Joanna Wylde’s latest release in her Reaper’s MC series, Devil’s Game, is set up to be filled with Delicious Despair. Em is the oldest daughter of Reaper MC’s president; Liam “Hunter” Blake is a rising star in the rival club, Devil’s Jacks. Months ago, he was sent by his president to scope out Em in Idaho and things went terribly wrong and he kidnapped her. This is when, in real life, the relationship would be over, and one or both of these people would be dead. Luckily, this is a romance, and the blunt, sometimes cruel, words of Hunter garner swooning, instead of despair.
“Do you love me?”
I studied her, considering my answer.
“No,” I said finally. Her face fell, but I pushed forward. “My life has been pretty fucked up, Em. I’m not even sure I believe in love. But here’s what I can tell you—I’ve never given a shit about any woman except you and Kelsey. That’s it. Hell, I don’t even remember their names half the time, and until I saw you I never even saw a problem with that.”
But Hunter/Liam isn’t done yet. He knows what he has with Em is special, but if you’ve never had love in your life, it’s hard to identify it when it hits you in the face. Hunter has been captivated by Em since he first saw her making a fool of herself in front of a mall, and the feelings have only grown.
“I’ve spent days fucking women whose names I couldn’t remember if my life depended on it. But you? I remember everything about the first time I saw you, even though we didn’t talk to each other. That’s when it started, whatever this is between us. ‘Love’ is a word that doesn’t mean a damned thing to me. ‘Em,’ though? That’s a word that means everything. I’d die for you, babe. Kill for you, too. I stood up to my club for you and I don’t regret any of it, not for a minute. So, you wanted to know how I feel? I don’t even have a word for what I feel, sweetheart. I just know it’s fuckin’ good.”
And while Hunter doesn't have the word, with that simple speech, we know he has the feelings. Actions make speak louder than words—and Hunter’s actions throughout Devil’s Game sure did shout—it’s these simple, crude words he has for Em that had me swooning and confident in their happily ever after. Of course, Hunter isn’t perfect, so he pulls a line out of Han Solo’s playbook:
“I love you, Liam.”
I closed my eyes, savoring the sound of the words. Then I said the only thing I could think of, even though I knew it was fucking pathetic.
This star-crossed couple still has a long way to go, and a lot of I-love-yous to make up, but they put each other first, and that makes all the difference.
Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers.