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3.52  ·  Rating details ·  376 ratings  ·  106 reviews
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 ...more
Published February 13th 2015 (first published January 5th 2015)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  376 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Feb 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2015, netgalley, dnf
I'm stopping reading this at 63% and if fangirls/trolls have a problem with it they can kiss it. This is one of the top worst books I've ever held in my hands.
When I first started reading this my expectations were high. The blurb for this book sounds good. I want to know who the heck wrote it because they sure didn't write this book. This writing is choppy, cheesy, corny and frigging leaves out important story pieces.
I thought for a few minutes that 2.0 was pranking me because he likes to see m
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-finished, arc
DNF 25%


Because it was BAD...I had zero connection to the characters, the writing was not great and the story line had so many lacks that you couldn't make sense of what the author wanted to tell you...

I tried to finish it...I really did...but...


*ARC generously provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
♛✨Christine ♛✨
★ ★ ★ - A me likey, likey 3 star rating!

I am just going to dive in and go straight to my thoughts…

The premise and plot of the novel was inventive and intriguing. At times it seemed funny, dark and realistic.

However, the reason why I was on the verge of giving it a two star rating was because the novel, in different areas, was lacking.

The heroine, Stormy, was realistic but was portrayed as an innocent and very dense girl. Sometimes you felt like wanting to hit her.

Jake was a very likable, hot an
Feb 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
DNF at 62%

Oh my goodness?????? What the f$#@??????? And a whole lot of laughing myself silly.

This is what I kept asking myself the whole way through this book (well, to where I just gave up anyhow).

To begin with I found the writing choppy. REALLY choppy. Like chunks of the story were missing or something. Like someone forgot to fill me in on what was going on here. But I persevered. Because I thought the blurb sounded really interesting. So I kept reading.

By page 48 (21%)it was starting to driv
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was surprisingly REALLY good. I liked it. It was real and I loved the characters! Very good read.

I love the interaction between the two MC and the characters' development as well. You can tell hero is a great guy who just has this bad ass vibe and it's well written. The heroine is my heroine! Lol. She's antisocial and owns a bookstore (how awesome!) and she's nerdy and beautiful. She'll do what most heroines will want to do in these books.... and that's NOT taking his rules seriously for h
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was definitely a surprise read...
i didn't quite know what to expect after reading the blurb, i just have to say that it didn't disappoint in any way...

from the story you get to know 4 characters who are interwoven by the criminal action...two sick and twisted mobsters are running the town and especially one specific neighbourhood with high crime rate where their intrests are now merely investment...

and the only person defying them is a young woman Stormy Ryan who runs a bookstore in that pa
Jan 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
First, I DNF'd at 24%. After putting it down a few times. Yes, a few, not once or twice. That should have clued me in, but I blamed it on my cold. I was wrong.

Where to begin? The blurb drew me in. Well, the cover did, actually, and the fact that I saw a book friend praise it. Been there, done that. Fool me once, shame on you and stuff.

So, I started the book. The prologue seemed good but oh God, once I got to meet the heroine... I'm sorry, I read a lot too and I'm not street smart but sweet baby
t'irla ~The Bookslayer~ aka Barbara
M. Stratton is a new to me author and I thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read this and offer an honest review. Possible spoilers.

I wasn't sure what I was getting when I started this book but the blurb intrigued me so in I dove and I have to say I really liked it. Yes, there were a few issues and I will detail them in a bit but over all I enjoyed the story, I liked (for he most part) the characters and hated the characters depending on if they were good guys or bad guys. I found the setting
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, kindle
I’m all for someone going the extra mile in their endeavors but sometimes it can go way wrong. The author just kept throwing things in for whatever reason, and you ended up with a book that felt like a bad Austin Power’s movie. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the author wasn’t going for a tongue in cheek comedy. This book was just too…much.

The bad guys were too…bad. I can get on board with a couple of guys attempting to take over a neighborhood for their crime enterprise. M. Stratton decided to g
Lisa Suzanne
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was my first M. Stratton book and I loved it! There were surprises along the way, and Nutter was the epitome of a crazy lunatic. Great book!
Brandy Rivers
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a great story. The first of Stratton's I've read but I'll be reading more. As long as you don't mind twisted bad guys and bloody murders this story was fast paced and sucks you in.
Bender was a bad boy, now a hardass who's job is to go in and clean up the worst neighborhoods. He has his work cut out for him in his old stomping grounds.
For all her book smarts Stormy is a bit clueless. One night Bender saves her from two shady characters and the story gets rolling.
Then there's Nutter and Mic
D.L. Gallie
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love M Stratton's previous work but with Bender that love has gone to the extreme. Bender is by far her best work yet.

This story has it all intrigue, suspense, hot characters, creepy nutty characters and a bad ass chick whom you definitely want to be friends with. M Stratton knows how to put the creep in creepy, the baddie's in this one are so bad that you can't help but root for them cause you actually start to like them. Their relationship is one creepy scary one but they compliment each oth
Heidi Ryan
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of Michele Stratton's writing. But this book is even better than my favorites of hers. One thing this author does better than any other is create creepy bad guys. Her villains are so far over to the dark side they make you shiver. This book has it all, sexy characters, great story line, wonderful suspense, everything! I read this in one sitting because I just had to know how it works out.
Stormy Ryan is a woman who is just good. After losing her family, she goes about trying to he
Melanie Marsh
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit. This book will make you throw up in your mouth. Like seriously. I think my brain has left the building. Its soooo good. And sooooo bad at the same time! There are things I will never be able to look at the same way again. But please, don't take any of this as a negative. It's kind of the best reasons TO read this book. At least it is if you are as mental as I am!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, no one, and I mean NO ONE does crazy like M. Stratton does crazy. Bender is a b
Two Ordinary
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Bender M. Stratton 4****
I was given an Arc of bender in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book I have read by M Stratton and it most definitely won't be the last.

Bender is a thriller with some romance it tells you the story of bender who is known as the bad boy around town and its been like that all his life, bender didn't have a very good upbringing he's father was an abusive drunk and he's poor mother didn't survive his father. Even benders headteacher told him he was worthles
Avid Reader
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
So here’s the thing about this wonderfully imaginative and fun book brought to us from M. Stratton… she gave all of us a real treat. A secret that only the lovers of John Hughs movies, the 80’s or Chicagoland will catch. When I realized that this story was about; what M Stratton had done here, I was so excited that I had to read it immediately. She gave one of my most beloved characters a story I never thought he would get. So a HUGE thank you to M. Stratton from all the 80’s loving Chicagoans w ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Bender and I really enjoyed it. Michele has a way of freaking me out but in a good way!! This story starts out with Jack Bender. Young punk kid. No one would care if anything happened to him. He has no faith in anyone. One day Murdoch shows up giving him an out. He takes it. Becomes a better man. Now we have Stormy. Always moved around when she was young. Never had friends. Only thing she could enjoy is reading. Her way out is books. She now owns a book store but the local crimin ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a ride!! I went into this book not knowing what to expect and I'm glad that I did. The story line is unique and well-written, and the characters are thoroughly developed.
Jake Bender was so easy to like. I sympathized with his plight as a teenager in his abusive home and bleak outlook for his future. He was lucky enough that someone offered him a chance for a different kind of life.
This is a story about perseverance and hope, friendship and community, and the lengths to which we are willing
Nikki Reeves
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book by M and I was not disappointed. I loved Bender and Stormy. Both characters grabbed me in a different way right from the get go.

This book is told through both character’s POVs. Bender did not have the best life growing up. Everyone thought he would turn out just like his father. But one day a man was sitting on his porch after school and changed Bender’s life forever. Now 20 years later he is back to where it all began in the town he grew up in.

Stormy is a very quiet gir
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this book. Michele is a master at creating creepy nasty,twisted bad guys and I love it. I am a huge fan of her work.
This story has it all a great mix of romance and suspense. A bad ass man Jake that you will fall in love with. He is as hard as he is caring. Stormy brings out the best in him. Stormy is a spunky little bit of a thing with a heart of gold. Who wouldn't want her in their life? This book will keep you on the edge of your seat. I say buckle up it's
Ohh.. WOW. What the frig did i just read?!

Stormy was.. just...
She needed to wake the heck up.
I felt like strangling her. Shit. Worst character I've ever read.

Yeah. I didn't like this.
Erin Dennis
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This is a very fast paced thriller/romance. I really liked the characters in this book. Bender and Stormy were perfect together. I also liked Bender and Murdoch together, and hearing their story. There are some graphic and violent scenes in this book, so if you are squeamish prepare yourself. High intensity! I really liked it!
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars! This book drew you in and kept you on your toes throughout. This was the perfect mix of what I used to read (suspense) and what I now read (romance). The craziness of Nutter and Mick are not for everybody ~ but worked well in this story. Thank you for something different.
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book!! It does have its twisted moments but that made me love it even more! Oh and Bender... *sigh* I think I have a new book crush :D I always seem to be drawn to the bad boys lol.
Rose Maniscalco
Sep 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
DNF, 30% in it was going nowhere
HEChapter -Tina J
M. Stratton
February 13, 2015

Publisher: --
approximately 244 pages
Romance: Suspense, Dark Thriller, Mystery

** Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review **

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
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Once upon a time, there was a mousy book nerd that took a stand against some very, mean and psychotic people and unfortunately, made enemies out of them. Though she had the heart of a lion and the determination of a bear around honey, she was still no physical match against her enemies and soon found herself in a dire situation. Enter our hero. Now, this was no prince charming and though he was here to save the day, instead of galloping up on a white steed, he instead showed up on the back of a ...more
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Note: This ebook was provided by The Hype PR via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jake Bender was labeled a bad boy growing up and he certainly had the reputation to back it up. His father physically assaulted him time and again but Bender never spoke of the abuse he was suffering at home. When he finds a man waiting for him in front of his home at the age of eighteen, he's given the opportunity to go down a path different from the one that people around him were saying he was going to
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it
This book has an interesting story... like her characters ... but for me...there just wan't enough back ground on Bender/Stormy/Mick/Nutter.. you get little bits and pieces... just not enough, so when you are trying to figure out why characters are the way they are ( like Bender ) you just don't get a good enough feel for them.
Bender saves Stormy from Mick and Nutter who are trying to take over the neighborhood by force. Nutter doesn't take to well to this due to the fact he has some obsession w
Heather Young
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What can I say about this book?? I can say a lot but I don't do spoilers.

This book is about Stormy Ryan is a small town bookstore owner who doesn't do well with people. She would rather live in her books (does this sound like a lot of us?) and have other people run her store for her. Well her staff are tired of being robbed/threatened by Mick Controne and his associate "Nutter" so everyone quits and she is on her own. They claim they want to offer "protection" to her and clean up the neighborho
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M. Stratton is an International Amazon bestselling author in the romantic suspense and mystery suspense categories for her Storm Series and Bender. She lives in Arizona, which is a big change 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 mak ...more

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