January 22, 2018

REVIEW: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1)


Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1), by Christine Feehan
Publish Date:
January 23, 2018
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS


(Synopsis) 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.

Holy moly - what a crazy awesome intense book Judgment Road was. I'm a sucker for a good MC romance book. To be "good" for me there has to be a perfect balance between hard and soft - darkness and light. I love a conflicted alpha hero who isn't always right and who does things that we might consider bad or extreme - but he does them for the right reasons. And I love when that hero finds someone to love, and he gives his whole heart over to it. I love a motorcycle club that is more of a family than a club. And, Judgment Road delivers on all these points - in spades. 

At first, Reaper is a tough character to love. He keeps to the shadows - quite literally - as one of the main enforcers in his motorcycle club, Torpedo Ink. His job is to guard the president, Czar, by any means necessary. He's quiet, broody, and aloof. He loves his fellow brothers, but doesn't even enjoy their company or their touch for too long. He is truly a tortured and lonely soul - until he sees the new club bartender Anya. 

Before he knows it, Reaper is acting totally out of character when it comes to Anya. He's watching out for her. He's talking to her. He's letting her touch him and get in his space. He recognizes her as the light that can break up all the darkness inside of him, and that scares the crap out of him. As a result, he makes some bad choices along the course of their budding relationship - and some of those choices are REALLY bad. But, for the first time, Reaper is having to make some impossible choices between his loyalty to his fellow brothers and sisters and his loyalty to the woman he could love forever. It was easy for me as a reader to forgive him for his poor choices when you understand how agonizing it was for him to make them - especially early in the book. 

Judgment Road is a super sexy book. Reaper and Anya are so wonderful together, and they absolutely light the pages on fire. Their relationship is a roller coaster of highs and lows, but through all of it, there's no denying their connection. 

Torpedo Ink is a club made up of members with an absolutely horrific and tragic past. They are brothers and sisters born out of circumstance and pain, which makes their bonds so incredibly strong. They back each other up without thought, even if that means someone else has to die. Make no mistake - this is not a hearts and flowers kind of book (although Reaper and Anya have some moments that get close to that, in their own way). There is death and pain and loss in these peoples' pasts, and that has carried over to their presents, in some way, shape or form. The club is not without blood on its hands. But, they have a code, and that makes their actions much easier for the reader to take.

I know Christine Feehan writes mostly in the paranormal genre, so I wasn't entirely surprised to see some really cool paranormal elements in Judgment Road. It's most definitely not at the forefront of the story, but you'll see instances peppered throughout the book where a paranormal element comes into play. It's done perfectly so that it doesn't overwhelm the story, but it does make things a little bit more interesting. I really loved that. 

Things are set up for book 2, and I'm super excited for that to come out. Now that I've been introduced to these wildly fascinating characters, I can't wait to read more. 

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