[555]: Last Kiss by Jessica Clare

21566797 Last Kiss [Hitman, #3] by Jessica Clare
Berkley | May 5th, 2015
Adult Fiction | Romance | Suspense
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Naomi: When I was kidnapped I thought only of survival. I don’t thrive well in chaos. That’s why I gave my captors exactly what they wanted: my skill with computers. Making millions for a crime lord who kept me imprisoned in his basement compound kept my family safe. When he was taken out, I thought my ticket to freedom had arrived. Wrong. I traded one keeper for another. This time I’m in the hands of a scarred, dark, demanding Russian who happens to be the head of the Bratva, a Russian crime organization. He wants my brain and my body. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued, but I can’t be a prisoner forever…no matter how good he makes me feel.

Vasily: At a young age, I was taught that a man without power is a puppet for all. I’ve clawed—and killed—my way to the top so that it is my heel on their necks. But to unify the fractured organization into an undefeatable machine, I need a technological genius to help me steal one particular artifact. That she is breathtaking, determined, and vulnerable is making her more dangerous than all of my enemies combined. But only I can keep her safe from the world that she now inhabits. Soon, I must choose between Naomi and Bratva law. But with every day that passes, this becomes a more impossible choice.


When I first met Naomi, it was when Daniel was trying to fulfill a number of favours from different sorts of people to rescue her and Reagan. A few facts about her stood out: she was a grown woman with an Asperger’s Syndrome, and she too, was abducted to be sold off as a sex slave. But because of her quick thinking, she managed to entice her captors with a different kind of skill set: she’s a computer hacker. She can hack into anything and can steal billions of money while in the comfort of her own prison.

When she was rescued by Daniel, Reagan and Vasily, I was more than relieved to find out that she was relatively unharmed. She used her idiosyncrasies to her full advantage. Instead of being a hindrance, she played her part and kept herself safe. She doesn’t like germs; she doesn’t like being touched, she doesn’t like noises. She has a whole slew of peculiarities that had nothing to do with being an OCD. It was the way her mind works. She was honest and candid about her feelings, observations and emotions. Most of the time, she left me laughing even though most of the situations she found herself in did not seem like a comedy hour at the club.

I have one particular point of interest with Vasily and Naomi’s relationship; in that I wanted to know how it would develop.  Truthfully, it wasn’t something that have been explored in my past experience. Considering all the things that can set her off, I don’t know how she would react if sex, being the very worst kind of intrusion there is, will be a part of their relationship. I also am not sure if Clare’s depiction of her reactions would be as realistic. The truth is, I don’t know. In some instances, I feel like Vasily was taking advantage of a person with mental disorder and I can’t quite reconcile my feelings with that. But in other instances, Naomi acts and speaks just like a normal woman would. This is where I feel like the syndrome comes and goes to facilitate the relationship between characters.

Despite that major hurdle, I was completely enamoured with this couple. Vasily took care of Naomi, loved her and made sure she’s always in her comfort zone. Which is the best thing anyone can do with someone of her affliction. Because of that, this book is probably my favourite in this series.

 

 

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[550]: Last Breath by Jessica Clare

19207601 Last Breath [Hitman, #2] by Jessica Clare
Publication Date: March 24th, 2014
Self Published | Kindle Edition
Adult Fiction | Suspense | Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


Regan

I never really knew what misery was until the day I was kidnapped and sold for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two months later, I’m at a brothel in Rio when I meet Daniel Hays. He says he’s here to save me, but can I trust him? All I know of him are his sarcastic retorts and his tendency to solve every dispute with his gun. He’s also the only safe thing in my world, and I know it’s wrong to fall in love with him, but I can’t seem to help myself. He says he’ll protect me until his last breath but I don’t know if I should believe him or even if I can.

Daniel

For the last eighteen months, I’ve had one goal: to find my kidnapped sister. I’ve left the Army, turned paid hit man, and have befriended criminals all across the globe. In every brothel I raid or every human trafficking truck I stop, her face is the one I’m desperate to see. In Rio, I find Regan Porter, bruised but not broken and still sane despite her weeks in hell. I should leave her behind or send her home because the last thing either of us needs is to get involved. But with every passing minute, I find I can’t let her go.


The last we’ve heard about Reagan, we were told she was sold as a sex slave somewhere in Russia. Before the events of Last Hit concluded, it was alluded that Daniel had found her. I was relieved, because Reagan was a victim of being in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Admittedly, I expected (and hoped) that the author would just give us a perfunctory summary of what had happened to her while she was gone.

I was wrong. So wrong.

In great, explicit detail, Clare told us exactly the kind of debasement she’d suffered through the hands of her captors and “owners”. To be honest, all the depravity had turned me off any future sexual relation that would be in store for Reagan and Daniel. I just don’t think those kind of stories were great preamble to their relationship. I feel that in as much as Reagan needed time to heal, the readers, too needed time to cope with the what had happened  to Reagan. Personally, I spent a lot of time grimacing through any sexual intercourse between them. That’s not to say I didn’t think they were hot. Daniel has a dirty mouth on him. And in normal circumstances, I’d find that lovely. Not this time, though.

In my opinion, they jumped in way too fast. Almost too easy, that the things that had happened to Reagan didn’t hold any relevance. I’m not sure if the author was trying to make a case for the kind of trust Reagan has on Daniel, but I wasn’t convinced someone with her immediate past would be so casual about sex with another man after going through what she did. In Daniel’s defence, he asked for her total acquiescence before doing the deed. However, it still made me feel uncomfortable, to say the least.

Despite that, I admire Jessica Clare’s chutzpah. She doesn’t pull any punches. She’s brutally honest. I may be a bit traumatized, but I think there’s no other way to tell these type of stories. It was every bit as close to reality as I’d hoped to never know.

 

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