Thursday, February 5, 2015

Swoon Thursday ~ 2/5/15 & Giveaway

The fabulous girls over at YA Bound created this super HOT meme.  Here's how it works.

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering.

Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog! I want to know & so do the chicks at YABound!


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.

Source: Print copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Stories like this intrigue me. Ones with tough, stoic guys and the girls who are the sweetest thing to ever see. But while they draw me in, they don't always hold my interest, nor do they always deliver in a way that I find satisfying. So I am incredibly glad to say that Last Hit was satisfying, wonderful, and I absolutely loved it!

The first winning thing for me was the characters. Nikolai and Daisy. Daisy is the pure innocent girl we see all over the place. What makes Daisy different? She's not perfect just because...because. She is the way she is because her father was afraid to go outside and restricted her from doing much of anything while she lived in his home. And you know what? Daisy wanted to live. So she made a plan...and left. I highly respect that. She saw what she wanted to do, and then she got things together to DO it. The girl took six years to save $700, people. If that's not dedication, I don't know what is. She was a sweet and innocent character, but she also had a badass streak and I enjoyed it.

Nikolai. First of all, I love his name. Second of all, his hit or miss English was so incredibly endearing to me. He said some of the very best things, and what drove those things home was the mistakes he would sometimes make. And this guy, he's so inherently good. I loved that juxtaposition--he kills people. It's his job. But he's also an amazing, kind, sweet, and caring person. Give him the chance to let that shine through (like with, ahem, DAISY), and it freaking GLOWS. I heart Nikolai something fierce.

The writing was great. It's in dual POV, which I'm always a fan of, but it was done especially well here. Nikolai and Daisy each have their own very distinct voice, and I saw that every time. She's innocent and shy, he's gruff and blunt and sometimes says things the wrong way. It was fantastic.

The plot held my attention with zero difficulty throughout the entire novel. I wad completely in the zone as I flew through this story. Some twists, some turns, some swoons, and a bucket load of awesome to top it all off.

On the romance front, Last Hit rocked my world. Nikolai and Daisy are so perfect for each other while being complete opposites, I loved every second of watching them grow together and learn more about each other. And Daisy is Nikolai's number one. She is his PERSON. That warmed my heart in all kinds of ways I can't even explain. There was heavy doses of sweetness--which made me fifty shades of happy pants--and there was also a wonderful heaping of sexy times. So a great balance for the romance mixed with the fabulous couple equaled an aspect of the novel that pretty much tied with my love for the characters as my favorite thing.

Overall, Last Hit is everything I hope for in contemporary romance--magnificent characters, page-turning plot, and large quantities of sweetness and romance that set my heart aflutter. No doubt in my mind I'll be picking up the next book as soon as I get my hands on it!

5 stars - A fun, captivating story that kept me flying through the pages, gasping and swooning all the while. I absolutely loved it!

Swoony Excerpt...

By the time six rolls around, I am ready for my date. My long brown hair has been pulled into a ponytail, the ends curled; my fringe of bangs are trimmed and perfect. I am wearing a light dusting of makeup with gray eyeliner that makes my eyes seem bigger and bluer than ever. My lashes are curled and darkened with mascara. My lip gloss is just a faint sheen of color.
  Even though it's just a movie theater, it's a first date, and both girls insist I should ‘wow' Nick. I have no dresses, and they think I should wear one, so I've borrowed from Regan. It's black, and it has lacy sleeves that caress my arms all the way down to my wrists. The neckline is high and the bustline modest. It almost looks schoolgirl-ish, until I turn around and the entire back is made of the same sheer black lace as the sleeves are.
  Becca declares it perfect—not too trampy, not too sedate.
  Regan has let me borrow a pair of hoop earrings and a small sparkly necklace that caresses my throat. I have also borrowed a pair of black, low-heeled Mary Janes that Regan insists she never wears.
  I feel pretty. I'm me, but just a little better than usual, with a little more pizazz.
I glance at the door repeatedly as it gets closer to our meeting time, worried that my date won't show. Will Nick stand me up again and make me feel stupider than ever for trusting him?
  But at six on the nose, the doorbell rings.
  "That's me," I say breathlessly, throwing my purse over my shoulder and scooping up my phone.
  "Have fun," Regan tells me. "Call me if you need a ride home." She's smiling, though I know she's a little worried for me. Becca's gone and Regan's home alone, staying in just in case I need her. She's a good friend.
  I pause before opening the door, smooth my ponytail and bangs with nervous fingers, adjust my coat, and then put my hand on the knob.
  When I open it, I can't help but smile at him.
  He's so beautiful, my Ukrainian. I know I have the silliest crush on him, but I don't care. From his high cheekbones to his arching brows to that cleft in his chin, he's all elegance. He's wearing a nice trench coat, his clothes entirely covered up by the length of it. He looks the same as he does every day—incredible. For a moment, I feel silly that I've gone to such lengths for a movie date.
  But his eyes warm as he sees me, and I'm glad I did. His gaze travels over me, pauses on the jacket in my hands. "Allo."
  "Hi, Nick." I smile broadly at him.
  He puts a hand out for my jacket. "You must allow me to help you with that."
  I hand it to him and turn my back obligingly, an excited shiver going down my spine. A man is putting my coat on me!
  To my horror, I hear a rip, and then a muffled curse in Russian. I turn around to see that Nick's large foot is standing on one of the sleeves of my threadbare jacket, and it has ripped it entirely away.
Oh no." I take the jacket from his hands and clutch it to my chest. I should be horrified that I've had another piece of clothing destroyed, but all I can think is that this might make us late for our date, and right now, the date is so much more important than my stupid jacket.
  "I am mudak," Nick says in a flat voice. "Leave your coat. I will buy you a new one."
  "That's not necessary," I say quickly. "It's not that cold out."
  He grunts agreement, and then he crooks his elbow at me. "Shall we go, Daisy?"
  I slide my hand against his arm and let him lead the way. We step down to the curb and toward what must be his car—no motorcycle today. It's a dark gray. Non-descript, with tinted windows. A sedan.
  "Wait here," he tells me as I stand on the curb.
  I shiver as I do. My dress isn't warm at all, and my back is almost entirely exposed. I will need to buy a jacket with my first paycheck, I decide. Maybe they will have something in my size at the thrift store…
  My thoughts trail off as Nick pops open the trunk of the sedan and pulls out a large box. He hefts a leather jacket—a women's leather jacket—into his hands and then holds it open for me. "Here. Come put this on."
  I approach him, eyeing the jacket. It's one I admired in the store the other day. He had this one already waiting for me? "Nick! Did you tear my other jacket on purpose?"
  "Of course not," he says in a tone that indicates he is a terrible liar. There is a hint of a smile playing on his lips. "I am mudak, yes?"
   "You are sneaky," I tell him, but I let him put the coat on me. It's cold thanks to the wind, but it's heavy. As soon as it warms against my skin, it will be perfect. "And thoughtful. Thank you, Nick. You must let me pay you back."
  "Nick," I say protestingly. "You can't keep ruining my stuff and then replacing it."


The publisher is giving away a copy of Hit List to one of our readers!  YAY!

US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. It's not YA, but my current book, Lust, Money, & Murder, has a character who makes me swoon. He's a bad boy, Secret Service agent, and positively swoon-worthy!

  2. I'm drawn to Nikolai because of his protective instincts towards Daisy. He's looking for redemption.

  3. tattoos and rebelliousness - nothing with them would ever be boring

  4. I think because you hope you can change them and that although your drawn to them its not because of just that its because you know they can love you more than other guys will and that they can understand you better than anyone

  5. I am not really sure. The cocky, hot attitude perhaps? They always are so loyal and protectiveness too! Thanks! My favorite type of book boyfriend for sure!

  6. Oh wow! This truly sounds like an amazingly good read. Fantastic review Jessica!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace