4.5 Gritty and Gruesome Stars!!!
In the second installment of The Estate series, we're introduced to Hope Delacroix. She's forced to do a job, a rival crime network has something she holds dear and the only way she can get it back is to assassinate Aaron Carmichael, the feared leader of the estate.
But the mission goes wrong when Aaron's right hand man, Xander, captures her and is hell bent on finding out who sent her. She's determined not to speak, she hates everything about the estate, helping them in any way is out of the question. She's a strong warrior and gives Xander way more than he expected, but things change unexpectedly when Xander discovers her weakness and uses it against, she finds herself wanting to give in to his seduction.
And when he finally finds out the reason she made an attempt on Aaron's life, Hope's ideas and belief's about The Estate start start changing.
He was her tormentor and her protector, her captivity and her freedom.
Okay so in the beginning I didn't really like Hope, she's confident and strong. She doesn't need a man to protect her, which didn't work for me, I like my heroines weak and helpless so the hero can come in and save the day (yes, I'm serious), but Xander's "gentle" approach towards her got exactly the same result I wanted. She gave into him, her character stayed strong but when it came to Xander she became all woman. Mind you she wasn't easy on Xander at first, she gave his ego a good beating at first, this I didn't like lol!
"I hope the spark of rebellion never dies inside you. I enjoy stripping you of your fight every time I light you up inside.
Xander is a charmer, he's slick, smooth and a little bit arrogant. After he breaks through Hope's walls, he has a deep need to protect her and to calm the darkness that makes her soul so restless. I actually ended up really liking Xander, no he was't my ideal alpha male but he's character did suit the role perfectly. I guess it would have been ideal to have their roles reversed but they did compliment each other.
The flow of events in Hope Restrained were exactly the same as in Madeleine Abducted, with a slight twist. It's rare that I like a strong female character, I really have to stress this. I think the only other strong female characters I've liked were the heroine in Killing Sarai by J.A Redmerski and recently Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins. This book has bucket loads of gore, non-con and a look into the mind of a female assassin who's been through hell and back, and makes it out on top!
This book has a slow build up but an explosive conclusion!
ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review