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Review : Reaper by A. Zavarelli


After reading the first book in this series you always wonder if the other books that follow will be as good as the first and yes, yes it was. Another 5 star read and it has cemented A. Zavarelli as a must read author for me. A bit darker and tugs on your emotions more than the first but a wonderful read. This is the second in a series but it is a standalone, however to enjoy it as much as possible and to avoid spoilers should you wish to read the first book later I would say stop and go read the first and then pick this up straight away.

Ronan is introduced to us in the first book as the stoic silent type but with a deadly reputation and with a nickname like the Reaper is kind of explains itself. When the Irish mafia need someone handled or need information pried from the unwilling lips of another the Reaper is there to carry out his orders and do what needs to be done. This is what he is and what he is meant to be. Unfortunately it seems even he has a weakness regardless of how much he tries to ignore her.

“Because I cant give her what she needs. I don’t even know what she needs. 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 hate me.” 

Sasha is sweet and gentle but has been made tired, meek and she does what she needs to in order to protect those closest to her. Unwanted attention years previously brought into this world, she never asked or wanted it. Trapped by her ill mother and by having done what she thought was right meant that she had to use her body to survive and dancing to get money.

“I see this man with sad brown eyes, and a sliver of sunlight breaks through my otherwise dark existence.”

You get the tension between Ronan and Sasha in the first book and it intrigued me to know why. Star crossed lovers is the feel you have for these two  and when you find out the back story of why Ronan is controlled and silent and why Sasha allowed herself to be used your heart breaks for both of them. Both damaged by the world and they struggle to be vulnerable to each other. Always reserved and controlled Ronan controls how he acts but when Sasha is threatened in any sense he can’t stop himself from acting. 

“Dark souls have their own beauty. A dark, terrifying beauty. The same type of beauty I recognize in Ronan. He isn’t like those other me.”

I think I’m a little bit in love with Ronan and yes I gloss over the killer part because how can you not love a strong, fierce and protective Irish man (yes the Irish bit really helps, in my head I can hear the words in his accent, wow). Even with who he is I want to protect him, I can’t help as I’ve had a soft spot for him since meeting him in the first book. Sasha tugs at your heartstrings and you do want to wrap her up and make sure that she is ok.

The writing flows so well and I love the banter and friendships and loyalty that allow the feel of real relationships to jump from the page. This book had me smirking, crying, my heart breaking and a sense of protectiveness that just meant I didn’t want to put it down.

If you love mobster, mafia books with great angst that can put you through an emotional wringer but have you desperate to protect and save the bad boy then this is for you. Genuinely putting A. Zavarelli at the top of my must read list.

Reviewed by Louise G.