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Blog Tour & Bookpushers Joint Review – Devil’s Game (Reapers MC #3) by Joanna Wylde

Devil's Game cover image

Where did you get the book: E-arc from publisher
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: Out Now

Devil’s Game is a raw and intensely erotic tale in Joanna Wylde’s Reapers Motorcycle Club series, following Reaper’s Legacy.

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.

The Reapers Motorcycle Club series is a fresh and gritty romance series from Joanna Wylde, which fans of Fifty Shades and Sons of Anarchy will lust after. Devil’s Game follows Reaper’s Legacy.

*Blurb taken from Goodreads*

 

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Thoughts on the Hero

Has: I think Liam is my favourite Joanna Wylde’s hero yet! He wasn’t as much of an arse compared to the previous heroes in the series, even though I did love and enjoy Ruger and Horse’s books. But I did love the premise of the enemies turned to lovers trope. Wylde created a delicious tension with the romance which was a slow burn, filled with a sexual overtone that really sizzled on the page. I liked that Liam was considerate, and patient and not much of a hot-head although he had his moments in the book by being a bit of an alphahole.

The plot involving the growing tensions with the Devil’s Jacks and the Reapers, along with the ongoing struggles the Cartel who are making waves in their territory, was interesting and brought out some interesting plot twists that I did not see coming. However, Liam really comes to his own when he becomes involved with Em, and as a result he becomes vulnerable, with the plot surrounding them which I thought brought an interesting dynamic.

Lou: Ah Liam. I love the MC characters Wylde creates but I always have some conflicting feelings about them, and I think it simply comes down to how they treat women who they don’t deem worthy of old lady status. Liam is different to the other heroes in this series. He’s much younger, and I think he’s more cold and detached. I get the sense the Devil Jacks are a different bunch to the Reapers and it shows in how Liam kidnaps Em and Sophie. I don’t think the Reaper’s would go down that route. At least I hope not. In his own fucked up way, Liam goes gooey on Em and pretty soft. It was romantic in an MC type of way. He would do anything for his club. Anything. Except hurt Em.

E: I thought Liam was an ass, as much as he was soft and gooey on Em, I thought his logic and reasoning for what he did worked on one level but also infuriated me on another. Having said that, he did do some rather effective grovels because he knew when he did something wrong, and he really did want Em happy. I loved his sense of loyalty and protectiveness and the conflict that brought when his feelings came into play. I also enjoyed watching him underestimate Em and yet sacrifice himself and what he worked really hard for a chance at happiness. Like the previous installments I really needed Liam’s POV for me to consider him as a hero. In the end I thought he was probably more heroic than either of the previous men because of what he was willing to sacrifice.

MinnChica: I had such mixed feelings about Liam. On one hand, I absolutely loved him. He was protective and caring toward Em, and although he was rough, he had a code of honor about him that was so right. I liked the fact that he struggled with his relationship with Em, and how it affected both their clubs. But at the same time, it was obvious that Liam was using Em in a lot of ways, and it took awhile for me to really believe that he wanted her for her, and not for what she could provide him and his club.

Thoughts on the Heroine

Lou: I really liked Em in the previous books but fell a little in love with her in Devil’s Game. Who knew she could be so, well, crazy? She’s a little like her father–okay a lot–and at times she was scary but in a good way. Em fought for what she believed in; she fought for her independence when she realised she was stuck in limbo, and she followed through. Em was loveable, loyal and incredibly fierce when it came to those she loved. Her relationship with Liam was so complicated but the sexual heat between these two was off the charts. Even when Liam kidnapped her, Em couldn’t resist him. She did in other ways, and she’s no doormat. She changes Liam for the better–thought I do wonder if he’s only a changed man for Em. I loved it that when it came down to the end, he was willing to leave the MC way of life for Em.

Has: I also really liked Em! I liked that she finally broke free from her father’s over protectiveness and influence which has been a bit overbearing. She was like a chip off the old block and became more confident, especially with dealing with the inner politics of two MC clubs that was close to an all out war. I loved how she stood up against Liam, especially when she learns the truth about his background in the beginning of the book, despite their attraction with each other. Wylde really did a fabulous job with interweaving the plot intrigue with their romance as it developed in the book. I loved how Em evolved and grew to forge her own path and making difficult choices and breaking free from what she is comfortable with. I agree with Lou that Em helped to make Liam a better person, although I think he was always like that because of how protective he was with his sister. But I also think Liam helped to draw that independent and confident nature out, because she was always held back in a lot ways when she was with living with her father.

E: I felt for Em. Growing up in an MC wasn’t all it was cut out to be when every single non-MC man was scared to death of her father and the other full-fledged members. Even the Reapers who might have looked twice didn’t want to face her father so it seemed like she was doomed to spend her entire life living the single life with Picnic, her father. As a result she was vulnerable to anyone who was willing to take a chance. While I felt for her I also really enjoyed her character. She was strong, loyal, and cared deeply for her family and friends. I loved getting to see the “rest” of her life and how she managed things as best as she could. Her POV also really showed the sleezy/seedy underbelly of the MC way of life, with their double standards, separation of angel vs whore mentality towards women, and willingness to use anyone and anything as a tool. I loved how Em kept fighting back and finally refused to allow either side to use her or dictate everything about her life. I also completely understood why she was as mad as she was after a scene in the previous installment. I loved getting those details here and lets just say I think Liam was very lucky.

MinnChica: I adored Em. I loved her in the previous books, and I loved her even more here. I liked that we got to see the depth that Em really cared for the people around her, especially her family and club. The lengths that she was willing to go to protect those closest to her was so extreme and so amazing. I liked that although she was sweet and caring, she wasn’t a pushover. She stood up to Liam, she stood up to her father, and she was willing to fight tooth and nail for what she really wanted, regardless of how everyone tried to steer her. The strength of Em’s character made me wish we could be friends in real life. 🙂

Favourite Scene

Lou: I think my favourite scene was Em kicking Liam in the balls. That boy deserved it and more. And he took it, and still hugged Em afterwards. Like I said above, he’s pretty soft on her :D. I also loved the sex scenes which were damn hawt. And dirty. Dirty hawt sex will always get a thumbs up from me.

Has: I definitely agree with you about the dirty hawt smexy scenes! I really liked that the slow build-up of tension really helped to cement the romance which was just fabulous. There were a few favourite scenes that I really loved, but I have to go to a scene towards the end which illustrates Liam and Em’s commitment and teamwork when they’re facing a dangerous situation. It really summed up their relationship which was that of equals, and I loved that there was mutual respect and love and it made me believe in their HEA.

E: Wow, I loved Em’s retaliation to Liam, I really loved getting to see what happened behind the scenes and how Em became involved with Liam to begin with. But I think my favorite scene is one after Em got seriously drunk and Liam was a total gentleman. The next day as she is recovering he let her know where he stood.

“Last night was a game changer, so far as I am concerned. I gave you your space, let you go. But you came back, so now you’re fair game. I’m done being the nice guy.”

Not that this particular scene solved all of the problems Em and Liam had to face but it certainly answered some of my questions about his umm intentions.

MinnChica: I think for me, pretty much the whole first portion of the book was my favorite. I loved getting to see exactly what happened between Em and Liam while he was holding her hostage. In the last book, we didn’t get to see anything that happened, just saw it through Sophie’s eyes. Getting to see first hand what transpired was so good!!

Dislike about the Book

Lou: I wish in some way this is tackled in the books but I hate the way women are treated. How women who are not deemed worthy of old lady status are called nothing but sluts and whores. The crass way in which all the heroes from this series talk about women really make my teeth ache. And Picnic’s ‘thing’ with having sex with people Em’s age, or younger, really made him somewhat of a creep.

Has: I agree with you about MC’s issues with women and how they’re treated, there was a scene in the book which Liam reacts towards another woman which was very uncomfortable. Although I don’t blame him in the way he behaved because the woman did something that was unforgivable. But I think Joanna Wylde does a great job with not shying away from the darker aspects but at the same time you do come to care and like the characters even though they’re part of a world which can be unsavory at times.

E: As I mentioned earlier with talking about Em, I have some problems with the MC hypocrisy and attitudes towards women. And I agree with Lou’s statement about Picnic. EWW! Wylde does a great job I think of not romanticizing the MCs and their way of life while still providing a romance for the readers. Although I have to say sometimes I wonder about my personal attitudes and hypocrisy when I can see individuals doing horrific things as the hero of a tale. But I think that is part of the skill of the author is to allow me to have that viewpoint.

MinnChica: Like Lou and Has, although I love my biker romance books, I do struggle with the way women are treated in this lifestyle. I realize that it’s just the way of the world, however there are times I wish it wasn’t portrayed so realistically.

Any other misc. thoughts along with grade

Lou: All in all, Devil’s Game was a damn solid read in the Reaper’s MC series. Em and Liam’s romance is full of tension and drama that makes it probably one of the best MC romance series around. Not only does Em have to choose her loyalties between Liam and her own club, she has a journey of her own where she wants to become someone other than the daughter of Picnic, President of the Reapers.

I’m really looking forward to Picnic’s book because the heroine is in her late 30’s. Hallel-fucking-ujah!

I give Devil’s Game a B

Has: I really loved this installment in Joanna Wylde’s MC series. I really do think each book gets better and better, and Devil’s Game is my favourite yet because I really loved the romance and the ongoing plot which really steps up a gear with the tensions between the Reapers, Devil’s Jacks and the Cartel that is creating issues for them both. Liam and Em were wonderful leads and their romance pretty much was scorched the pixels in my ereader!

I second what Lou just said about Picnic and I am also really looking forward to his book and his heroine which I suspect will take a surprising turn!

I give Devil’s Game a B+

E: I am so glad my fellow pushers convinced me to take a chance on Wylde’s MC books. I really enjoy this series and think a significant portion of why is the alternating POVs. I really need to see the hero’s thought process for me to buy into some of his actions and find them forgivable when ordinarily I would be looking for the shotgun and wishing the heroine would find someone else. The external conflict in this story overlaps the last one but it never felt like a rehash because we seemed to learn the “rest of the story.” I am super curious to see what the Reapers and Devil’s Jacks are going to do about their potentially mutual enemy… I really hope Picnic’s heroine gives him a really really hard time!

I give Devil’s Game a B+

MinnChica: All in all, Wylde has made a name for herself with me in terms of biker romance. I love the way the books are so gritty and dirty and yet sweet and romantic. I like that although the lifestyle is depicted in a way that is not always positive, the relationship between the hero and heroine is always so genuine and real and full of deep emotions. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next!

I give Devil’s Game a B+

Links to purchase:

 

Excerpt Link:
http://joannawylde.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Devils-Game-Excerpt.pdf

About Joanna Wylde

Joanna is a freelance writer living in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She started writing fiction in 2002, then took a long hiatus to explore other writing opportunities. She returned to fiction in January 2013 with ‘Reaper’s Property’, the first book in the Reapers Motorcycle Club series, and has recently released ‘Reapers Legacy’, the second of the series.

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By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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