Since high school everyone thought Jake Bender would end up behind bars; after all, he comes from a long line of bad boys. He spent years away from the place he called home. When he finally comes back, everyone thinks he's just a punk kid all grown up who’s now running a dive bar called The Night Club. What they don't know is he heads up a special task force, which cleans up neighborhoods and makes them safe again.
Stormy Ryan has always felt more comfortable with her books than with people. She loves to spend her days within the pages of her books. When her second-hand bookstore is robbed for the third time in as many months, her employees quit leaving her to run the shop on her own. With the pressure of having to deal with her shop and people, not to mention the declining neighborhood, she is at the end of her rope.
When closing up her shop late one night, she is held up and the neighborhood bad boy saves her, putting both of them at the forefront of a psychotic’s obsession.
Being bad has never looked so good.
Review by: Fidah
Bender by M. Stratton is an adult contemporary novel with romance and thriller. It is a very dark book especially since the book is told from multiple perspectives. There are certain scenes that were uncomfortable and disturbing to read because you're reading through the mind and actions of a murderer. I have to admit that it was rather interesting. I would have preferred it if the book was a little longer so that the plot could be more expanded.
The characters in this book were great and relatable, specifically Stormy. She's an avid reader and owns a bookstore which definitely makes her a little more likeable. There were times when she was weak and rather clumsy. However, I loved those bits where she stood up for herself and her purpose. She's a very genuine and kind person and I loved that quality of hers. On the other hand, Bender is kind of the anticipated bad but good boy. He's a nice guy but there wasn't really any qualities that made him stand out.
Overall, I wished the plot could have been thought out further because I really think this could have been a fantastic read. I'm not saying it was bad. It was good but there wasn't anything engaging about the story. The plot was intense but it didn't really made me feel that way. I knew things were going to end up the way they did. I'd still read this book if you're looking for a short and quick adult book that is focused more on characters and plot.
AUTHOR BIO & LINKS
M. Stratton is an International Amazon bestselling author in the romantic suspense and mystery suspense categories for her debut novel After the Storm. She is a self-proclaimed dork that loves to make people laugh and can trip over nothing. Her inner rock star is always on stage performing to a sold out crowd but is quiet and shy on the outside.
She lives with her husband and son in Arizona, which is a big difference from where she grew up north of Chicago Illinois. As an only child she learned to tell herself stories to make the long winters go by quicker while dreaming of summer vacations. Now as an adult she still makes up stories to pass the time, but now she writes them down to share with other people.
When not writing you can find M. watching football (Go Bears!), NASCAR, or classic movies, watching her husband and father restore classic cars, and seeing who can be sillier, her or her son, and of course reading.
Things you don’t know about M. Stratton:
1. She loves the movie Twister… she can say all the lines along with the actors. She will also use those lines in real life as often as possible.
2. Halloween is her favorite holiday. She starts planning months in advance. She has more Halloween decorations than Christmas.
3. She once made up a monologue about her love of chocolate chip cookie dough for her high school drama class.
4. There are times she thinks she is so funny she has tears running down her face while laughing at herself.
5. M. can play the clarinet but is in awe of anyone who can play the guitar, piano or drums, pretty much anything where your hands have to do two different things at the same time.
6. Cary Grant is her favorite actor. When she was in high school after Cary Grant died one of the cable stations ran a marathon, she watched his movies from 6 in the morning all day and night until 4 AM the next day.
7. Reading has always been an escape for her. She can devour a book in hours. When she moved in with her husband she literally donated over 1,000 books and saved over 1,000 for herself. She can reread books over and over again if she loves them. There are some that she has reread about once a year for the past 20 years.
8. She eloped after knowing her husband for only two months in 2006. They are still married over seven years later.