In Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1) by Christine Feehan, Torpedo Ink MC is starting to make a name for themselves even though they’ve been trying to stay under the radar of the other local motorcycle clubs. But with a resume like theirs, having come from Russia as basically fully trained assassins, they kind of stand out in Caspar. The club enforcer, Reaper, is the one who routinely puts his life on the line to keep his family of choice safe as well as some locals in nearby Sea Haven. He’s never known anything else in his life. He’s certainly never known kindness.
‘He wanted to claim all of her. Not just her body, her heart. Not just her heart. He wanted her fucking soul, because he was damn sure she’d somehow captured his.’
But when gorgeous bartender Anya Rafferty starts working in Torpedo Ink’s bar, Reaper is brought to his knees. Lord knows he’s no good for the sexy, sassy woman. He should keep her as far away from him as possible for her own safety, with the ugliness he deals with in his world. And sadly her first real introduction into the club does not go well. Reaper isn’t sure that he can help Anya understand how integral a role his “brothers and sisters” play in his life or what it would do to him to leave that lifestyle behind. But he just might be willing to try if it means he gets to keep her in his life.
“I never wanted anything for myself until I saw you.”
After growing up rough, Anya is more than okay with taking care of herself and being an independent woman, putting her future plans into action on her own. And the new gig at the Torpedo Ink bar is another goal reached in her career ladder. Everything goes along pretty smoothly until Reaper spends every evening watching her. It’s unnerving. Not to mention the sparks of attraction flying through the air between them. But when Anya gets a glimpse of his MC lifestyle after her past catches up with her, she’s pretty sure it’s not for her. Somehow Reaper still worms his way into her heart and her every thought. To the point that Anya isn’t sure how she’ll ever be able to walk away.
‘There was something in his eyes she couldn’t read, but it terrified her. This man was too complicated for her. Too scary. Too sexy. Too everything.’
Dark subject matter. Passionate, super steamy romance. Tormented pasts to overcome. Judgment Road was a fantastic emotional journey and action-packed thrill ride all rolled into one.
“I think you’re the most amazing man to do the things in your life you’ve had to do. To overcome being in hell enough just to function.”
For the first time his entire face softened, all those tough, hard features, all those lines and scars. “I’m always going to be in hell, baby,” he said. “There’s no other place for me.”
Possible trigger warning: Multiple types of torture, rape, suicidal thoughts, murder.
Christine Feehan is one of my go-to authors for all things paranormal so I was excited to see this spinoff series–which is tied to the Sea Haven books. Judgment Road isn’t necessarily paranormal (it has a few touches of it here and there) but instead it was a full-on motorcycle romance. I should warn readers that this will be a tough story to get through at times due to the hero’s horrific upbringing in Russia and the PTSD he suffers from as an adult. It honestly shattered my heart. Our heroine didn’t have it any easier as a former street kid, either. But even though there was such a heaviness to the plot, I felt like Feehan added enough moments of laughter as well as a spark of hopefulness that made it all work.
Reaper was a truly complicated man made up of many parts: assassin, MC enforcer, brother, and under it all, a damaged boy who was repeatedly tortured and never shown any love. He was so incredibly flawed yet was able to watch over the entire club, sacrificing his safety for his “family”. It took my breath away when Reaper realized his feelings for Anya and what it did for him as a whole to finally have someone care for him. He made some mistakes and choices that I know will have readers grumbling for a bit (lol) but Reaper did the best he could given his limited resources, never having been in a relationship before.
Anya had me chuckling a lot with her sass. But it was how brave and resourceful she was that wowed me. She was her own woman who didn’t need a man to take care of her–but that wasn’t to say she didn’t want a man in her life. She just knew better than to rely on anyone but herself. My heart also went out to Anya for not only her background, but how things were handled in the Torpedo Ink club regarding her possible ties to a bad situation going down around the area. She was as torn as Reaper was, but with her it was between keeping her job and her independence or giving in to her feelings for him and joining the MC lifestyle she didn’t understand at all.
The Torpedo Ink series couldn’t have started off on a better note. Judgment Road was a tantalizing blend of a sexy as all get-out love story and a gritty road to redemption for a bunch of badass bikers who all had something to prove.
Publication: Published January 23rd 2018 | Berkley | Torpedo Ink #1
An outlaw motorcycle club sets up shop next door to Sea Haven in the dangerously sexy new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
A brutal education in a Russian training facility for assassins has taught this group of men one thing:
It’s a long road to redemption.
As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He’s a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can’t afford–until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin…
Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she’s desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper’s imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.
Anya’s touch is everything Reaper doesn’t want–and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club–his heart and his soul.