ARC Review: Bang by Ruby McNally

Format: E-bookbang
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lights and Sirens, #3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Hero: Jackson Ford
Heroine: Marisol de la Espada
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 3, 2015
Started On: January 22, 2015
Finished On: February 20, 2015

Bang by Ruby McNally is the 3rd book in the author’s Lights & Sirens series & my experience in reading this author. While the story worked for me on certain levels, there were bits and pieces that I had slight problems with which however when it came down to it still managed to deliver a good read.

The story begins 4 months after Jackson Ford returns to duty after being shot and fighting the long, tough and hard battle of recovery. While physically Jackson seems to have recovered, as the story goes on, it is evident that Jackson suffers from post traumatic stress disorder owing to what he has gone through.

Jackson’s partner Marisol de la Espada, the woman he has loved for almost as long as they’d known each other has a tough time dealing with what happened to Jackson. So much so that she had completely avoided going to see Jackson while he had lain on hospital, playing a waiting game to see when she’d walk through the doors of his hospital room.

What makes it extra hard for Jackson and Marisol to get back into their groove is the fact that their relationship had progressed to a stage that had ended in a disastrous lovemaking session which needless to say makes things pretty much awkward.

What struck me the most in this story is the fact that how realistic Ruby creates her characters. Jackson and Marisol aren’t perfect in anyway. Yes, Jackson is handsome, strong and endowed in the way most heroes in romances are. While Marisol is the dream woman for Jackson, she suffers from her own insecurities with her physical appearance after having given birth & a lot of doubts when it comes to whether she and Jackson would ever be able to make it work.

Marisol having never turned up to see Jackson through the long hard months of recovery that had followed surpasses the usual survivor’s guilt. While most would question why she never did manage to work up her courage to go see him, I kind of understood where Marisol was coming from. Sometimes, fear & insecurities coupled with of course the survivor’s guilt that Marisol was experiencing has a way of preventing you from doing what’s right. And the longer you put it off, the harder it tends to become to take that step and that’s one other reason why I say that when it comes to flawed characters and putting that message across, Ruby McNally has done a bang up job.

Like most cops, Jackson has a hard time coming to terms with his PTSD. But he does eventually get there through a lot of misunderstandings that takes place between him and Marisol. I admired Marisol for taking that difficult step in nudging Jackson in the right direction and I was equally glad that Jackson took the bait because otherwise their story would’ve become more messed up than it already was.

While the sex was hot & the romance good enough to make it worthwhile, I felt that the story lacked the emotional wallop it’d have packed if it had included more details on the shared past of Marisol and Jackson. The past that is just barely skimmed through when it comes to Jackson and Marisol. While it does the required job to lay down the groundwork for the characters, I’d have loved if it had been just a little bit more. The missed chances, the heavy longing on each side, the realization that had led to the breakdown of Marisol’s marriage etc. would have brought with it a huge emotional impact to the story.

The one other problem I had with the story was the tense it was written it. I can’t exactly put my finger on which tense it exactly is, but I can definitely say that it made getting into the story a tad harder for me.

Recommended for those who love stories involving law enforcement officers & friends to lovers trope.

Final Verdict: Messed up in a way that delivers a good romp!

Favorite Quotes

“Jack—” Mari says again, warning this time, wanting to let him know how hard she’s going to lose it. “Oh my God, Jack, I’m—”
“Shit,” Jack hisses, hips jerking, and she realizes a second too late that he’s trying to get away from her, pull out, but by then she’s already coming and coming, one leg wound around his and this feeling like there was a missed stitch in her someplace and he tugged it, like she’s unraveling everywhere.

Jackson seems to be considering it. Then he shakes his head. “Nah,” he says, undoing the belt and letting it drop to the floor with a thunk. “Don’t think so.” He unzips his fly and pulls his cock out without even unbuttoning, the tip already shiny. It looks lewd and obvious against his dark blue pants.
Mari swallows. The instinct to spread her legs hits right in the bottom of her belly. “Jack,” she murmurs, shifting. “I’m gonna mess up your—”
But Jack nods. “I know,” he says, hooking both hands underneath her knees and yanking her hips to the edge of the bed. When he leans over his nameplate is right in her face, Officer Ford in stitched white thread. “Gonna have you all over my zipper.”

“Fuck, Mari, hurry up and come.” His voice is strangled.
Mari shivers. “Make me.”
Jackson looks at her. Then he reaches up with one forearm and puts all his weight against her bent knees, practically folding her in half. “Is this it?” His thrusts click up another gear, the teeth of his zipper biting into Mari’s flesh. One of them catches and she yelps, but that feels good too, all rolled into everything. “Is that how you like it?”
That is.

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