The Iron Tiara
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RECOMMENDED FOR READERS 18 AND OLDER DUE TO SEXUAL SITUATIONS AND VIOLENCE.
The Iron Tiara is a spin-off novel from the Nine Minutes Trilogy. It can be read as a standalone, and does not contain a cliffhanger.
Anthony Bear and Christy Chapman are from two completely different worlds.
Anthony's the leader of a motorcycle gang that terrorizes Florida’s West Coast. As a child, he ran away from his family and the Cherokee Indian Reservation to enter a life of crime. As an adult, he leads a multifaceted life managing his two businesses—his legitimate landscaping venture, and his loan shark and underworld dealings. Driven by anger and betrayal, Anthony begins the hunt for Christy’s father, Van Chapman, after he runs out on a loan.
Christy’s privileged life is not as it seems. She has kept painful family secrets and hidden some of her own. She’s determined to find out the truth and expose Van, but her search delivers her right into Anthony Bear’s hands, adding kidnapping to his list of crimes.
Their worlds are as contrasting as the color of their skin. The only thing they seem to have in common is their mutual disdain for Van Chapman…and each other.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
Another incredible story from the genius that is Beth Flynn!
This will be my fourth book by Beth Flynn and I can't even begin to articulate how much her writing moves me. She writes stories that are complex, intricate, multi-layered, span every emotion and completely pull me in and immerse me wholly into the world she has created. Forget anything else happening while I'm reading one of Beth's books. Everything comes to a stop and I'm glued to the pages.
Anthony Bear and Christy are characters that were introduced in Beth's Nine Minutes trilogy. If you haven't read that series yet, you do not need to in order to read this book. Beth does an incredible job of incorporating the scenes with Bear and Christy from the trilogy into this book. Either way, I think there are going to be certain reactions from readers who have read the trilogy first, and another set of reactions from those who haven't.
When I started this book, I had preconceived notions of Bear and Christy based on the scenes they had in the trilogy. From the little bit of background Beth provided, I had created a whole scenario in my head of who they were, what had occurred in their world that got them to the point they were at, and how their lives had played out by the end of the trilogy. And let me tell you, I couldn't have been further from the truth. That is the genius of Beth Flynn. She crafts a story that makes you think you need to travel down THIS fork in the road, when all the while, you should have been travelling down the other path. And once you've read the story and get to the end, you just sit there and shake your head with bewilderment at how she did that.
For those that haven't read the Nine Minutes trilogy yet, the reaction I'm expecting to get from them is: why haven't I already read Grizz and Kit's books?? Beth intertwines pivotal scenes into Bear and Christy's story that will pique your interest in their lives and have you scrambling to start on their journey as soon as you can. At least I think so. I know that if I hadn't already read Grizz and Kit's books, I would have been one-clicking them before I ever got to the last page of The Iron Tiara.
Beth impresses the hell out of me with the way she lays out her stories. Both Anthony and Christy have a plethora of secrets between them, and instead of just telling them to each other, which I think would stunt the story, Beth weaves a background that slowly unfolds the secrets in due time so that when they are finally revealed, the impact they have on the reader is stronger and deeper and keeps you thinking about them long after you've moved past that chapter.
Anthony and Christy's story is deeply emotional for a multitude of reasons. It isn't always pretty, and there were times my heart stretched farther than was comfortable, but Beth has a unique way of gently fitting it back into my chest a little bigger than it was and beating a little faster than before.
Of course I am a greedy reader and want more of Bear and Christy's story!! I can't wait to see what Beth has in store for us next!
An angel amidst the devils
A criminal and a heiress…those two individuals and their worlds should be mutually exclusive, but when Anthony Bear kidnaps Christy Chapman, using her as ransom for her father’s debt, Anthony and Christy become so much more than kidnapper/victim, proving that the relationship they create and grow is an enigma - one where this ”perfectly matched mismatched couple” proves that true love has no limitations, regardless of contrasting backgrounds, criminal dealings, sinister activities, and/or heartbreaking secrets.
The Iron Tiara spans over two decades, illustrating the whys and hows of what made Anthony Bear the man he is and showcasing the highs and lows that Anthony and Christy endure as well as those family and friends closest to the dynamic couple. There are multiple perspectives used in the story, which can be a bit confusing, but in this case, it helps to fully develop all of the plot lines, constructing a comprehensive view of a very complex world, and because there are so many lies and half-truths told throughout the course of Anthony and Christy’s story, hearing valid insights from those who know the truth make it easier to sort out all of the details and understand how all the varying events form one complete picture - a messed up and beyond deplorable one but one that nonetheless allows readers to wrap their heads around everything that has occurred to bring Anthony and Christy into each other’s lives.
In a lot of ways, this is NOT a feel good story; brutal acts occur throughout the book, indicating just how dark and evil Anthony and his crew can be as well as those who use others for purely selfish reasons. Anthony is definitely more of a villainous anti-hero than a man who puts himself on the right side of the law; he's probably one of the most sadistic male leads that I've read in a long time, but his transformation and perhaps even his redemption comes through what he willingly risks for Christy and would willingly give up if she asked him to, which in not means makes him a good man but Christy accepts Anthony for who he is and she doesn't need him to change to be with him; in fact, his strength and need to protect her by any means necessary proves his love for her time and time again.
If I had to use a series of words to describe the various plot lines and events that take place in the Iron Tiara, they would definitely be dysfunctional, savage, deviant, and dangerous. But beneath all of the dark and deadly acts is one hell of a love story - one that weathers devastating and deplorable circumstances, finding solace in what they are building despite all of the obstacles and complications that threaten who and what they've come to mean to each other.
This is my first Beth Flynn read and from the beginning of Anthony and Christy's story, I understood just why her stories, writing, and characters appeal to so many readers and allow them to escape into a world much different than their own and while I can't begin to understand how Flynn crafts the hellish worlds she does and I fear for her mental health at times, I'd gladly give up hours to read another one of her stories because they definitely leave quite the impression.
4 Poison Apples (The Fairest of All Book Reviews)
Amazing Story that will grip you begining to end
I absolutely love when an author takes the expected and turns me on my head. From the first chapter of The Iron Tiara, I believed I had the leading characters pegged. I fit them into my neat little literary expectations and carried on with my reading. I had high expectations of a gritty, story of criminal intents with scary motorcycle dudes, and their take-no-prisoners approach to business.
Until about 50%.
Now, truth be told, Christy's strength as a female lead becomes apparent earlier on. But as a strong - #noneofyourbeeswax heroine, she begins to shine as she not going to take anything for granted and burn her own path to happiness. Anthony is a very alpha male in the story. I mean I wasn't sure if Ms Flynn could out-alpha her heroes but she did in this tale. If nothing else, it was these two characters that compelled me to continue reading until the wee hours of the morning. All other side plots be damned - these two are what kept me swiping the eReader.
Speaking of side plots, I did converse with a fellow reader as I went. Periodic head scratching as I thought, "Where is Beth Flynn going with this?". I'd delight with massive back pats when I was right. However, there was more "WTH!" I was wrong moments. And that is brilliant storytelling - turning the reader to the unexpected.
The story does travel back and forth in giving the reader historical moments that impact the characters and their decisions. It may feel like you have been stuffed with information, but bear with the story as it all has importance. In addition, the story is told in 3rd person which I believes makes a reader concentrate more on what is not said but through the witnessing of actions. Again, you'll feel stuffed with information, but all is relevant to wrap things up in the end.
If you love MC romance and don't like to feel a predictable 'been-there-read-that', you'll want to read The Iron Tiara right away! 5 out of 5 stars