Sebring (Unfinished Hero, #5) by Kristen Ashley
Series: Unfinished Hero #5
Also in this series: Knight, Creed, Raid
Published by Smashwords on January 11th 2016
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Nick Sebring has issues. Born feeling like an outsider in his own family, growing up under the shadow of a brother who could do anything, Nick isn’t that great of a guy. But when this culminates with Nick lashing out to hurt his brother through the woman he loves, Nick turns inward and makes some decisions about the man he intends to be.
And as he does this, he falls in love and truly learns the man that he’s grown to be.
When his love is murdered right before Nick’s eyes, Nick knows he has to avenge her. He knows how he’s going to avenge her. And he has no qualms using Olivia Shade to exact that vengeance.
Olivia Shade has grown up on the outside of her family too. Her problem is that they don’t want her outside. They want her all the way in, right under their thumbs. She pays the price for seeking escape and learns her lesson—she’ll never see a dawn where she wakes up free.
Then she meets Nick Sebring, and even as she fights it, the hope that died years ago starts to blossom. She can find love. She can have a man of her own. She can be happy. She can be free.
Olivia hopes while Nick schemes.
However, as Nick peels back the layers of all that is Olivia Shade, he finds something surprising. He understands its fragility. He falls in love with its beauty. He seeks to protect it.
But he forgets to protect his Livvie from one thing: Nick Sebring.
The first sentence I wrote after finishing this book was “Holy Crap! I need to ponder this.” I knew this was going to be good because Kristen Ashley can do a redemption story like no other, and Nick Sebring could be the poster child for people in need of redeeming.
Seriously, I could not stand Nick in the earlier books of this series. Then he became a wild card after Creeds book. Even so, after his behavior in Knight’s book, it was hard to imagine him as a hero. I wish just one of those unbelievably hot sex scenes had been sacrificed so we could be shown exactly what caused Nick Sebring to actually grow up and turn into the man he did. Instead, we are told and this is a disappointment. Still, Nick paid dearly and even I, the queen of the snipping off manly bits and making men pay for their transgressions would not have wished what happened on him. Brutal. Life changing. Horrific. Yeah, he paid dearly and now he’s out for revenge so he has plans for Ms. Olivia Shade.
At first glance, it looks like Olivia may deserve what is fixing to be dished out on her family since it seems that even though she wasn’t part of what happened to Nick, she is knee deep in the cesspool of her family’s business. And she is, but…. When you add in Olivia’s story to Nick’s, this book was a lot darker than I was expecting.
I wasn’t sure about Olivia at first and she’ll never make my favorite KA heroine top 10 list, but then she grew on me and by the end I was rooting for her in a big way. She came off as cold at first, but then you realize there is a funny, kind, warm woman in there, she just can’t let her out if she hopes to survive her family. Speaking of her family, they are seriously whacked. Forget Mommy Dearest, Daddy is a freaking psychopath. Shortly into the book, my attitude about her whole gene pool was that they just all needed to die horribly slow deaths.
When discussing main components of this book, I kind of feel like the sex has to be mentioned. It’s such a huge part of this book, it’s almost like a main character…a scorching hot, unbelievably sexy character. I was sick as a dog but after reading some of these sex scenes I was tempted to wake up my sleeping husband and have my own little war with him. That’s what sex between Nick and Olivia was, one hell of a war for dominance. Wow.
Mostly I loved this book, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple things. Olivia and Nick’s book was extremely relationship driven and it was mostly the two of them front and center. For this story to be told, it needed to be but I missed the interactions that supply the rich layers that we usually get in a KA book. Also, I wish we had gotten to see Nick grow up. In fact, there were several things that happened “off-screen” that needed to be shown. I can’t say I ever thought telling instead of showing would be a complaint I had about a Kristen Ashley book. Last but not least, the ending felt rushed and I felt a bit gipped in the ending of the Drake Nair problem. More “off screen” solutions to other problems and I was left a bit unsatisfied.
What I loved was the interactions and mentions of favored characters from other books and series. Knight still owns a little piece of my heart and catching up with him and seeing him with his family was a highlight. I predict a solution to the Benito V problem that will hopefully involve all my favorites from all the Denver series. I can’t freaking wait.
Spice’s Rating: 4.5 I Love, Love, Loved it but…Stars
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