Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Review of Knuckle Down by Chantal Fernando

The Cursed Ravens MC, Book 2
Chantal Fernando
Published on 9 July 2018 by Pocket Star

A single father struggles to change for his daughters and the woman he loves in this second book in the Cursed Ravens Motorcycle Club series from New York Times bestselling author Chantal Fernando.

As a single father of two girls and the sergeant at arms for the Cursed Ravens Motorcycle Club, Jack “Knuckles” Chester doesn’t have much free time. And having earned his road name from his reputation as a fighter, Knuckles isn’t one to back away from a challenge.

But what he'll never admit out loud is that his two daughters have changed him irrevocably, softened him even. And these two girls are the only women who will ever hold his heart forever. That is, until he meets Celina.

Celina is nothing like the women Knuckles used to date. She’s a journalist for the local newspaper, and basically just has her life together. And the last thing she wants is to be involved with a Cursed Raven. But when the ripped, badass biker worms his way into her heart, she has trouble remembering all the reasons they would never work.

But when a shocking story is published her newspaper, it breaks the thin trust she has with Knuckles. Will she lose him forever? Or will Knuckles fight to keep Celina in his life?




I received a digital copy of Knuckle Down from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The following review contains opinions that are mine and mine alone.
I was honestly in love with Knuckles the Cursed Ravens’ Sergeant in Arms in Ace of Hearts and I was overly excited to learn that he was next in line to receive his own story ( there was squealing) and I quickly made the request to review as soon as I saw the listing go up on NetGalley.

I had some worries about pairing Knuckles with Erin’s journalist cousin, Celina, since journalists and bikers totally go well together, right? Ha. I just knew that our sweet and amazing Knuckles was in for a rough time of it. But I buckled my seat belt and prepared for the ride. No, really. I read this on the way to the medical centre for my MRI scans. I buckled up, my mum’s not a Sunday driver. Knuckles and Celina work, they have a bumpy journey, but Knuckles isn’t your stereotypical biker and Celina isn’t your stereotypical journalist. And that’s what makes this work, thankfully. I’d have been heartbroken if Knuckles didn’t get a HEA.
Knuckles is enamoured of his bestie’s cousin, Celina, the moment he sets eyes on her at Erin’s birthday party. He politely bulldozes his way through the roadblocks Celina’s erected to keep all men at bay since her disastership with her workmate and Celina recognises that yes, she likes Knuckles and she’s letting her past relationship and her daddy issues cloud her vision when it comes to Knuckles. We also see Knuckles letting his past relationship with his daughters’ mother cloud his relationship with Celina a few times. If nothing else, we do learn that open communication is important, right?
From the very beginning of the story we see Celina having an internal struggle between her journalistic drive and her morals. Should she use her family connection to the Cursed Ravens MC to get an all-access pass to write a front-page story or not? She even tries to reason that if it's a positive story on the MC, it'd be okay. Can I have some of whatever she's on? We see this tug of war go back and forth for a good portion of the book, and it only gets worse as her relationship with Knuckles progresses. Be forewarned, this storyline will frustrate you and you will be tempted to pull your hair out.
I loved the bit we saw of Celina's best friend, Akeira, she reminded me of my sister and that's always a good thing. No filter and a taste for adventure. I wish there'd been more of her!
I was a bit disappointed that Knuckles didn’t get a more action-packed story for being an enforcer but I’m also glad he got a more emotional story because it showed him as more than a stereotyped biker. Oh, look at me. I learned something. Ha. I’m kidding, y’all.
I loved how Knuckles was always a gentleman towards Celina, never invading her personal space except when they were flirting, and it was still done respectfully. No groping! Even when they’re playing chase at the beach in bathing suits, Knuckles doesn’t grab Celina inappropriately. I was just so proud of him. Don’t judge me.
Knuckles, along with his two daughters, Willow and Westley, quickly become regular fixtures in Celina’s home. It’s a normal occurrence for Knuckles to bring the girls over for dinner and a movie. While she’s consciously still fighting the lasting relationship aspect of their relationship, Celina’s already acting maternal towards the girls. You might as well just give them keys, honey.
The big event at the end really freaked the living tar out of me, readers. I actually had to take a moment to just breathe – both times I read it! I can’t tell y’all about it, because spoilers and all, but eesh, it made me thank the deities my momma is my momma. Long story and it'd be a bit of a spoiler. But y'all, 
I had a lot of laughs reading Knuckle Down, and I even reread it because I enjoyed it the first time through. I don’t like rereading books within the first year because I’ve got a photographic memory and I loathe déjà vu. But I reread Knuckle Down and it was totally worth it. Because I took notes! Don't expect that to happen again, it was so constrictive and I couldn't knit while I read. So annoying.
Overall, I'm giving Knuckle Down a 4 out of 5 stars and 2 flames for the sexy times. Although, that one scene on the stairs had my friend and I both hoping Celina has some good insurance for a chiropractor!


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 today, folks. Tomorrow I have yet another doctor's appointment and another blood draw and I am not looking forward to it. If you're looking for a place to donate to, the American Red Cross has a donation page set up to help aid people affected by Hurricane Michael. Until next time, have a happily ever after.

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