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Review – Last Breath by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick

Last BreathPublisher: Self Published
Publish Date: March 24th
How I got this book: eARC from author

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.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I adore both Clare and Frederick’s writing, but the first Hitman book absolutely did not work for me. I hated the fact that I ended up DNFing it, because I thought these two writing together would blow my mind. When Clare asked me if I would be interested in trying to second book, I figured I would give them another chance, and I am so glad that I did!

Daniel has given up his successful military career to become a missionary with a hidden agenda — find his missing sister who was kidnapped by human traffickers. Along the way, Daniel finds Regan and isn’t able to leave her in the hell hole he finds her in. Daniel helps Regan escape, but when he goes to drop her off at the American embassy, Regan refuses to leave his side. Daniel is helpless to do anything other than what Regan asks, and soon they set off together to find his sister and get the hell out of dodge.

Regan has been living in hell since she was taken, but trusting Daniel is easier said than done. Although he says he is going to keep her safe, Regan’s impression of men has gone down the drain since she was sold as a sex slave. But Daniel does everything he can to keep Regan safe, and together they might have a chance to find his sister and make it back home in one piece.

Like I said, I enjoyed this book much more than the first Hitman book. Both Daniel and Regan were easier characters to relate to, and I was sucked into their story in a way that didn’t happen with Daisy and Nikolai. I have always had a soft spot for books about human trafficking. I know I’ve said this before, but the strength of the heroines and the determination of the heroes to save these women is something that just resonates with me. Regan didn’t have an easy time as she was traded all over the world, and yet she found a way to remain strong, to keep her sense of self in the forefront of her mind, and not let her circumstances break her. I loved her for that.

I loved the way that Daniel had such a single-minded focus when it came to his sister. He was bound and determined to find her and get her home safe and sound. And yet, Daniel also wasn’t willing to let other women suffer. He went out on a limb to help Regan, and he kept helping her at every turn. Both physically and emotionally he was there for her. He made it a point to be cognizant of what her needs were, and did everything in his power to help her get back to a point where she could be happy and safe once again.

Although I thought Frederick and Clare handled the trauma of the sex slavery well, I was a little taken aback that Regan didn’t struggle with physical intimacy more, especially once she and Daniel took their relationship to the next level. Yes, when he first rescued her she broke down every time he touched her, but their few sexual interludes were sweet and caring, and Regan didn’t have as much emotional backlash as I would have expected from someone in her position. I would have liked to see that explored more in this book, or at least touched upon in future books.

That being said, I thought the romance between these two was so well done. Daniel really did do everything in his power to help Regan get back on her feet, despite the fact that he was desperate for a taste of her. He kept back all his passion and sexual tension for her as he did his best to be a friend and protector to her. It was a slow build that worked for them, and I loved the progression of it all.

I am interested to see how this series will continue, especially since we were introduced to some really interesting secondary characters. Daniel’s sister is definitely an odd-duck, and I’m anxious to see how Clare and Frederick will pull off such a cerebral character. I also really enjoyed reading about Daniel’s former teammate who had carved out a small section of Rio to rule with an iron fist. He is definitely an oddity, and I hope that his character will be explored more in future books.

All in all, I really enjoyed the second Hitman book, and I’m so glad that I took a second chance with this series. I thought both Daniel and Regan were interesting and wonderful characters, and I loved getting to see them work through their issues and find a way to fall for each other. I’m happy to report that Clare and Frederick knocked this one out of the park for me, redeeming my dislike of the first book.
I give Last Breath a B+

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

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