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“I’m gonna make it all okay. You gotta let it go and believe.”
Kristen Ashley finishes off her Unfinished Heroes series with the story of (up until now) bad guy, but still quietly badass, Nick Sebring.
Like anybody else who read this series, I haven’t been a fan of Nick, but from the moment this book began, I loved him. He’s changed a lot but and he’s been through hell and is trying to deal with the devastation of it all, and the only thing that keeps him going is his plan of vengeance on the people who destroyed him – the Shade family.
Olivia Shade is a very reluctant member a struggling crime family. She is forced to work for her scarily violent father and her control-freak sister as they try to save their criminal empire, but she does it under silent duress, doing her best to stay out of it as much as she can. From the outside, it looks as if she lives a privileged life, but in reality she lives her life in a cage and she’s terrified of being herself or chasing her dreams. She tried that once, and she paid brutally for it, and she’s learned that it’s not worth trying again. So she does her job, and she hides who she truly is, keeping herself safe and not allowing anybody else into her world, not wanting anybody else to get hurt because of her again.
Olivia is Nick’s ‘in’ with the Shades. His plan is to seduce her and use her to get close enough to take out her father and his top henchman and destroy their business. However from their very first encounter, Nick and Olivia turn each other’s worlds upside down.
“The instant I caught sight of him, I froze. He was tall. His eyes were the color of the ocean. And he made me believe that I could want something, take it and have it. Own it. Keep it. Something precious would be mine.”
Holy hell, this book is hot. There is SO much sex in this book, and it’s steaming. Nick and Olivia’s wild attraction to each other makes for some very steamy scenes, and initially that’s all that they have. It’s easy, it’s drama-free, it’s hotter than any other sex they’ve had and it works for both of them. But soon that’s not enough. Nick finds himself becoming emotionally attached to the quiet, withdrawn, Olivia, and she finds herself wanting to lean into him. It’s a dangerous situation for both of them, but as hard as they may try, they can’t resist their growing feelings.
I love these two together. Nick is amazing with Olivia – he has the KA-alpha vibe going on…
“Now,” he rolled me to my back, “with all that shit, I’m not fine.” His mouth came to mine. “So we’re fucking until I feel better.”
…but he is also beautifully tender when he needs to be, doing what he can to make Olivia feel safe and protected when she is with him.
“Take the whole night. We got until morning to be what you need us to be,” he pushed. “Swear to Christ, you’re safe right here. I can give you that, Olivia. I can give you the night. I promise you that.”
He sees something special in her, and he works hard to make sure she knows that, and to draw her out of her shelter.
“If you let whatever you got inside you loose, you’d make a man incredibly happy. You’d be a dream he couldn’t build. You’d be everything.”
And though they have their ups and downs, it’s all handled beautifully – it’s intense yet realistic and not too angsty, and I loved watching them work their way through it all and find something special together.
“Just so you don’t forget,” he began. “You mean more to me today than you did yesterday.” Her lips parted and her eyes got bright a different way. “And yesterday you meant a fuckuva lot to me.”
But the world they live in is a dangerous one, and it’s only a matter of time before Nick and Olivia’s secrets are revealed – secrets that have the potential to destroy everything they’ve found together.
I loved this book. I loved Nick and Olivia as characters, I loved their connection, and I was really intrigued with both of their family dynamics and the dangerous crime element that was woven throughout. There’s quite a bit going on in addition to the love story, and it’s all tied together really well, and I was just as invested in the non-romantic storylines as I was with the love story. However, having said that, I was expecting something a bit ‘more’ to come from it all. KA has conditioned me to expect exciting or shocking climaxes to her stories, and though the build-up was there, nothing really happened. The book ends 86% into the kindle edition, and I sat there thinking ‘that’s it?’ Don’t get me wrong, I love the way it all played out, I thought the drama was handled really well, of course there was a happy ending and it was swoonily romantic, and there’s a wonderful epilogue showing us their HEA, but I feel like she missed an opportunity to do something really spectacular – especially considering the dangerous world the characters inhabit. The set up was there, but it all kind of fizzled.
I thought it was a really nice ending to the series though. Of course, we get a chance to catch up with all of the characters from the other books in the series – especially Knight and Anya (and though I’m not Knight’s biggest fan, I loved seeing him in the role of protective and supportive big brother), and I love that we get to see glimpses into the future for each of the couples.
I have really enjoyed this series. It’s a little darker than KA’s other books, but she did it well, and some of the books of this series remain all-time favourites. Nick and Olivia’s story fits into the series really well, I loved it and I’m really happy with how it all ended up.
The Unfinished Hero Series
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