Desolation Road by Christine Feehan

Desolation Road by Christine Feehan
Publisher: Jove
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Torpedo Ink is Aleksei “Absinthe” Solokov’s whole life. They’re his brothers, his family—his everything. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting something that only belongs to him. That’s why the tough biker has spent the last six weeks at the library, reading every book he can get his hands on and watching the prim and proper librarian who makes his blood rush.

For the past six weeks, Scarlet Foley has been fantasizing about the handsome, tattooed man whose eyes follow her every move. She senses he’s dangerous. She wants him to get close enough to touch. She wishes she could let him know the real woman, not the one she pretends to be. But Scarlet has a plan to carry out, and she can’t afford any distractions.

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There is no doubt that Absinthe, the hero, needed his own HEA. Readers and fans of the Torpedo Ink series are sure to agree. He is a broken man, a damaged, hard man with mad skills in so many areas, yet he, like his brethren, yearn for something more, something that can balance the darkness trapped inside. Ms. Feehan gave him Scarlet, the librarian. What a bright light she turned out to be. And, a very big surprise.

First, I’ll touch on the writing. It’s solid. The action scenes were hard hitting, effective and powerful. The bad guys were so deviant, cruel and abhorrent, that when they received their justified comeuppance, it was boomerang brutal. That which they did to kids, and other innocents, was visited back upon them. The victim with the most loss was the heroine herself, Scarlet. It’s tragic and yet all too believable. Criminals with money seem to think that they can get away with anything. I wish there were heroes like Torpedo Ink out there – making the difference for those without voices. True, their methods are outside of accepted practices, and that’s an understatement. Then there is the paranormal element regarding the brothers and sisters of Torpedo Ink’s skills or ‘powers’. Sometimes I wish things like that were real. As uncomfortable as I might be with the descriptions, the end result delivers closure, permanent closure. For criminals like the ones in this book, that’s a good thing. Ms. Feehan has a way of writing that grabs my attention and keeps it even while she’s describing some heinous activity or scene. There is no way a reader can be unmoved by her characters’ pain and demands for justice.

Absinthe was shaped by the criminals he was forced to be tutored under from a young child to a young adult. That kind of stuff is hard to read. At times, extremely hard to read. It is in every book of the series. More details get dropped in each installment and it always amazes me that they are as sane as they are. Yet, all those hardships they survived keeps feeding the yearning in me for all of them to find their happy ever afters. It’s said that there is someone out there for everyone – and Scarlet has to be one in a million. I say that, not just because she’s a strong, and surprisingly skilled heroine, but because she is perfect for the hero. She has some unusual needs also and although not initially at the level as the hero’s needs, she is more than game enough to not only try, but to be the absolute best.

Here is where I have a hard time writing what I want to say. I heard that Ms. Feehan knows perfectly well that the kind of things that Absinthe needs Scarlet to do, might be a tad controversial, even hard to read for some. It plunks the story smack dab in the middle of erotica fetishes. It’s a hard-to-read fetish that drives the hero, and again, knowing what he was exposed to for all of his formative years, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. There is not one member of Torpedo Ink that hasn’t been damaged in that way. The need however, is different for each one. I’m assuming that the author had to do some serious research to get the details as vivid as she did in the story. It’s consensual, no two ways about it. It’s also not something that I even knew existed! So, on one hand, I saw the beauty in the jeweled gifts that Absinthe gave to Scarlet. Their meaning, and the amazing talents of the craftsman who made them, meant that they were all the more precious. On the other hand, it’s a very demanding fetish for the partner, on a level I just didn’t understand. Nor do I wish to. It’s enough for me to know that Scarlet has within her personality the needs that exactly match the needs of the hero. It’s their HEA and it works.

I know that there are many, many fans that are going to write reviews more glowing than mine. I did enjoy the story. I’m so happy Absinthe has found love. I think Scarlett is wonderful for him. Ms. Feehan’s skills as a storyteller are honed to a fine point and her exploration into the various fetishes that exist in the world must sometimes be eye-raising and perhaps quite stimulating. She knows how to match them to her heroes quite well. I’ll read the next book in the series because I’m hoping it’s going to be Savage’s turn. That man’s story is sure to be a challenge for me to read as well, but I’m up for it. I may not feel 100% comfortable with portions of Desolation Road, but that doesn’t mean I won’t recommend it to someone. I most certainly will. Everyone in Torpedo Ink has earned their right to an HEA and Ms. Feehan always delivers.

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