Sunday, March 29, 2015

ARC Review: Total Surrender

Total Surrender (Sin Brothers #4)

by Rebecca Zanetti


A fight he must win...
Piper Oliver knows she can't trust him. They warned her that the tall, dark, and sexy black-ops soldier Jory Dean would try to win her over with his steel-gray eyes and deadly charm, but she won't be conned by this man they call a traitor. All she has to do is figure out the science necessary to save his life, and she's done. Something isn't adding up, though, and she won't rest until she uncovers the truth-even if it's buried in his deep, dangerous kiss.
A passion she can't resist...
Jory will do anything to reunite with and save his brothers-even kidnap the gorgeous woman who's working to deactivate the deadly chip in their spines. But the forces determined to destroy his family won't let them go so easily. Keeping Piper alive is more than he bargained for-and so is his burning desire for her. But with every second bringing him closer to certain death, can he afford to lose himself in her hot and willing embrace?
Themes: contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
Heat Rating: 
 Finally! We have been waiting to meet Jory and get his story ever since the brother’s realized there was a possibility he might be alive and embarked on a mission to bring him home.  There hasn’t been a story written by Rebecca Zanetti that I haven’t loved for one reason or another and, seriously, when she ends a series she does it with heartbreakingly devious skill.   The Sin Brothers series is one that I was a bit skeptical about when I read the first story, but the series has gradually gotten more intense and the wait for Jory’s full tale quickly became excruciating. If you haven’t read the previous stories in the series I recommend you do so before reading this one, just to get the full impact (and because the other stories kick ass too), but if you are not inclined to do so, you won’t be confused too much as you get backstory enough to keep you in the loop, if not in the know, about everything that’s going on.  Jory’s story is effectively, I believe, the end of the series, but I’m holding out hope for more or a spin off series, as I would love to see how the boys mellow as their women tame them and the love they never had surrounds and fills their lives.  The darkness in this series, and this story especially, remind us of the dark side of human nature and that sometimes the people that give in to that darkness do it for all the right reasons and many more do it for all the wrong reasons, showing that evil doesn’t come from the external in our world, but the internal in us all, the choice is ours. 
Jory’s story truly begins with his imprisonment in the hidden laboratory of the Dean Brothers' greatest enemy, the last place on earth that he ever thought he’d be again.   His only chance to escape is having the help of the beautiful and dangerously intelligent computer hacker that has been brought in to try to deactivate the kill-chip that is counting down to his death, as well as his brothers’.  Piper has worked hard to get her position with the secret military operation and will do everything to resist the draw of the prisoner she’s tasked with saving, but when the world around her begins to unravel, she finds herself questioning everything about her new job and the man that runs the organization.  Once Jory is free, Piper finds herself drawn to the intense and devastatingly handsome man, even though his very presence in her life is shaking her foundations and making her questions every moment of her past.  When the truth comes to light, the only mission that matters anymore is keeping Jory and the Dean Brothers alive so they can defeat the evil that has stalked them their entire lives, and Piper will give her all for that mission.  She is determined that Jory will survive, but she begins to doubt her heart will survive Jory and the passion he stirs in her heart and soul.  When the dust settles, Piper and Jory will have to find a way to be together against all odds—if they both survive the war of their lives. 
OMG Jory is so hot and I just loved his character.  We have gotten glimpses of his personality from his brothers and their pasts together, but actually getting to know him and see how he operates are very different things.  Fully recovered from the shooting that almost cost him his life, Jory is determined to escape his prison so he can find a way to get to his brothers and save their lives, even knowing the chances of saving his own are less that slim to none.  He is dedicated to his family and seeing them have a future so they can find happiness and more than willing to sacrifice for that goal.  I loved seeing him as he worked to convince Piper of the truth of the people around them; charisma is abundant in this man and he is able to use it to devastating effect.  The sweetness that he shows Piper, even though he’s not sure if she’s friend or foe, shows that even though he has a dark side, sometimes too much of one, he is a good man and will protect innocents around him at all costs. It was really interesting, too, to see how he interacted with his brothers when they were finally reunited, the playful bantering and obvious love something that makes you wonder how they managed to be so normal after their formative years spent in hell.   Jory is the perfect combination of strength and vulnerability, danger and safety, and gruff male sexiness and sweetness, making him a perfectly flawed hero, and sending him straight to my list of favorite heroes. 
Piper… oh Piper… she was just so damn naïve and closed to the evil surrounding her that I really wanted to slap some sense into her until about halfway through the book.  I can understand that she has led a relatively sheltered life, but seriously, no one can be that unobservant of the world around them.  And what’s worse is that she is too stubborn in her beliefs to really open her eyes until the heartbreaking truth beats her in the head and she finally accepts that Jory is really the only person she can trust to tell her the truth.  When it became obvious that she knew nothing about the organization, she works for or the people that run it, Jory is able to bring her to the truth, but still she gets herself in more trouble that Jory has to save her from.  I finally started to really love her character though once she opens her eyes and sees that she can play an important role in keeping the Dean brothers alive and bringing down a deadly and dangerous man that has manipulated her most of her life. I enjoyed seeing how she grew from a naïve and needy woman, trying to get the approval of a man that was definitely not worth her time, into a strong and dependent warrior, willing to kill and sacrifice with and for her lover to keep innocents from being hurt more by the evil that has been hiding behind the scenes all her life.  I liked Piper, even when she was being annoyingly trusting, but in the end, I loved her and felt she became woman enough for Jory and a good match for him. 
The greatness that is Zanetti is prominent in the finale of the Sin Brothers series and there is no denying that Total Surrender will remain one of my favorites for a long time to come.  With darkness and danger around every corner, Jory and Piper find each other and the love that will sustain them for a long time in the future, no matter the drama or troubles that they find themselves dealing with.  Jory has earned his HEA and when he sees Piper he never imagines that she would be his, but they are definitely soul mates and made for one another, even if it takes a while for them to realize it.  Passion and heat are abundant from the beginning, however, always under the surface even when neither of them like the other or want to admit to the attraction.  Pipe was a character that just needed her eyes opened to the world around her to force her to grow up and become the strong and independent woman she was meant to be.  Jory’s darkness hides a sweet and geeky man, one that will protect and battle when needed, but is really just happy playing with his electronics—and his woman. :)  I was sad to see the series end, but with the introduction of some new characters I’m hoping for a return or spin-off series in the future (please please please Rebecca!).  For any fan of darker and tortured heroes and the stories of their lives, this is the series for you, especially since we get to see the sweet and softer side of them as they fall in love.  I know I will miss the Dean Brothers and will find myself returning to visit them often. 
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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