Knuckle Down

Knuckle Down

by Chantal Fernando

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501172977
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication date: 07/09/2018
Series: The Cursed Ravens MC Series , #2
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 266
Sales rank: 6,093
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Chantal Fernando is the New York Times bestselling author of the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club series, the Cursed Raven Motorcycle Club series, and the Maybe series, along with several other novels. She lives in Western Australia, where she is working on her next book. Find her online at AuthorChantalFernando.com, and on Twitter and Facebook.

Read an Excerpt

Knuckle Down 1

CELINA
“Holy shit, Celina, I still can’t believe your article made the second page,” my best friend, Akeira, says, yelling into my ear. “I’m so proud of you! I’m going to frame it and put it on my wall.”

I hold the phone slightly farther away and smile. She probably would too; she’s always been my biggest supporter. As a journalist, making the first few pages of the newspaper is a huge deal, especially considering it’s my first time to do so. “Thank you. I’m pretty thrilled about it. But you don’t need to put an article about the high crime rate among the homeless on your fridge. That’s kind of depressing.”

“I don’t care, you wrote it,” she huffs. “Next time, it will be the front page, I just know it.”

“That’s the plan,” I sigh dreamily before we say our good-byes. I’m more than determined to get my name on the front page one day; I just need to find a story worthy enough in my boss’s eyes to put me there. It’s not a matter of if but when. I will get there eventually. This is only the beginning of my career, and I’m determined to succeed and become the type of journalist who brings real issues to light.

“Well done, Celina,” Robert, my least favorite person and a senior editor, says as he wanders toward my desk.

“Thank you,” I reply, a little warily. Unlike my best friend, Robert isn’t one of my fans and is probably hating the fact that I’ve accomplished anything. “I’m really happy Tim chose to put it on page two,” I continue, rubbing it in a little. “I wasn’t expecting it.”

“Me either,” he admits, shrugging and sliding his hands into the pockets of his beige chinos. “Must’ve been a slow week. Don’t think you’ll get that lucky again. You’ll need something huge to break the cover, and I don’t think homelessness is going to do it. Keep dreaming though.”

He turns and leaves, too fast to hear me mutter the word asshole.

I do prefer to write about topics that can help our city, or at least let people know what is going on and how they can help, unlike Robert, who prefers celebrity gossip, or any kind of scandal. I know those kinds of things sell, but surely that isn’t all that everyone wants to read about with their morning coffee.

I pack up my desk, not letting my jerk of a colleague ruin my buzz, my mind wandering to tomorrow night for my cousin Erin’s birthday party. She’s chosen to have it at the Cursed Ravens MC clubhouse, where her boyfriend is a member. I haven’t met him yet, so I’m curious to see how that goes, and I have to admit, never in my life did I think I’d be walking through those infamous clubhouse doors. It actually is a dream opportunity. I’m going to walk into a place that not many will ever see the inside of, and those who will, will never disclose any information about it.

The public knows so little about the Cursed Ravens MC, and I know that if I wrote a story on them it would make the front page and leave Robert licking his wounds. I could find out about the parties they throw, what their clubhouse looks like, or even how many people belong to the MC. Whatever it was, people would eat it up. I wonder if they know they’re letting a journalist in?

I guess I will soon find out.



I slide out of my car, closing the door behind me and glancing around the busy parking lot. There are men standing out front near the gates, asking everyone for their names before they allow people to drive through. It seems like a bit of overkill. I don’t know how many people Erin invited, but I know our whole family is coming. Maybe the security is so no one tries to gate-crash? I don’t pretend to know how motorcycle clubs run, but I wasn’t expecting this.

I pull on the hem of my favorite little black dress, sliding the strap of my Givenchy Pandora bag, the one Akeira bought me for my twenty-first birthday, over my bare shoulder. I’m about to text Erin to tell her I’m here when she rushes out the entrance doors, a big smile on her face, her blue eyes sparkling. And then her arms are around me, and her warm presence has me suddenly feeling at home even though that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s been a few months since I’ve seen her, but, as always, it’s like we’ve never been apart. I guess that’s what is so special about family—no matter what, the love never changes.

“You look beautiful,” she says, hands on my cheeks. “Wearing your signature red lipstick, I see.”

“Did you expect anything else?” I ask, smiling. I happen to be fond of a bloodred lip, and she knows it. As she lets go of my cheeks, I open my bag and pull out a red-wrapped present, a black bow stuck to it. “Happy birthday, Erin.”

“Thank you,” she replies, taking the gift and eyeing it greedily. “I told you not to get me anything.”

“I know, but I couldn’t not,” I tell her, looking toward the clubhouse, a nervous energy flowing through my body. “And I know you secretly love getting presents,” I continue, as she leads me toward the entrance.

“This is true,” she responds, laughing softly. “And you always give the best gifts.”

“Hey, Erin, who is this?” a man asks, coming over to us before we get inside. He’s dressed in all black and has brown eyes with short dark hair.

“This is my cousin Celina. Celina, this is Shack,” she says, nodding toward the man. “And, Shack, don’t even think about it.”

“Why not?” he asks, smirking. His eyes return to me. “Nice to meet you, Celina.”

“You too,” I call back as Erin drags me inside.

I eat the place up.

I take in every detail, unable to stop myself from going into journalist mode. We walk down a small hallway and into a spacious room that must be their living area. It’s been turned into a makeshift stage, dressed up with decorations, balloons, signs, and ribbons, and is filled with leather-clad men. It’s surprisingly . . . normal. It just looks like someone’s house. Not a place I would think bikers hang out and live.

“What do you think?” Erin asks, taking in the room with me just as a tall, handsome man approaches us. His eyes are zeroed in on my baby cousin.

“It’s perfect,” I tell her as the man stops in front of us, turning his attention to me.

“You must be Celina,” he murmurs, offering me his hand. “I’m Ace. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

I take his hand and smile up at him. “Nice to meet you too, Ace.”

While I’ve heard a lot about Ace during my phone call catch-ups with Erin, meeting him does not do Erin’s descriptions justice. With his light gray eyes and light hair, I can see why Erin is so taken. He’s extremely good-looking, but also has a Don’t fuck with me or you’ll regret it vibe that any woman would find appealing. But I can instantly see how much he adores Erin—the way he looks at her with such love and devotion. The two of them make a stunning couple.

“Isn’t he dreamy?” Erin asks, checking out her man. “Seriously, who knew they made them like this in real life?”

Ace chuckles and pulls Erin into his arms. “Can I get either of you a drink?”

“We’d love one,” Erin replies. Ace kisses the top of her head and heads to the bar.

“That was a bit cute,” I tell her, arching a brow. “I can see why you’re so smitten.”

“I don’t know how it all happened, but here I am,” she says, puffing out a breath. “And I’m so happy you got to meet him. It was so weird that he hadn’t met you when you mean so much to me.”

Erin and I have always been close, and I consider her one of my favorite people in the world. I love seeing her so happy, especially after everything she’s been through recently. From finding out that her mother—my aunt Louise—never told her that Brock, the man who raised her as his own, wasn’t Erin’s real father, to the fact that her biological father is actually the president of a motorcycle club, she’s had a rough go of it this year. None of us knew the truth. At least I sure as hell didn’t. My father, Louise’s older brother, also denies knowing the truth. I can’t deny being shocked, finding out that straitlaced Aunt Louise once dated a badass biker guy—but hey, it’s always the ones you least suspect.

“You must be the cousin,” a man with blond hair and blue eyes interrupts as he appears next to us. “I see beauty runs in the family.”

“The cousin has a name,” I reply, my hand going to my hip, a smirk playing on my lips.

Erin nudges me with her arm. “Celina, this is Rogue. Rogue, Celina.”

“She does have a name. And a beautiful one at that. About time I officially meet you, Celina,” he says, shaking my hand, blue eyes pinned on me. “Erin’s been going on about you all day.”

“It’s not every day you bring your family to a biker clubhouse.” She shrugs, not ashamed by the fact. “I’ve been excited all month, counting down.”

“I know,” Rogue replies in a dry tone. He looks at me. “She sends out email notifications reminding us, and with a checklist of shit we have to do. Do you get those too? Or are we the only unlucky ones?”

“Oh, I get them all right,” I tell him with a short laugh. “I’ve been getting them since she got her first phone when she was twelve. I believe the first one I received was a wish list for her birthday, and the number one thing she wanted was a puppy.”

He winces, but I don’t miss the amusement in his gaze. He cares about Erin, and to be honest it’s kind of hard not to. She’s just one of those people you instantly adore.

“Ahh, shit. I’m gonna go save Erin’s mom from Shack,” he murmurs, touching my shoulder briefly and saying, “It was nice to meet you.”

“You too,” I reply, watching him rush over to Aunt Louise, who looks extremely uncomfortable with Shack next to her. I almost want to laugh, but I don’t, because if she sees me she will probably kick my butt. I bring my attention back to Erin, who has a wide smile on her face, looking at a man onstage who is setting up a microphone.

“That’s Gage. My father,” she says with pride, pointing to him.

I’ve never seen her so content, and she truly looks like this is where she belongs. She’s so comfortable around everyone here, and she can’t stop beaming, happiness just radiates out of her.

Home is where your heart is, I guess.

“I can’t believe your mom actually came,” I say, eyes still on her, Shack, and Rogue. “And where is Brock?”

“He’s getting a drink,” Erin replies, bringing her eyes back to me. “And I’m surprised too, but she’s really trying to mend things between us.”

“That’s good.” I nod, knowing how hurt Erin was because of her mother’s lies. “You’re a good daughter, Erin.”

“I don’t know about that,” she mutters, threading her arm through mine. “But I’m trying. I want everyone to get along, you know? Everyone has played a role in my life, which got me where I am today and made me who I am.”

“Me included?” I tease.

“You especially,” she exclaims, nudging my shoulder. “You’ve always been there, Celina, and even better than that, you’ve always been on my side. Loyal. Trustworthy. Honest. You can’t ask for more than that. The men here go on about loyalty, but I’ve already had that my whole life, from you.”

“Ahh, come on, don’t make me get all emotional,” I tell her, softening. “This is meant to be a party.”

She rolls her eyes at me. “Pretend to be a hard-ass all you want, Celina, but I know you. You’re kind, generous, loving, and, inside, soft as a motherfucking marshmallow, although for some reason, you pretend not to be.”

I tilt my head to the side and flash her an unimpressed look.

“But you know what? That’s a good thing, because not everyone deserves your sweet side. I know why you protect yourself; I understand it, and I don’t want to see you hurt either, so I’m glad that wall is there,” she continues, glancing up at me with a gentle look in her blue eyes. “I’m so happy you came tonight.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” I tell her honestly. “Even if it comes with a deep and meaningful explanation about why I’m so closed off.”

She simply grins, and I turn my head as another man appears in front of us.

“There you are,” she says to the bearded man fondly. “I was looking for you.”

“I was doing a boundary check,” he informs her.

“Celina, this is my bestie, Knuckles,” she introduces us, and as soon as I lock eyes with the man in front of me, I can’t seem to look away. He’s tall, much taller than my five foot six, and I have to lift my face to see his brown eyes.

“Bestie?” I ask with an arched brow, amused at Erin calling such a big, burly man something so girly, but the man before me nods.

“I’ve claimed that title apparently. And you’re Erin’s cousin? I’ve heard about you,” he murmurs, offering me his hand, which I take while eyeing the tattoo of a Viking’s face on his thumb before bringing my gaze back to his eyes, which are locked on me. I take in his shaved head, scruffy beard, and full lips and realize why I’ve never dated a man like this before.

He has heartbreaker written all over him.

“I am, yes,” I say, glancing down at my baby cousin. “And I can only imagine the things she’s said about me.”

Erin starts to laugh. “Don’t worry, I haven’t told them all our secrets.”

I smile and shake my head, pulling my hand from his. The way he gently held mine in his rough one sent a weird feeling through my body, and I have the sudden urge to step away from him and clear my head.

Ace returns with our drinks, which I greedily accept, suddenly feeling a little overwhelmed with all these huge bikers around me. It’s a lot to take in.

They are a lot to take in.

I’ve been around powerful men before, but mainly the professional kind. These men have a whole different vibe about them. We all chat for a little, and it’s not long before I find my glass empty.

“If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get another drink,” I tell them all. I’m about to step away when Knuckles stops me with a barely there touch on my arm, sending a shiver up my spine.

“I’ll get it. What do you want?” Knuckles asks me in that deep tone of his, the silver in his ears catching my eyes. In any other situation, I’d have taken him up on the offer, but this drink is my escape plan. Besides, no good decisions are made after a good-looking man offers to get you a drink. Men rarely do it out of common courtesy. Maybe he wants to talk to me, I don’t know, or maybe he’s just looking for a little action after the party. No matter his reasoning, I’m not going to engage.

“It’s okay; I can get it,” I tell him, offering him a small smile. That smile hopefully says, I’m fine, no hard feelings, but I can get my own damn drink. I look to Erin. “Do you want anything else, birthday girl?”

“I’m okay, thanks,” she says, looking between the two of us. “I’m going to go check on Eden. I can see Rogue talking to her, and I think she’s about to faint.”

“I’ll come with you,” Ace chimes in.

Eden is Erin’s younger sister but she has a more modest, gentle aura about her. I can just imagine how overwhelmed she must be talking to a man like Rogue.

I grin, nod, and quickly make my exit, heading to the bar and taking a long, deep breath. “Can I have a vodka, lemon and lime, please?” I ask the young gentleman manning the bar. I glance behind me and see Knuckles approaching. I turn back to the man and say, “Make it a double.”

The man smirks and ducks his head, getting to the business of making my much-needed drink.

“So what’s your deal?” Knuckles asks, studying me thoughtfully. “Every time Erin talks about you, she says she admires how independent you are.”

I smile at the way Erin thinks about me. If that is what comes to mind first for her, I can’t be doing such a bad job as an older cousin.

“I don’t know how to reply to that,” I tell him honestly. “Is being independent a bad thing?” Because for me, it’s something I’ve strived to be. I don’t like to rely on anyone, and I’ve made it so I never have to.

“No,” he replies instantly. “It’s admirable.”

“But?” I ask, pursing my lips, knowing there’s more to come.

I’ve heard it all before. The truth is, some men are intimidated by me. I know that sounds egotistical, but they’ve actually said that to me before. Some men don’t want a woman who is too strong, too capable. They want to be needed, wanted, and they like being in charge. I can’t change who I am though, and I won’t. I’m sure there’s a man out there for me who will be proud of the woman I am and not want to tone me down to make themselves feel more like a man.

He laughs, a deep, rich sound. “But . . . I don’t think it’s the main adjective people should use when trying to describe someone. Being independent is what you do and how you act, not who you are as a person.”

I must admit, his comment surprises me. I hate those kinds of comments that are down on feminism. What he said actually had some depth, even if I don’t necessarily agree with him. I sigh and deflect, since I don’t know how to respond. It works every time. “Is this you being drunk and trying to have a deep and meaningful conversation?”

“I’ve only had one drink,” he shoots back, nodding to the bar. “And yours is waiting for you. Jasper makes some fuckin’ good drinks.”

I pick up my glass, taking a long sip. “Thanks, Jasper!” I call out to my hero, who has already moved on and is making someone else’s glass of salvation. He lifts his head and flashes me a charming, very amused smile.

“So you only like men who bring you alcohol? I’ll have to remember that.”

I bring my attention back to the delicious, completely infuriating man before me. “Are you insinuating I don’t like men who don’t?”

Because it sounds like he is.

And if that’s true, I don’t know how he’s gotten this impression that I don’t like men, but he’s not the first to think this. On the contrary, I love men. From their smell to the power in their touch, there’s no feeling better than when you have that chemistry and connection with a good man.

“You didn’t seem to like the idea of me offering to get you a drink. Don’t like chivalry either?”

Okay, now he’s just being an asshole.

“Because I wanted to get my own drink?” I ask him in a dry tone. “Well, aren’t you a charmer. If you must know, I don’t let strangers—especially strange men—get my drinks. We live in a time where people can put drugs in a drink. If I recall, I think something like that happened to my cousin here. So excuse me for being cautious about my drinks, especially within these walls.”

Does he think I’m an idiot? These are modern times and women have to be cautious nowadays. Besides, I heard Erin’s crazy story about being poisoned. I’m not taking any chances.

And I know his type.

He’s an alpha male, used to getting his way, and assumes his word is law and will be listened to at all times. He’s demanding and in control. Used to taking charge. Has a woman ever told him no? I sincerely doubt it. He’s a dangerous mix of confident and good-looking in a rough way, and let’s not forget his place here in the MC.

He’s the fucking trifecta of the male race.

And he knows it.

“Whoa,” he replies with his hands in the air. “Just trying to understand you,” he adds with a casual shrug. “Don’t mean any offense.”

“And why would you want to try to understand a woman you’ve just met, Knuckles?” I ask, putting emphasis on his name. I can only imagine how he got the road name, and as I run my gaze over his scarred hands, I know I’m right.

He’s a brute.

And he’s standing here and judging me, trying to pass it off as curiosity.

You know what this man needs?

A filter.

“Maybe because the woman in question is the first one who has caught my eye in years,” he admits, gaze unwavering, pinning me with its intensity. “And of course I’m fucking up my first impression.” He shakes his head as if he’s in a fog.

My eyes flare, taken aback by his reply and his stark honesty.

“Well, I wasn’t expecting that,” I say, tone gentling.

I don’t know what else to say. I’m the first woman to catch his eye in years? I find that kind of hard to believe, but I guess I’ve been making assumptions about him all night, and we know that people aren’t always who we expect them to be.

“Why don’t you let me make it up to you by taking you out to dinner sometime this week?” he continues, leaning against the bar and scanning my eyes.

“Oh,” I blurt out. “I can’t,” I say, forehead furrowing as I think of an excuse to make. “I’m sorry.”

If there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s my self-control. I’ve always made sure to go for men who will be good for me. If they aren’t adding something to my already fulfilled life, then I don’t want them. I don’t want trouble, and I don’t want any kind of drama. And I sure as hell don’t want a bad boy.

Unfortunately, I can’t help whom I’m attracted to.

What I can do though is control who I allow to get close to me and which men I give a chance to.

An icy glass clasped in my hand, the condensation making my palm and fingers numb, I offer him an apologetic smile and make a quick exit, seeing Erin on the dance floor and heading straight for her.

“Did you save Eden from Rogue’s good looks?” I joke, casually glancing back at Knuckles, only to see him still standing alone in the same spot I left him, staring straight back at me.

Fuck.

I push away the slither of regret that slides over me and bring my focus back to Erin.

“Yeah. She really needs to work on her game. She was just standing there, wide-eyed, not even replying to his questions because she was so distracted by his looks,” Erin says, amusement dancing in her eyes. “Although, I guess I can’t really blame her.”

I laugh and wrap my arm around her. “No, you can’t. You know, when you told me about this whole MC thing, this is not how I pictured it.”

I mean, I had all these misconceptions about Erin’s life here, and after meeting these people, I realize I’m wrong for judging so quickly. I thought the men wouldn’t be as nice and as welcoming, and I didn’t picture them going out of their way to decorate the place for Erin. They are a family, and I’m getting a glimpse of that. Don’t get me wrong, I imagine it’s not all parties and laughter, but I can just feel the bond between everyone and it’s contagious. The vibe here is something else.

“Me either,” she admits, holding on to my waist. “Thanks for being open-minded about it though.”

“Are you kidding me? I’ve always wondered what it looks like in here.” I grin, teasing her. “And you know that anywhere you go, I’ll follow. You’re one of my favorite people in the world, and I’m here for you if you need me.”

“I know,” she says with a soft smile. “I wanted to call you a few times when I was first here, but I don’t know, I guess it was something I needed to face on my own. I can’t always expect someone to bail me out; I’m not a teenager anymore.”

“No, you’re not, are you?” I mutter, squeezing her tighter. I might have only six years on her, but growing up, that felt like plenty. As we get older, the gap is closing though, and soon it won’t feel like she’s much younger than me at all. How time has flown. I remember Erin on her first day of high school and how she’d asked me to drop her off. Not her mom, or her dad, she wanted me. As we sat in the car, I could tell how nervous she was. So I’d said, “I’ll pick you up at three, okay? You have nothing to worry about. You’re beautiful and smart, and if anyone gives you any shit I’ll make their lives a living hell.”

She’d smiled, taken a deep breath, and nodded. “You’re right, I’ve got this.”

She did.

And now she’s in college.

This time though, she doesn’t need me to drop her off.

We’re all so busy in our own lives that sometimes we forget to stop and enjoy the present.

I look back at Knuckles, who is still watching me, and then turn to face the stage, where Rogue is about to sing.

I want to be in the present, not be reckless.

When I was invited to this party, I admit that it briefly crossed my mind that I could write a story about the Cursed Ravens. It would be a firsthand account, and I know my boss, Tim, would eat it up. And Erin never said anything about keeping what I see “off the record,” but ultimately, she didn’t have to. I love my career, but I love my family more. I’d never do anything to betray Erin, especially because of how much faith she has in me.

It’ll be like I wasn’t even here.

Customer Reviews

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Knuckle Down 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Like the book. Enjoyed the story line better.
bbarneybooks28 10 months ago
At face value, there’s no way that Knuckles, the Cursed Ravens Motorcycle Club’s sergeant-at-arms and single dad, and Celina, Erin’s cousin and a journalist for the local newspaper, should want anything to do with one another…not only because they live in contradictory worlds, but they also seem to be on opposite sides when it comes to breaking the law. But despite Knuckles and Celina’s very obvious differences, it’s clear from their initial interactions and the more than mutual attraction, that there’s something worth pursuing between them, even if Knuckles thought he’d never want anything ‘real’ with another woman after his ex and the fact that Celina’s walls seem to be even higher than his own, which means he’ll have to work if he wants anything with her other than a whole lot of sexual chemistry. I absolutely adored Knuckles in Erin and Ace’s story, not only because he was Erin’s ‘bestie,’ but because it was easy to see just how much he loves his two daughters; he’s a born protector, refusing to allow his girls or his brothers to get hurt or suffer needlessly if he can help it. Celina’s an interesting heroine; she’s fiercely independent and driven to succeed, and she seems to have a standard way to live her life, which means that if someone or something doesn’t fit her wants and needs, adding something to the good life she has then it’s not worth it, but she can’t seem to completely control herself when it comes to Knuckles. The storyline is a bit predictable, given Celina’s profession, her desire to get her name on her newspaper’s front page, and the fact that the public doesn’t know much about the Cursed Ravens Motorcycle Club, but those factors didn’t really prevent my enjoyment of the story. It also helps that the climax of the conflict doesn’t occur at the end of the story; in fact, after revelations threaten to destroy Celina and Knuckles’ fairly new relationship, there’s a lot more to their story, and while other complications arise, they’re working together a lot more than they’re working against each other. There’s so much more to a motorcycle club than their illegal activities and the out of control parties they throw, and Chantal Fernando presents those ideas through Celina’s eyes, which adds credence to her perspective and allows for a less judgmental understanding of all of the characteristics that make up an MC brotherhood. Bring on Rogue’s story! 4 Poison Apples (The Fairest of All Book Reviews)
BoundlessBookaholic More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this one! I'm giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. This review is for an ARC, and reflects my honest opinion. Oh man, I absolutely loved Knuckles in this one! He was an amazing dad, and such a sweet guy. The way he was with Celina and his girls...it melted my heart. I did connect with Celina more than I did with Erin in the previous book. Maybe because she loves writing/reading, she's older, and has been burned in relationships before? I could keep listing reasons why I liked her better. I loved seeing more of the characters from the previous book, and also meeting some new ones. I will say that nothing really surprised me plot wise, but I usually guess things pretty easily, so it's probably just me. The epilogue, and the ending to the chapter right before it, were super cute. It tied up the book nicely, even though I wanted more still, because I loved the characters. This was a fast, enjoyable read. I could have easily read it in one sitting, if life didn't get in the way of me doing that. I can't wait to read the next book! I'll be sad when I'm done with this series. But that being said, I want to go back and read Chantal's other MC series to compare my feelings.
reececo331 More than 1 year ago
Knuckle Down (The Cursed Ravens MC, #2) by Chantal Fernando the second book in the series of new Motorcycle clubs. The Cursed Ravens have found that they are challenged by political relationships with journalism and other motorcycle clubs which puts everyone into trouble. Knuckles is a single father looking for love and finds it with a Journalist. This leads to problems with our lovers as her boss and ex are in cahoots to make a story not tell the truth. Only an abrupt change of circumstance is able to change not only their lives but the lives of everyone in the motorcycle club and set up the next book Going Rogue. Chantal loves to connect her series, not only from one book to another but from one series to another as you see characters from other two series prominent in this book
UpAllNightBB More than 1 year ago
5 Stars Review by Terren Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog Chantal Fernando's Knuckle Down, the second in the Cursed Ravens MC, did not disappoint. In this book we meet Celina and Knuckle, both who made appearances in the first book. Celina is Erin’s cousin and Knuckles is Erin’s best friend from the club. Opposites attract just like in the first novel. Celina who is more brash than Erin, accepts all of Knuckles, his girls and his lifestyle. Loyal to the core, Celina and Knuckles learn about old flames, babies being kidnapped and finding that one true love. Chantal Fernando writes books you want to read, with remarkable stories that don’t take up a lot of your time. I highly recommend the Cursed Ravens series, you'll devour it in one sitting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A truly enjoyable book. I really live Knuckles and Celine.
gigiluvsbooks2 More than 1 year ago
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 the cousin of another biker’s old lady. Celina is nothing like the women Knuckles used to date. She’s a journalist for the local newspaper, dresses well, 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, bad a** biker worms his way into her heart, she has trouble remembering all the reasons they would never work. But when a scandal at her newspaper breaks the thin trust she has with Knuckles, will she walk away for good? Or will Knuckles fight to keep Celina in his life? Review: First of all Knuckles, is the BEST! How can you not love a character who loves his kids, is a stand-up guy, a gentleman and alpha all at the same time? So far, he is my favorite out of the guys in the Cursed Ravens. Not saying that Celina is not great too, but Knuckles is my favorite. This is the second book in the series and you really do not need to read the series in order to enjoy it. I recommend reading the first one because it was o much fun to read. This is Knuckles and Celina's story. It was just as much fun to read as the first book. There is not as much of a mystery as the first book, this is mostly character couple driven as Knuckles and Celina work out their issues. As her other books, there are lots of fun and snarky dialogue and excellently written sexy times. I highly recommend this Author and series. 4Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
AngelaG_2012 More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars of awesomeness! KNUCKLE DOWN was pretty good! I really liked the characters and the situations that they found themselves in was believable and the storyline kept me entertained. I will say that it took me a couple of chapters to get into the story, but once it clicked, I was fully there. I had a hard time at first with Celina, but she started to grow on me and I ended up really rooting for her in the story. And Knuckle was a very likable character and really endeared himself to me with the way that he was with his daughters and with Celina. The story isn’t your typical biker meets good girl and she gets swept off her feet. There was an instant attraction between the two, but Celina keeps him at arms length for a time due to her own past. But Knuckles doesn’t let that sway him. He went after what he wanted, but he was really good at not being totally controlling with it. He wormed his way right in and that was that! I even enjoyed the angst that came up during the story. Overall, this was an awesome story that made me smile. I really liked the first book in this series, but I do believe that this one blew it out of the water. The end was a bit of a shocker, and the epilogue was very well done and lets readers delve into a bit of Knuckles thinking. I am not really looking forward to the next one!
TheBookNerd5 More than 1 year ago
This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased, honest opinion. You guys know I have a weakness for single dads. Knuckles did not let me down in regards to being such an amazing father. He always put his girls first and was always there for them. I love how he wasn’t with their mother anymore but he didn’t let that affect him seeing his daughters, caring for them, etc. It takes a real man to step up as a father let me tell you. There is also nothing more attractive than a present father. This story follows up Ace of Hearts where we have Erin’s cousin, Celina, front and center for her turn at romance with a MC member. Who better for her to fall for than Erin’s bestie, Knuckles? lol!! I found myself relating to Celina is so many ways. She was afraid of trusting men and allowing them to break down the walls she built up to hide behind. Celina was afraid of getting hurt and putting herself out there when there’s no guarantee that it will all work out. I struggle with putting myself out there too. Trusting others is not easy to do when you’ve been let down so much. I just loved her backstory and how she still wanted to be her own woman/person even after she was in a relationship. Overall, she was such a great character. There’s just something about this series that I cannot get enough of. These stories take me about a day to a day and a half to read. It goes by WAY too fast. I want them to be 500+ pages. I’m going to start the next book, Going Rogue, right away. Rogue has been the guy I’ve been crushing on since book one so I cannot wait to see how his story goes. I’m also hoping the author stretches this series out. I’ll take 5 or more additional books please!! 4.5 Stars
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
KNUCKLE DOWN is the second instalment in Chantal Fernando’s contemporary, adult CURSED RAVENS erotic, MC romance series focusing on the members of the Cursed Ravens MC. This is thirty-three year old, Sargent at Arms and single father Jack ‘Knuckles’ Chester, and twenty-seven year old journalist Celina Hutton’s story line. KNUCKLE DOWN can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed were necessary. The Cursed Ravens MC is a spin off from the author’s Wind Dragon MC series and advances the new series arc several years. Celina is the cousin of Erin Dawson –Ace of Hearts Book one. Told from first person point of view (Celina Hutton) KNUCKLE DOWN follows the building relationship between the Cursed Ravens MC Sargent at Arms and single father Jack ‘Knuckles’ Chester, and journalist Celina Hutton. At her cousin’s birthday party, held at the Cursed Ravens MC property, Celina Hutton would come face to face with her future, in the guise of single father Jack ‘Knuckles’ Chester, a man who loves his daughters, and is very much a man willing to give Celina Hutton a chance with his family. Celina is a struggling journalist who is hoping for the one story that will place her on the front page, a story that could very well involve the Cursed Ravens MC but a story she will destroy when she finds herself falling in love. What ensues is the building romance between Celina and Knuckles; the potential fall-out as Celina is betrayed by the people with whom she works, and a much larger betrayal by someone within the Cursed Ravens MC. Celina and Knuckles have both been burned in the past, and a very independent Celina struggles to let anyone get close. Knuckles’ first priority are his two young daughters but meeting Celina Hutton has our hero thinking about a potential future for himself and his girls. The relationship between Celina and Knuckles is one of immediate attraction but Celina is quick to rebuff Knuckles’ overt flirting and attempts at seduction. The $ex scenes are intimate, passionate and hot, without the use of over the top, sexually graphic, language and text. KNUCKLE DOWN is a dramatic story (3,75 stars) that focuses on family, friendships, betrayal and trust but the story line focuses more on the relationship than the Cursed Ravens MC. The premise is fast paced, revealing and engaging; the romance is sassy, edgy and hot; the characters are charismatic, likable and colorful.
Loupy More than 1 year ago
What a book/series. The author has done an outstanding job of writing a storyline that is hot, sexy, romantic and packed full of strong willed characters. Especially the women who rock these bikers world. Knuckles is a conundrum. He definitely an alpha male with a take no crap attitude but he’s also a teddy bear of a dad to two young girls, an amazing cook in the kitchen, a very caring compassionate man who gives 100% to those he cares about. Plus, he Always shoots straight from the hip and goes after what he wants; and he wants Celina. Celina is a very independent woman who can totally hold her own in almost any situation. She is a local journalist who also happens to be Erin’s cousin (Erin is the prez’s daughter and soon to be Ace’s ole lady). When Celina is invited to Erin’s birthday party at the Cursed Ravens Clubhouse, she is shocked by what she finds. These men are nothing like the stereotype she’s pictured, especially Knuckles with his charm and good looks. But Celina’s been hurt in the past by men and their cheating ways and therefore does her best to steer clear of him. But Knuckles just might have other ideas for her. This story is full of humor, romance, suspense and aghast. Throw in three dogs, two sneaky young girls, two conniving ex’s and a few misunderstandings and you have the makings of one amazing storyline. 2 Thumbs Up for a great addition to the series. I highly recommend reading Knuckle Down and the Cursed Ravens MC series, you won’t be sorry you did.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
With a nickname like "Knuckles" one would automatically assume Jack Chester is a bad boy, which he is, but underneath that rough exterior is a guy with a big heart. A heart that currently belongs to his daughters, they are his number one priority, and he'd do anything for them, but somewhere along the line he needs to make a little time for himself too... maybe work on finding someone to share his nights with. Living in the clubhouse means there are always various women hanging around to occupy his time, but that's not really the kind of woman you can make a life with, he wants someone who understands the life he leads, and is willing to share it with him. When the clubhouse hosts a birthday party for one of their own, they open the house up to guests of her choosing, and she invites her best friend Celina. The moment she walks into the clubhouse she manages to catch the eye of every single MC member in attendance, but it's Knuckles who plans on spending the evening occupying all of her time. He likes what he sees, and from what his friend has told him about her he thinks they would make a pretty good pair, but first he has to convince Celina to give him a chance. She is a no fuss kind of girl, and she isn't really in the market for a man, which means Knuckles has got his work cut out for him... Knuckle Down is a enthralling little page turner that is sure to pull you in from the very first sentence, and keep you completely captivated until the last... the moment my eyes found the words, I couldn't pry them away!! This is my second visit to the series and I have to say that I loved this visit just as much as the first, Knuckles caught my attention in the first installment, and I couldn't wait to meet the man under that rough and tough exterior... and my oh my did I love what I found!! He managed to give Ace some serious competition as my favorite Cursed Raven, he had moments that made me smile, moments that made me blush, and moments that made me swoon... simply said he was a all around good dude!! I got a kick out of his feisty counterpart, she had no trouble keeping him on his toes, and wrapped around her little finger, they were so much fun to watch tangle! Highly recommend you get your hands on this one, it's sure to leave you satisfied! I requested an advanced copy of this title, and I am voluntarily leaving my honest opinion.
Jennifer_e911 More than 1 year ago
The Cursed Ravens are back! This is Knuckles' book, who we met in book 1. It can be read as a stand alone, but there are characters, and events, from the previous book that might not be understood if book 1 hasn't already been read. Knuckles is a single father, and the Sergeant at Arms of the MC. He is an amazing dad, and a dependable brother. However, his previous relationship has left him with little trust, and no tolerance for deception, especially from women. Celina is Erin's (from book 1) cousin. They are best friends, having grown up more like sisters than cousins. She is also a journalist at the local news paper. She, too, has a bad relationship in her past that has left her distrustful, jaded, and closed off from relationships. However, there is an instant attraction between Knuckles and Celina, that neither one can deny is there. While Knuckles embraces the attraction, Celina tries her best to keep her distance. This book was everything I want in an MC romance. Hot men, strong women, crazy drama, and surprises around every corner. And that ending! I never even saw it coming! The chemistry between these two was off he charts smoking hot. The interactions between Knuckles and Celina were at times sweet, at other times they were hilarious. This book was well written, engaging, and pulled me in from the beginning. There were also just enough hints of what is to come, that I'm eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series!
Red_Hatter More than 1 year ago
I was blown away by the first book in this series so I’ve been eagerly awaiting Knuckle Down since the moment I finished the last book. Who knew you could top perfection? I guess Chantal Fernando did, because even after setting the bar so high she sailed right over it with this book. Knuckle Down had me hooked right at the start and gripped me until the end. I was entirely wrapped up in the intense chemistry with these two polar opposites and my new favorite MC family! Knuckles was someone I was drawn to immediately when I first met him in the previous book. His charming and warm personality shined through even then. A tough as nails biker who is also secretly a big sweet heart and happens to be an incredible single dad to two amazing daughters. Yeah, I wanted his story the second I met him and I was so not disappointed with it. Getting to see even more of just how wonderful he is and adding in this man is insanely hot. *happy sigh* Knuckles is everything! Celina, Erin’s cousin, is the complete opposite of Knuckles. A straight laced, fiercely independent journalist with walls around her heart that are near impossible to get through. She didn’t cave easily to the undeniable pull between her and Knuckles. Normally, that would be something that bugs me but Celina is such a truly good person, and let’s be honest, Knuckles is quite the bulldozer I found myself even more pulled into their story by seeing him knock down wall after wall in the sweetest (and hottest) ways possible. I don’t know how Chantal is going to top this book, but I can’t wait to find out what she wows me with next!
DorisB More than 1 year ago
Would any biker ever bring a journalist into their MC clubhouse knowing what trouble that could possible mean for their club? The Cursed Ravens MC are not choir boys, they live a criminals life and have the law just waiting to bring them down. So what was Knuckles thinking bringing Celina into their inner sanctum? Celina first stepped foot into the clubhouse because her closet friend and cousin Erin, was the guest of honor for a party being thrown for her. Erin’s father was the club’s Prez and she is now engaged to Ace who happens to be a Cursed Raven as well. Celina is a person of ethics and one h*ll of a journalist and she has no intention of doing a trash story on the club members. Sure her journalist self can’t help being curious especially since no one gets to enter their clubhouse unless otherwise invited. Knuckles is the sergeant of arms for the club and totally looks the part. He is a man of many surprises with each one wishing you were the one at the receiving end of the things that this man can offer. Be ready for surprises and what a biker is willing to do to win over a very self-confident, self-made woman. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the ever expanding Cursed Ravens.