by Sara Hubbard
Genre: Contemporary Romance
After spending four years caring for her mother, twenty-two year old Evie Crane is starting over with a new job in a new city. Unfortunately, her new life involves working for a woman with close ties to the mob. When a short walk home turns into tragedy and Evie is left broken and beaten, a mob hitman comes to her rescue. In his debt, she feels a bond to him and wants to help him as much as he helped her, but getting close to a criminal brings her more chaos than she bargains for.
Declan Lewis grew up on the streets until taken under the wing of a man with a soft spot for a child he never had. The man taught Declan all he knew, only…all he knew was being a hired killer for the Dantes family. When Declan crosses paths with a girl so unlike himself, he can’t help but be attracted to his polar opposite. However, bringing her into his life means bringing her into his world, a mistake that might prove fatal. He wants to be the man she deserves, but to give her what she needs, he’ll have to change. And is change really possible for a killer?
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★✩★✩★ 5 – Dark, Deadly, Dangerous, and yet.... – Stars ★✩★✩★
~this review may contain minor spoilers~
Her eyes redden and she blinks furiously. She's fighting tears and I feel something inside of me shred, but I don't know how to respond to it, how to feel about it. So I so what I do best, I put my guard up. Control. Always control. It always gets me through every situation.
Evie Crane has spent the last four year taking care of her dying mother and is ready for a new start in a new city. With no friends or family in her life, dwindling funds and limited job prospects, she finally catches a break when she lands a waitressing job at a pub in a seedy part of town. What she doesn't realize is that her new boss has some close ties to the mob or how drastically her life is about to change when waiting for a cab one night. A vicious attack that would have ended her life if not for the mob hitman who saves her changes everything. Now she is entangled in a world she doesn't understand, wrapped up in a man who is a danger to everyone around him, and yet – she can't stay away from him, and strangely enough, he actually makes her feel safe... ish. But how well does she really know him?
Declan Lewis has only ever know how to survive at all costs, life on the streets will teach you that. But when a man finally gives him a chance at being something, takes him under his wing and teaches him everything he knows, he has no idea that he was being groomed to be a hitman for the mob. He is good at what he does but there is no walking away from this life, even if he wanted to. That has never really been a problem for him, til he meets a blonde with mismatched eyes that seems to be the polar opposite of everything he is. He can't help but be drawn to her, even if he realizes how dangerous he is to her. Bringing her into his world puts her life at risk in more ways than either could have expected, and even though he wants to be a man she would deserve, he doesn't think he is even capable of that kind of change, not to mention no one walks away from the mob unscathed.
Forgive myself. The problem is I don't feel bad about a lot of the people I killed. I don't need forgiveness to move on. I've already done that. What I need is fr her to forgive what I've done. For her to accept me, warts and all. But deep down I know... if she knew the truth, the whole truth... she couldn't possibly.
She'd leave. And she'd take my fucking heart with her.
Words can hardly describe how much I loved this book. There was so much to it, so many layers, so much going on and with the added bonus of some pretty amazingly flawed characters. The connection between Declan and Evie was raw and sometimes painful, but a thing of beauty in a world full of ugly. With so much blood and danger surrounding them, and such dreadful demons in their pasts and present, it was hard to see a way out for them. That didn't change the fact that they found kindred spirits in each other, the only other person in the world to make either of them actually feel, and though it scared the hell out of them they didn't run away from it, even when it would have been the safest thing for them. I think one of my favorite things about them was they didn't let stupid misunderstandings come between them – they had enough problems without adding easily avoidable issues to the mix. This was a duel POV book which really helped to form a connection with BOTH sides of the relationship, I don't know how I would have felt about Declan otherwise, all things considered. As it is, I fell hard for both of them, it was hard not to. They have both been through so much in their young lives but they refused to let it beat them down. I even formed a soft spot for Mona with her 'Hell on Wheels' personality, and Beth with her slightly naive, yet bubbly self. This story had my attention right from the beginning and refused to let go, it just did not slow down. The danger hiding around every corner was easily felt and constantly had me on the edge of my seat. The build up of the relationship between Declan and Evie was definitely of the slow burn variety, but considering the world they were living in, and who Declan was, insta-love just wouldn't have made sense and it played out pretty perfectly, if not painfully. This is not a sparkles and rainbows romance so if that is what you are looking for, look the other way, but it was an amazing journey none the less and one I would recommend to any and all romances lovers who like their couple to have to work for it, earn it, and not have it just handed to them. I don't know how Sara Hubbard has managed to fly beneath my radar before now, but she has definitely earned herself a spot on my One-Click-Addiction List with this book one scream, tear and blush at a time and I cannot wait to see what she brings us next.
“You can't save him from himself, Evie. If you love him, you need to accept that. Love him for who he is or not at all. My advice to you is to take off and leave this city if you can't accept that.”
“And what if I can? What if I take the bad with the good?”
“And what if I can? What if I take the bad with the good?”
Sara Hubbard is the author of romantic fiction. Her debut novel BLOOD, SHE READ released fall 2012 and was a NEORWA Cleveland Rocks winner and a RCRW Duel on the Delta finalist. Her first contemporary novel, Beautiful and Broken was an Amazon bestseller. Sara lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her two children (four if you count her husband and her needy labradoodle) and works as a registered nurse.
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