Isaak “Ice” Koval is on a club mission when he sees a woman who stops him dead in his tracks. Soleil is a sweet, sexy, girl-next-door type. She’s an innocent who should be nowhere near the rough-and-ready world of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club. But Ice knows Soleil belongs with him—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.
After a life of drifting from one thing to the next, Soleil Brodeur is determined to take control of her life. When her breakup with her manipulative fiancé turns ugly, Soleil searches out the stranger who offered her a lifeline and ends up in a Las Vegas biker bar where she meets a gorgeous, dangerous man straight out of her most secret fantasies.
High on adrenaline, she finds herself falling faster than she thought possible. But Soleil knows little about the territory she’s stumbled into, and even less about what it really means to be Ice’s woman…
#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan pushes the limits in her next novel in the Torpedo Ink series, and The Big Thrill had a chance to ask her a few questions about VENDETTA ROAD:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
Vendetta Road is about the possibility of redemption. No matter what your beginnings in life, you can rise above it. You just need to want to become better. You need to keep learning from your mistakes.
Also, that the family you choose can be what helps save you.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
Any book that’s well researched and well written makes a contribution to the genre.
My Torpedo Ink series, of which VENDETTA ROAD is the third in the series, addresses a multitude of issues, all of which are well researched.
I think readers will find it interesting in that you have perceived villains, outlaws, as heroes. These are men and women who were raised from childhood to be killers. Now that they’re free, they look to save people from the fate they were dealt.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
I’m almost always surprised as I write my books. I learn so much through the research process. I am fortunate to have primary sources that are therapists and counselors. The issues my characters face are issues people face in real life concerning PTSD and abuse. It’s important to me that I reflect these issues in a responsible way. When I learned that people who’ve gone through the kind of abuse my characters endured as children will always have to endure some level of PTSD their entire lives, I knew I’d need to be thoughtful in how their relationships developed.
Isaak “Ice” Koval was kidnapped, along with his siblings, and sent to a school that abused him and trained him to be a killer. Empathy is something he couldn’t easily afford.
But when he meets Soleil he has his own epiphany. The things he likes to participate in are dangerous and even though he enjoys it, those same things put Soleil in danger, which goes against every protective instinct he has.
I was surprised by his reaction to having what he wanted to do be in direct conflict with his need to keep her safe.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
Two things come to mind:
One is that even though the story is about Ice and Soleil, it’s also about the entire group. 287 children were kidnapped and put into a school in Russia that abused them and trained them to be assassins. By the time the school was taken down only 18 of them survived. These stories are about those survivors. It’s about surviving as a group and as individuals.
Secondly, I think it’s important to let people know that the stories can be difficult for people who have triggers with sexual abuse. I don’t go into graphic detail about the child abuse, but it’s clear these children were subjected to physical and sexual violence. And Torpedo Ink specifically goes after pedophiles. That’s not an easy topic for many people. But things like human trafficking and child sexual abuse happen in real life and it’s important to me to tell the stories of survivors and offer hope.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
I’ve always been a voracious reader. Even as a child you could always find me either reading or writing. Stories were my life.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes was like candy for me. I read each and every book. I love that character, how brilliant, how flawed he was. Later in life I would discover Laurie R. King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and read those novels as well. Sherlock Holmes has always been a favorite of mine.
Another author that influenced me is Robert Ludlum. His Jason Bourne books intrigued me and I’ve read them many times. I love the action and adventure. I loved the romantic elements. I’m always on the lookout for stories like this.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.