Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★☆
Reading Time: 5 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Noir et Bleu from D.R. Graham in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author and/or publisher's generosity. You can't fake these stars, baby!
Where it all began...
"What would you do if you had to choose between doing something bad but right and doing something good but wrong?"
Being the youngest of the four Desrochers brothers, illegitimate or not, means Len has always been loyal to the Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club, but he never wanted to be an outlaw biker. When the club pulls strings to get him out of a long prison sentence for a crime he didn't commit, he ends up indebted to the brotherhood and trapped in the world of organized crime. He owes the club another week of service before he can walk away. But when the club and his family are the same thing, walking away becomes a life or death decision...for everyone he cares about.
First Line: "A scrawny meth-head with pock-marked skin made his way down the dark alley, counting the cash he just scammed from one of the strip joints owned by the Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club. Already twitchy as hell, and he didn't even know I was hiding behind the trash bin, waiting for him..."
Q. What do you do when secrets and family get in the way of love?
A. Easy. You make more secrets! 🤐
The Noir et Bleu is action packed with conflict at every turn. Family obligations, a lover who wants you to quit those obligations, and let's not even talk about the levels of deception. D.R. Graham does not disappoint in this standalone novel! The characters are complex and riveting. The Noir et Bleu is insatiable.
Lenard Desrochers is the odd child in his family. Born from a different father, he doesn't seem to fit in; he's not a giant of a man, he's not gung-ho for the Motorcycle Club his family owns, and he certainly doesn't want to follow in his older brothers' footsteps.
Len is loyal to his family, particularly his brothers, as well as the Noir et Bleu Motorcycle Club. Except, he doesn't want to be a biker. He wants to finish his college degree and live an ordinary life. Already having spent time in prison, Len doesn't crave danger and the biker thug life.
(Wait. Why was he sent to PRISON!?)
But the downside of the Noir et Bleu is that you're either in, or you're out. Len fears that when he tells his brothers he doesn't want to be in the club, he won't be able to see his mother, his nieces and nephews... or Isabella.
Ooh la la. C'est l'amour...
Isabella Isabella. The beautiful Isabella. If Len could have his way, he would have Izzy. The only problem is she is married to one of Len's brothers. Don't pursue this woman, Len!
Good thing there's a new girl working for the club, otherwise Len would continue swooning over his brother's wife! This is not the end for Isabella and the grasp she has on Len... Entering: Lauren. Sweet innocent Lauren has been hired as the club's book keeper. She is a straight shooting college girl just trying to gain experience. She wants none of the drama Len and his family present... Too late, sister! What she isn't expecting is to be entangled in a web of deceit. Lots of deceit!
Don't threaten me, don't frame me, and don't go anywhere near anyone I love. Or I'll obliterate you.
Lauren is hesitant to open up to Len, but Len is a panther on the PROWL, my friends! He has set his greedy filthy eyes on Lauren... and Len is quite the filthy animal. 😏
It was the strongest high ever, and I was genuinely concerned I might end up a Lolo junkie, trying to chase the dragon for the rest of my life.
Speaking of filthy animals... there is a rat in the club. Someone is being a snitch. Lives are at risk. $2 Million goes missing. The Noir et Bleu needs Len's help. The smart thing to do would be to say no. This is Len's chance to break free from the Motorcycle Club! Finally he can say no; you can do it, Lenny!
Len says yes.
So much for that. 🙄 And how did $2 Million go missing? Was this before or after Lauren started doing numbers for the club? Who is this Lauren girl, anyway? Is she the rat?? No way, not our sweet Lauren. Perhaps Isabella?
Let's not go blaming the women, now. Someone is up to no good, and Len is going to find out who it is. Family or not, justice must be served. Len just prays that after this final deed, he can leave the Noir et Bleu... there will always be another favor, another family truce... I can promise you that Lauren won't want to stick around for a second mess like this one.
Family or love? Does Len have to sacrifice one for the other? Methinks yes.
Every day I had to force myself not to contact her and struggled to come to terms with the fact that her memory would haunt me for the rest of my life...
WhooEEE! The Noir et Blue will take you on a wild ride straddling right and wrong, good and bad. Len is constrained by his brothers, but participating in the club's plots could get himself and Lauren hurt. Len already has enemies, he can't even trust his own family, and now the club has put everyone's lives in danger.
The Noir et Blue is sexy, sassy, and captivating! D.R. Graham will toss your heart into the inferno. Your emotions will lie stagnant, and dreary, only to be lifted up by Len and his incredible journey towards freedom. As Len finds independence and the strength to say "no," Lauren succumbs to Len's charms, learns to say "yes," and gains understanding to the limbo he's in.
It's just too bad that Len and Lauren's new found love is not enough to keep them safe.
Pack up your bags, friends, The Noir et Bleu is coming.