Road Rash (Shea Stevens #4), by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

Back in the swing of things, I eagerly reached for another book by Dharma Kelleher. Her latest novel in the Shea Stevens series packs a punch and offers readers some insights into the LGBTQ+ world with some of Kelleher’s first-hand knowledge. The author adds more grit to this piece—a self-styled biker thriller—and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat throughout, while also educating on a variety of topics. I am always pleased when Dharma Kelleher pens another book and this was no exception.

Shea Stevens has always been a proud active member of the Athena Sisterhood Motorcycle Club, while managing a custom bike shop as well. When she is asked to help locate the daughter of two friends in a local ‘cult’, Shea agrees with some trepidation. She knows nothing about cults and will have to style herself slightly differently in order to get the needed information. Still, she is willing to make whatever sacrifice needed to help a friend in need.

After a significant road accident, Shea is shaken but not deterred from going undercover, where she learns just how strong the power of suggestion can be. Remaining as acute as she can, Shea locates the woman she is to help extricate, but the power of the cult has already taken hold. It will surely be a fight to get answers and remove a young woman from the clutches of a powerful group.

All the while, Shea’s niece is attending an overnight camp that is not entirely what it seems. This could mean real trouble for Shea and the other girls at the camp, especially after the shake-up occurring at the cult’s main facility. Shea will have to scramble to ensure everyone is safe and justice prevails, as tough as that seems from time to time. Kelleher offers up another winner and has me eager to see what else she’s got up her sleeve in the coming years.

I am unsure how I found Dharma Kelleher or her books, but I have not once regretted doing so. Kelleher not only knows how to write with ease, but her style is smooth and full of interesting tidbits about both bikers and the LGBTQ+ community. I find things easy to comprehend, without feeling things are watered down, and am always keen to see what I will take away from one of her novels. There is much to be said for keeping an open mind as a reader and Dharma Kelleher has done well to prove just how worthwhile such acceptance can be.

I often find myself either liking or being turned off by a book in the opening pages. Dharma Kelleher is able to lure me in with her storytelling abilities no matter my mood. This novel provides a strong narrative and keeps the reader engaged as they are along for the ride. There is a handful of strong, key characters, many of whom are back in this piece, which allows the reader to trace their development or be entertained by all they have to offer. Short chapters keep the story moving along and permits the reader to devour large portions of the story in a single sitting. There are great plot twists throughout, which mix well alongside the grittiness of what’s being presented. Dharma Kelleher may come across as a humble author, but she is surely one to follow, as she has a great deal to say, for those eager to listen.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for keeping me entertained throughout.