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This is, perhaps, the most extreme of Kristen Ashley’s “bad boys” with an H who was very dislikeable in previous books. His transformation into one of the “good guys” all happens in the prologue and it did feel like a critical part of the story development was missing.
The H plans to use the h to get inside her father’s criminal network, to get revenge for the murder of his FBI girlfriend. The h was a reluctant part of the family, (keeping the books and laundering the income). She had given up on ever having a happy “honest” life as her past attempts to escape had been brutally punished. She (conveniently) finds the H irresistible, and they have ten chapters of hot sex with very little conversation. As the h openly did not trust the H for anything apart from sex, what this was supposed to achieve was unclear.
The couple somehow fall in love, even though they never really talk honestly to each other - or talk much at all between their many sexual encounters. They then change from edgy, cynical and damaged underworld characters, into a mushy, loved up couple. The h, who had been so deeply unhappy that she did not smile until Chapter 15, becomes a rock chick clone and was suddenly “cute” and “klutsy”, while the H, who had spent four years preparing for revenge, falls in love with ease. It would have made more sense for both characters to strongly resist admitting to any sort of emotional caring for each other – they were both wired to be in control, so more of a tussle for dominance and less of the cliché secret trip to Vegas would have made this romance more convincing.
In some places this book is really good, particularly when the couple are apart (!), and I adore so many of KA’s books, but she does seem to be struggling lately with what market she is aiming for. This book, and the previous one I listened to (Deacon), both seem to be targeting the YA market, with musical "messages" and videos as part of the romance. But then there seems to be the obligatory BDSM thrown in to target the FSOG market and so many chapters of fabulous sex that it becomes a bit mundane. Her earlier books were more “romantic suspense” with super hot guys (and super hot sex), whereas now they are more “erotic romances” with less emphasis on a strong plot line and instead there are chapters and chapters of lengthy sexual encounters. I guess it’s a personal preference, because her writing ability is, without a doubt, already proven, but I do wish for more along the lines of “At Peace” “The Gamble” and “Sweet Dreams”.
This portion of Kristen Ashley's The Unfinished Heros series is the final chapter. While each book can stand alone, if you are going to read the entire series – you may want to stop reading this review. It contains spoilers, I don't purposely do this but you have been warned!
Olivia Shade is the daughter of a crime family powerful. Nick wants retribution from them for making him watch them murder his woman.
Olivia feels that she is nothing more than a pawn to be used however her father seems fit, to advance to business and career.
Nick and Olivia cross paths. Nick is never going to love again, after the murder of his girlfriend. Olivia does not even know what love means. However there is an electric spark that flows through Nick & Olivia every time they touch.
I really enjoyed this book and it seemed to go a lot deeper as far as the plot, etc. I do not know if that is because it is the final book in the series or what, but I had difficulty putting it down.
SPOILER!! The very end chapters of this book, KA brings us up to speed on all of the previous characters and how their lives look now. I really enjoyed that, so very much.
Stella Bloom is new to me (in this series.) I would mark her performance as above average because of her ability to handle such a large class cast of characters. There are male & female and an occasional kid. If I see something that looks interesting to me in the future and she is the narrator, I will grab it in a heartbeat.
Notes/warnings: graphic descriptions of sex, violence & strong language, also the discussion of trafficking anything from drugs to girls to women – this may upset some readers.
This is definitely for the older than 18 years crowd. I like my books racy & spicy and this series was a little bit outside my comfort zone. If you don't mind the things that I warned about, it is a great series. I had a chance to read it from beginning to end and that's how I would recommend anyone else listen. I also prefer my books a little bit deeper.
Ratings: The first book I enjoyed, the second a bit less, the third about average but Sebring knocked my socks off, I felt great after having read it especially as the characters from previous books came into play.
Stars: Four stars overall
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7 of 7 people found this review helpful
One of the things that you know a Kristen Ashley book will give you is a loveable, sexy Alpha Hero who, once he's made you his, he'd lie, cheat, steal, kill or die to protect you. They have clipped speech, are hard, possessive, jealous, demanding lovers, often dirty talkers, cryptic, intelligent, loving, protective, very sexual and, as Knight declared to his woman in book 1 "wars fought over a face like this, a man would work himself into the ground for it, go down to his knees to beg to keep it, endure torture to protect it, take a bullet for it, poison his brother to possess a face like this"..... yup, they're not afraid to show that they love deeply, are vulnerable to the woman that holds his heart..... and the family he makes with her.
The second thing is a fantastic storyline, filled with suspense, angst, drama, bad guys, quick witted banter and dialogue, twists and a plot that includes well loved characters from the previous books. Finally, the third thing that KA gives you are mesmerizing romances that are passionate, filled with heartfelt declarations, unpredictable, very hot and they'll curl your toes, make your blood pressure rise, frustrate you, charm you, have you eager to get back to them and finally leave you sighing in pleasure, and on a book high, because you know you've just listened to something awesome.
Nick and Olivia's story was all this and much more.... they came from different worlds but somehow found each other.... but it wasn't going to be easy, it wasn't going to be without it's bloodshed and it wasn't going to go smoothly. Nick has wanted revenge for the death of his girlfriend for four years and his ticket to get it is Olivia - she's quiet, vulnerable yet strong and is the disillusioned Boss' Daughter.... but what he wasn't prepared for was for Olivia to stir up and ignite intense, possessive and protective feelings. Slowly she comes out of her shell, trusts and puts her faith in Nick but he has hidden his agenda and secrets from her and, when she eventually learns the truth (not, of course, from him) the sht hits the fan, hearts are broken and dreams crumble. The roller coaster ride does stop at some precarious situations but it left me with that 'feel good' feeling, wishing there was more but very grateful that I found this talented and gifted Author.
Dual POV's (with multiple POV's at the end) and a really good narrator who delivered very convincing male voices and injected the perfect emotional dialogue into well described and easily visualized scenes. Could be stand alone but it does refer to characters from the past 5 books and gives an Epilogue which wraps up all the characters HEA's from the entire series beautifully.
Worth a credit? Yes, not only is KA an auto download Author for me but her books are also worthy pre-orders too. Each and every one of her books in the Unfinished Hero series, IMO, are creditworthy and this story has made me want to listen to this wonderful series all over again.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful