As Reapers Motorcycle Club president, Reese “Picnic” Hayes has given his entire life to the club. After losing his wife, he knew he’d never love another woman. And with two daughters to raise and a club to manage, that was just fine with him. These days, Reese keeps his relationships free and easy—he definitely doesn’t want to waste his time on a glorified cleaning lady like London Armstrong.
Too bad he’s completely obsessed with her.
Besides running her own business, London’s got her junkie cousin’s daughter to look after—a more reckless than average eighteen-year-old. Sure she’s attracted to the Reapers’ president, but she’s not stupid. Reese Hayes is a criminal and a thug. But when her young cousin gets caught up with a ruthless drug cartel, Reese might be the only man who can help her. Now London has to make the hardest decision of her life—how far will she go to save her family?
Just to clear the air, biker romances are not my choice of sub-genre nor do I ever feel the need to seek them out to read. Not unless the author is Joanna Wylde. Not unless it’s the Reapers MC series. My reading tastes are very narrow and I’m a picky bitch but this author and her addictive biker books work for me. I don’t think I’ll ever understand their freestyle way of life – most of their ideals go against my own – but I sure have a blast reading about them and the all-consuming passion and romance of each of these sinfully sexy bikers. Having loved the previous book in the series, I went into this one with the highest of expectations. As usual, this author does not disappoint. Did the book have my complete attention? Was the story plot engaging? Were the characters likable and did the romance feel genuine? Yes, yes, and yes. Though I had some issues with the book, overall this book was great and everything I imagined for Picnic’s story.
Reese ‘Picnic’ Hayes is the President of the Reapers MC. Not one to mess with, Picnic has dedicated his entire life to the club and raising his daughters after his old lady’s death. Over the years, he has plenty of one night stands and meaningless sex, never wanting or thinking anyone could replace Heather. But Picnic’s got a problem: London Armstrong. He is wildly attracted to her but knows he shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, and most importantly, knows she’s clueless about club life and wouldn’t fit in well. Not as an old lady or even a casual fling.
Supportive and independent, London Armstrong owns a successful cleaning business and has a contract with the Reapers MC. While managing her work, she also takes care of her cousin’s daughter Jessica – a reckless wild child – and Jessica’s friend Melanie who has a bad home life. She’s attracted to Picnic but knows she shouldn’t act on it, not with the dozens of responsibilities she has.
This book was different from the others in the series in several ways, all of which are positive. First, it’s a second chance romance between two older, more mature characters whereas the couples in the other books were much younger, more NA based. This aspect gives the story a lot more depth, allowing room for Picnic and London’s many life experiences. There’s also a lot more action and grit, something I thought the first three books lacked a little in. Additionally, I think there is a much greater focus on family than there was in the other books in the series. Picnic and London may be forces to reckon with in their respective businesses and work, but they are people who value family first. It was very interesting to see this dichotomy present between their personal and work lives.
Both Picnic and London are fantastic characters: so strong and so fiercely determined to protect their loved ones and what they believe in. In the first three books, there was only this rough and tough side of Picnic’s so I really enjoyed seeing his softer, protective side. His words and actions are unconventional and not what us society folks consider entirely romantic but the heartfelt feelings are there.
As positively outstanding this book is, the picky reader in me also had a few issues. For one, I really did not like Jessica. Even with (view spoiler) that seriously doesn’t excuse all the shitty things she said/did that almost got London killed so most of the scenes with her present, I basically had a sour look on my face. Another thing was I didn’t have a full grasp on this intense connection London and Picnic had. It seemed to me that Picnic got tired of having airheaded bimbos around him and the first time he finds a woman with substance, he’s head over heels. Don’t get me wrong, I adore these characters individually but it took a good while for me to warm up to them as a couple, especially with all the action going around there was barely any room for relationship development.
Despite the numerous problems I had with the book, it was pretty engaging, fun to read, and total escapism, which is the entire reason why I read books. If I wasn’t busy traveling the past few days, I would’ve finished this book in one sitting. And most importantly, I am DYING to get to the next book! Gawd, this woman is a friggin huge tease.
ARC provided by Penguin Intermix via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.