Fearless: The Complete Novel (Dartmoor Book 1)

Author: Lauren Gilley

Genre: Literary Fiction


Knoxville, Tennessee. A sprawling industrial complex on the banks of the Tennessee River. An outlaw Motorcycle Club full of men who refuse to play by society’s rules…and the women tough enough to love them. This is the world of the Lean Dogs.

This is not a romance. Leave everything you think you know about biker books at the door. Dive into the series reviewers are calling “amazing,” “unique,” and “one of the best MC reads for 2015.” A Southern family drama with teeth, literary style, and none of the old clichés. Enter at your own risk…


From the author of the Walker Series comes a family drama like no other, a sprawling character epic, a forbidden love story full of angst, adventure, heartbreak, and second chances. Welcome to the mother chapter of the Lean Dogs Motorcycle Club; meet the girl raised by outlaws, and the fearsome man who will always hold her heart.

Ava Teague left for college with a busted heart and a deeply ingrained love for her biker family. She returns home to Knoxville for grad school, just in time for her father to accept the burden of president…and for Mercy Lécuyer to roll back into town, looking to patch into the Tennessee chapter once more. She’ll steer clear of him, she tells herself. She has a new life, a new boyfriend, and a new outlook. But she can’t shake her DNA. And maybe she doesn’t want to.

Felix Lécuyer left the swamps of Louisiana for a life as an outlaw biker named Mercy, but it was his family, and the retribution he dealt because of it, that made him famous within the club. Fourteen years ago he fled New Orleans for Knoxville, to become an extractor and bodyguard within the mother chapter, guarding Ghost Teague’s family, becoming a constant companion to little Ava. When she was seventeen, he finally crossed the line. Now she’s twenty-two, and he’s back in town as an old nemesis rears its ugly head, and puts the entire club in danger. The fate of the club is uncertain, but Mercy has no doubts about his heart; it still belongs to Ava.


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I don’t even know where to start with this review! If you appreciate this book for what it is, literary fiction, you’ll get so much more out of it. The author is truly descriptive. So much so that I could vividly picture the scenes playing out across the screen thanks to her lush descriptions. I’ve never been to the swamps of New Orleans or seen a tar paper house but I could totally envision it! Fearless is the kind of book that you sink your teeth into for days and read at a leisurely pace to enjoy every moment. It’s not one that you race through to find the next hot sex scene (though you will find plenty of those). It reminded me of a TV series, a favorite one where you get to know all the characters and each of them has an important role. Sure, ultimately this is Mercy and Ava’s love story but their story wouldn’t be possible without all the other characters / events taking place throughout the novel. Even though you will be in a hurry to see what happens with them, take your time and savor every little bit of the story. The story goes back and forth in time to cover a lifetime of events and, believe me, everything that happens on these pages is important to the ending. It’s not often I come across a book that has all the things from first love to violence to adventure to heartbreak to left-hand worthy sex scenes to retribution to honor to friendship to brotherhood. It reminds me of books I used to read before I started picking up erotica. Lately I zip through so many 200-page books that getting lost in an 800+ page novel was amazing! It’s like four books in one for only $3.99! Talk about getting more bang for your buck!

Ava is a young woman who grew up fully immersed in the MC world. Her dad was VP of the club and she was exposed to the dangers that accompany that position from a young age. What does a biker dad do to protect his family when danger is present? He gets them the biggest, badass, scariest dude in town to guard them. But what happens when that scary mofo is actually a soulful deep thinker with a kindness hidden so far deep it will take one special girl to bring it out? Ava and Mercy have a 13-year age difference but over the course of time their connection deepens and changes shapes until one day their attraction sparks and there’s no stopping them. It was so fascinating to read about their taboo relationship and to root for them.

Mercy is a sexy Cajun from New Orleans who whispers sexy words in French. He’s a killer and has seen and committed unspeakable acts of horror and violence, but underneath it all he has a gentle heart and his love for Ava is pure. I loved Mercy so much! He made plenty of missteps over the course of their relationship, but I never doubted his love or profound feelings for Ava. Plus, I kept envisioning Mercy as Jason Momoa. What’s not to love? Ava is a brilliant, brave, tough, and beautiful young woman. She’s been through hell and back in her relationship with Mercy and she remained so strong. She made so many brave decisions throughout the novel. I loved her and was rooting for her the entire time!

I should mention the “supporting” characters too, but they were so much more than “supporting.” Every character in this book is unique and distinct and has a reason for being there. Their roles were integral to the story. Fearless has a sometimes lovable sometimes violent cast of characters that will leave you emotional. Throughout this book, I was thinking of the theme of honoring the family you’re born into and the family you choose.

Go 1-click Fearless today! Take your time and fall in love with this world and these characters. I seriously cannot say enough great things about this book! It may start as a slow build, but keep reading. I finished this book a few weeks ago and went right back to page 1 to start a reread. And while this story resolved things and didn’t end on a cliffhanger, there are other books in this series that follow the lives of the Lean Dogs MC. I’m super excited to jump into the next book to meet new favorites, but I’d be willing to bet Ava and Mercy will always hold a special place in my heart.


5 Stars


Now available as a complete novel, Fearless launches a thrilling new series about the Lean Dogs of Tennessee, and the women tough enough to love them. Look for Book II: Price of Angels; A Novella: Half My Blood; Book III: The Skeleton King; Book IV: Secondhand Smoke.



Lauren Gilley was (mostly) raised in a barn, where her attention to detail led her to the sport of dressage. She earned a degree in Business Management, but her true calling has always been fiction-writing. She writes Literary Fiction which is sometimes mistaken for romance, and is passionate about elegant, evocative prose, and complex character development. When she’s not crafting novels, she’s mucking stalls…and thinking about novels. She lives in the South.

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