Last Hit Book Review *Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick*
Synopsis: Nikolai: 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.
Daisy: 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.
Last Hit is the first release from writing duo, Jen Frederick and Jessica Clare. Jen writes New Adult set in college, and Jessica writes semi erotic contemporaries featuring hot billionaire heroes. She also writes under Jill Myles. I’ve read both authors before, and have enjoyed their other books. When I heard they teamed up to write about a Russian hit man who falls hard for the innocent and naïve heroine (both authors joked that Nick, the Russian hit man is a stalker, but a loveable one), I was very interested. Fans who enjoy Anne Stuart and Shannon McKenna will enjoy Last Hit, but perhaps with some reservations.
Daisy the heroine has lived a very sheltered life because of her father. Her mother was killed when she was a little girl and her father became agoraphobic because of it. Daisy was made a prisoner in her own home because of her father, although she is now legal and twenty-one. Daisy can no longer stay under her father’s thumb and runs away with very little money to start a new life on her own terms. Daisy finds a roommate named Reagan, who lives in a rundown apartment. But Daisy makes the best of her situation because she is free and independent. She sees the bright side everywhere. One night she’s doing laundry and comes across a handsome, yet brooding man named Nick. He’s very polite, attractive and has a sexy Russian accent. What Daisy doesn’t know is that Nick is a Nickolai, a professional hit man who lives across the street scoping out his next assignment. He spots Daisy in her bedroom as she tries to give herself self loving, which doesn’t work out to her dismay. Nick must meet Daisy now because he thinks she’s lovely and he can’t stop thinking about her. If there was a theme song for Nick and Daisy, it would be “I Always Feel Like (Somebody’s Watching Me) by TRU.
Daisy is intrigued by Nick who spends money on her, which makes he feel uncomfortable, but he acts like a total gentleman. She decides she wants Nick to be her first lover. He accepts but takes his time with Daisy, savoring her willingness to be intimate with him although he has a dark soul and has many kills under his belt. But Nick can’t keep his secret life away from Daisy for too long. Nick’s enemies find out about Daisy, and not only kidnap her, but her roommate Reagan and will sell them as sex slaves unless Nick can save both women before it’s too late.
Nick and Daisy have great chemistry. Their passion is explosive and uber-hot. Nick is the ultimate giver, and all about Daisy’s pleasure (masterful with his tongue and mouth if you get my meaning ;)). Nick maybe a shady stalker hit man with major issues, but if you can get past his killing, you will adore him. He has such a flavorful voice. The way he treats Daisy is adorable and endearing, and there were more than a few aww moments from him. He’s a more tender type of alpha and treats Daisy like gold. Daisy is a fighter though, especially when she’s kidnapped. The scenes where she’s in fear of her life may make you squirm because they are so dark. What happens to Reagan is horrid. You will want these evil madmen with no souls to suffer, which they do thanks to Nick. But there is a twist with Nick’s revenge against these criminals because they dared to hurt his Daisy. Daisy makes the ultimate decision, which changes Nick and everything he has believed.
Last Hit was an enjoyable read, but a bit too unrealistic at times. It’s also categorized as a “New Adult”, which really doesn’t fit here other than the Nick and Daisy being under twenty-five. I would say this is more a suspense thriller romance than a New Adult (Just because the characters are in the age range considered for a New Adult, doesn’t make it a New Adult, IMO.) I did some double takes regarding certain decisions from Nick and Daisy. I found the suspense element a little bland, and the ending went on for too long, as well as being a little too pat. It’s a bit “out there”, especially with the aftermath of Daisy’s recovery and how she puts to rest her issues with her father. I also thought Nick was much older than he is portrayed. He acts like he’s on the flip side of thirty, but he’s not yet twenty-five. But I did get behind Nick and Daisy as a unit. Their HEA was very sweet, although more on the fantasy side and the ultimate fairy tale type ending.
Jen and Jessica are a great writing team who complement one another. The next book in this series features Reagan and Daniel, Nick’s hit man friend who saves her. Expect that release in the Spring of 2014.
Readers who enjoy heroes who live on the edge of society and work in the shadows, and those heroines who are sweet, idealistic virgins (who want some hot loving ASAP) will eat this one up. (Self-published, $3.99 until the end of 2013, and then $4.99 in 2014)
Final Grade: B-