“Family means no one ever gets left behind.”
HOLY FREAKING WOW GUYS! I have finally found a new top favourite for 2017!!! From the gorgeous cover to the epic love story that spans over a decade, this book was an addictive, heart-racing, action packed, drama filled, EPIC romance that had me absolutely hooked from the first word to the very last (literally!!!). I honestly could not put it down. Lovers of romantic suspense, you need this series in your life. (I have reviewed books 1-3 here, and they really need to be read first). This review is spoiler free, so you are safe to continue reading even if you haven’t read the other books in the series yet.
“How do you give up the one thing that keeps you breathing?”
This story begins with a prologue of where book 3 left us. It’s a huge spoiler (and major cliffhanger) so I won’t go into any details, but those of you who have read Give Me Grace will know exactly what I’m talking about. And then the first chapter takes us way back to when Mackenzie Valentine was 11 years old. And we get to know her family and her relationship with Jake from the very beginning.
Mackenzie Valentine is wilful, fiery, and determined to prove she doesn’t need anyone. Desperate to break free from the over-protective parents and three older brothers who dictate her every move, she runs away at the age of seventeen to hunt down the only boy who makes her feel alive.
Throughout books 1-3 of this series, we get snippets of Mac and Jake’s relationship. We know there’s a lot of tension between the two. They’re always fighting. Something big happened when they were younger, and this is explained early on in this book. The author not only takes us back to the beginning, but we move our way through the timeline of the first 3 books (which is why reading them first is so important). I’m not usually a fan of books that do this, but I promise you, it doesn’t feel like you’re reading the same books again at all. In fact, Mac and Jake’s perspective is quite different from the others, making it feel like a new book with a familiar feel to it. It also doesn’t drag. We move quite quickly through the timeline we’ve grown to love and before we know it, we’re back in present day dealing with an entirely new storyline. This would not have been easy to do, so I take my hat off to Kate who has obviously spent hours on end crafting this story to what it is, so that we get exactly what we came for, without losing sight of where Mac and Jake’s story was heading.
“Jake is infiltrating my heart in some kind of sneaky ninja attack. Is this a crush? Because it feels crappy and wonderful, and I don’t like it one bit.”
Fans of this series will adore this book. Mac and Jake are exactly the kind of characters I had imagined them to be. Kate has absolutely nailed their story in my opinion. From their personalities, relationships with friends and family, to the way they dealt with the blows in their lives. This book was obviously written delicately, to make sure that every single word in every scene was absolutely perfect and exactly how we thought it would be. The planning and execution of this book has been done with extreme detail. Resulting in a story fans have not only craved from these two characters, but so much more than what we ever imagined.
“Not having a home, or a sense of belonging to someone or something, is like being adrift at sea with no safe harbour to set down anchor. For a small moment in time, Mackenzie Valentine had been my safe harbour. I had belonged to her.”
In short, Jake was a member of the King Street Boys gang when he lived in Melbourne and is dealing with the consequences when Mac shows up in his life again. The two try to navigate their way around a ‘friendship’, but there’s just way too much history there, and they fail. Jakes past ultimately catches up with him and Mac gets caught in the middle. Her family, the Valentines, are all a part of the reason Jake was able to leave the gang in the first place but the whole thing comes crashing down with devastating consequences. The book travels across years of their lives, tying up loose ends and answering questions we’ve had for a long time now.
“Mac somehow managed to start a war and finish it all at the same time. There is no weighing the size of the balls this woman carries. Let’s just say they’re really bloody heavy.”
I honestly wish I could say so much more about this book, but I really want everyone to be able to go in without really knowing anything. If you haven’t read the first three books in the series, read my series review here and hopefully that will convince you to one-click! You get a lot of back story from those books, and it makes Give Me Hell so much more enjoyable.
This is not a standalone. It’s a romantic suspense novel filled with hot, loyal, protective, Aussie alpha males who absolutely adore their women. My heart still races thinking of what we still have to come in this series but I’m extremely excited to see another favourite get their story (you find out who it is at the end of the book – so please don’t spoil it for others when you read it!!). I highly recommend this book and the entire series to every romance lover. It’s fast paced, full of heart, and has made its way to the top of my favourites list for 2017, and quite possibly my favourite book written by Kate McCarthy to date.