Last Hit (Hitman #1)
Author: Jessica Clare & Jen Frederick
Release Date: 30 November 2013
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
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.
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.
ExcerptI watch her through my bathroom window. I've placed one of my four rented chairs in here for that express purpose. I tell myself it is not creepy, as the American girls would say, because I watch everyone. But really I watch only her.
I cannot see everything. I've never seen her nude. I've never seen inside her shower. Smartly there is no window there. But I can see her bedroom and her living room and beyond that, with my scope, her kitchen. I know her schedule. When she gets up in the morning, when she returns to her apartment. If she were a mark, I could've killed her a dozen times over by now and been in the wind.
She throws her bag onto her bed and then lies down next to it. It takes many muscles to smile, more to frown but only a few to pull the trigger. I peer down the scope and place my crosshairs over her forehead. Puff, dead.
This is the type of book that sucks you into its story straight away, and you don't have a choice but to follow the twists and turns as Daisy and Nikolai fall in love.
Daisy is incredibly naive in some ways, but haunted in many others. I was so worried for Daisy when she moves away from home, she's just so innocent. The beginning of the book makes you admire Daisy immediately, it takes a lot of courage for her to take back control of her life and head into a world she doesn't fully understand.
Nikolai, aka Nick, is a scarily attractive and compelling hero. I say scarily, because this guy is a completely deadly assassin. But he's had a heart-breakingly hard life, and he was raised to be an emotionless hitman, who lives just for the kill. Luckily for us there's a lot more to Nick than just how he was raised. Daisy brings out his protective instincts in a way he's never before experienced. I loved Nick so much, I could ignore his stalkerish tendencies!
Daisy and Nick are definitely meant for each other. She's drawn to the intensity and vitality that Nick exudes. It's irresistible to her, especially when she compares him to the sheltered, bland existence that she previously lived. He brings out the romantic/erotic feelings she's only ever experienced through reading romance books. Unsurprisingly, Daisy's innocence definitely plays a large part in his attraction to her, but he considers himself entirely undeserving of her. I ached for Nick to realise that he could be loved and love in return. He did deserve Daisy's love.
The sexual chemistry between Daisy and Nick is intense and passionate, but what I enjoyed most about it was the element of reality it had. Daisy is completely inexperienced, and it shows. She's not a virgin who magically knows exactly what she's doing, which happens all the time in romances! Their experiences together can be a little awkward, but it's still suffused with their passion and they learn together how to really make love. It's very hot stuff!
The plot has a slower pace for the first half of the book. The focus is on Daisy and Nick's fledgling relationship, and on Daisy's move for independence. But the pace shifts entirely in the second half- it's suspenseful and had me on edge so often. I couldn't stop reading, and I was scared about what could happen. Nick's deadliness becomes very apparent, and the danger of the world that Nick is a part of becomes far too real.
My only real complaint was that I struggled to suspend my disbelief for some aspects of the book. There were elements of the 'hitman' part of the plot that were a bit unbelievable. But then, how much experience do I have in the world of assassins? Absolutely zilch!
Overall though, a very enjoyable book. It's different to anything I've read before, and I loved that Daisy and Nick may seem worlds apart,but they have things in common that make them perfect for each other.
I am already eagerly anticipating the next book in this series, which will be Daniel and Regan's story. I have a feeling it's going to be utterly heartbreaking- I can't wait!
*I received a review copy from the authors for my honest review. Thank you!
About the Authors
Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She's been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
This is a pen name for Jill Myles.
Jill Myles has been an incurable romantic since childhood. She reads all the 'naughty parts' of books first, looks for a dirty joke in just about everything, and thinks to this day that the Little House on the Prairie books should have been steamier.
After devouring hundreds of paperback romances, mythology books, and archaeological tomes, she decided to write a few books of her own - stories with a wild adventure, sharp banter, and lots of super-sexy situations. She prefers her heroes alpha and half-dressed, her heroines witty, and she loves nothing more than watching them overcome adversity to fall into bed together.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
GiveawayWhat an awesome giveaway to celebrate the release of Last Hit! Prizes to be won include a $100 GC, a signed set of Jessica Clare BlueBonnet series published by Berkley (The Care and Feeding of the Alpha Male, The Girl's Guide to Manhunting, The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild), a signed set of Woodlands books with dog tag set and a signed copy of Last Hit.