Leafing Through Pages – Reckless Road (Torpedo Ink #5)

For reviews of all books in the series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Definitely gorier and grittier than the previous series by Christine, yet with strong social elements that will make the reader plow through the plot.  However she takes it to next level with the erotic part of the story in this book, something that I rarely delve in my reading.

Reckless Road is the fifth book in the Torpedo Ink Series by Christine Feehan published in February of 2021. The central plot revolves around Gedeon “Player” Lazaroff and Zyah Gamal, the new manager of Torpedo Ink Club’s grocery store in Caspar. The plot picks up a few months after the previous book, Desolation Road.

Torpedo Ink is the third series in the Sea Haven Novels – first set The Drake Sisters series and second set the Sisters of the Heart series – with stories revolving around the members of Torpedo Ink Motorcycle Club. The club consists of 19 men and women of the 287 who had survived the most brutal training schools in Russia. They form a family under the leadership of Victor “Czar” Prakenskii and, finally finding freedom on the road, belonging to their club. After years of doing undercover work to hunt the most cruel criminals, they find the town of Sea Haven where they settle and build for the first time a home for themselves, despite the enemies they still have to fight.

A misunderstanding between Player and Zyah leads them to be apart; but a threat to Zyah and perhaps the Club itself, brings them back together. However, the loss of trust and reservations that Zyah holds against Player, makes this road very hard for Player to follow-through. Yet, he cannot afford to be Reckless while traversing this very important road of this life.

In the beginning of the book, she thanked one of the reader for suggesting the name for Hannah Drake’s – the fifth Drake Sister whose story can be read in the fifth book in the Drake Sisters series, the 2007 book Safe Harbor – shop of potions and candles and magic. Aptly named as Floating Hat. You would understand it if you have read the Drake Sisters series to begin with. 🙂 This also excited me a lot because it meant that we would be meeting the Drake Sisters again, atleast Hannah, the ones I fell in love with to begin with.

Christine also thanks two other readers for suggesting a name for Alena’s restaurant. Finally we will get to see her restaurant up and running, which Alena has been working on since the first book in this series, the 2018 book Judgement Road. She names it as Crow 287. Again very aptly chosen.

I have commented several times that Christine uses words such as “obeyed”; “feel like god giving her pleasure”; “serve me”; “very proud of you for following my orders”; and many such words that either come across as degrading, humiliating or show total dominance of the male counterparts in the series, which made me cringe always. One of my pet peeve in her books was that inadvertently these words made the woman look more like a toy than human. Of course I know it is not intended that way.

She explained her usage of such words and the Master-Slave scenes that she has in her plots through Absinthe’s story in the fourth book in this series, the 2020 book Desolation Road. Yet no matter how much I want to overlook those pieces of words, phrases or scenes, it always leaves me with a taste of chill in the back of my throat. And I tend to skip those pages.

It was a pleasure to meet Hannah Drake again. We do meet her husband Sherriff Jonas Harrington often. However, it’s been too long seeing a scene between them. A whole chapter that not only charmed me, but also made me happy to meet her again.

Despite the goriness, explicit sexual content, Christine provides moments where you get tears in your eyes just reading the scenes as always. They make her characters more and more human to the reader’s eyes even though they are fully aware that these characters are really bad ass and scary as hell.

As before, the plot shows the dynamics of a Motorcycle Club, how they are striving to make a life for themselves, their family dynamics, club politics and their goal to weed out the bad.

Can’t wait to read about Code, Alena and Savage sooner than others. I had read this book as soon as it had released, but posting the review this late. I was hoping Christine would pick Savage in her next plot while I was reading the book, since he is getting really close to the edge more and more as the series progresses.. And to my surprise her next two books are surrounded around Savage. Would be interesting to see what she has to tell about Savage for two books.

I mentioned in the previous book, Desolation Road, that Christine’s promo vide of that book had mentioned 19 had survived of the 289 gifted kids who were taken by Sorbacov brothers and trained as assassins. But till then she had maintained always that the surviving kids were 18 of the total 287. I was wondering if that was an error or if she was going to make Destroyer as one of the Torpedo Ink members and make the survivors as 19 of the total 287. True to my thought, she answered a Goodreads reader’s similar question and confirmed that she will be making the surviving members as 19 of the total 287. And true to her word, she has given her more of Destroyer in this book, setting expectations to the readers that there will be 19 books in this series.

Again a very gritty and gorier plot with a lot of f-bombs and open nudity that I still cringe reading sometimes. However, she has toned down the extreme sex in this book. There are more stories in parallel that she gives us keeping us interested and piqued. With such a strong back to her plot, Christine doesn’t leave it just as an erotic story. Yet, I would tread it cautiously and judge the series one book at a time. For me this book was much better than others.

Spoiler Alerts:

  1. Plot Reveals:
    1. Zyah’s family – Mama Anat Gamal, her grandmother; Dwayne River, Anat’s love interest; Francois Gamal, Anat’s Son
    2. Terrie Frankle – Physical Therapist to Anat
    3. A love story is blooming between Bannister and Delia Swanson.
  1. Sub- Plots:
    1. Stories from The Drake Sisters and The Sisters of the Heart Series:
      1. A misunderstanding between Ilya, Lev and Viktor Prakenskii is shown in Bound Together (Sisters of the Heart #6). Waiting for Christine to resolve it.
      2. Four orphans – 3 girls (Lucia, Nicia and Siena) and 1 boy (Benito) – saved from the human trafficking ring are adopted by Arianna and Maxim Prakenskii in Air Bound.
      3. People from Sea Haven – Inez Nelson, owns the grocery store in Sea Haven, and in Casper in partnership with The Club; Donny Ruttermyer, works for Inez at the store;
      4. In this book, we learn that Hannah and Jonas are trying to have baby.
    2. Stories from The Torpedo Ink Series:
      1. Viktor “Czar” and Blythe Prakinskii adopt several children over the course of the series – Darby Henessey, Zoe Henessey, Emily Henessey and Kenny in Bound Together; and Jimmy in Vendetta Road. Darby is interested in a firefighter in this book.
      2. Lucia “Code “ Litvin, the Treasurer of the club, has a friend who is a hacker calling herself “Cat” since Judgment Road.
      3. We have been seeing story brewing between Alena “Torch” Koval and Pierce since Judgment Road. Now we see that they are dating in this book. Curious to see how Christine will approach their story since Alena is also a fully patched member of their Club while it is not accepted in Pierce’s Club.  In Desolation Road, Alena has shared history with Rurik.
      4. Scarlet Foley is aided by five women – her lawyer & four women while she was in prison – in Desolation Road. She also rescues a woman, Josefa Diaz, who is safe in Chile now. Will they come back in future plots as potential partners for other men? Scarlet also connects psychically with Savage in that book.
      5. The Club is looking to find a manager for Inez’s store in Casper in Desolation Road. Perhaps a possible pairing for future books?
      6. More survivors from brutal Russian Schools we meet as the series progresses: Rurik Volkov aka Razrushitel “Destroyer”, loses his sister but had traded his soul for someone else, is voted to formally to join Torpedo Ink Club; Adrik Orlov, went to Garviil’s school, trained Scarlet in various skills; heads back to Thailand.
      7. Kir “Master” Vasiliev brings Delia Swanson – Breezy’s former landlord and good friend – to the Club after the Ghosts attack her diner. She stays in the apartnment above the Club alongside Bannister.
      8. Kasimir “Preacher” Popov has a run in with Sabelia, clerk at Hannah’s Floating Hat, in this book. Will they be paired? He also gets fascinated with Hannah’s ability to make the potions and lotions.
  1. Prospects and extended members of the Torpedo Ink:
    1. Fatei; Glitch; Hyde, Hitch
    2. Harry Bannister, a 60 year old independent biker, stays in the apartment over the Club’s bar.
    3. Until Vendetta Road, there were only three Prospects – Fatei, Glitch and Hyde. But in that book she introduced Hitch. Is it Glitch mis-spelt as Hitch? Or is he indeed a new prospect?
  2. Newer enemies and threats that the Torpedo Ink Club face:
    1. The remaining members of the Swords Motorcycle Club after their leader Evan Shackler-Grastos killed by Drake Sisters, Sisters of the Heart and their husbands, the Prakenskii brothers and the Torpedo Ink Club.
    2. In Bound Together, it is revealed that Viktor’s notes to his brothers never reached them and also all their tapes from the tortures they suffered at the hands of Uri and Kostya Sorbacov are missing.
    3. In Judgment Road, the Ghosts are introduced who use the same torturing methods that the Russian schools inflected on the Club members. In this book we get to read more about them. They also had a vicious group of a motorcycle club that did their dirty work. Members – Louis Levasseur;
    4. In Vendetta Road, the Club comes across Collector, who finds families that have no other relatives, kill the parents, kidnap the kids and sell them to an organization headed by a Russian, where the kids are auctioned off for making “snuff” movies. A loose end, Terrance Marshall, misses from underneath the Club’s hands. They also come across another ring of con-artists who lure rich lonely women, marry them and kill them after for the inheritance. They are connected to the pedophile ring.
    5. Sword Security – group of assassins trained at the Russian brutal schools are aligning themselves with The Ghosts and the Russian running the pedophile ring.
  3. Other Motor Cycle Clubs:
    1. Twenty-five members from the school that Gavriil had gone to, join the Torpedo Ink Motorcycle Club chapter for the Trinity area, in Vengeance Road. Members: Axle;
    2. In Vendetta Road, another smaller club is interesting to join Torpedo Ink.
    3. Diamondbacks – headed by Plank; Members: Terry “Judge” Partridge & his old lady Theresa; Pierce, Road Captain or Enforcer (??); Trade;
    4. Venomous – hired by Holden’s security team when needed to use them as enforcers. They rent a strip club from Haley Joico. Members: Iron, Sergeant in Arms;
    5. Twisted Steel – Holden Sr. gives them a contract too to hunt down Scarlet. In Vendetta Road, inadvertently Ice and Solei have Stallion, a member from Twisted Steel Club, fixated on her. No closure was given to him in that book.
    6. Rampage – another motorcycle club who want to join the Torpedo Ink

3. Grammatical / Character / Location / Geographical / Historical / Mythological Errors:

a. On Pg. 401, Line 3, it should be “…sore in other places…”

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