Title: Last Hit
Author: Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick
Series: Hitman #1
Genre: contemporary erotic romantic suspense
Release Date: 12/1/2013
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
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.
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.
Last Hit is an unlikely love story between a young couple who should never have seen each other, never have met, never have fallen in love. He was an assassin for the Ukrainian mob. She is just learning how dangerous the real world can be after having been kept away from it for most of her life. Together their love heals what’s damaged in each other and makes them stronger as a couple than they ever could have been apart.
Daisy had been kept a prisoner by her father ever since her mother was murdered by a juvenile delinquent who’d been set free after only 2 years in jail. After over a decade of being kept from living a real life, Daisy has finally saved up enough cash to leave her father’s prison behind and go out into the real world that she only knows from library books. But her sheltered childhood has left her vulnerable to those who would damage and defile her. It’s only when Nikolai spots her that her life will be changed yet again, both for better and worse.
Nikolai’s childhood was as different from Daisy’s as could ever be possible. She never left the house; he never had a home. Her father sheltered her to the point of real abuse; his only family was the mob organization who took him and molded him into a ruthless killer. When Nikolai sees Daisy through a window in the building where he is stalking his next target, he knows she is too good for him, but that he must have her anyway. When it comes to real romance, Nikolai is just as innocent as Daisy, and their courting is both awkward and sweet. But he is sure that she could never accept the real Nikolai if she ever found out just what he really did for a living.
When Nikolai’s past runs into Daisy’s future, there are real consequences, affecting not just them but also innocent bystanders. Still, Nikolai and Daisy both know that all they really have is each other, and even with brief moments of doubt, it’s truly their love that gets them (and us) through all that follows. There are extreme moments of violence and that might make this book not the best choice for everyone. But the romance between this hero and heroine was so fascinating and irresistible that I couldn’t stop reading Last Hit until I knew that their happy ending was guaranteed. I can’t wait to read the next Hitman book Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick have planned for us next year. If it’s half as good as Last Hit, it will be worth the wait. 4.5 stars