Aleck Sanford had everything growing up, absolutely everything, except for the one thing he and his sister desired the most: the love of their parents. After many years of emotional neglect, Aleck only understood the love between siblings, his parents certainly didn’t love them or even each other. How do you pick yourself up when everything around you falls apart? When the only person to love you has to leave?
Everything changed when he met Charline Dane. Still affected by his past, Aleck doesn’t understand or do relationships but he wants her. He just doesn’t know what to do about it. When Charline’s past catches up with her Aleck is forced to make a decision: fight or flight?
Will Aleck finally give into his feelings for Charline and save her before it’s too late or will their pasts get in the way? Will they both be able to overcome history and start anew?
First, many thanks to Muriel Garcia, who provided a copy of Teaching Aleck in exchange for an honest review.
We first meet Aleck in Saving Ayden, the first book in this series. Aleck is another member of the Last Hangman MC, and is the sergeant at arms, a fairly high ranking position. The other main character is Charline. She and Ayden (who is the daughter of the MC President) have been best friends since childhood, and as such, both grew up in and around the MC. She was attracted to Aleck from the time that she met him. Due to the fact that she was underage at the time, Aleck wisely kept her at arm’s length. Charline has grown up a lot since then, and means to make Aleck notice the changes in her.
The timeline in this book runs concurrently with the first in the series for a while, taking us through these character’s reactions and interactions while that story is playing out, and then on into the future. First we learn a bit about Aleck’s past, which I will leave a mystery, other than to say it was pretty bad, and not what I expected. He has had some history of heroin abuse, and to his credit, kicked the habit when he joined the Last Hangman. He can truly say that the LH saved him. Years later, Charline re-enters his life. He is more stable, but is no more interested in any kind of a relationship. When he tells her this, it crushes her, and she avoids him for a good period of time afterwards.
With Ayden’s gentle **hysterical laughter** urging, Aleck tries to talk to Charline, and make her see why he is the way he is. He reveals some of the facts of his past and tells her that he was just too messed up, that she should find some nice normal guy. I’m not even going to lie, about this point in the book I wanted to choke him out. I roll my eyes at your “issues”, Aleck. Seriously, there comes a point in your life when you have to take responsibility for your own actions, and place the blame for the actions of others where it belongs, on them. Anyhow, before I slip any further down that tangent, Charline does just that. She begins dating a firefighter named Brian, and does not see Aleck again for several more months down the road. When they meet again Brian happens to be with her, and Aleck has the nerve to pull her to the side and pretty much ask her, “What do you want with this jerk?” Charline reads him the riot act, really gives it to him with both barrels. (Hooray!) But Charline really does still carry a torch for Aleck, despite his schizoid ways, and is woman enough to admit to herself that she really isn’t that into Brian, even if she doesn’t want to break up with him right away.
Charline is run off the road by some bikers from another club. She has noticed them following her off and on for months now, but hasn’t told anyone about it. Now frightened, she calls Aleck, who comes to her rescue, pulling her out of her wrecked car. From the description she gives Aleck, he recognizes one of the bikers as a guy named Blades, from a club called the Bastards from Hell. The Bastards are a rival club of Last Hangman, and they have had dealings and disagreements with them before. He meets back up with Anthony and Gabe, who have just discovered some more of Blade’s business. They arrange a meeting with Ray, the president of the Bastards. Blades’ dirty deeds were done without the knowledge of his betters, and Ray washes his hands of him, allowing the Hangmen to mete out their own form of justice as they saw fit. But little do they know that the fun is just beginning, and Charline is right in the middle of it. If you thought the Bastards from Hell were a ruthless club, you are in for a surprise, because the club introduced in this book is even more dangerous. They are known as the Hades Kings. The Last Hangman and the Bastards from Hell have something in common, a point of honor, if you will: they do not harm women. The Hades Kings, on the other hand, have no such rule, and treat women horribly, kidnapping them, abusing them, selling them - you can imagine. The LH is contacted by a detective on the police department, Jason Sanders. You can guess an outlaw biker club’s reaction to the law walking up into their compound. They don’t trust him, but he tells them that he has a man on the inside of the Hades Kings, and offers them vital information that ultimately pans out in their favor. Sanders has his own motives as well - his wife is being threatened, ever since he cooperated with the MC to free Cabe in the previous book.
While all of this is going on behind the scenes, Charline has broken up with her firefighter boyfriend and made a fresh start with her new job teaching preschool. A big secret of Aleck’s comes out, which makes her see him (and him see her) in a whole new light. Shortly after they tentatively start communicating, Charline begins receiving threatening notes and calls, but no connection is made to whom might be doing it. As time passes, the situation becomes more and more tense, and the cat and mouse game turns deadly for everyone involved. War is on the horizon.
There were a few things in this book that I feel were worthy of a special mention: Aleck’s past heroin use, and his acknowledgement that he still feels the temptation to use was very well done, and realistic. Heroin is extremely hard to quit, and I have to give him kudos for his success. That being said, I lost count of how many times I wanted to elbow Aleck in the mouth during this book. (lol) The boy just had a way of getting under my skin! I love that there was more “club business” during this book, and hope that trend continues throughout the other books.
Next up is Healing Gabe. **dives in**
About the Author:
Muriel Garcia was born and raised in Belgium. She started writing a little over a year ago and never thought she would ever publish; reading and writing weren’t her favorite things to do in high school.
After one of her friends gave her a challenge – the next time they would attend a book signing, she would be a signing author (it did happen!) – she started to take writing a lot more seriously and never looked back. She’s enjoyed every second of it and the friends she’s made along the way.
She loves music, tattoos—especially on hot men, traveling, and cooking. She has always had an overly imaginative and creative mind but never thought of putting words to paper. Now she couldn’t imagine not writing stories that are near and dear to her heart.