Monday, December 30, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Last Hit by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick


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.

Mini Excerpt:

I 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.

4 "I Loved It" Stars
Review by Jen Hagen
Daisy is a na├»ve 21-year-old who has just carried out her thoughtfully planned escape from her agoraphobic father.  She has been planning this escape for 6 years and has been stashing away any spare money she can sneak away from her father, including purchasing name-brand items on her grocery store trips only to exchange them for the generic brand to get more cash in her hands for her escape.  Her father is deathly afraid of being outside his home and keeps Daisy under his watchful eye at all times, not allowing her out of the home without his permission, and not allowing her any of the modern-day technologies that we all take for granted.  She has only had a taste of what it could be like living without constraints by reading romance novels. 


Nick is a hitman.  He was raised by the Russian mob and trained to be a killer from the moment they found him on the streets.  He was forced out of the organization when he was 15.  He had done many killings in those young formable years and has been on his own since then, taking orders for hits.  Although he is very good at taking out people, he suffers from not being exposed to everyday activities in life and social interactions.  He has no education but seems to be well versed.  His only relationships with women have included the pay-for-services type.   Nick has been watching Daisy through the scope of his gun and has an attraction to her.  He never plans to carry out his attraction and is happy to watch her from afar, until the one day when he is caught in the laundry room of her apartment building. 


Nick is now in unchartered territory.  He doesn’t know how to interact casually with a member of the opposite sex.  He is very observant and notices that she does not dress in clothing that fits properly and is able to deduce that she cannot afford fine things.  He quickly forms a plan to enable him the opportunity to be able to purchase these things for her.  Nick handles himself about as well as a bull in a china shop.


Maybe if I visit a whore again I will pay her to teach me to flirt.


From this point on Daisy and Nick discover that both of them are not cut out for flirting.  I found myself relishing in their inadequate attempts at flirting.


I’m also glad that I’m learning to flirt with Nick instead of someone else, because he seems just as bad at it as I am.  Like we’re learning together.  Maybe he was homeschooled too.


Nick has yet to tell her what he does for a living and he realizes that he is spinning himself a web of lies and all of the deceit will eventually catch up to him.  He is enjoying the time that he can spend with Daisy under the pretense that he is a normal guy who does a very shady dealings. 


My time with her might end swiftly, but I want her to remember me.  The more firsts I experience with her, the longer I will be imprinted in her mind.  Enough firsts and she will never forget me.


I enjoyed Nick and his weakness of being able to speak fluently with a member of the opposite sex.   He was fun to get to know and I found myself speaking his “da, nyet, and allo” in my mind with what I felt was a perfect accent.  (Probably more like with a Norwegian brogue).  The writers had an ability to describe each character’s movements through every scene as if I was the one in the story.  When Nick would walk through a bar, I walked through it with him and I could visualize the exact way the scene was set up.  Not every story is able to do this for me.   I smiled at Nick and Daisy’s attempts to become involved in a relationship and how they both were so uncomfortable when it came to speaking about their feelings.  It was easier for them not to speak, but rather to convey their emotions for each other in actions.


The first half of the book was more of Nick and Daisy telling their story, finding their mutual attraction,  and working the attraction into each other’s lives.  This is the part of the story that I enjoyed the most.  The second half took place on Nick’s home court, and the story took a more action-packed sequence and I found myself drifting away from the characters.  Granted, I still was caught up in Nick’s quest for a new life that didn’t involve killing people but I wanted to go back to their simple elementary courtship; however, Nick’s bedroom abilities are far from elementary.   As awkward as Nick was with his romance, he still was a lovable guy.


Last Hit did not end on a cliffhanger and can be read a stand alone.  The secondary characters will be the focus of the next book due out in spring 2014. 

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