15 December 2014

Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

On May 15, 1975, fifteen-year-old Ginny Lemon is abducted from a convenience store in Fort Lauderdale by a member of one of the most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs in South Florida.

From that moment on, her life is forever changed. She gets a new name, a new identity and a new life in the midst of the gang’s base on the edge of the Florida Everglades—a frightening, rough and violent world much like the swamps themselves, where everyone has an alias and loyalty is tantamount to survival.

And at the center of it all is the gang’s leader, Grizz: massive, ruggedly handsome, terrifying and somehow, when it comes to Ginny, tender. She becomes his obsession and the one true love of his life.

So begins a tale of emotional obsession and manipulation, of a young woman ripped from everything she knows and forced to lean on the one person who provides attention, affection and care: her captor. Precocious and intelligent, but still very much a teenager, Ginny struggles to adapt to her existence, initially fighting and then coming to terms with her captivity.

Will she be rescued? Will she escape? Will she get out alive—or get out at all? Part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age novel, filled with mystery, romance and unexpected turns, Nine Minutes takes readers into the world of one motorcycle gang and inside the heart of a young girl, whose abduction brought about its fall.
If you’re a fan of dark romance, then this is the book for you!  Whoa.  It’s gritty, it’s not pretty, but I had a morbid curiosity of where this crazy story would lead, so I had to finish.

15 year old Ginny is abducted by a motorcycle gang in Florida in the late 70’s.  She captures the eye of the Grizz, the head of the MC.  He loves her, and makes her his, but in a very biker kind of a fashion.  It’s not pretty, but it is what it is.  This is Ginny/Kit’s story over 25 years, her life with Grizz and the MC.

I guess if I have to get down to brass tacks, what I did not like about this book was the age of the heroine at the beginning.  15.  15 and kidnapped and made to sleep with a man who I assume is at least twice her age.  I’m not a fan of child rape, and as a mother of two girls I do find it hard to swallow.  But this is fiction, and the gritty biker tale/dark romance has its place in the lexicon of romance books.  I did find that this was a pretty well told story, well told enough to keep me interested.  My only problem with the way it was told was that it’s told by Kit after the fact, so it seems to skip over a lot of details that would have been good to have.  There are some really horrific things that happen to her (rape…trigger warning!) and she kind of glosses over how she feels about it all.  What saves this is that the author, I think, is truly talented in story telling so despite my objections I did find myself a bit mesmerized by this dark tale.

This is not a cliffhanger, but it’s my understanding there will be another book in this series.  I will read it, I’m intrigued.  So, I guess from that point of view, I bought it.  The whole story is kind of crazy, but I think in a genre with so many saccharin-sweet tales, sometimes you need to get a little dirty and maybe not all in a good way. 4 stars.
HOLY COW what a read.  I have really grown to dislike the MC theme books because let’s face it, there is always an abundance of sex and very little plot lately.  This one, wow this one gives you no sex and a story that could compete with any documentary or award winning movie.  The author takes you back to Florida in the 1970’s where the phone was connected to the wall, the television was limited and social media consisted of the nightly news.  It also gave you the MC back when they meant business and didn’t sensationalize a thing.  What you saw was what you dealt with. 
Ginny was kidnapped as a teenager by Grizz.  He was the head of the MC Satan’s Army.  Instead of killing her he took her in and they fell in love.  He renamed Ginny and put her up in the motel he was staying at.  Now known as Kit she went along with whatever he wanted her to do because he kept her out of the gang business and she was fine with just denying his criminal behavior and “sins”. 
You see what you have is a naïve good girl with a family she didn’t miss and a gruff, huge man who heads a rough and powerful gang.  How they made it work was amazing to watch.  He protected her till the day he died, which isn’t a spoiler because you will read that first thing in the book.  She loved him till his last breath. 
So many things happened as the story progressed that I won’t go into.  Members of the gang, friends and other characters made this a well-rounded story and left the reader intrigued as the events unfolded.  One innocent mistake on the part of Kit began to unravel the world she had known and destroyed the love story she was living. 
The whole book had my attention but the last part captured my heart.  When we learn about Grizz and find out more of the past, I found I was affected for the first time regarding his death.  It was almost like the book was written in reverse and I regretted I didn’t see him as Kit did the whole time.  I will admit Kit did annoy me numerous times but the author quickly showed and explained to me why Kit acted this way.  There were issues at the very end that blew my mind as to how she just agreed to what Grizz wanted her to do.  When I took a step back and stopped judging her I realized, the author was trying to show us, she had been kidnapped as a child, Grizz took care of her, he protected her and gave her everything she ever needed.  Why wouldn’t this woman who had never had to provide for herself or even think for herself change now?  His love smothered her but she needed that and never tried to stand on her own two feet. 
I can’t say the ending was a cliff hanger, more of a continuing story that I am dying to read.  I loved this book, I love the brilliance in the writing, the research she must have done to make me feel like I was back in the 70’s and I adored the characters.  I am highly recommending this book and am counting the seconds till I can dive in again to this story. 


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