When Marie first meets Horse, she is simultaneously scared of him and attracted to him. He's big, he's dangerous, and he's sexy. Having just come out of an abusive relationship, she's not looking to start fresh with someone like Horse. She's not sure she's ready for anyone. But Horse has other ideas...
Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
"Holding Out For A Hero"
I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected. When I first came across Reaper’s Property, I was both intrigued and nervous--intrigued because I love badboy alpha heroes and nervous because, while I'm drawn to these flawed dark alphas, I tend to have issues with those who cross into alpha-hole territory. I'm aware there is a definite contradiction there since how can you truly have one without the other, but some authors make it work. In this case, I think Joanna Wylde made it work.
"Sometimes it felt like Horse was two different people—a badass biker jerk who gave lots of orders and a sweet, sexy man…Which guy was real?”-Marie
Horse. Horse. Horse. What can I say about Horse. The man drove me nuts, but I couldn't help but love him. Make no mistake about it, Horse is a bad, bad boy - he's sexist, he's cocky, and he's high-handed - but he is also likeable, and God help me, even freaking adorable in his own way. He displays some serious alpha-hole behavior BUT there is also a lot more to him. In truth, he's not really that bad of a guy and there is a purpose for much of what he does.
"She's cute, but not real bright, brother"-Ruger to Horse
Amen. I had more trouble with Marie than I did with Horse. There were times that being in her head was excruciating. I understood what the author was trying to do; Marie is young, somewhat naive, and uneducated. However, you can be all of those things without being dumb as a post. Lacking a formal education does not make you stupid nor does it mean you lack common sense. For Marie, apparently, it does. She does manage to redeem herself by the end, but for most of the book she annoyed the hell out of me.
I also had issues with Marie's inconsistent thoughts vs her behavior. These quick mood shifts only made her appear weak and lose credibility with me as a reader. It came to a point where I just rolled my eyes whenever she began the internal monologue of whining because I knew that 2 paragraphs later it would be disregarded. In fairness to Marie, she did recognize this about herself, but the constant back and forth still became tedious to read. ***Minor Spoiler Here: Nothing illustrated this more than the condom situation and the STD discussion, which I found disturbing. And just to be clear, I was disturbed by both Horse and Marie when it came to the condom issue.***
"But you don't get who we are. There's the club and everyone else...You fuck with us, we will fuck you back. Harder. Always."
One of my favorite elements of the book was reading about motorcycle club culture and politics. It was gritty, and in some instances quite raw, but very intriguing. I thought the author did a fantastic job of showing its complexities. Just be aware that the author pulls no punches here, especially when it comes to women in their world.
All in all, I found this to be an enjoyable read. The book wasn't without its flaws. I had some trouble with Marie's first person POV, while I thought Horse's third person POV was excellent. Some of the sexy times were hot, while some didn't do it for me, but that's just due to personal preferences (and because Marie annoyed me with her mood shifts). I think most will find them smokin'. The plot was good, especially when it revolved around the motorcycle club, but I did figure out what was going on quite early in the book. I loved all of the secondary characters, with special love for the MC members. The final third of the story was great and the epilogue rocked.
All that said, I think I would have rated this book higher had it not been for the heroine. Chick really ruined my buzz. Hopefully, the next heroine will be an improvement.
"Reapers forever, forever Reapers."