January 8. 2013
Nothing Left to Lose
by: Kirsty Moseley
4 Stars ★★★★
Blurb ~ Annabelle Spencer’s life is every girl’s dream. She has wonderful parents, great friends, and of course the perfect boyfriend, Jack Roberts. That all changes on her sixteenth birthday when her life comes crashing down around her. Her dream night turns into a nightmare when Jack is murdered right in front of her, and she’s kidnapped by his murderer, Carter Thomas, a big time drug and arms dealer.
After five months of being with Carter, she’s found, but the experience has totally changed her. She’s no longer the happy-go-lucky girl that everyone used to know and love; she’s now cold, hard and suffers from night terrors. It appears that Carter broke not only her body, but her spirit too. A shadow of her former self, her slogan for life is now: ‘If you don’t care about anything, then you have nothing to lose’.
Carter is currently serving time for the murder of Jack, a conviction that Anna helped secure. But his retrial is coming up because some key evidence appears to have been tampered with. Unbeknown to Anna, death threats are being received by her father, the Senator. It appears that Carter is still interested in Anna and will stop at nothing to get her back.
Ashton Taylor is brought in to protect her. He’s a newly qualified SWAT agent, a bright spark, the agency’s new golden boy. He is assigned undercover, posing as her boyfriend. His job is to help her through college and keep her safe until the end of the trial in eight months’ time.
For three years she has been the broken, damaged girl, refusing to feel emotion or pain, but can Ashton help her rebuild her life and finally deal with the grief of losing her childhood sweetheart? Will he be the one to make her see that life is, in fact, worth living and that not all men will hurt her?
All the while, the shadow of the trial looms over the both of them, taunting them, reminding them that it isn’t over yet. After all, Carter Thomas will stop at nothing to be reunited with his ‘Princess’.
So I think I planned on liking this book more than I did. It had all the elements I usually devour like my last meal and even though, I enjoyed this book the length, number of errors and annoying whining of the characters just turned me off. Ashton’s alpha-ness sure helped but there just wasn’t enough action to make 500+ pages worthwhile.
I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a dark romance, only because we only see dreams and memories of Anna in captivity. There is a bit of abuse so if that’s something that bothers you than you may want to steer clear of this one. Though, I’ll admit having Ashton ride in to save the day may make this book more enjoyable for you as it did for me.
The book starts with Anna and her boyfriend attending a club for her 16th birthday. Somehow Anna catches the eye of Carter, who basically is not someone you want noticing you. In the middle of the club Carter harasses Anna and her boyfriend Jake. Before the night is over, Jack is dead and Anna is taken prisoner.
For months Anna is held with Carter. He envisions himself in ‘Love’ with her even though their sexual exploits are all non-consensual. Anna does what she can to stay alive. She suffers beatings and assaults but at the end of the day she is alive. When she is finally returned home, Anna is no longer the same person. She is a dark shadow of herself that doesn’t trust, interact or relate with anyone, even her parents. She’s gone through numerous guards; luckily her dad is a senator, many of whom dislike her because of her none too charming personality and tendency to disappear.
Ashton is a recent SWAT graduate and is the best there is. He is sent to work as Anna’s near-guard for the next 8 months before Carter’s trial. At first Anna couldn’t be more shocked and still angered by her new guard. His looks alone invoke feelings in her she never wanted to feel again. Not to mention how unfaithful she begins to feel.
Ashton and Anna go away to Arizona, where she will be attending her third school while Ashton poses as her boyfriend. Anna doesn’t have the best track record with schools and has been kicked out of a few already. However, with Ashton around everything in Anna’s life begins to change, especially her nightmares, which virtually disappear when Ashton is in the room.
Over time there is a lot of character development which I found as a plus in the book. Anna changes overtime and most of it is due to Ashton’s interference and constant hovering. The book was extremely long and not too thrilling throughout. There is an ‘obvious’ scene in the end where Carter reappears and adds some much needed drama. I’ll admit though, the ending wasn’t what I expected. I was impressed by Ashton’s dedication but I was shocked by the number of deaths and the circumstances in general. And no, I won’t give you spoilers!
One of the most annoying parts of the book for me was the constant inner whining of the characters. Anna feels she’ll never be good enough for Ashton and once she realizes she loves him, she of course thinks he’s better off on his own. Ashton too had a similar inner turmoil issue and was constantly thinking to himself how much he loved her and how he would wait forever. Occasionally this wouldn’t bother me, but there are only so many times and ways this should be said before the reader feels beat over the head with information. It was daunting. And throw in the constant grammar mistakes and I found myself struggling half way through.
Overall I enjoyed the story. The plot and characters were interesting but the length and errors did make it difficult to stay engrossed. Add in a HEA and no cliff-hanger and it helped wrapped things up nicely. I would surely read more from this author. Ashton is a delicious badass and he really made the story even greater. Fans of dark romance may find this novel a bit tame but I think will still enjoy.