Reaper’s Claim by Simone Elise
Contemporary (MC) Romance
Released: February 15, 2016
Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote: “Our story was never a love story. It was more of a cocktail of sorrows mixed with the odd good moment. It was short, it was bitter, and it left a permanent scar on my heart; not to mention a bad aftertaste.”
It was catnip. MC romance yum-yum. It started off really (really!) great…then I hit a few bumps and slowed to being good, then bumps became snags and it shifted to being just okay, and finally it all just became too off the wall and lost me. Thankfully, before the very end, the author broke the “in case of emergency” glass, pulled the safety lever and began to show signs of righting the ship,. However, a lot went rather wrong before it became right with too little time to balance the experience for me. The characters began making bizarre decisions, and not in the “frustrating- but- cool” way but more along the “geeze, this is kind of dumb” lines which ultimately dimmed my initial enthusiasm for the story.
Abby was born into the life, her father the President of the Satan’s Sons MC club and the Son’s club is just the kind of MC club I like. The men are tough, rough, fiercely loyal, yet ride the razor thin line of asshole-biker-but-not-a-total-asshat that piques my interest every-time. Reaper is the club enforcer and he practically glows with “warning! warning, danger stay away-” vibes. It begins rather typical on the surface, their story opens with Abby as a teenage girl, too young for the likes of Reaper, so he stays away though she is never too far from his thoughts. Fast forward to her 18th birthday, Reaper is back and Abby is more attracted to him than ever and boy do the sparks fly. And it’s MC romance so this totally passes muster!
If older men/young girl themes are a trigger, I don’t think this novel creates too much static for you, she is of age when anything seriously physical happens so it gets the “all clear” from me, although Abby’s twin sister is living life in the fast lane and is rather inappropriately sexually active at a young age- but dude- it’s MC!
Abby and Reaper’s romance is hot and heavy (not literally) and is (initially) over as fast as it begins. True love in the club life never truly dies, and so we embark on a true roller coaster of life events (mostly failures and dangerous liaisons) as Abby and Reaper finally reconnect and learn what it really means to love one another.
Beyond the romance, Reaper’s Claim is also a story about relationships. Abby has quite a few contentious relationships with those around her, no real friends to speak of and her insular lifestyle allows for her to make choices that completely threw me for a loop. Her twin sister is the epitome of a bratty-bitch and her father, the man who is supposed to be her rock and fiercest protector has failed at every turn. I expect turmoil with her sister- that is classic material, however, the chasm with her father, Roach (I know terrible name) is what gripped me from the beginning. He disappointed me, even as he intrigued me. Raising twin girls in a MC club without a mother is rough stuff, but instead of being cherished and overprotected, Roach left them to their own devices, condoning outrageously bad behavior (twin sister, Kim) while failing to nurture Abby’s quiet and pensive nature. This kind of MC dad was an anomaly and watching him realize just how much of a shit dad he’d become was riveting- so I rooted for him. Conversely, watching him double-down on his bad choices made me want to throttle him. Roach’s decision to choose his club over his girls set off a wicked chain of events and I place the downward spiral that became Abby’s life, squarely upon his shoulders.
When you read Reaper’s Claim, you may not recognize a love story. Reaper does some pretty tacky things to Abby, and in return Abby makes some really bad decisions, most of which felt out of place and wrong, as if the author were trying to merge two disparate plots together and the results were buckling and puckered- not at all seamless. The entire middle and subplot could have been scrapped, but it wasn’t so I’m obligated to warn you that things get rather “WTF” for a while, before the plot rights itself and an HEA is in sight.
Another area I found problematic was the
passion sex! Comically, considering the genre, there were closed door, fade to black sex scenes that puzzled me- baffled me! Like are you kidding me, this is not that kind of fiction honey, bust open this damn door and let me see the dirty biker banging!
“I love you, Kade.” And then her lips landed on mine and suddenly the cares of the day disappeared, and all I cared about was her. I picked her up, throwing her legs around my waist and carried her upstairs.”
Going up on my tippy toes- my lips brushed his and just as I hoped. He took charge. Lifting me off the ground, my legs wrapped around him and suddenly I wasn’t breathing air. No I was breathing Kade. Deep long kisses as he walked us towards a room. Was I making a mistake? Would I regret this? I don’t know. But it felt so darn right. So I didn’t fight the need to cling to him tighter, or kiss him firmer. I just didn’t care.
Fade to freaking…black…this was Abby and Reaper’s FIRST time sleeping together and you close-the-damn-door?
No. Just no. I mean is this MC -lite? Is there a new sub genre- YA-MC where things are PG13 and the only things getting a rough ride at night are the damn motorcycles?
If you can cope with some inconsistency and luke-warm….tepid heat (in a MC novel!!???) then…maybe…
I mean it starts really good. All the pieces are there but unfortunately, they don’t fit and you can’t even seem them screwing!