Reaper’s Fall by Joanna Wylde

November 8, 2015 Book Review 4 ★★★★

Reaper’s Fall by Joanna Wylde four-stars
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
Pages: 384
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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.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

By LilyAnother 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 aspects 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

 

By SpiceWow! 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.  Of course, 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

 

 

four-stars

About Spice

Sugar and Spice and everything nice, but make her mad and she'll pull out her bad...

4 Responses to “Reaper’s Fall by Joanna Wylde”

  1. Joanna Wylde

    Hey there – thank you so much for the review! I wanted to address your soapbox comment at the end, though. I happen to be in my 40s, and I wrote the line that “old people shouldn’t have sex” tongue in cheek, to show the immaturity of the girls saying it… That was a deliberate characterization choice, demonstrating that they were still very callow in many ways. Additionally, they were saying it about their parent figures, and I think it’s reasonable to say that we all think of our parents as “old” regardless of how young they are.

    I’m sorry the humor didn’t translate for you, but please know that it wasn’t my intention to insult, and my husband (also in his 40s) and I laughed over it quite a bit.

    Thank you again for a wonderful review.

  2. Spice

    Thanks for commenting. Good to hear you’re not actively against 35 plus year olds. I wouldn’t have said anything if it was a one-time deal, but in previous books, there have been other comments from characters. For instance, comments saying Picnic looks pretty good for an old guy (I think he was 38 at the time) or female characters feeling bad since they weren’t as young as some of the club girls etc. It’s not just me noticing these things and I’ve had several conversations about it after the release of previous books in the series. Convo’s that I didn’t initiate.

    There is no doubt that as a woman gets older she feels a loss of her youth, but truly in my late 20’s through my 30’s, I saw young 20 somethings and didn’t feel frumpy, I just was glad I wasn’t that stupid and clueless anymore (or ever for some of the girls I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with).

    Your comment did make me laugh when you said that about kids and parents. My youngest is in college, my oldest is 25. I actually asked them about it since they say “ew, get a room” when their Dad grabs my ass and they catch him. During a freaking hilarious conversation about it, they said it’s not an age thing since they don’t think we are old, it’s a parent thing since no one wants to think about their parents having sex. Of course, I’m pretty sure my daughter had a tequila shot right afterwards, LOL.

    It sounds like you don’t realize you are doing it, which is a relief. I love the Reapers. The thought of Horse will always make me smile. I’m glad I won’t have to give up reading about them.

  3. Joanna Wylde

    I wouldn’t say that I didn’t realize I was doing it – I would say it was deliberate. It’s my lived experience that as I age, I have at times felt less secure. So do many of my friends and there are entire industries built around women trying to recapture their youth. I think it’s a major issue for many women, and to me it feels natural and right to explore that with my characters. You’ll note that while they do experience these feelings, they ultimately work through them. Part of aging is experiencing it and then accepting that you are changed but not less than you were before.

    On Friday I took my kids on a field trip to a local university, and saw how clearly the students there saw me (and the other parents) as very old and “other.” This is the hubris of youth and it’s funny. Writers create their characters based on what they see, and to those young people, a 38 year old is ancient. It’s a ridiculous world view, so why not tweak it and have fun with it as a writer? An observation from a very young and callow woman that a 38 year old looks good for an “old guy” isn’t an insult to the 38 year old – it’s a mockery of the silliness and short-sighted nature of youth.

    If anything, I’m bothered by the fact that exploring a natural feeling – insecurity over the loss of youth as one matures, something well documented as a broad experience in our population – would be considered an act of hostility toward those over the age of 35. We should be able to explore such things in books, and do so in a way that’s true to the characters. Young characters see older characters as old because that is part of the human condition. Women do at times feel insecure as they age. All of this can and should be fodder for a writer who is interested in writing books featuring characters of all ages, and I think if you were reading it from the other point of view, you’d see as many comments about the silliness of youth in those same books. If anything, they’re prejudiced against younger characters.

  4. Spice

    Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have said stupid when describing young people, just clueless. Oops.

    I’m blessed that I get to spend lots of time with kids. I worked in a high school library for years (one of my favorite places to work ever), and since my youngest is in college at a school only 30 minutes away, I get to see him and his friends fairly often since I’m the go to place to get home cooked food and I even deliver if asked nicely. Never have these kids made me feel old, or given me the impression they think of me as anything other than a parent. Maybe the differences in kids outlook on age we are seeing is geographical? Who knows? Let’s maybe agree to disagree.

    I read quite a bit. Sometimes a book a day. Lots of romance books explore a woman’s varying feelings about the aging process. There is no doubt sometimes getting older can suck and I have read many books that bring this issue up and I’ve enjoyed them and not gotten annoyed. But I have to say, yours is the only series that I outright noticed the “old” comments or that others pointed out to me and said they were mildly offended.

    I’m glad you aren’t purposely trying to insult people over the age of 35. I’ll keep that in mind for the next one and just enjoy the book. I’ll say it again, I love this series.

    PS: I’ll change the first line of my soapbox since you definitely aren’t prejudiced against people our age.

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