Bikers and Pearls by Vicki Wilkerson
Who said tempting a sweet Southern belle would be easy?
When rebel biker Bullworth Clayton gets tangled up with pastel-and-pearls-clad April Church, sparks fly. Sure, April would clearly rather work with anyone else, but if teaming up with Bull means a successful charity event for a sick little boy they both care about, then so be it.
April is baffled at how drawn she is to the leather-wearing, tattooed Bull—he just doesn't fit with her simple, safe, country-club life. And as much as the handsomely rugged man tempts her, she still can't shake the images of the tragic motorcycle accident from her past, which left her scarred and her father broken.
Bull tempts her to don a pair of leather pants and go for a ride with him, while April desperately tries to resist her attraction to the wild side and keep her exploits hidden from her small town. Will they be able to navigate their differences and find a middle road to love?
About the Author
Vicki is a native of the Charleston, South Carolina, Lowcountry and loves to share her enchantment with the area with readers through her writing. Even in childhood, she enjoyed penning stories and poems—no doubt fueled by her grandfather's enthusiasm for telling tales himself. Where else—but in the South—could one find the interesting blend of salt water, eerie swamps and unique people? She devotes much of her time to exploring and researching the region—all while looking for that next idea for a book, a setting or a character. As a native, she understands the subtleties of the dialects and unwritten traditions that make the Lowcountry truly distinctive, and she brings that understanding to her books to create authentic Southern stories.
Vicki admits that she is a recovering teaching professional. When the school bells ring in the fall, she gets both reminiscent and twitchy. In her spare time, she loves traveling, spending weekends at her family's lake house, playing golf and cooking (with lots of wine).
Read an Excerpt
Bikers and Pearls
By Vicki Wilkerson, Libby Murphy
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Vicki Wilkerson
All rights reserved.
Motorcycles were everywhere. April Church had never seen so many in one place in her entire life. Row after row and side by side, they had been lined up like opposing armies. Was there some kind of biker rally in town that she didn't know about? No. That couldn't be. Surely, something like that would have been announced in the Summerbrook Gazette.
She looked for a well-lit parking spot near the door of the buffet steakhouse, but after circling the bikes three times, she finally squeezed her car into the last space at the rear of the dark lot. Motorcycles flanked both sides of her car. Flames embellished the tank of the bike immediately to her left and razors decorated the one to her right.
She was trapped.
Trapped like she had been in her father's car the night he'd accidentally hit a motorcycle — the night the dead man's "pack" had surrounded them like wolves. And here she was again, encircled by bikes. She looked toward the building. In that steakhouse were the same kind of people who had left her father with a limp, bound to a cane for the rest of his life.
Why on Earth did she tell Mr. Houseman that she'd go to the meeting? Well, for many reasons, but the most important was Ben. He was special. Every time he saw her, he gave her a hug. Started out when she first helped him learn to climb a tree when the Humanity Project volunteers built his home. When he dropped down from that tree and into her arms, he also dropped into her heart. Ever since that day, he drew pictures of trees and gave them to her as gifts. Yep. He was special, and she had to do something to help the little boy's parents with the mounting medical bills. Mr. Houseman was her mentor at the Humanity Project, and she owed him, too. She also thought about Miss Adree, the sweet, elderly lady in her condo building who taught Ben music lessons every Thursday evening. April loved picking up the little guy and remembered Miss Adree doing the same for her when she was a child. It was time to return favors.
Inside would be all the civic-minded organizations from town that were helping Ben, including the Summerbrook Ladies League. The bikers were probably at the restaurant for a completely different reason — some ride or party they had to plan. She glanced around at all the motorcycles again. There were so many.
Taking a deep breath, she gingerly opened the car door. But before she got the chance to put her foot on the asphalt, the painted flames on the motorcycle next to her pitched — almost imperceptibly at first. Or perhaps she was simply denying what was happening.
Down it went. The mirrors tilted and flashed the light of a distant streetlamp over the body of the beast. Stop! Somehow, it appeared to have picked up momentum on its way to its death. And then it crashed against the pavement, the clang grating up her spine as it hit. No! She couldn't have touched that bike. She had been so careful.
As she stepped outside the car, a shiver iced down her spine in a cold gust of March air. The motorcycle lay there like a fallen soldier. The crash had amputated its rearview mirror, which was now in the middle of the lane. She looked all around her.
For a brief moment, she thought about bolting. But she'd never do that. She worked at a local insurance company as a risk assessment manager. Assessing her own risk, she determined that she was in real trouble.
She knew she could analyze her way out of this. Maybe she could set the bike upright again and no one would notice. That might work.
Fighting some awful thing inside that wanted to paralyze her, she drew up every bit of her strength, bent down, and grabbed the handlebars. With her eyes closed, she strained and jerked with all her might. But the beast wouldn't budge.
Maybe she could at least fix the mirror. Though her hand shook — probably from the cold — she picked it up and tried to attach the cracked piece to the bent chrome on the side of the bike. She pushed and twisted and rocked the thing. Nothing worked. Now what was she to do?
She could call the police. But it wasn't a traffic accident. She still didn't believe that she'd touched the bike. No matter. What could she do but try to find the owner and tell him? Dread rose up in her. She would offer the biker her insurance information, and she could let her company argue the claim later. And if the bike's owner grew angry with her here, she assumed the bystanders in the steakhouse would provide some protection.
Glancing around the dark lot, she noticed several other bikes with flames on their tanks. Great. Now she'd have a band of angry bikers come after her when she would announce that she'd knocked over a motorcycle festooned with flames.
Shaking her head, she tried to rid herself of the images of that night so long ago. But this was very different. No one had died. And she would accept complete responsibility, unlike her father, who'd blamed and angered the drunken bikers from Rebel Angels the night they'd played chicken with him.
Still holding the metal thing, she had an idea. The mirror was a totally different shape from the others around her, and it had a sticker with flames on the back. That would help. She'd find Mr. Morrow and a few of the people there for the fundraiser, and with their assistance, she'd approach the bikers with the mirror.
So she summoned all of her courage and bravely walked toward the entrance where a giant fake cow stood with an ominous look in his eyes. It watched her every step.
When finally inside, the scent of old coffee and burned grease assailed her. A gap-toothed hostess greeted April. "Welcome to Carolina Cow Steakhouse," she said in a particularly slow Southern dialect — the brogue of her small town.
Not immediately seeing the people from the Summerbrook Civic Club, she turned to the waitress. "Umm, I'm supposed to meet a group here."
The hostess perked up and smiled. "Are you here for Ben Evans's Leukemia Fundraiser, too?"
April nodded and glanced around again, still hiding the broken mirror behind her back. She spotted members of the motorcycle crew secluded away at a couple of tables in a shadowy corner. Oh, boy. In a few short moments, she'd have to face them and confess what she'd done. Well, at least they weren't going to be a part of the civic club meeting. After she gave them the broken mirror and her insurance information, it would all be over.
"You'll have to wait here a minute 'cause I'm moving everyone into the larger banquet room. Y'all have more people than we expected," the hostess said as she grabbed a few more menus and walked away.
April backed up against the wall to better hide the crooked chrome she held. Of all the stupid things that could happen.
With her free hand, she brushed at the pleats on her skirt to straighten them. Then she switched the mirror into her right hand and smoothed out the other side. Everything was under control.
"What do you have there?" inquired a low, masculine voice from above her head.
She snapped to attention like she was about to undergo a military inspection.
A handsome, muscular man in a black bomber jacket towered above her, larger than life. His shoulder-length hair was pulled back into a neat ponytail. Golden streaks highlighted his nut-brown mane. His indigo-colored eyes perused her face. "Is something wrong?"
She twisted the strand of pearls that draped from her neck between her fingers with her free hand. "No. Everything's fine," she said. It would be as soon as she could meet up with Mr. Morrow or some of the other members from the civic organizations.
"Then what are you hiding behind your back?"
He had seen. Oh, no. He had seen.
"Just a little mishap. I'm going to take care of it."
"You ride?" The left corner of his mouth curled up. "In a skirt?"
"No." She hoped her voice didn't sound strained. "No, I've never ridden on a motorcycle before," she said calmly.
He narrowed his eyes. "Then why are you walking around with a Harley dome billit mirror?"
That was a good question. Why was she? She held out the broken piece of the bike in front of her. "I don't know how it happened. I was opening my car door, and then —"
He took it from her, examined it, and gave it back. "Let me guess. It just fell." He tilted his head, exposing a strong, angular jawline. "All by itself."
"That's right. It really did happen that way. Exactly." He probably didn't believe a word she said. And she couldn't blame him. She heard unlikely stories like hers from claimants at the insurance company all the time.
"Ahhh, I see. Sure it did," he said. But the left side of his grin inched upward again. His eyes radiated light like the mirror in her hands. "Believe I know who owns that. 'Cause of the sticker on the back there." He nodded at the chrome and took a step toward her. "Won't be too happy, though. You want me to take you to him?"
A spicy scent replaced the old coffee and burned grease in the air. She looked around, half expecting to see one of the men from the Summerbrook Chamber of Commerce or the hostess with a can of air freshener. But April hadn't ever experienced anything like that fragrance — not on a businessman or from a can. "No, thank you. I'm meeting some people here for a fundraiser first. They'll help me."
"I know where they are, too. It's where I'm headed." He touched her elbow. A warm tingle ran up her arm.
"The hostess said to wait here."
"We don't have to wait."
"But —" Before she could protest, he placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her through the large, open restaurant and around a corner. With each step she took, her pulse beat faster.
They stopped at a door, which had a sign on it that read Banquet Room.
"You sure you don't want me to handle that for you?" He arched his brow and glanced at the mirror.
"No, thank you. I'm going to ask Mr. Morrow to walk back with me. To tell those people in the corner of the main dining area."
He opened the door. "Be my guest."
As soon as she walked into the room, she knew she was in trouble. The large table in front was filled with people sporting leather fringes, rivets, Harley insignias, and long hair. Motorcycle people. But what kind of motorcycle people were they — the weekender kind who had regular day jobs, like the safe ones they insured at her company? Or some other kind?
A guy with a Z Z Top-looking beard stood up and said, "Hey, that's my mirror."
The packed room became silent.
April wanted to sink through the floor. "I'll pay for it. I have insurance. I don't really even know how it happened."
The whole room stared at her like she was a liar. Trapping the mirror between her arm and side, she fumbled in her purse to get one of the copies of her insurance card she'd made at work in case she might ever have the need for it.
"She was probably standing there and it just fell over," said one of the bikers at the table.
All the people at the table laughed. She turned to see Mr. Morrow standing silently behind the lectern, looking at his notes. Why wasn't he backing her up? Surely he recognized her. She wanted to say, "It's me. April Church." In case he didn't remember. But he only stood there looking unconcerned.
The tall, handsome guy who'd walked her back took the broken mirror from her and tossed it toward the biker with the long beard. "Okay, let's go, Slug. I'll give you a hand to upright your bike. This time. But you'd better fix that kickstand before that old motorcycle falls over again — with the next stiff breeze." The handsome man looked at her. "Might accidentally hurt a pretty young lady next time."
The group laughed more. Slug kept his eye on April as he inched around the table. She didn't see anything funny. She'd known she hadn't hit the motorcycle with her car door. But she'd been discombobulated all the same.
The man in the bomber jacket gave Slug a reprimanding look and then turned to her. "Slug here's real sorry he hasn't fixed that old kickstand. Even though we've been warning him about it for months. Right, Slug?"
"Yeah. I'm sorry and all," said Slug. He reached out his tattoo-covered hand and snatched the mirror.
The two men left with the twisted chrome.
Slug didn't sound very sorry. Even if the broken mirror wasn't her fault, she didn't want to face him alone in that dark parking lot. She was staying right where she was for the time being.
She wanted to do this for Ben. She'd have to stay no matter what.
Mr. Morrow said, "April, if you'll take a seat, we can get started."
So now he knew who she was.
Glancing across the room, she saw the ladies from the group she wanted to join all decked out in their Lilly Pulitzer sweaters and pearls, cozily talking around a couple of the round banquet tables they'd pulled together on the other side of the room. Shoot. All the other chairs were filled — except for two at the table with the bikers. The evening couldn't possibly get any worse.
An older man with long, gray hair and a woolly beard stood up and said, "Here's one, miss."
Things had just gotten worse. All she could do now was to sit. She clutched her purse tightly against her body and eased her way between the tables to one of the two empty seats.
Nothing was going to happen. Everything would be fine now that her little mirror emergency was over. These people had to be good people, right? They were here to help Ben, too. And Ben needed lots of help.
April fidgeted with the pearls at her neck. She knew there was no good reason for her insides to be so tense. These people weren't the same rioters from Rebel Angels who'd burned down her father's old hardware store for revenge. She straightened the pleats again on her skirt, trying to forget about the unfortunate event that had divided the town. But how could she possibly forget with all the reminders at the table? The earthy scent of leather hung all around her.
She wound her arms around her purse and sat up straight. If only she could leave. But she wouldn't know what to tell Mr. Houseman. She had already promised him she was going to help.
She moved her seat closer to the empty chair, but as soon as she had, the man in the bomber jacket returned. Without Slug. And he'd spotted the empty seat.
Nothing she could do now. She scooted her chair back to its original position and closed her eyes. Take deep breaths. Take deep breaths. With her next inhalation, her senses were filled with the most heavenly fragrance. Spicy and aromatic.
She opened her eyes to find the striking stranger sitting next to her. She turned to look at the table behind her.
The hostess closed the door. April was simply going to have to make the best of the situation. For now. Maybe later she could somehow wiggle her way over to the Lilly Pulitzer table. April also had an ulterior motive to help with the fundraiser. This was going to be her magic ticket into the Summerbrook Ladies League — something she'd always wanted — and something her mother had always wanted for her.
Her best friend, Jenna, had automatically joined the league years ago with all the other young debutants in town. Right after the big ball. April wanted to be a part of it — all the cookbook committees, the parties, and the fashion shows. She and her BFF would do them all together. If only she could get in. But she wasn't a debutant and her family didn't have the pedigree that Jenna's did. Jenna didn't care, though. Never had cared that April had her ... past, and she loved Jenna for that. It wasn't going to be so easy, however, for April to enter the cliquish league.
Mr. Morrow, president of the Summerbrook Civic Club, tapped a butter knife on the wooden lectern at the front of the room. "Thank you all for coming tonight. I guess you know why we're here."
She heard some stirring, and she caught a glimpse of a woman near the lectern nodding, but April didn't move. She stared ahead and hoped to blend in with the others at her table. But how her pleats and pearls were going to fit in with all the rivets and leather she didn't know exactly.
Mr. Morrow looked down. "When Ben Evans's grandfather came to me and told me about Ben's leukemia and his medical bills at the Children's Hospital, I knew that all the Summerbrook civic organizations had to get involved in a big way. We're all going to work together like we haven't before."
The handsome biker with the blue eyes and hard, angular jawline leaned in his chair and closed the space between them. She clutched her purse even tighter to minimize her presence at the table. She turned her attention back to Mr. Morrow.
"We're all going to undertake multiple projects as quickly as we can for Ben. Those medical bills aren't going away after only one fundraiser. Each table or team will choose a date for their event and the type of project they want to sponsor," Mr. Morrow explained.
Excerpted from Bikers and Pearls by Vicki Wilkerson, Libby Murphy. Copyright © 2013 Vicki Wilkerson. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Looks can be deceiving… This lovely book is a romantic journey of self-discovery, acceptance and understanding. With wonderful characters and a captivating story, it has a perfect combination of moments that are heartwarming and touching, those which make your heart ache and humour at which I laughed out loud. If ever there was a man that you just want to grab onto and hug tightly (amongst other things!), it's Bullworth Clayton. The saying 'never judge a book by its cover' could have been created for him and I absolutely adored him, inside and out. Our heroine, April, is sweet and has a huge heart, but mentally scarred by events in her past, she has a safe idealistic future mapped out and it doesn't involve going anywhere near the biker brigade. Easier said than done when a charity fundraiser means working alongside one particularly sexy, kindhearted biker. Like a moth to a flame... Admittedly their chemistry wasn't electric, nor was there really any sexual tension but it worked; it was realistic, I loved how they grew to know and understand one another and whilst at times I wanted to shake some sense into April, I was also desperate for her and Bull to find their HEA. It's a cracking addition to the Bliss line of books and I would certainly recommend. Here's hoping Vicki Wilkerson treats us to more from Summerbrook. I received a copy of this book as an ARC from the publisher for an honest and unbiased opinion.
Opposites attract in Vicki Wilkerson's delightfully sweet romance Bikers and Pearls, a Summerbrook Novel. All of her life, April Church has wanted to fit in, and she hopes that becoming a member of the Summerbrook Ladies League will do the trick. She attends a charity fundraiser meeting for Ben, a local boy who has cancer, thinking that being a part of this group will improve her chances of being voted into the Ladies League. April is stunned to find out that she will be working with the bikers to plan their part of the charity event. During this meeting, she meets the ruggedly handsome, longhaired, and tattooed biker Bullworth "Bull" Clayton. Since April fears motorcycles and bikers, her attraction to Bull is surprising. At first, April comes off a little bit shallow with her primary goal being in the Ladies League. But as the story rolls along, she shows her true colors as a generous character who truly wants to help Ben. But in her relationship with Bull, April struggles with her preconceived notions, which end up clouding her judgment about bikers and motorcycles. Sadly, April always jumps to conclusions with Bull and more often than not the wrong conclusions. Bull's issues are similar to April's. At first, Bull only sees April as a pretentious person who wants to be in the Ladies League, just the kind of group that Bull can't stand. During Bull's youth, his local Ladies League shunned his mother and did not help his family when his brother became very ill. The chemistry between April and Bull sizzles as they get to know each other. When April fully realizes that her paralyzing fear might cost her the man she loves, she significantly changes her attitude and makes a concerted effort to leave that fear behind, which is a beautiful thing to see. With realistic and engaging characters who shine throughout the story, Bikers and Pearls is a satisfying heartfelt love story. I received an eBook copy of the book for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
First of all I just have to say WOW! This book is a wonderful sweet romance with a lot of emotion. I'm so pleased I was given an opportunity to read Bikers and Pearls in order to share my thoughts with you. April Church is a young woman who has been through some VERY traumatic events that have shaped her life. She has tried to make her life as safe as she possibly can. She's also holds some giant fears about Bikers and their Bikes. When she meets Bull (a proud Biker) she thinks there is no way she can handle working with him and his friends to help Ben. However she has vowed to do whatever it takes to help her little friend Ben get better. The more she gets to know Bull the more she does want to work with him. There is a strong connection between these two that they fight hard. Bullworth Clayton lost a brother to cancer in childhood and has had to fight his own demons from the past. When he meets April he thinks she is nothing but an uptight snot. The more he gets to know her the more discovers he was wrong and wants to get to know her better. This truly is a story of how if love is strong enough it can truly overcome any obstacle or fear placed in it's path. Nothing can come between two people who love and need each other so much. I loved how Bull is exactly what April needs to pull her out of her comfort zone and to be able to forgive, forget, and lead a full life. April is what Bull needs to complete his life and help him deal with his past and show him that he does have a place he belongs. This is one of those wonderful stories that has left me speechless, I want to tell you how fabulous this story is but I just don't know if I have the words to describe all my feelings when I finished this book. Vicki Wilkerson has created characters so touching, charismatic, compassionate, caring, and loyal, that I would love to sit down with them and maybe have one of those chili dogs at the bait shop. I adored all the characters but I felt the deepest connection with April. I just adored her and so felt for her in so many of the situations she was in. Bull of course, who could not possibly love Bull, I know I sure did. That fellow is one wonderful biker, he's hotter than hot, and has huge heart. I also liked Jenna (April's best friend) she soon found out that you have to look beyond the outside package to see what is on the inside. If you enjoy a book with a lot of emotional scenes, some sweet romance, with a little humor thrown in here and there, I think you will enjoy this book. I know I certainly did. I believe I see that this has a series name and number one after it. Ohhh I do hope that means that Ms. Wilkerson is working on another fabulous book. I will be anxious to see what she has in store for us readers next. If you get a chance to read this book, please come to my blog and let me know what your thoughts are.
With a satisfying resolution and fun characters, it’s got a great mix of heart and depth, making April’s journey one to enjoy. - Full review on BookTrib's website or RomanticReadsandSuch on Wordpress
OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! When I was reading this on my nook to highlight and mark pages that I wanted to come back to, to make sure I had everything in my review that I wanted......I think I pretty much marked every page, because the entire book was soooooooooo good!!!! It made it super hard to write a review because I wanted to include EVERYTHING!!!! Okay so the book starts out with April seeing motorcycles everywhere. And when I say everywhere I mean everywhere. She is on her way to a meeting to discuss and think of ways to help Ben. April describes Ben as being special and eventually Ben wiggled his way into her heart and never left. Ben is a little boy who is very sick and the community has gathered to talk about ways of helping the family. Ways to raise money to help pay medical bills and to help Ben find a donor. So while parking her car she parks between two motorcycles and as she goes to open her door the motorcycle next to her falls over. When I read this....I felt sooooo bad for April, I can't imagine what that must feel like and knowing that hundreds of other bikes are surrounding you too. However, beyond the normal fear of motorcycles that some people have April has a horrible life changing memory that involves motorcycles. She was seven and with her father and the accident that day still haunts her today and has shaped the life she has. As April makes her way into the Banquet Room to find the owner of the bike to explain what happened she meets Bull. *Swoon* Side note.....OMG I LOVE BULL!!!!! I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM......he stole my heart from the first crooked smile of deception he gave April and how he only grows more protective of her, even knowing that there isn't a universe in the world they would work out. Here is probably my favorite quote from the book: "He wanted to run his fingers down her neck along her strand of pearls. He needed to breathe in her fragrance and kiss her lips. And he wanted to personally protect her every day of his life if he could have the chance. He wanted to feel her lightness on the back of his heavy bike, holding on to him like he was her guardian." Again *Swoon* I want that.....*sigh* So back to April meeting Bull. She has to sit at his table with other bikers and coincidentally Ben's grandfather is a biker, ohhhhh and I love the bikers names. Jim is his real name, however, he goes by Patch. (There's Patch, Crank, Slug lol I love it!!!) But April ends up being on the bikers "team" instead of the Ladies League team, the team April really wants to be on. I love April's character because she is just one of those people who love and help those around her. She loves her community and that shows through working with the Humanity projects that help build or rebuild homes. She helps a wonderful older women who lives in her building, and of course visit and making sweet little Ben smile. She's the kind of person that I would love to be best friends with, because her heart is genuine and she's real. She has a kind of "dorky" side to her that I love, because I have one too. Most of the book is about coming up with a fund raiser and how Bull and April have to work together and at the same time fight the attraction that the two of them share for one another. Bull tells April that he could never be with someone who would never ride on the back of his bike. And April is sure as hell never getting on one. The book is comical when these two are involved. They push each other to think outside of their little box that they call life. And Bull has quite a few tricks up his sleeve that surprise April and memorize her at the same time. The bike ride is their event and it will raise tens of thousands of dollars. April also goes beyond this to help and try to find a donor for Ben. There are several charity events going on and sooo many different things happen at them. But will April and Bull's past ever allow them to find a future???? Towards the end of the book I was crying....literally had tears coming down my face because there was such an AMAZING scene. Of course I was laughing the entire book, and of course had my awww..... moments and my Oh no OMG FIX IT!!!!!!!!!! That and I think at one point I was yelling at my nook because why can't they just talk. lol I just couldn't put this book down!!! I'm so excited to see what the future works Vicki comes out with. But this is a must read!!!!
In Bikers and Pearls by Vicki Wilkerson, April Church is running late for the meeting to organize the charity she most wants to be a success. But when she shows up the restaurant is filled with motorcycles and the only parking spot left is next to the motorcycles. A vehicle she is terribly afraid off and the drivers even more after what happened to her father when she was a child. Unfortunately when she opens her door one of the motorcycles falls over and she knows that she didn’t touch it, but that may not make a difference to the owner! But she will get help and talk to the owner to pay for damages. Bullworth Clayton doesn’t like the ladies wearing pearls that believe they are so high and mighty. Now he has to deal with pastel-and-pearls April. He only wants to show her to the dining room where the meeting is being held, but she treats him like he is going to do something to her, and she has a motorcycle mirror in her hands. But as he tries to offer his help she declines. Unfortunately for April all the seats at her preferred table are taken, she has to sit with the people she can least relate with. At the meeting each table has to decide on how they will contribute and gather funds for the charity, and she is now stuck with all the motorcyclist. Bull believes that April is as judgmental as all the other pearl clad ladies, but April keeps doing and saying things that keep him wondering if maybe his opinions may be wrong. While April knows that not all men in motorcycles are dangerous, she still believes that those that mainly ride them are dangerous, but her opinions are about to be turned upside down by Bull. As Bull and April work together, they learn that not everything is as it seems on the outside, and what truly matters is on the inside. They will have experiences that they would not have believed possible with each other. And the dull life that April lived will be put into perspective along with her fears and believes. While Bull will also have to learn to see beyond the outside façade and into the real woman that hides underneath all the propriety of a the woman that wants to be socially accepted.. Both Bull and April will learn that belonging does not mean to be part of something that you don’t believe in, but belonging and accepting yourself first. A fun and hot read, Bull will make you fall in love, while April may get on your nerves a bit but will also break your heart, don’t miss Bikers and Pearls by Vicki Wilkerson.
April Church was a good girl with a big heart whose volunteer work brought her together with a young boy fighting leukemia. She would do anything to help Ben and his family raise money to pay for his treatments and the mounting medical bills. April also desperately wanted to be a part of the Summerbrook Ladies League, and the fundraiser was to be her way in because what she lacked in pedigree, she could make up for in volunteer work for the community. But her big heart was about to be tested when she was teamed up with a group of bikers. She couldn't have imagined anything more nightmarish than having to work with a "gang". To make things worse, one of them seemed to have his eye on her, Bullworth "Bull" Clayton, and she had to work with him as a team. Even though she felt the stirrings of attraction, her deep rooted fear of bikers and gangs caused her to pull away or try to ignore him. Especially after she learned that Bull used to be a member of the Rebel Angels, a vicious biker gang. When he rescues her one night from a group of drunken, preppy college boys, everything she thought she knew about who the good guys and who the bad guys were was about to be questioned. Overall I enjoyed the story and seeing their relationship go through the motions from being cautious to interested to seeing past the outer shell. The characters were very likeable, perhaps Bull more so than April, but only because he didn't make a big deal out of how others perceived him. Their chemistry didn't burn up the pages, but I felt like they became friends first which made their budding relationship much sweeter. The push and pull between them felt realistic and believable to me. They seemed to have more in common than not, and seeing them come to that realization was a fun journey. I thought the story kept up a good pace, and I was eager to keep up with the main characters and how they would find a way to get their HEA. Unfortunately there were several things that pulled me out of the story, one of them being unnecessary repetition: 1) Why the Rebel Angels scared April 2) Jenna's insistence that April stay away from Bull and his biker buddies because Bull used to be a member of Rebel Angels 3) How the fire ruined her father's business/the town 4) Why April wanted to join the Ladies League and 5) "... for Ben". Almost every thought or reasoning behind one of April's actions ended with "for Ben". If the reason was to drive a point home, I felt that the point was established within the first couple of chapters. If "for Ben" was part of the heroine's pep talk to remind herself why she was doing certain things, it made her sound like was using Ben as a crutch for her inability to cope with her feelings. Fortunately, the plot in general, some well placed humor and April's ability towards the end to self-analyze made up for the shortcomings. My favorite scene of all was at the end between Bull and her parents. That left me with a smile on my face. I would read this again as well as the next book in the series. Rating: 3.5 rounded up to 4 Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.
Sweet Biker This is a much more sweet and tender take on the there very popular them of Biker romance currently so popular in romance land. We also have an opposites attract and class difference tension going on. Interestingly due to a childhood incident, the heroine has a phobia about motorcycles. The hero has a chip on his slider about the kind of person he thinks the heroine is—snobby and part of the pearls and sweaters set. The book is nicely written with and good plot centering around fundraising for a sick child. The love story feels possible. However, I never emotionally connected with the characters nor did I like them much. Any of the people in the book really. The heroine grows as a person which is good but she never had enough charm to begin with for me though I did sympathize with her post trauma issues. Th hero was very judgmental and so that didn’t endear him to me very much. I would try this author again but although there is noting really wrong with this book. I can’t recommend it. 2.5 stars This book was given to me for my honest review, so there you have it.
I just finished one of the sweetest romance from the Bliss collection which is Bikers and Pearls by Vicki Wilkerson. So, lets jump into my thoughts. We all know the saying, "Never judge a book by it's cover." Yet at times we tend to judge people by the way they look or act. At the beginning of the story we meet April Church whose a bit apprehensive when it comes to bikers. A lot has to do with what happen to her when she was younger, which had shaped her fear around bikers. Of course April misjudges Bullworth Clayton (Bull), because all she sees is a biker dude. However, there is more than meets the eye. All she has to do is get pass her prejudice and learn to overcome her fears. Sounds like an easy, right? Not so much. Plus, she's trying to impress this snooty group of women, the Ladies League, so she may become like them. In all seriousness, I adore Bikers and Pearls. I found the story cute and fun. I love how April learns to overcome her fears as she gets to know Bull and his friends. Plus, she starts to realize she shouldn't have judge these guys, because of their appearance. So, if you are looking for a story that's sweet and cute, you might want to give Bikers and Pearls a try. Who knows you might want to ride off in the sunset with a biker dude yourself. Copy provided by publisher
Reviewed by Kim for Read Your Writes Book Reviews For a first time author, I think Vicki did a wonderful job of telling a story. While I won’t say the book grabbed my attention and didn’t let go until the very end, I will say that it kept me wondering what was going to happen. Most of the Bliss books I’ve read have included “behind the door romance”. Meaning the action is alluded to. Bikers and Pearls is what I call a truly sweet romance. The most you are going to get is kissing, which is fine. Bikers and Pearls is a book about first impressions and realizing that impressions can generally be wrong. What you see isn’t really what you get... That sometimes, you have to look within yourself to understand that the problem isn’t with the person in front of you, but with the person you see looking back at you in the mirror. Bull Clayton is a biker through and through. He dresses the part and acts the part. But there’s more to Bull than meets the eye. He is truly a person you can’t judge by outward appearances. Bull has a past. One he isn’t proud of, but has worked very hard to overcome. April Church is a heroine in desperate need of evolving and stepping out of her comfort zone. April desperately wants to be a part of “high society” i.e. the Ladies League, but she doesn’t have the pedigree to get in automatically and has to work for it. Due to a tragic and traumatic event as a child, April likes to live her life in her own comfort zone. She’s the Risk Assessment Manager for a local insurance company and assesses the risk in everything she does. If it’s too risky, she doesn’t do it. These two people from different backgrounds are brought together by one little boy. Together the journey they each set out on will change their perceptions of each other and those around them. Their chance meeting will also be the catalyst for their own self discovery and growth. Their journey is truly an enjoyable read. Rating: 3.5 Star (Liked it. It was enjoyable. You should give it a try for yourself.) Source: Publisher