Reaper's Fire by Joanna Wylde
Series: Reapers MC #6
Also in this series: Reapers and Bastards: A Reapers MC Anthology, Reaper's Fall
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on August 9th 2016
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"The club comes first. I've lived by those words my whole life--assumed I'd die by them, too, and I never had a problem with that. My Reaper brothers had my back and I had theirs, and it was enough. Then I met her. Tinker Garrett. She's beautiful, she's loyal, and she works so damned hard it scares me sometimes...She deserves a good man--one better than me. I can't take her yet because the club still needs me. There's another woman, another job, another fight just ahead. Now she'll learn that I've been lying to her all along. None of it's real. Not my name, not my job, not even the clothes I wear. She thinks I'm nice. She pretends we're just friends, that I've still got a soul...Mine's been dead for years. Now I'm on fire for this woman, and a man can only burn for so long before he destroys everything around him. I'm coming for you, Tinker. Soon"--
It all came down to loyalty.
The only one of us to score an ARC of Reaper’s Fire was Sparkles, and the poor woman had to read without the support from her girls. When there was a mix up with the blitz info, it gave us time to put together a TMTM review with all three of us since Lily and I purchased our copies and devoured them.
Gage is on an undercover mission to infiltrate the Nighthawk Raiders, a Reapers support club who they suspect is going to the dark side. The only in he has is Talia, the president of the Nighthawk’s sister. As Sparkles so eloquently puts it, she’s a “crazy skank ho” and one of the most unlikable characters Lily has ever read (and she reads some dark and twisty books). Of course, this is when Gage, the Reaper’s worst manwhore, meets Tinker, the woman who could be his one.
We were all ‘Team Tinker’ and none of us was happy with Gage being busy with what his undercover mission required but all of us understood why. His club needed him to play his part and figure out exactly what was going on with the Nighthawk Raiders. To put himself first and go after Tinker would have made him less of the man he needed to be. Sure Mrs. Wylde could have tied up his time with Talia into a cute little bow at 25%, but that would have been too easy and taken away from the overall experience. Even when Gage was otherwise engaged, the chemistry between him and Tinker was combustible, full of longing looks and lustful thoughts which helped us get through the difficult part.
While Gage was the perfect example of an alpha-hole biker badass, Tinker was definitely up to the task of bringing the Reaper’s most notorious manwhore down. Her loyalty to her Dad, her hard work ethic and her genuineness had Gage head over heels. She has a lot to contend with, but she kept it all together as best she could.
The story flowed keeping us glued to the book, but we all would have liked the Brandon, Joel and Marsh situations fleshed out more than they were. The time spent with Tinker as she got her life back in order again counterbalanced the frustration we experienced with Gage and his loyalty to the Reapers.
The action, the biker politics, and even the background story were fantastically executed. We loved Gage and Tinker as a couple, loved how the whole club was present, even if not physically there all the time, and the end to their story was simply beautiful. The disappointment we all experienced was because there were some huge threads left dangling leaving things with an unfinished feel. At the end of the day, we loved this book and are hoping to see the those threads dealt with in later books.
What We Struggled With:
- Gage’s relationship with Talia.
- Tinker’s Ex, Brandon. His storyline was not as fleshed out as it could have been and then just fizzled out.
- Marsh. Another character who played a major part, but who we really didn’t get to know.
- Joel: Why was he even included? View Spoiler »We would have liked it more if Tinker had actually got her some while Gage was with Talia. « Hide Spoiler
What We Loved:
- Tinker’s relationship with her Dad and how she struggled to adjust to her life as an adult helping a parent.
- Carrie. Everyone needs a friendship as close as those two had and every mother needs a friend like Tinker who you know will protect your kids.
- The banter between Gage and Picnic.
- A book full of so many awesome quotes, our highlighters would have run dry if we’d had print copies.
EDGy’s Group Rating: 4 Stars.
As I received an ARC copy and I really didn’t want Spice and Lily to disown me for spoiling Reaper’s Fire for them (as they had to check my review), I tried to be as vague about the details as possible.
Let me start this by saying that this one is not a safe story, so if you hate with a fiery passion books where there is another woman… then you most definitely want to skip this one or dive in with lots of alcohol in your system.
Gage is on club business–the Reapers need intel about another club and the easiest way to get an in is through the current president’s crazy skank ‘ho of a sister. Thus Gage takes one for the team becoming Cooper and then sets on hooking up with Talia (the crazy skank ‘ho). For this, he’ll need a reason for staying around in town, so when a handyman needed sign catches his attention he believes everything is working in his favor. That is until he sees the landlady, and finds everything he ever wanted, dreamed and needed in a woman all at the same time.
Tinker takes one look at Cooper/Gage and every feminine hormone in her body goes crazy. She knows better than to hire some random man she doesn’t know, but he knows the work and he is there… and he is hawt.
Now Gage’s and Tinker’s chemistry? Off the charts hot. Gage is one filthy minded mofo and he wants into her pants. Unfortunately for all of us, club business comes first and he can’t go there with her while Talia is in the picture. This is mostly because Talia is the crazy-skank-‘ho-psycho-biker-bitch to rule all the crazy-skank-‘ho-psycho-biker-bitches in history. That chick was whacked. COMPLETELY. And it really pissed me off to have to have read about Gage hate-fucking her. In detail. More than once. So as I said, if you’re into super safe stories, steer clear of this one.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely no cheating involved (well, maybe a teensy itty wee bit, but not that it really mattered) as Gage and Tinker’s romantic relationship doesn’t really start before the 47% mark. Before that, there’s attraction, chemistry and a lot of longing and lustful looks, but they are by no means together in other than a friends/landlady-tenant/boss-employee type relationship. I also understood why the story had to go that way and I got the reason behind it, this still doesn’t mean I had to like it or enjoy it, and let’s just say that View Spoiler »Gage fucking Talia while thinking of Tinker and kind of being disgusted by enjoying himself while fucking her was not my favorite part of this book « Hide Spoiler
That said, I couldn’t put this book down. I was hooked from the very first sentence until the last word and it’s a great book. The beginning is way rough and absolutely heartbreaking, giving us the background for Tinker’s character and how she got to the place she was in.
I loved Tinker, she was sassy and smart, loyal and hardworking but also caring and sweet. She could take care of herself and did, but wasn’t an idiot about it. She might have pissed me off a little here and there but nothing even remotely close to youknowwho.
Gage was a Reaper through and through. Having never met a woman to spike his interest for real, he had no qualms about putting the club first. It was really fun to see the badass, alpha biker having to first, act like crazy-skank-‘ho-psycho-biker-bitch’s bitch to get the job done and at the same time how he dealt with his changing feelings for Tinker and his own concepts about relationships. I felt like both Gage and Tinker grew as people through the story and I really liked where their relationship went.
“I should lock her up, make her my prisoner until she acknowledged once and for all who she belonged to. Maybe even tattoo my name across that ass of hers. That way any fucker stupid enough to try and get into her pants would know the name of his murderer.”
While I greatly enjoyed reading Reaper’s Fire, and I’d go as far as to say it is now one of my favorites in the series. The truth is that the first half of the book (read: crazy-skank-‘ho-psycho-biker-bitch’s central role and the sex scenes) really pissed me off. I wish that part could have been a bit lighter or more condensed and frankly, a lot less detailed. The action, the biker politics, and even the background stuff was fantastically done. I loved them as a couple, loved how the whole club was present, even if not physically all the time, and the end to their story was simply wonderful.
Reaper’s Fire is a great addition to the Reaper’s MC series and IMO Gage and Tinker are one of the best couples so far. I definitely recommend it… just, you know, remember I did warn you…
I received a complimentary copy of this book from A Promo Service in exchange for an honest review.
Sparkles’ Rating: 4 “I’m pushy like that” Stars
I waited what felt like forever for Reaper’s Fire, and the entire time I read it, I freaking adored it, well..until the end. Don’t get me wrong, even at the end I still adored it, I was just a little disappointed in it.
That’s not to say there weren’t parts of this book that were hard to read. There were, but since this was mainly a book about loyalty, I completely understood. Loyalty being tested is never a good thing which means there are some rough roads in this book.
From the synopsis we know that Gage met Tinker at exactly the wrong time. Undercover, he’s forced to be with a woman he hates, but the club comes first and no matter how drawn he is to Tinker, if he does what’s best for him the result could be his brothers dying.
I know that some were bothered by Gage being with Talia for almost half the book, but since I saw the necessity of it, although I didn’t like it, the situation didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. To put himself first and go after Tinker would have made him less of the man I needed him to be. Sure Mrs. Wylde could have tied up his time with Talia into a cute little bow at 25%, but I think that would have been too easy and taken away from the overall experience.
I loved that even though he was slowly falling for Tinker, he didn’t act on it, well except for that one oops that didn’t end well at all. What he did do was help Tinker in every way he could. This allowed us to see them come together as almost friends first. The chemistry between them was smoking, but even though she respected him less because of who she thought he was with, Tinker got glimmers of who the real Gage was, and although perplexed by it, that’s what she latched on to. As for the real Gage, his loyalty, strength, compassion, and his alphahole tendencies put him on my favorite Reaper list.
Tinker is one of the stronger female leads in the Reaper’s books. It wasn’t only Gage’s loyalty being tested since Tinker was undergoing her own trials too. Her marriage imploded in a heartbreaking way but she had no plans to move back to her hometown. Her mother’s sudden death and her father’s sudden health issues changed all this. Originally coming home to see what was up with her Dad, she needed to make the decision whether to permanently stay in the town she did not like or taking her Dad away from everything he knew. Tinker was also dealing with a difficult soon to be ex-husband a plot point I think could have been explored a lot more, but I’ll sum it up for you: he was a politically motivated douchebag that needed his ass kicked.
Seeing as things were going on that caused Gage to have to go undercover for the club, there was obviously a mystery to solve and bad people to take down. Talia was a bonafide phsyco and her brother was arguably worse. Things were not well in this club, and Gage was left walking an extremely dangerous tightrope as he tried to figure things out. During all this, wildfires were raging out of control in the National Forest, and at times they seemed like a full on character in and of itself, albeit a scary, shadowy and threatening one.
The reason I was left feeling disappointed was because two major plot points seemed to be left dangling and unresolved with no explanation and not even a hint that they would be continued in the next book. The epilogue was sweet, but even that left me puzzled as to why Tinker and Gage felt the need to do the beautiful thing they did. I would have loved to been along for that journey.
I laughed a lot, and when Gage and Tinker finally got to act on that smoking chemistry, it was off the charts hot. I also loved Gage and Picnic’s phone calls. As serious as things were they had me cracking up. When Picnic and Hunter arrived, even with the seriousness of the situation, they still had me chuckling. When I closed the book I decided even with the rough roads and some disappointment at the end of the journey, I very much enjoyed the ride.
Spice’s Rating: 4 Loyalty is Everything Stars.
I enjoyed Reaper’s Fire, not as much as Reaper’s Property but as it is in my top 10 of biker reads that’s a high standard to match. Again, this was a story basically about a Reaper who falls for a woman and has to ease her into the club. So no surprises there. What he did do was take the level of commitment to his club up a level that was above and beyond, putting his personal life aside to get the job done.
The job he has involves Talia, one of the most unlikable characters I’ve come across in a book. The good news is the story also is about a woman who has uprooted her life to return home to get away from her soon to be ex-husband and help her ailing father providing the juxtaposition between classy and downright nasty. Tinker has great friends, and I lost myself in her regular chill out Sunday afternoons. I would have loved to say “save me a spot” because I’d be happy to sit there with them to enjoy the view and a glass of wine or two 🙂
For the majority of the book, it was about Cooper / Gage’s mission he was sent on by the club. It involved him being undercover, which brought him issues that required explanations to justify his actions. His mission was the biggest barrier to getting to his happiness that was always out of reach.
The story flowed, even though I would have liked to see Brandon, Joel and Marsh’s situations fleshed out more than they were. I thought the time spent with Tinker as she got her life back in order again, counterbalanced the frustration Gage had not being able live his life how he chose. Ironically, he was stuck in a situation which would normally suit him fine, and it was entertaining to see a confident guy misread a confident woman! He was used to women falling at his feet, and Tinker gave him a run for his money.
My highlights and comments exceeded 30 by the time I finished Reaper’s Fire. It was a cruisy read that provided the escapism I was hoping for when I began this book. While the issues surrounding Talia will irk a few readers, for me I was able to put that aside and enjoy the sweet times.
What I struggled with:
- Talia – a loose canon that needed to be secured and
- Brandon – he fleeted in and out with little fleshing out of what he was doing. It would have been interesting to see the impact his actions had upon his aspirations for power.
- Joel – I needed more to justify why he was in the story
What I loved:
- Her father and how Tinker had to adjust to life as an adult helping a parent
- Being there for one another, especially when you couldn’t be in two places at once. Every mother needs a friend like Tinker!
- The banter between Gage and Picnic
- The quotes I shared with the girls but won’t here because they are a tad spoilerish!
Lily’s Rating: 4 Stars
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