Tuesday, April 1, 2014

LAST BREATH by Jessica Clare & Jen Frederick

(Hitman #2)
by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick
ARC Review
Release: April 1, 2014

My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐️

Two months ago, Regan Porter was kidnapped along with her neighbour, Daisy, by a couple of scary looking Russians. Separated Regan was raped and ended up being sold to a brothel in Rio, where she spent all this time chained up, alphabetizing scary movies in her head, while strangers came and used her body, hoping for her to scream. They could wait a long time. Regan wasn't about to give in, but she had all but given up when a man named Daniel came and purchased her for the night.

Former military man, turned assassin in order to find his kidnapped sister, Daniel Hays has been on a year and a half quest. His blond sibling a brilliant hacker who was taken while vacationing in Cancun. Chasing down every trace of her has lead him into brothels all over the world looking for blond, American girls. Encountering and killing the most dispicable of criminals and the pitiful victims of their human trafficking exploits, saving as many as he can. When he finds Regan, he knows she is special.

Two months in hell had killed any feelings of trust or desire to ever be touched in Regan. Afraid, defensive and alert, she doesn't believe Daniel when he says he is there to save her. But when it appears that some people are eager to have her stay around Brazil, and do their damndest to get her back, she concludes her best bet is to stick close to Daniel, who has guns and knows how to use them! Besides, he is making her feel safe in a world where nothing feels safe anymore.

His senses on high alert, Daniel is determined to keep Regan safe. Despite his need to find his sister, he can't bring himself to leave Regan behind. Realizing he is not making it easier on himself, he decides to keep her close by his side, but vows to keep his hands off, regardless of his growing lust. But when Regan starts to tentatively seek some human contact, it takes almost superhuman powers for Daniel to keep his hands to himself. And the more in danger they get, the more entangled they become.....


AH-mazing - Fantabulous - Sensational!! 

I unequivocally adore this incredibly talented combo of authors, Jen Frederick and Jessica Clare. Each in their own right great writers, but combined, in this series, they are PHENOMENAL!! 

The most attractive part I think for me in this series, is the contrast between the brutal reality of the life of these men - their business like, callous attitude toward life and 'justice' - versus the innocence and wonder they feel, when faced with the beauty of emotions. A contrast so stark and yet so believable.

LAST BREATH is full of similar contrasts in character, ones that make each individual and the story as a whole so colourful and dynamic. 
Daniel whose strong protective streak towards his sister and now Regan, literally brings out the animal in him, except, with a cool detached robot-like precision that belies any emotional involvement. Yet he would never be involved in what he does, without a morally just purpose. 
Regan who from rather demure, regular girl went to captive whore, enduring mental and physical abuse, but growing in strength instead of diminishing. She comes out with a newly found innocence of sorts, a need to rediscover herself, having seen the world through much different glasses even though she has been able to preserve her mental strength. She has come out a fighter instead of a victim.

The transition in the relationship between Daniel and Regan is rough and beautiful at the same time. Their intimacy crass but tender and so very healing, both sensuous and emotional. The trust they ultimately give each other is heart-warming.

Even Naomi, Daniel's sister, presents a contrast in her naivite versus her brilliance, and her strength winning out over her lack of social ability.
And lastly Vasily, an associate of Daniel's, who represents crime and whose hands are not clean, but who has a clear sense of justice and respect. 
These last two, Naomi and Vasily we will see again in an upcoming novel.

An amazing collaborative writing effort of Jen Frederick and Jessica Clare, throwing us in the middle of clever intrigue and gritty action, while at the same time gently exploring the psychological and emotional transformations of the main characters. And despite its rather dark and heavy subject matter, the book does not feel too dark or weighty. Simply sublime!

✨A sinister, carnal and stirring rescue mission.✨

**Copy provided in return for an honest review.**

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