The Unfinished Heroes Series by Kristen Ashley
The Unfinished Heroes Series is a series about anti-heroes, or, more accurately, heroes who don’t know that they are heroes to someone/anyone. There is a lot of dark stuff in this series chief amongst it all is the unconventional sex. Because of that all of the books have an XXX rating from me, although they vary in intensity. Sebring is the final book in the series. I have reviewed the books in order in case you want to catch up on them with me. If you haven’t picked up these books, do so!
P.S. Isn’t this another awesome cover? I think this series has the best covers of all of Kristen Ashley’s books. Love it.
Overall Rating: 4.5 (XXX)
Quick & Dirty summary: Nick Sebring has always lived in the shadow of his brother Knight. He struggled long and hard to find his place in the sun, but after making mistakes, overcoming drug addiction, and giving his heart to a good woman, Nick knows who he is and who he wants to be. After his woman is killed while they are working a case undercover, Nick vows revenge and will do anything, ask anything in order to achieve it. Enter Olivia Shade, the daughter of the man who ordered his woman killed. Olivia is a mystery, and while Nick wants to understand her, he is determined to follow through on his plan. Olivia just wants to forget her life for a few minutes at a time and Nick manages to do that by making her come hard. There relationship is nothing but sexual on her end, until suddenly, it isn’t.
This book is a fabulous end to a slightly dark, definitely more intense series for Kristen Ashley. Nick popping up in the other books periodically drove up my interest in him, but I didn’t hold out much hope. True, he didn’t do anything horribly terrible, but he was definitely a self-entitled dick (maybe that’s why his name is Nick?). Still, I was a little sad that we don’t get see Nick’s development more—in fact, the novel begins after the UH gang has saved Nick’s life, arriving a little too late for his Hettie, which is where we are when we finish Deacon’s epilogue. What is awesome, though, is that Nick is a certifiable hero; he isn’t unfinished by any stretch of the imagination.
There are moments of true terror, as you wonder how far Olivia Shade’s family will push her to get what they want. But there isn’t this blow-up confrontation that is over-the-top, which I appreciate. The drama isn’t artificial, and most of the story lies in the small strides Nick makes with Olivia. For a woman who only smiles twice in weeks of fucking, you can imagine who subtly the overtures of their relationship are. That being said, the ending felt a little anti-climactic. Olivia’s character development feels incomplete towards the end of the book, and if not incomplete, then at least a little rushed. But like all negatives in my reviews of Ashley’s book, it’s only a slight negative because the analogies that Olivia uses to express her disappointment in life are beautiful. Olivia tells Nick, “I live in dark. Dawn never comes for me. There will be no new day where I wake up complete. Happy. Loved.” At that moment, Ashley just kills it because a woman who is cold and unredeemable would never say that—would never even know it to be true. So while I may complain a tad here and there, the beauty in the story is always there.
Last, one of my favorite scenes are between Knight and Nick. Knight may not have been my favorite character from this series, but Knight and Nick together are magic. Knight tells Nick, “when it’s family, Nick, there’s a limit to the shit I’ll eat. But there is no limit to the love I’ll give.” Isn’t that exactly how family should be? Beautiful.
The problem with interlocking series, and yes despite popular belief there IS a problem, is you can’t get the closure you really want because the threads remain loose for the other series—namely Chaos and, if Scandalicious Book Reviews is correct, Mace/LA Hot Guys & Rock Chicks. For me, that made the epilogue less satisfying than, say, the ‘Burg series which Ashley also recently finished up with her book Hold On.
Again, despite my small complaints, I love this book. It’s my favorite of the series and at this moment, Nick is definitely my fictional boyfriend. Good lord that man is hot and sex with him would allow me to die happy (sorry Hettie).
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $3.99)
Yes. Especially if you have read the other books in the series. Yes.
Something else you might enjoy:
This is a departure from contemporary romance since it’s a historical, but I love the Gambler’s series by Lisa Kleypas. The first book, Then Came You, has a similar theme of revenge and I love love love that book. I haven’t reviewed it, but you should definitely read it.