Series: Hitman #1Genre: Erotic/Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
Publication Date: 11/30/13
Rating: 3.5 stars
I have been a contract killer since I was a boy. For years I savored the fear caused by my name, the trembling at the sight of my tattoos. The stars on my knees, the marks on my fingers, the dagger in my neck, all bespoke of danger. If you saw my eyes, it was the last vision you’d have. I have ever been the hunter, never the prey. With her, I am the mark and I am ready to lie down and let her capture me. Opening my small scarred heart to her brings out my enemies. I will carry out one last hit, but if they hurt her, I will bring the world down around their ears.
I’ve been sheltered from the outside world all my life. Homeschooled and farm-raised, I’m so naive that my best friend calls me Pollyanna. I like to believe the best in people. Nikolai is part of this new life, and he’s terrifying to me. Not because his eyes are cold or my friend warns me away from him, but because he’s the only man that has ever seen the real me beneath the awkwardness. With him, my heart is at risk..and also, my life.
I've been curious about the Hitman series since Last Hit released. I'm a fan of Jen Frederick's Woodland series, and pretty much want to read whatever she writes. She did warn me that this series is very different from her contemporary romance. And it is. But you know, I liked it.
I'll admit, I had a bit of a time connecting with this story. I felt more detached from the characters than normal. At first this bothered me, but then...I got to thinking about it, and it suited the story. Nikolai is a Ukranian hitman. His stilted American dialogue and his awkward manners were well-placed in the story. If he'd been perfectly comfortable, with an American dialect, that would have been out of place in this story. I don't have to feel completely connected to every character to enjoy a story, particularly when he's a Eastern European hitman. I did like Daisy quite a lot. She came from a tragic, strange background, and once again, the way she was written fit that. Daisy was innocence and light to Nikolai's darkness and sin. I wondered how she would react to his life, would she run away or brush it off. The answer was...really neither, and that worked for me.
I know this review has been a vague, rambling hot mess. I don't know why! I was really into Last Hit, and read it within a matter of a couple hours. The story was strange and intriguing, the last half was exciting. There was never this one moment that completely blew me away, but I was in it throughout. Last Breath, book two, was set up very nicely. Daniel was a fun and engaging character and I have a feeling I'm going to adore him. And with what Regan went through in this book, I can't wait to find out what happened, and what happens next.
Genre: Erotic/Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
Publication Date: 3/24/14
Rating: 3.5 stars
I never really knew what misery was until the day I was kidnapped and sold for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two months later, I'm at a brothel in Rio when I meet Daniel Hays. He says he's here to save me, but can I trust him? All I know of him are his sarcastic retorts and his tendency to solve every dispute with his gun. He's also the only safe thing in my world, and I know it's wrong to fall in love with him, but I can't seem to help myself. He says he’ll protect me until his last breath but I don’t know if I should believe him or even if I can.
For the last eighteen months, I’ve had one goal: to find my kidnapped sister. I’ve left the Army, turned paid hit man, and have befriended criminals all across the globe. In every brothel I raid or every human trafficking truck I stop, her face is the one I’m desperate to see. In Rio, I find Regan Porter, bruised but not broken and still sane despite her weeks in hell. I should leave her behind or send her home because the last thing either of us needs is to get involved. But with every passing minute, I find I can’t let her go.
After that perfect set-up at the end of Last Hit, I was really excited to start Last Breath. Daniel was ridiculously charming, intriguing, and I wanted to follow along as he sets out to rescue Regan. Now, I knew that whatever had happened to Regan couldn't be good, but I hoped that maybe I was wrong. I wasn't. The horror that Regan experienced made Last Breath both an intriguing and stomach-churning/turning read.
Please don't get me wrong, Last Breath was a good read. It was just hard for me, given what Regan endures and how it's dealt with. I'm not saying how the aftermath was written was right or wrong, it just didn't sit so well with me. I will say that if you have sexual assault triggers, proceed with caution. In some ways, I admired the way Regan was written, dealing with the aftermath of what she'd undergone. In other ways, it made me uncomfortable but that may be just my issue. I just don't know...
What I really liked about Last Breath was that was an adventure, a mystery. The action kept the story moving at an excellent pace, and kept me on the edge. The details the author gave to the setting and the characters gave the story an enormous sense of authenticity. The dialogue was humorous and witty. I enjoyed the verbal sparring between Daniel and Regan very much. And when it came to the dirty talk, wow, Daniel was pretty hardcore!
In the end, I did like Last Breath. Because of the trigger issues, I wouldn't recommend it to those sensitive to that. That aside, I would recommend it to those who are looking for adventure and steamy romantic suspense.
About Jen Frederick
Bestselling author Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She's been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at email@example.com.