of the Cursed Ravens, Erin is learning a whole new world, but her father has made it clear she is off limits. Will Ace follow his President’s orders or will he put his heart ahead of his duty? A sizzling tale of family and passion, Ace of Hearts features Fernando’s signature “snark and sass” (Booklist) and is perfect for fans of Kristin Ashley."

I received a copy of Ace of Hearts from the publisher, Pocket Star, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. As always, the following review contains my opinions and mine alone.
One of my guilty reading pleasures is definitely a quality biker romance. But I have to search high and low for the good stuff, not the abusive, cheating, drug addict biker erotica posing as romances but the bad boy with the teeny bit of good buried deep down under all the gruff and foul language. It’s even better if the female lead isn’t a simpering idiot or a classic definition of Daddy Issues. I managed to stumble across the Ace of Hearts digital review copy on NetGalley and thought I’d see if maybe it checked off all my biker romance checklist items. For the most part, it did.
The Leading Lady isn’t a DiD. If you’re looking for a damsel-in-distress romance, this is not the book for you. Erin is sassy, she doesn’t hide from her problems, she faces them head on. Erin is also pretty smart, she’s headed off to college in a short while to become a nurse and she’s determined not to let anything mess with her education. You go, girl! Erin’s also got it down that she needs to deal with things like an adult and compromise with others.
Our Main Man is quality material. He understands boundaries and, when given several different opportunities to have sex with other women, he doesn’t. Even before he’s actually in any sort of relationship with Erin, he’s quick to say “no, thanks” to any interested parties. While he’s torn between loyalty to his MC President and his interest in the newly found MC Princess, he tries to walk that fine line between respecting his Prez and loving his woman. When Ace messes up, he fesses up to his mistakes. There is one instance where I want to reach into the book and bop him on the back of the head Gibbs-Style.
Ace decided to practise unsafe sex without talking to Erin first. Dude. No. That’s never okay. The only good sex is the consensual sort – and that includes checking that your partner is on board with ditching the condom.
Ace of Hearts has a bit of mystery to it, some of it is glaringly obvious and other parts are a heartwrenching surprise. I’m not posting any spoilers, I’m not one of those people, but when Erin is poisoned at her Welcome to the Family party, I had it figured out lickety-split and couldn’t fathom why nobody in the story could figure it out. Also, dang, Erin. Follow Party Rule #1 – unopened beverages only! (Rule #2 is an addendum, if your drink is left unattended or out of your eyeline for a second, GET A NEW ONE!).
Erin’s reunion with her father is pretty much what every daughter with daddy issues dreams of. I’m not envious over it, really. I lied. I’m totally envious, I look great in green. But that’s supposed to get fixed in therapy eventually so moving on. As someone who struggles on the daily to balance a dad, a mum, and a stepmum, I know where Erin’s coming from in her tortured confusion of how to not end up hurting any of the parentals and still have all 3 in my life. I suck at it but, again, I have daddy issues. But Erin just puts it out there that this is how it’s going to be and everybody needs to deal with it. Of course, Erin has parentals that tolerate each other, so I AM JEALOUS.
I loved meeting the different members of the Cursed Ravens MC. They’re so eclectic, from Mac the lovable hippie (who doesn’t love hippies?) to the crude Shack (I hope he turns out not to be as douche-y as he seems in AoH), to Rogue the Rock God and Knuckles the best friend a girl could ever have. Seriously, where can I find a Knuckles – I need a best friend!
I spent a couple of hours reading Ace of Hearts and I read it in one sitting. It’s definitely a book I’ll keep around for bookslump reading. It’s easy to read and doesn’t make me think. That’s not a bad thing. I tend to overload from never stopping with the thinking. Ace of Hearts let me read but I didn’t need a glossary or an appendix or a map or a character sheet like a lot of books today. It just let me read.
I was left wondering a few things and I’m hoping Book 2 clears those up but I really wish they’d all been cleared up before I finished Ace of Hearts. Mostly, Who the glarb is Clover?! It’s been bugging me since I read Ace of Hearts four days ago! I need closure here!
My favourite part would have to be when Erin broke a certain person's nose and settled the person's issue with her finally. It surprised everybody that she did it because Erin's not a violent sort but she got herself out of the situation without relying on anybody else to help her out of it.
Overall, I’m giving Ace of Hearts a 4 out of 5 stars. I really liked reading it, I look forward to Book 2, but some things were left hanging in the wind and other things (no spoilers) left me confused. As for the heat rating, let’s go with a 4. Things get spicy and descriptive. They’re easily skipped though so it doesn’t detract from the story if you flip a page or two past the naughty.

New York Times, Amazon & USA Today Bestselling Author Chantal Fernando is thirty years old and lives in Western Australia.
Lover of all things romance, Chantal is the author of the best selling books Dragon's Lair, Maybe This Time and many more.
When not reading, writing or daydreaming she can be found enjoying life with her three sons and family.

Ms Fernando can be found on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter.

That's all for now, duckies! Be sure to check out Ace of Hearts! And think about donating to Futures Without Violence, an organisation dedicated to helping all those affected by domestic violence. Until next time, dearest readers, have a happily ever after!

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