Release Blitz (Book Review): The Iron Tiara by Beth Flynn

{BOOK REVIEW}
Title: The Iron Tiara (Nine Minutes Spin Off Novel)
Author: @AuthorBethFlynn
Reviewer: Rachel @RachelAnn901
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 stars

Anthony Bear and Christy Chapman are from two completely different worlds.

Anthony’s the leader of a motorcycle gang that terrorizes Florida’s West Coast. As a child, he ran away from his family and the Cherokee Indian Reservation to enter a life of crime. As an adult, he leads a multifaceted life managing his two businesses—his legitimate landscaping venture, and his loan shark and underworld dealings. Driven by anger and betrayal, Anthony begins the hunt for Christy’s father, Van Chapman, after he runs out on a loan.

Christy’s privileged life is not as it seems. She has kept painful family secrets and hidden some of her own. She’s determined to find out the truth and expose Van, but her search delivers her right into Anthony Bear’s hands, adding kidnapping to his list of crimes.

Their worlds are as contrasting as the color of their skin. The only thing they seem to have in common is their mutual disdain for Van Chapman…and each other.

They couldn’t be more wrong

The Iron Tiara is a spin-off novel from The Minutes Trilogy. It can be read as a standalone, and does not contain a cliffhanger.

 

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I love the world and the characters Beth Flynn created in the Nine Minutes series, and the chance to go back to that world again, especially for a character like Anthony Bear, is just too good to pass up on. We’re first introduced to Anthony Bear in Nine Minutes, and even though he didn’t get a lot of page time, he was someone who had a presence about him that grabbed your intention and intrigued you. From the moment The Iron Tiara began with Anthony sitting on a lawnmower staring at his blood soaked hands, he grabbed my attention again and never let it go.

“An heiress and a criminal, he thought. Not exactly a match made in heaven and by normal standards, one that could only end in doom.”

When a man who owes Anthony $70,000 decides to skip town, Anthony decides to take matters into his own hands and comes up with an idea…kidnap his stepdaughter and use her as leverage to get his money back. But like all best laid plans, things get complicated. Real complicated.

“Two days ago, he would’ve slit her throat without giving it a second thought. And somehow, in only forty-eight hours, he was now sitting here wondering what it would feel like to taste the skin near her throat.”

The love story between Anthony and Christy was so heartfelt, and they pulled me into from the very beginning. On paper they were two people who had nothing in common. They came from different backgrounds, had different upbringings. The princess and the criminal. You wouldn’t think a criminal and an heiress could make it work, but they were so much different than what they appeared to be on paper. Somehow they just fit together, both of them perfectly imperfect together, and I loved their chemistry and their banter and their weird little moments of quirkiness that endeared them to me all the more. Also it would’ve been very easy for Beth Flynn to fall into the trap that a lot of authors do when they write a spinoff series where the new couple feels like a retread of the original one, but this didn’t feel that way at all. Anthony Bear is very different from Grizz and Christy is different from Kit. They are different people in different circumstances, and they way they deal with and react to situations is not the same as well. I appreciated that Anthony and Christy were not a wash, rinse, and repeat of what she had already done before.

“He should’ve known the day he refused to let her buy her freedom that it would come to this. The absolute certainty that he needed to, had to, must possess Christy Chapman. And not just her body, but her heart and soul as well.”

Beth Flynn knows how to create a world and characters that will instantly pull you in and make you want to know more about everyone, especially with her use of flashback. The story goes back and forth quite frequently, but not in a way that feels confusing or jumbled. Rather it added to the characters, especially Anthony, and to the story. It felt like with every flashback another layer was being added to the story and it kept me engaged throughout. If there was one thing though that I had a problem with, and it was the thing that kept me from giving it five stars, it was the middle. The beginning of the story was a definite 5 stars but somewhere about halfway through, the story seemed to hit a wall for me and the plotline felt like it was in a kind of lull. I have no problem with instalove stories whatsoever when they’re well written, and Anthony and Christy were definitely well written, but after only 2 days together they were already having feelings for one another and he was already claiming her. Once they got together the story lost a bit of its steam, and I felt like I was waiting for something to happen in the plot for a good portion of the middle of the book. However towards the end it picked up again and we get some of those twists and plot reveals that Beth is good at and it pulled me right back in.

Just some extra notes:
● Kit and Grizz do makes appearances throughout the book. There’s overlapping with things that happen in Nine Minutes, so while Iron Tiara is a standalone I would recommend reading the Nine Minutes series first if you don’t want some of it spoiled for you. Also, I loved having them back in The Iron Tiara and I was kind of surprised by that. Usually authors will throw popular couples into spinoffs for no reason, but this didn’t feel gratuitous and Kitt and Grizz really added to the story
● Like her other Nine Minutes novels, there are moments of shocking violence in the Iron Tiara. Beth Flynn does not sugarcoat this world of criminals and biker gangs, and a few times I thought to myself that THIS ISN’T REALLY HAPPENING! THEY AREN’T REALLY GOING TO DO THAT?! Except they do because Beth Flynn doesn’t hold back on what these people are capable of.
● I’m not sure if Beth is going to write anymore novels in this series, but there was some set up for one couple and a cryptic line involving another character that definitely got my attention! Especially the couple (I won’t say who) because I loved them and there was some stuff going on behind the scenes that I need to know more about and I don’t know if she’s planning on writing it but I am here for it! ALL OF IT!

– Rachel

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

 

Beth Flynn is a fiction writer who lives and works in Sapphire, North Carolina, deep within the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Beth and her husband, Jim, have spent the last 19 years in Sapphire, where they own a construction company. They have been married 33 years and have two daughters and a temperamental pit bull named Lady , Beth enjoys writing, reading, gardening, church and motorcycles, especially taking rides on the back of her husband’s Harley. She is a seven-year breast cancer survivor.
 

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