Title: The Beard Made Me Do It
Series: The Dixie Wardens Rejects MC Series #5
Author: Lani Lynn Vale
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Model: Jacob Wilson – https://www.facebook.com/JacobWilsonInk
He’s only a friend.
Those words had haunted him from the moment Jessie James had heard them muttered from the one girl, above all others, that he thought had his back.
Sixteen years later, he still feels those words like a brand on his soul.
Lucky for him he has a son to take care of, a full-time job that demands every single second of the day, and not a single moment to spare for the likes of a woman that won’t stand up for him when he needs her the most.
He’s only a friend.
The words had slipped out of Ellen’s mouth, and before she could recall them or better yet, explain, Jesse is gone from her life for good, taking her heart with him.
She tries to find her way out of the pit of despair, but not one single person, no matter how much she tries, can fill the void that he left in his wake.
Time heals all wounds. Or at least that is how the saying goes.
It’s a crock of crap, though.
Sixteen years pass when Jessie and Ellen see each other again without the influence of the town and bad memories surrounding them, and it’s as if not a single day has passed.
Ellen knows the instant that her eyes see her old love that she’s still just as much in love with him today as she was all those years ago.
The problem is that Jesse wants nothing to do with her. Or at least that’s what he keeps telling himself.
“The want, the need, the passion, the drama and ohhhh THE HAWT ALPHA MC MALE, and look he is on the cover of this book!!! lol Goodness this book gave me the feels and I would love for this book to go on and on…lol” – iScream Books
“The Dixie Warden Rejects MC or as I call it the Bearded MC series just keeps getting better and better and leaves us yearning for more in the end.” – Smashly Bookalicous Reviewing Chicks
“If you like second chance romances packed with emotion, drama, and action you will definitely want to read this one.” – Cat’s Guilty Pleasures
After being introduced to Jesse and Ellen earlier in the series, their reactions to one another seemed more than just lust at first sight; their connection seemed deeper and the only way that could have been is if they’d known one another before they met because of their association with the Dixie Wardens. So going into The Beard Made Me Do It, I knew Jesse and Ellen’s past must have been left open-ended, and I was anxious to find out how they truly knew each other and how the nature of their relationship and consequent falling out shaped their future selves – individuals who definitely need closure on their past in order to move forward.
For fourteen years, Ellen’s been trying to come to terms with Jesse’s unexplained exit from her life, comparing every man to her high school love and being unable to settle down with anyone else because her heart still belongs to the man who destroyed it when he left and never came back.
Jesse James has been a single father since the day Linc was born and with the shitstorm that always seems to surround him, he thought letting Ellen go, setting her free to achieve all of her goals was what was best for both of them because Jesse didn’t want to bring Ellen into his maelstrom, especially with how unpredictable it was.
But what neither of them truly understood, until they re-entered one another’s lives all these years later, is that his leaving actually destroyed both of them, breaking them in ways that would only mend with a clear understanding of why Jesse left and then a open-mind as to what a future might look like for them as a couple…as a family of three who share an undeniable connection and an overwhelming amount of love.
I love how Lani Lynn Vale introduces future main characters as supporting characters in the other books in her series because just when readers think they have a handle on who these characters are, forming opinions about them, Vale reveals much needed insight into those characters’ back stories, giving the reasons behind their actions and allowing readers to look at the big picture and understand that these characters really don’t have a choice sometimes because the heart wants what it wants and it does the things it needs to in order to get the happiness it so desperately craves. And this idea is illustrated perfectly in The Beard Made Me Do It.
Ellen and Jesse’s book was an amazing read about sacrifice and the importance of finding a home and a family that truly has your back, even though you’re not blood related. And, Linc’s supporting role added such depth to the story line because the way that he acts and loves is all because of the way Jesse raised him, even when they were dirt poor and only had each other to rely on.
Once again, Ghost makes his presence known multiple times within the story, adding to the mystery of who he is and how he has become a man so skilled at getting information and finding people who truly don’t want to be found, and with Ghost’s story hopefully coming soon, there is a lot of information to sort through in order to truly understand a man who doesn’t want to be known.
4.5 Poison Apples