Title: Last Breath
Authors: Jen Frederick and Jessica Clare
Series: Hitman
Publisher: self-published
Published: March 24, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary, Suspense

Synopsis:
Regan

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.

Daniel

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.

**I received a copy of this book from the author,
but that did not influence the review**

WARNING: This book has material which may be very sensitive

so please be cautioned before you purchase this.

4.5 stars I’m not sure exactly how to review this story because I think my thoughts are all over the place, but I want you to know that I truly loved it, especially the two main characters Daniel and Regan. (Like really really loved them!)

Why am I not sure how to review it then? Well, this book has a lot of dark and a lot of light and I’m thinking about the balance of it all. What happened to Regan in the brothel was dark, graphic, and disturbing…and to me almost impossible to emotionally recover from. Basically, if you are sensitive to anything to do with that topic this book is not for you. But then the scales tipped the other direction because the love between Daniel and Regan was so good, so real, and so very whole. With that being said, I will first talk about the million reasons why I fell in love with Last Breath.

Reason #1 I loved Last Breath: Daniel. Holy smoking hot smexy mother f*cker. He was confident, a freaking hitman, sexy, dirty talking, tall hard all over piece of man. I’m not sure if I loved his internal dialogue or what he said out loud to Regan more. He did realize how crazy and insane the situation was, and he never, ever took advantage of Regan, and that is what made me fall in love with him. (Well, that and the dirty talking ;))

Reason #2 I loved Last Breath: The sweetness of the romance between Regan and Daniel. I felt it. I didn’t just read it, but I really felt it. They hadn’t even had sex and I was dying. (Ask Ana and Christina because they have the texts to prove my flails.) From the very first time they kissed my own stomach did a flip. I’m not kidding!! It started off so sweetly, but then slowly, so very slowly it worked up to more.

Reasons #3 – 1,000,000 I love Last Breath: The times the romance was very naughty:

“Goddamn.” I feel the cords in his neck tense.
“You want me to talk dirty to you?”

Yes and please.

The romance was not only crazy hot, but also a fantastic partnership. While at first Daniel was simply protecting Regan and carrying out a job, he soon found himself actually wanting to take care of her. I loved how he always had her armed, and even went along with her plan to rescue his sister after listening to her reasoning. He never dismissed anything she said as unimportant. Le sigh. He truly was so swoony.

So now that you know how invested I was in Daniel and Regan I have to discuss the darker parts of the book. I normally shy away from books with non-consensual sex, but I knew going in that this one was a little dark. With that in mind I tried to compartmentalize those parts as I read. It was as if I attempted to take a step back from getting emotionally invested in reading those scenes because I know they were disturbing and haunting (and I’m a big baby). I certainly came out knowing how truly strong and brave Regan was though. It was all worth reading through to the other side because getting to the romance between Daniel and Regan was so very special.

So while I tried to gloss over how awful Regan’s situation was, I ultimately still knew those parts were there and here’s where I wish something was done a little differently. It made me think that if a woman was sold into a brothel and abused, she would not be able to function, much less jump right into an intimate relationship with a man days later. That was the part that was just a little inconsistent for me. I’m no psychologist but I’m pretty sure there is no way in hell that would ever happen. I accepted it for the story’s sake even though that part did not resonate as real to me. I’m not sure what I would suggest? Maybe that Regan was being set up to be used, but no one had touched her yet so she would not be as scarred? I’m not sure, but I do know that it didn’t totally jive for me.

However, after all the sh*t finished hitting the fan, I was glad the ending recovered by mentioning that Regan was undergoing some serious counseling. That made it more real, that it wasn’t a simple “happily ever after” because things were looking pretty rosy. There was so much that Regan had to deal with and the authors addressed that nicely.

So, would I rec this? YES! If you love a hot romance between characters that have some messed up backgrounds, this is a great read. It took some courage to get through the beginning but was totally worth it and I found myself rooting for these two all the way. I will also read anything and everything Jen Frederick writes.

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