I first met Stephanie Blakeman through email, then later in person, through the bookstore where I work, Ol’ Curiosities and Book Shoppe. Stephanie just published her first book and was contacting us about getting her book in our store.
When I first read her bio, I actually misread it. I thought she lived in Alabama, which was still fine because we love promoting southern authors. But no, she actually lives in OUR TOWN. So she dropped by one day to give us a readers copy and to talk about the book a little. She’s a sweetheart, let me tell you.
If The Key Fits is her first novel, and though some might argue, it falls under the romance genre. Stephanie describes it as Sons of Anarchy (love SOA!!) meets Fifty Shades of Grey…..but not as bad. Well. that certainly caught my attention. I took If The Key Fits home, not really quite sure what to expect.
Now you guys know I am a working mom with three kids, and while I do make time to read, sometimes I have to squeeze reading time in whenever I can. This includes “creep reading” when I should be doing something else and/or reading in the bathroom. Once I started reading If The Key Fits, I was so engrossed in it, that I did all of the above. And I regularly updated Stephanie through text messages.
If The Key Fits is the story of Casey Calvert. After being raped and beaten almost to the point of death by people she once considered family, Casey relocates to a small town and tries to live a low key life. She even manages to snag a wealthy, handsome bachelor. But everything gets shaken up when she’s confronted by Gavin, or Blaze as she knew him during his time in the MC (motorcycle club).
Blaze was the only man she ever loved, the one man she thought would get her out of the bad situation she was in. However, when she was supposed to meet him to run away with him, she was greeted instead by her then boyfriend and head of the MC, Slayer, and that was the night she was gang raped and beaten and left for dead.
Slayer is out of prison and Gavin knows he’s going to come after Casey (or both of them) and silence them for good. But he’s already betrayed Casey’s trust once, will she be able to trust him again? And can they put Slayer away once and for all?
I don’t always read books about motorcycle gangs but every time I do, I end up loving them (Katie McGarry’s Nowhere but Here was my other favorite MC book). I did love this book, but I’m going to go ahead and tell you………I wanted to throw at the wall at the end. But the beauty of it is it’s a real life romance. It’s not once of those happily ever after, ride off into the sunset type books. It’s messy, and ugly, and complicated, yet sexy and beautiful all at the same time. The thing I liked most about Blakeman’s writing is that she didn’t stick to the mold, she wrote outside of the box. She wasn’t trying to make everyone happy, she wrote the story she wanted to tell. And did a fine job of it.
Favorite character? Casey, followed closely in second by her friend Ruby. What I liked most about the book? The relationship and passion between Casey and Gavin. It was so real, you could feel it while you were reading it. Least favorite character? Obviously Slayer. Thing I liked least about the book? I just didn’t feel like I got enough back story. However, something may or may not be in the works that will fix that 😉
As far as ratings go I am giving If the Key Fits 4 stars. If motorcycle love stories, or love stories outside of the norm are your thing then I highly recommend this book.
WARNING: This book is for a mature audience, because it does contain explicit language, violence and sexual content.