I really enjoyed the first installment of Jen Frederick and Jessica Clare's romantic suspense series about hitmen and the Russian Mafia. But I have to say that I really loved Last Breath which blew the first book, LAST HIT, out of the water in terms of the romance and most especially the characters.
Daniel who was featured in LAST HIT is on the mission to find his abducted sister, Naomi who is also autistic and a genius computer hacker and is suspected that she has been taken into a sex trafficking ring. But Daniel is also rescuing other girls along with his hunt for his sister, and is tasked in finding Regan who was kidnapped and sold in LAST HIT.
This was a much darker and grittier book, which I liked, and the opening was almost hard to read because of the mistreatment that Regan went through. But I found that it tightly paced and written and I was immersed into the story from the get-go. I also adored the romance which was just fantastic! I loved that Daniel was gentle and patient with Regan who has gone through the wringer during her time in captivity. Even though she is initially suspicious of him and his motives, they soon begin to trust each other and become a team in his quest to hunt for his sister. I also adored the humourous exhanges they had which helped to give a little light and balance in the gritty tone of the story. And Daniel was a stark contrast to Nick the first hero in LAST HIT. I loved that he used humour and several of his comments and thoughts made me laugh. His easy-going nature was good for Regan which helped her to overcome but not forget her dark experience from the traffickers.
Regan was an engaging heroine, and I loved that she never gave up fighting against her captors and her feelings and experiences was realsitic with the trauma that she went through - I was glad that she wasn't magically healed at the end of the book, and was still dealing with the aftermath of her captivity. I think due to this I felt there was there was more emotional depth between Daniel and Regan because they both wont through the gauntlet in this book.
Overall, this was a tight and pacey romance and the backdrop of Brazil was authentic and vivid and I loved the little details that both Clare and Frederick added into the story which made the setting come alive. I was also intrigued by the potential set up of Naomi and Vasily which promises to be really intriguing with an intricate and complex romance. But LAST BREATH was an action packed read and while I liked the first book, this really kick-started the series for me on another level and this series hints that it may just get even better! I am definitely hooked!