Berkley Trade / June 3, 2014 / $15.00 print / $5.99 digital
Liam “Hunter” Blake hates the Reapers MC. Born and raised a Devil’s Jack, he knows his duty. He’ll defend his club from their oldest enemies—the Reapers—using whatever weapons he can find. But why use force when the Reapers’ president has a daughter who’s alone and vulnerable? Hunter has wanted her from the minute he saw her, and now he has an excuse to take her.
Em has lived her entire life in the shadow of the Reapers. Her overprotective father, Picnic, is the club’s president. The last time she had a boyfriend, Picnic shot him. Now the men in her life are far more interested in keeping her daddy happy than showing her a good time. Then she meets a handsome stranger—a man who isn't afraid to treat her like a real woman. One who isn't afraid of her father. His name is Liam, and he’s The One.
Or so she thinks.
“Complicated” is the simplest word to explain the relationship between star-crossed lovers Liam and Em, but be assured this isn’t your grandmother’s Romeo and Juliet. These enemies-turned-lovers have a lot to overcome outside and inside their relationship. Devil’s Game tosses out all preconceived notions and Joanna Wylde produces my new favorite hero in the Reaper’s MC series.
In Reaper’s Legacy, the previous book in the Reaper’s MC series, we learned that Em had been kidnapped and deceived by a guy she had been talking to online. We know they had some private moments, but as for specifics, we don’t find those out until now, and...just wow.
Liam’s motorcycle club, Devil’s Jacks, has been feuding with Em’s MC, the Reapers, for years. Em’s father, Picnic, is the President of the Reapers and as the oldest daughter of her widower father, she is used to mostly following the rules and keeping the peace between her father and her younger hothead sister. Meanwhile, as a teen Liam was taken into the Devil’s Jacks MC along with his foster sister by Burke, a man who is poised to become national president of the Jacks. Liam, known as Hunter to the MC, is also used to following his “father”’s rules; he has killed, tortured, and screwed his way through every assignment ever given him.
Liam’s latest assignment has piqued his interest more than anything ever has. He is supposed to keep tabs on the Reapers President’s oldest daughter. Just observe and report; no need to engage. It’s smart to keep track of all the possible players if the plan Liam and Burke have to strike up a truce with the Reapers comes to fruition. Then the game changes and Liam and Burke hatch up a plan to get him to romance Em. Down the line, if she was his old lady, it would go a hell of a long way to establishing peace between the two clubs; everyone knows how much Picnic loves his girls. Liam woos Em online, and when she finally agrees to meet him in person, she thinks she is being smart by bringing some friends along. She and Liam have instant chemistry, and she decides that night was the night to get her V card punched. Unfortunately, that night was the night that the game changed again. Just before they left, Liam got a phone call; a Reaper went wild and broke the tenuous truce with the Jacks by shooting up two of their members. The Jacks want the Reapers to exchange him for Em. Em said it best when she called it the worst first date ever. Did I mention that this is just the first third of the book?
Wylde doesa masterful job of revealing the layers to this relationship, and even in revealing the layers to each character. Em is intelligent, loyal, and no shrinking violet, despite the fact that she has always been the good girl. Liam is intelligent and loyal as well, but is coming to terms with the fact that his current wants may not match those of his mentor and MC. Liam as Hunter is aptly named as his pursuit of Em is relentless. At one point, Em even asks him point blank if he loves her; Liam reveals that he doesn’t even know if he can love, but his feelings for her are as close as he’ll ever get. Wylde made this novel an epic adventure that put two of the most unlikely people together. Just when the reader thinks there is no way they can overcome one issue, they pull through only to hit another. Liam and Em have all the makings to be a legendary power couple; not only was their story captivating and sexy, it laid the groundwork for a new era...and I am so there.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Devil's Game by Joanna Wylde, available June 3, 2014:
Nicole Leapheart's alter ego is Miss Boxy Frown, and she posts book reviews and TV recaps at missboxyfrown.blogspot.com. She reads and watches everything from romance to sci-fi, but enjoys it even more if some smut is involved. And tattoos.