Title: Sebring (Unfinished Heroes #5)
Author: Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic
Length: 446 pages
Rating: 5 stars
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.
In the final installment of this series, Kirsten Ashley brings us into the darker side of Denver. Where revenge drives one man. Where a woman struggles for a little bit of light in her life. With the ultimate question being: can these two find peace without destroying each other?
I’ve read over 30 books by this author, and this is unlike anything I’ve read from her before. Fittingly, this book even topped Knight in its edginess. Not only does this book feature an anti-hero, it features an anti-heroine, of sorts. I devoured this story, and even when not reading, would try to come up with how everything could work out without anyone getting hurt. Something that seemed very unlikely, because when Nick and Olivia come together, it is just a matter of time before everything blows up. The only question would be, would they survive? Would they get the happy they deserve?
“There is no way to take care of my shit without jacking hers. I just gotta jack it so she ends up just hating me and not doing it wearing a fucking orange jumpsuit.”
But let me rewind . . .
Olivia is very different than previous KA heroines. Born into a dirty world, she sees things and participates in things that most people could not handle. But when you read into the story, you realize, she really doesn’t have a choice about it. Given the lack of hope in her life, she never smiles. She never laughs. As KA’s darker series, you’d expect there to be a lot of unsavory characters. You may remember one from earlier in this series, and another major player from the Chaos series, but the true villains in this book are Olivia’s own family.
She was not a ghost who could be seen.
She was a hostage in a lavish cage.
The erotic element in this story centers on a place where Olivia goes to unwind. And it’s where she first comes face to face with Nick. How she reacts was completely unexpected. I LOVED IT! That reaction even catches Nick off-guard. His years of planning are tested as he tries to get to know this princess. Suddenly, he becomes desperate to make her smile, even just a little.
“You mean more to me today than you did yesterday.” Her lips parted and her eyes got bright in a different way. “And yesterday you mant a fuckuva a lot to me,” he finished.
This book felt like coming home. A dark, scary one, but a home nevertheless. Knight was the first book from KA that I read and my feelings for Nick have changed with each book.
Knight – hated Nick
Creed – was confused by Nick
Raid – forgot about Nick
Deacon – *groan* was reminded again of Nick
Based on the four previous books, my feelings for this book could go any direction. But I never expected to love this book so much, that it would almost eclipse Creed as my favorite book in the series. Almost. Creed is my #1 KA Alpha after all. I also never expected to like Nick so quickly.
Similar to Nick, I was surprised how much I liked Knight in this book. I wasn’t really a fan of his until Creed, where his friendship to Sylvie made me see him in another light. In this book, we get a new side of him, the family man and brother. There are oodles of touching moments, and I loved how Knight had his brother’s back.
For die-hard KA fans like myself, this book connects to a lot of her other series’ which are based in Denver.
Rock Chicks – although he doesn’t make an appearance, Marcus Sloan, Daisy’s husband, is referred to several times.
Dream Man – like Marcus, Delgado gets a frequent mention.
Chaos – of all the series’, this once connects the most to the Unfinished Hero series. Knight played an important role in Ride Steady, and Benito Valenzuela has a role in this book that changes everything.
Being the last in the series, you have to know that all of the previous characters in this series are referred to in one way or another. Do you get the big KA EPIC epilogue? No, and there’s a reason for that, which is briefly mentioned at the beginning of the book. But if you have come to love this series, like I have, you will get what you need from this epilogue. KA sends this group out with a bang!
*An ARC was received for an honest review.
In the hotel room, Nick heard the knock at the door.
He moved to it, looked out the peephole and felt the corners of his mouth hitch up when he saw her.
Fuck, those big green eyes, perfectly arched dark brows, the olive tint to her skin, the expert way she shaded under her cheekbones…
She was a coldhearted criminal but she was one that was very easy to look at.
And even easier to fuck.
He opened the door.
He was going to say something but he didn’t get the chance when her hand darted out and she caught him under his jaw, using it to push him in and around until his back hit wall.
She stared up at him, her hand wrapped around his jaw, her expression holding an emptiness that was so extreme it was almost like a void he could fall into and get lost forever.
He heard the door swish closed and latch.
Then she was up on her toes, her head moving toward his, those green eyes dropping to his mouth.
She didn’t get her lips to his before his tongue was out, as was hers, both of them colliding and tangling before her mouth slammed to his just as her body pushed in, pressing hard, forcing him tighter to the wall.
He shoved out. Gripping her wrist at his jaw, he yanked it down, twisting and slamming her against the wall, slanting his head to deepen an already deep kiss. Their tongues again clashing before he actually took her mouth.
But he took her mouth.
And like she’d done to his, he consumed it.
His fingers still around her wrist, he yanked it around his back, using his body to shove her tight to the wall, pressing his hardening cock against her stomach.
She arched, and moving quickly, whipped him around so his back was to the wall and she took over the kiss. Tearing her wrist from his hold, she curled her fingers around his throat just as she cupped his hardening crotch with her other hand.
Fucking hell, this woman was hot.
But he was done playing.
And he was done kissing.
Her mouth, that was.
He pushed her away. She struggled to regain control.
She lost this struggle when he caught her hand and dragged her down the short hall into the room.
She lost her footing when he gave her hand a strong tug and she fell into him with a soft gasp.
He let her hand go, caught her hips and threw her four feet onto the bed.
That got him another soft gasp which took his cock from hardening to rock-solid and throbbing.
He bent over her, holding her now intense green gaze, spanning her hips with his hands.
Shoving backwards, he found the hook of her skirt, released it and pulled down the zipper.
He moved his fingers to curl them into the sides of her skirt’s waistband. With a vicious tug that took her hips and panties with it, he yanked off the skirt.
Chest to the bed, eyes to her cunt, the black curls neatly groomed with a precision that meant her wax technician was a master with possible OCD issues, they were also glistening with wet.
Having the tussle at the door, seeing the utter perfection of her pussy, smelling her, watching her legs part in invitation, her knees shifting up, Nick couldn’t have gone gentle if he’d wanted to.
Luckily he didn’t want to.
He bent his neck and devoured her.
Fuck, she tasted just as perfect as she looked.
As he fed, he felt her excitement ramp. Tasted it. Ate it. Gave her more. Consumed the result.
Drove her to the edge.
And when he had her there, he stopped and moved over her.
Not surprisingly, she used both the pump she already had planted into the bed and the calf she had wrapped around him to flip him and then she was straddling him, pushing up, her hands already to his fly.
Normally, he would not allow this.
Her face flushed with need, her manner urgent, even desperate, all that surged through his blood, his gut, straight to his cock.
So he allowed this.
She tugged his pants down, grabbed his dick, guided it to her and took him home.
At the beauty of her sheathing him, he gritted his teeth against the urge to let go and release way too fucking early. Bucking his hips, he watched how much she liked taking him, her head thrown back, her shining, straight mass of silken black hair swaying.
Then she dropped forward into a hand in the bed by his side, locked eyes with him and rode him violently as he watched until she gave it to herself and she kept doing it until she forced it from him.
He came down buried inside her, his eyes opening to see her still resting in her hand in the bed, her body moving gently with her still-labored-but-evening breathing, her dark hair framing her oval face, her straight bangs brushing her lashes, her green eyes locked to his trying to brand him, make him hers.
No way in fuck that was happening.
But he’d take more of this.
A lot more.
That said, the woman was going to learn how to give up control.
Not surprisingly, without a word, she swung off his cock, moving immediately toward the side of the mattress.
Nick focused on pulling up his trousers, doing the fly and angling off the bed. By the time he was up and had turned his attention back to her, she was on her feet, facing him, arms twisted behind her to do up the skirt she’d put on.
He held her gaze.
“We got all night, Olivia,” he informed her.
Not even a hint of a response to him calling her the name she hadn’t given him.
Then again, he knew she knew him; she’d make it her business.
She also knew he’d do the same with her, even before he sat next to her the night before.
Her expression might not have changed but his words spurred her to action, this being walking his way.
She stopped. Her eyes still on his, she lifted a hand and touched his chest lightly with just the pad of her middle finger.
It lasted half a second.
Then she dropped her hand, turned and walked away.
He heard the door close behind her and he couldn’t stop his smile.
Fuck yes, a seriously cool customer.
And the hottest fuck he’d had in his life.
1) Top winner will receive a signed copy of all the books in The Unfinished Heroes Series plus tons of KA SWAG.
2) One winner will receive a signed copy of SEBRING plus tons of KA SWAG.
3) Three winners will receive SEBRING in eBook.
Kristen Ashley is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She grew up in Indiana, but has lived in Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she’s been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least), but loopy is good when you want to write. Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, living in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.