Reaper's Fall by Joanna Wylde
Series: Reapers MC #5
Also in this series: Reapers and Bastards: A Reapers MC Anthology, Reaper's Fire
Published by Berkley on November 10th 2015
Genres: Biker / MC
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He never meant to hurt her.
Levi “Painter” Brooks was nothing before he joined the Reapers motorcycle club. The day he patched in, they became his brothers and his life. All they asked in return was a strong arm and unconditional loyalty—a loyalty that’s tested when he’s caught and sentenced to prison for a crime committed on their behalf.
Melanie Tucker may have had a rough start, but along the way she’s learned to fight for her future. She’s escaped from hell and started a new life, yet every night she dreams of a biker whose touch she can’t forget. It all started out so innocently—just a series of letters to a lonely man in prison. Friendly. Harmless. Safe.
Now Painter Brooks is coming home… and Melanie’s about to learn that there’s no room for innocence in the Reapers MC.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Another good one!
Well normally you wouldn’t catch me saying this, but I would check out the bonus back story at the end of Reaper’s Fall. It goes back to when Melissa and Painter first met. If you’re like me and have a lot of series on the go, sometimes remembering all the details (short of a refresher read before release day) can be a challenge!
Back to why I enjoyed the latest book in the Reapers Series, first up there’s no instant hook up. No denying the attraction but as Painter has a reputation for having a Madonna-whore complex, he puts Mel on a virtual pedestal much to her dismay. As pen-pals while Painter is in jail, Mel interprets their relationship as heading in a romantic direction but soon gets the message from Painter he has no intention of going beyond friends.
They spend a lot of effort holding back from each other, well Painter does and Mel finds herself losing hope of ever getting Painter’s attention to the point she swears off bikers. Not easy to do when her adopted mother is the Old Lady of the President of the local MC.
Melissa and Painter are two stubborn characters. The story focuses on how hell bent they are on holding their ground and the price they paid for doing so. Impulsive decisions and long memories dictated poor choices in hindsight and provided the backdrop for lots of angst. There are intervals of reprieve where the chemistry over rules their better judgment and the intensity of those moments more than made up for the quiet brooding.
With both being heavily influenced by their youth, it was Painter who won me over. I thought he got dealt a hard start in life and when he steps up to do right it goes mostly unrecognised. Looking back, he got the same reaction out of people when he did the same as a child. He gave up back then but this time his reasons for continuing are admirable to say the least. I grant you his tactics weren’t always the best, but he had no first-hand experiences to draw upon.
Mel gets on with her life, sharing accommodation with her childhood friend Jessica. Their history consisted of Mel looking out for Jess, but now it’s the other way around. With Mel and Jess in their early college years and Painter not having any commitments apart from the MC, there’s a definite new adult feel to the story line. A few of the antics had me raising my eyebrows and some shit stirring takes immaturity to a whole new level. Neither aspect put me off the story, in fact, I basically went off grid from the first page.
The story ends with two epilogues, neither what I expected and without using spoilers it’s hard to explain. They’re not bad, they just threw me at the time I read them. What I thought was great and had mentioned earlier was having the back story of how Melissa and Painter met, which would have been handy had it been placed at the beginning of the book.
What I loved:
- Painters resolve to do right once he became focused
- Melissa’s strength
What I struggled with:
- The Hayes girls and their antics
- The epilogue – leaving me up in the air as to whether they got what they expected
- Jessica- she had some less than stellar moments
Lily’s Rating 5 stars
Wow! This book was just wave after wave of conflicting feelings…on my part. At the end I loved it but it was one heck of a ride to get there.
Reapers Fall is Painter and Melanie’s book. I went into it hoping against all hope that maybe Painter would grow a pair and actually go after what he wanted this time. Since it was his book, I assumed he would… but I was a tad bit worried since he didn’t impress me in the preceding books.
At the end of Reapers Stand, Painter and Melanie had spent a teensy bit of time together, but he got arrested and ended up in prison. They wrote letters back and forth, not romantic, but there were definitely feelings on both sides. When Painter gets out, he decides his perfect little princess is too good for him so he pushes her away. Thus starts this back and forth where Painter pushes forward then pulls away. She’s his best friend and he doesn’t want to ruin it. I get that, but again, but it was frustrating that at 30% Painter still wasn’t man enough to go after his woman.
Finally, he goes for it, and all is good for a bit. Then he epically, and I mean epically screws up. Due to Painter’s unbelievably bad decision, Melanie ends up alone and pregnant. This isn’t a spoiler, we know from the beginning of the book she has a child with Painter, and they were not together.
Once Painter comes back into the picture he has some serious grovelling to do. He is determined to show he is ready to be a father and a man Melanie can count on. This is when we learn our girl Melanie can hold a mean grudge. I am not blaming her for holding that grudge either. It was a righteous one. She’s not trying to keep him from his daughter, she just wants nothing to do with him. My comment towards the end was “Okay, am I crazy that I like that she loves him warts and all, calls him on the fact that he’s a dick, and tries like hell to stay away from him?”
The good news is we get to see Painter grow up in this book. By the end, he was still a screaming asshat, but he was an asshat trying to do right by his child and the woman he loved. He did all sorts of things that made me shake my head with horror and he will never be a favorite H of mine, but he ends up kind of redeeming himself…. Sort of.
After finishing, I decided I loved it. Yes, I rolled my eyes a lot, for a good portion of the book I thought Painter was missing more than a few brain cells, and I got mad at the things I was reading on my screen, but I truly had a great time reading it.
Spice’s Rating: 4 Stars
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