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Iron Goddess

(Shea Stevens #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  32 reviews
In this gritty, fast-paced debut thriller, an ex-con biker chick turned law-abiding citizen risks everything to save her new life—and confront the demons of her past.

Shea Stevens is biker royalty. Her father was the president of the Confederate Thunder Motorcycle Club. Under his watchful eye, she learned how to pick locks, disable alarms, and hot-wire cars like a pro.
ebook, 269 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Alibi
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Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having newly discovered Dharma Kelleher and her genre of biker thriller (??), I was eager to see if her past life experiences could fluidly translate into an effective novel this being her debut. Shea Stevens has been running the Iron Goddess, a custom motorcycle shop, for the past number of years. In doing what she loves, Shea has been able to put her criminal past in the proverbial rearview mirror. When she arrives to discover she's been robbed of a major custom order and one of her employees ...more
This book wasn't bad, I think, but it also wasn't for me. It has strong language, horrific scenes, and violence and bigotry, but it was none of those that put me off. In the beginning it was very interesting, but as it went on, the sheer amount of times Shea gets beaten up, shot, slashed at, thrown off her motorcycle, and experiences various other horrible things, got a little unbelievable. The lady shouldn't have recovered in weeks from all of her assorted injuries, let alone in hours. Don't ...more
Patricia Hamill
Iron Goddess is about Shea Stevens, a young woman with a past who’s made a life for herself building custom bikes for women and employing folks with a past to give them a second chance at a normal life. All that is great, and then she finds one of her young employees, a former addict, lying shot on the floor of her shop and the three, shiny new custom bikes her crew just finished gone. After that, she gets pulled into a dangerous game of trying to track down the bikes and the niece she never ...more
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to reading this book after I had read the synopsis. Unfortunately, this book was more of a disappointment than the fun filled ride I was hoping for.

My biggest problem with the book is that I didn't find most of the characters likable or their actions very believable.

Shea was kind of a bitch, and not in a way that I would find entertaining, more in the way I would avoid. She bumbled around overreacting and causing more trouble for herself than she started with. I get why
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, 2016
Detailed Review on Life as Freya
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Apart from being the name of Shea’s bike shop, Iron Goddess the title is also a metaphor for the strength she must find in herself. I quite liked the cover with its rugged colour tones and graphic. The blurb is a good test of what to expect in the book.

I found the plot new and different, I haven’t read a story like Iron Goddess before. Dharma Kelleher surprised me constantly, I kept guessing what would come
Paula Berinstein
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
First of all, let me say that I think the target audience for this book will love it. That's not me (I'm not that keen on reading about gangs, to be honest), but I enjoyed it a lot anyway, even though it was a bit violent for my taste. I think one of the reasons is that I really like flawed characters, and Shea Stevens is definitely that. She makes mistakes. She flounders. She does dumb things. But she's likeable because she cares on both a personal and philosophical level. She has a well ...more
Linda Quick
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a fast paced thriller in which Shea, and ex-con, is working hard at making an honest living at making custom motorcycles for women. I had never actually thought about the need for women to need bikes sized differently, so I found this part of the novel interesting.

Unfortunately for Shea, her shop is robbed of a group of very high profile bikes. Their loss could destroy her business, so she reaches out to her old contacts to try and recover them. What follows is a very fast paced tale
Sam - Spines in a Line
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Find full review at

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Several LGBTQ characters and each introduced respectfully without a big deal made about their sexuality. Yes, it is a part of who they are, but this is a story about a biker and motorcycle shop owner first and foremost, and she gets to be the action star in this story.

While Shea isn't always a particularly likeable character (her need to jump in and get things done herself
Jay Williams
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Despite using every cliché and stereotype about biker gangs, this is a great book. The people in play are fashioned in depth, and the reader finds themselves rooting for people they probably wouldn't like in person. The story-telling is done so well that the character become endearing and the plot develops in a way that holds the reader's interest. Many bad things happen, starting from the very beginning when Shea finds a young employee shot and bleeding in her motorcycle building shop. Kelleher ...more
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: bikers-mc, netgalley
***** I was gifted a free ARC from NetGalley for an honest review *****
Honestly I am torn over weather or not I liked this book. Shea the MC was like a bumbling idiot just falling into dangerous situations. This story was fast paced and the author was just cramming so much unbelievable situations into the story line that I was getting whiplash trying to keep up. The lesbian aspect did not really factor in as the MC spent very little time with her partner. I don't think it was necessary to the
Robin Lynn
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Iron Goddess Shea Stevens wakes up to one of the worst days she's had lately. Her motorcycle shop has been broken into, and not only is her merchandise gone, the custom bikes made for one of the most popular bands have been stolen. And as bad as the day started, the next few are only going to get worse.

Iron Goddess, the latest novel from Dharma Kelleher starts with a full throttled roar, and carries that intensity straight through the very last page. Not an incredibly easy feat, and one handled
Katrina Ayala
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of Iron Goddess in exchange for an honest review.
Mix boosting cars with prison time and a custom motorcycle shop and your end result is Shae; a bad ass biker chick with a wicked side. In Iron Goddess Shae is immediately met with a crisis at 4 am. Someone has broken into her shop and stolen several thousand dollars’ worth of bikes and equipment. Being the daughter of a former local MC’s president, Shae doesn’t trust the cops to find her product. On her search to find the truth
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fun thriller! Violent, hard-hitting, a little funny, a little queer, a little strange - all in all, a wild ride. I can't wait to see what Shea does next!

Unique LGBTQ perspective is cool/intriguing in this book but understated (which is cool, it's not the point but it's there, and it's nice to hear a different voice). It ultimately doesn't matter though - this is a fun story and it's all about the characters and an exciting plot that brings up issues of family loyalty, addiction, identity
Bob Duckles
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Iron Goddess is an action-packed page-turner, centering on Shea Stevens, an outlaw misfit, who lives in intersecting worlds of motorcycle gangs, drug dealers, and corrupt lawmen.

Murder, theft, kidnapping, double-dealing, and car and motorcycle chases keep the heart pounding. Dharma Kelleher weaves a tale in which Shea sometimes plunges forward on sheer impulse, somehow managing to wiggle out of every predicament, though not unscathed. It kept me reading past my usual bedtime.

This is a gritty,
Kathleen Gray
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shea is a terrific new gritty hard working protagonist! Make no mistake, there is a lot of violence in this well written novel but it's not gratuitous and it is consistent with the plot. Shea has managed to cobble together a life on the right side of the law only to find herself pulled back over in the pursuit of the bad guys. The fact that there are lgbtq characters is a plus but mostly because it's not a big deal. Two thumbs up and thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I'd like to see more from ...more
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shea is just how I like my protagonists. She's not perfect. She's an ex-con turned good. She believes in second chances and employs other ex-cons at her shop. She's not a cute biker chick and she isn't an over the top bad ass. Her character is realistic and flawed. The writer really fleshed her out well and brought her to life.

It was fun to read, fraught with danger, with several different plot lines that came together well. Learning about the horrors Shea has faced in the past and how it has
Patricia Moren
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a story involving a lot of violence. There were people who live without much love but always looking for a good deal and being top dog. Then there are the ones who try and make a good life against all the odds. It was an interesting story but I can't say I enjoyed it, I am not a fan of gratuitous violence but I had this persistent need to find out if good would prevail.
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not a romance, but a thriller. Not scary, but intense with gangs and violence and intrigue. Some graphic details of violence, but not over done or overly shocking. Looks like a set up for a sequel as well.
Evelyn Ryan
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my usual read but...

I wasn't sure what to expect. To be honest, this is the first book I have read featuring an openly lesbian lead. Turns out, I mostly enjoyed the ride it took me on. I've never seen the straw of the motorcycle clubs, esp knowing that the women are treated as property, so I was happy with the way it ended. No love the bad boys guilt. I'm looking forward to the next story. If you have a problem with raw and racist language, or the body count racking up, this may not be the
Starla B
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
Wow. Just wow. This was a great book. The story was captivating, action-packed. I couldn't put it down. Extremely violent, graic and hard language though. If you're sensitive to that, definitely not the book for you. If you can handle it, though, it's definitely worth a read.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This really definitely took me by surprise it is a full on thriller book just to stated . You'll be going through the pages faster than you realize in your mind will just be racing through this fast-paced movie like book .
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book!!

Shea is a great in your face kind of woman! This book keeps you interested from beginning to the end!
Heather Henkel
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read

This was a nitty gritty story but it was a lot of fun to read at the same time. Can't wait for the next one.
Cherime MacFarlane
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and well written. She gets knocked down and bounces back up again. Tough cookie.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I gave up on this one after only 10%. It was one of a massive download of freebies.
Margaret L. Hedman
I enjoyed this book.

I enjoyed Iron Goddess. It is a look inside to a culture most of us know nothing about. You really do feel for Shea, she's had a very difficult life. The thrill factor will not let you put it down until you finish reading it.
Stevie Carroll
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Previously reviewed on The Good, The Bad, and The Unread:

Given that I like the idea of biker stories, but struggle to find many where the female characters are sufficiently developed in ways that suit my tastes, it seems that a lesbian biker story should be just right for my reading list. And seeing as how I love my protagonists to have flaws, finding out that the heroine served time for car theft and has a very messed up family background was bound to be further encouragement for me to read
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Wow, what a ride from start to finish. Now, I’ll be honest : this is simply not the kind of book I like, or even stand reading. But I soldiered on. Shea Stevens is an ex-con mechanic who makes women's bikes for a living. She’s good at it, so that’s why the Pink Trinkets band contracted her to make three custom bikes for her. But someone stole the bikes and shot her employee half-dead, and Shea is determined to get the goods back herself. She embarks on a violent trip that’ll put her right in the ...more
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biker-gangs
It was super tough getting through this. There were many problems with the book. #1 I would say was character development. There were many villains which was a problem. The main character did not have a personality other than complete suicidal ideation most of the time. She was supposed to be a lesbian. I'm not sure why this was even a thing other than to get the book into another category. Her lesbian side was not addressed as she went from one shootout to another at a dizzying pace. I thought ...more
What a rollicking ride!

Shea is not your average gal. To know her is also to know not to get on her bad side. Yet she's an invaluable friend.

With a very checkered past right on down through childhood, she's had enough of letting anyone trying to run roughshod over her.

Her life has finally become stable and good. She co-owns a motorcycle shop that specializes in bikes for women. She's living with a good woman. Life is good.

Til night the alarm company rings her up at 4am due to a possible break
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Mystery & Thrille...: My debut novel has launched 1 21 Jul 02, 2016 01:44PM  
Play Book Tag: Iron Goddess by Dharma Kelleher - 4 stars 1 7 May 01, 2016 08:36PM  
Book cover 1 1 Apr 29, 2016 08:07AM  

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As one of the only transgender authors in crime fiction, Dharma brings a unique voice to the genre, specializing in gritty thrillers with a feminist kick.

She is the author of the Jinx Ballou bounty hunter series and the Shea Stevens outlaw biker series. Her work has also appeared in several anthologies.

Fans of Sara Paretsky, Stieg Larsson, and Elmore Leonard will love her work because it is bold,

Other books in the series

Shea Stevens (2 books)
  • Snitch (Shea Stevens #2)