Title: Last Hit (Hitman, Book One)
Author: Jessica Clare, Jen Frederick
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
Release Date: November 30, 2013
eBook format, 270 pages
Reviewer purchased own copy of eBook
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. Home schooled 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 have been on a bad boy kick lately. And Nikolai definitely qualifies... to an extent. He is a multi-layered character that can't be summed up easily and tied up in some pretty package. He is a dark and tortured soul. An assassin with a moral code. A loner who has no ties to family or friends. A man who longs for that certain someone but doesn't think he deserves it.
Daisy is a sheltered soul. After the murder of her mother, she has been sequestered away in her home, only allowed out to run errands for her father. At first I wanted to hate her father for his actions, but his paranoia was a result of his wife's killer who was out in the world somewhere...possibly waiting to carry through with the threat to end him. Her father's pain and fear truly came to light later on in the story.
But Daisy has had enough seclusion. She wants to feel the sun against her skin. She wants to see the world and be a part of it. So she escapes, despite her guilt at abandoning her father. Her lack of monetary funds has her living in a not so safe neighborhood and taking a job at a local gas station. But she is experiencing life for the first time and the sun feels good.
Nikolai is on a job when he spots Daisy across the way and he is instantly taken with Daisy. It isn't her beauty, but the way she reacts to the world around her. And he simply falls under her spell.
But how can an assassin and a naive young woman even contemplate having a relationship with so many secrets between them.
Especially when the mafia interferes and attempts to render them apart.
After reading a lot of mixed reviews--it seems that Last Hit could go either way for the reader. But this reader loved the characters, the story, and the jolting climax. I will definitely stick around to read the second installment by author, Jessica Clare.