By Ashleigh Zavarelli
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
He’s dark and mysterious. Quiet and lethal.
An Irish mobster.
Pure sin wrapped up in a beautiful package.
But there’s also something off about him.
He doesn’t feel anything. He shows no emotions.
Sometimes I question his humanity.
He hasn’t spoken to me in two years. Not a single word.
But we share a secret, he and I.
And if it ever comes out, I have no doubt in my mind…
He won’t have a problem killing me too.
I’ve slain for her. I’ll do it again.
When it comes to Sasha, there isn’t a line I won’t cross.
I watch her. She doesn’t know it.
She thinks I hate her. Sometimes, I think I might too.
But I’m always there, lurking in the shadows.
Craving her. Trying to keep the beast within at bay.
I’ll keep her safe. I’ll slaughter anyone who tries to hurt her.
The only thing I can’t do… is protect her from myself.
This book is a 10. On a 5-point scale. I’m almost hesitant to write a review, because I’m not convinced I can do it justice.
Intense. Troubling. Haunting. Gruesome. Dark. Confining. Gripping. Raw. Ugly.
And a passionate and timeless love story.
The only word I know that even comes close is…Wow. With a capital “W”.
Ashleigh Zavarelli knows how to develop characters and build a story, and how she intricately weaves the various fabrics together of various lives into a work of art is pure genius.
I can’t even come up with the appropriate words to describe the mastery of character development in REAPER. Ronan (aka Reaper) is complex, intense, damaged, awkward, and tortured, and his soul is tortured (or does he even have a soul?). He was also protective, loving and loyal.
I only know that touching her again would be like dousing the fire with gasoline in hopes of calming it. I know once I have another taste, there would be no choice in the matter. I fear that I would continue to draw from her goodness until there was nothing left. Until she could only ever hate me.
I don’t know how to avoid that. I don’t know anything other than that it’s always been her, from the moment I saw her three years ago. She’s the one thing that I’ve yearned for more than anything else. And for that reason, she’s the thing I can never have.
Sasha was also a broken, tortured and troubled soul who forsake bettering her own life to provide for her dying mother and protect her younger sister, but she was able to see and eventually unearth the true Ronan. She is Ronan’s redemption, even though he doesn’t believe he’s worthy of Sasha.
I’ve never believed in fairytales. There is no white knight in my story. Only me. And I’m not the girl who gets the prince. I’m the girl he bangs because he can.
Blaine isn’t the first guy. They all tell me how pretty and sweet I am. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see pretty. I don’t see sweet. I see broken and dirty. Shame and self-loathing. The things I’ve had to do in this life aren’t pretty or sweet, and neither am I.
I’ve made peace with that.
Damaged souls have their own beauty. A dark, terrifying beauty. The same type of beauty I recognize in Ronan….
It makes me want him in ways I shouldn’t. It makes my heart stop and start every time he walks into the room. Like a rusty old engine, I’m in disrepair, and I feel like this stranger is the only mechanic for the job….
The feelings I have for this man at times are unexplainable. I’m drawn to him. I always have been. But this is something else altogether. This is pure physics. He’s the lightning, and I am simply a conductor. We were always bound to converge….
Ronan is my life. My breath. My sole reason for existing sometimes. I know it sounds insane, but it’s how I feel. We were put on this earth to find each other. And when he looks at me with those dark brown eyes like he’s doing right now, I know what we have is one of a kind. A supernova. A love so rare, so unparalleled, it shines brighter than any other in existence.
This book is not for the faint of heart. Some of the scenes in the basement and the operative training flashbacks with Ronan I was having a hard time stomaching; Ronan’s horrific past is unfathomable. But then you read the touching, raw emotional exchanges between Ronan and Sasha, and your heart cries at their simplicity and authenticity. Their love for one another is indisputable and without measure. This book doesn’t have sex scenes, it has LOVE scenes.
Breathless. Breathtaking. And did I say “Wow!” with a capital “W”? Wow.
Hell, yes. I do recommend, however, that you first read CROW and then dive right into REAPER. This will give you a much greater understanding of the big picture story and insight into Lachlan Crow, as well as their history. Several characters also start their stories in CROW, and it will make a lot more sense: Crow, Reaper, Mack, Sasha, Donovan, Alexie, Talia, Scarlette, Rory, Connor…. Plus, you’ll be on such a high from reading CROW that you’ll want…no NEED…to pick up REAPER.
Originally posted on Amazon and Goodreads on June 8, 2016.