3 starsContemporary RomancePanty Melter

Sebring (Unfinished Hero #5) by Kristen Ashley

Sebring Book Cover Sebring
Unfinished Hero #5
Kristen Ashley
Contemporary Romance
January 11, 2016

Nick Sebring has issues. Born feeling like an outsider in his own family, growing up under the shadow of a brother who could do anything, Nick isn’t that great of a guy. But when this culminates with Nick lashing out to hurt his brother through the woman he loves, Nick turns inward and makes some decisions about the man he intends to be.

And as he does this, he falls in love and truly learns the man that he’s grown to be.

When his love is murdered right before Nick’s eyes, Nick knows he has to avenge her. He knows how he’s going to avenge her. And he has no qualms using Olivia Shade to exact that vengeance.

Olivia Shade has grown up on the outside of her family too. Her problem is that they don’t want her outside. They want her all the way in, right under their thumbs. She pays the price for seeking escape and learns her lesson—she’ll never see a dawn where she wakes up free.

Then she meets Nick Sebring, and even as she fights it, the hope that died years ago starts to blossom. She can find love. She can have a man of her own. She can be happy. She can be free.

Olivia hopes while Nick schemes.

However, as Nick peels back the layers of all that is Olivia Shade, he finds something surprising. He understands its fragility. He falls in love with its beauty. He seeks to protect it.

But he forgets to protect his Livvie from one thing: Nick Sebring.

Val’s Review

3 Not Sure How I Feel About This One Stars

But I’m gonna be nice and rate it on the high side.

This is going to be short(ish), as:

1) My ass hurts from doing too many squats yesterday, and it’s starting to hurt to sit on it.
2) I’m in a bad mood.
3) I’m in a bad mood.
4) And, as I said above, I’m not really sure how I feel about this book.

I mean, I liked it, but in kind of the same way you sometimes you really like broccoli and other times it just tastes like dirty arugula with a side of ass.

But anyway.


Moving on.

This is my 50th Kristen Ashley.

Yes, you read that right: 50.
Spelled out: FIFTY

And, if you follow any of my reviews, you know that while I fucking LOVE Kristen Ashley, I have been…disillusioned with some of her more recent releases, AKA:

1) Deacon
2) The Promise
3) And, of course, that book that I prefer to pretend never happened, AKA Wild and (fucking not so) Free.

So, needless to say, after “that which should not be mentioned” I have gone into every subsequent KA book with some marginal fear and a shaky side of hope.

Cause, you know,


But, after seeing the 5++++ Star blast reviews all over my feed, I had to fight not to get too excited about this one.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I really enjoyed this….for about the first 50% – and despite the fact that the first 50% gave me some major Deacon déjà vu in the sense that there was a lot of “tag you’re it” slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am scenes with not a whole lot of dialogue between our two main characters.

Something else I really enjoyed?


With the exception of a choice few ladies…

-Sadie, from Rock Chick Regret
-Josephine, from The Will
-And MY ULTIMATE HOMIE, Cher, from Hold On

…ALL of KA’s heroine are very similar in my opinion.


As in, interchangeable twinsie similar.

But for the first 50% of this book, Olivia was feeling pretty unique and singular.

She was reserved, she was poised, and she was without the KA required female “posse.”


In short, she just felt different than the rest of the KA chick pack.

But then?










Anyone who knows me knows that I fucking LOATHE the endearment, “Honey.”

Because it reminds me of my grandmother.

Who for my ENTIRE life has always answered the phone, “Well, hi honey.”

In the SAME exact tone.
Every time I call her.
Since I could talk and thus required to call grandma.

Every. Single. Time.

So over 30 YEARS worth of fucking Honey‘s, people.

Now I love it from my GRANDMA.
Because I LOVE my grandma.

But, when used in a romance novel?

By the heroine?



Seriously though, it’s like cold water being poured over a hot sex scene.

I mean, can you imagine? Reading this:

“Oh yeah, harder, HONEY.”

With THIS is your fucking head?


It makes me shudder.

It literally makes my vagina try to crawl further up inside my body.

Like a fucking turtle shriveling into its shell out of fear.


And not only that, but once the “honey’s” started to suddenly appear in Olivia’s vernacular, it’s like her entire characterization up until that point completely disappeared.

It’s like KA just took her out of the story.

And replaced her with [insert virtually ANY other KA heroine here].

And with the “Honey‘s” came the “Uhhhh’s…,” and “Ummm’s…” and the sudden inability to walk in a straight line without clumsily falling the fuck over.

But what can I say, I guess Olivia was just a “cute,” “fuckin’ nut” like every other single KA heroine there is.


Now obviously I go into every KA KNOWING that I am going to get all of the above; but when it didn’t happen for the first 50% – when Olivia seemed to be a heroine that was going to stand on some feet of individuality?

I got excited.

Thus, when 50% hit, the “honey‘s” arrived, and Olivia seemingly departed?



The story itself was pretty good though.

It was nice to see Nick get redeemed – even though the majority of that redemption happened off page during the four-year gap between the prologue and where the crux of the story begins.

And, of course, there was the awesome epilogue we all have come to expect from KA, plus some good groveling.

However, the loss of Olivia’s character was just so disappointing to me that I had trouble overlooking it.

But I have hope that my love for this story might grow once I re-read it a couple times.


*fingers crossed*