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This is a really hard book to review, mostly because I read it in two sittings – half in June and the rest in August.
Thoughts in June – didn’t like it. Knight was a controlling, aggressive asshole. I didn’t feel much chemistry between the two characters, and then when he whipped out “Daddy” in the bedroom, it was all a bit much and I decided to take a break.
Thoughts in August – better. Knight is still controlling, but it’s within the parameters of a relationship that they have now defined, and that sits a lot better with me. Plus Anya’s right into the lifestyle and playing the game with him now instead of just being all wide-eyed and innocent.
I also liked Knight a whole lot better in the second part of the book. As he and Anya got closer, he opened up a lot more, and showed his softer(ish) side. KA does a great job with him explaining why he is the way he is, and it all of a sudden started to makes sense to me.
“It’s all I know Anya. Protection. I was born then I was raised to be a shield.”
And as controlling and jerk-like as he is, by the end of the book I actually liked the fact that he was who he was and didn’t apologise for it. I also liked that KA didn’t portray Knight’s controlling behaviour as something that can be changed by the love of the right woman. It’s the way he is, and he owned it. Knight told Anya straight out that he wanted her, how he wanted her, and gave her the opportunity to walk away if she couldn’t deal with who he was and his need for control, and she chose to stay with him in what was essentially a 24/7 Dom/Sub relationship.
“You had your chance tonight, babe. And you got to your knees beside me. There’s no turning back. You can’t give me that, all of that, and take it away. You need to get this baby, and right now I need to know you do.”
And she did. And even though it’s not my kind of thing, it obviously worked for Anya, and in return she got Knight’s absolute love and adoration.
“I was safe.
I was spoiled.
I was adored.
I was loved.
I couldn’t dictate how that came about.
Especially not to a man like Knight.”
So the more I got into it, and the more I understood Knight and his relationship with Anya, the more I liked the story. And of course it also helped that they fell madly in love, and Knight started to bring the swoon.
“I love you Anya, you’re the only woman who’s had that from me and you’re the only one who ever will.”
“You love me?”
“Baby, you were made for me.”
There’s not a huge storyline outside of their relationship, but that was intense enough to carry the book. There are issues with friends and family of course, but nothing that really detracts from Knight and Anya (and somewhat bizarrely for a KA book – no kidnappings!!). The sex was very descriptive with lots of rough and hard stuff, as well as some beatifully tender moments and a bit of kink. The “Daddy” thing continued to be an issue, but I found that I was able to overlook it.
And then to finish it off KA comes along with another of her secret weapons – the Epic Epilogue! Now THAT was an absolute swoonfest, I loved it!
I am a MASSIVE Kristen Ashley fan, and I absolutely adore everything she has written. I knew that this book strayed from her norm, and I was willing to take a chance on it. And although this wasn’t my favourite book of hers, I can still appreciate the characters and the story that she has told.
The Unfinished Hero Series
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