Review: Otherwise Unharmed by Shay Savage


Title: Otherwise Unharmed (Evan Arden #3)
Author: Shay Savage
Date of publication: 5 Dec 2013
Genre: Psychological thriller, Male POV

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb

After Evan Arden was imprisoned by the enemy for a year and a half, he returned from the desert as a military hero. He’d suffered some minor injuries during his captivity, was discharged from the Marines with just a touch of shellshock, but was considered otherwise unharmed. Now he wonders how he ended up where he is now – incarcerated in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center for using his sharpshooting expertise to take out the neighborhood park with a high-powered sniper rifle and multiple rounds of ammunition.

Lia Antonio, the woman he rescued from the desert heat the previous year, is the only person who can bring him out of his sleep-deprived psychosis and mounting PTSD. When she does, Evan knows he can’t just let her go again. He’s never considered leaving the business before – who retires from the mafia? – but he’s determined to get both Lia and himself out of harm’s way.

Evan faces forces from multiple directions as a deal to get him out of jail turns more deadly and dangerous than he ever could have imagined. With a three-way mob war on the horizon and the feds holding evidence over his head, Evan has no choice but to throw himself into the middle of another war-zone.

In his efforts to make things right in his own mind, Evan crosses the wrong man and finds himself on the business end of the cross-hairs. With his observation skills and intelligence, he tries to keep a step ahead of his former co-workers, but this time, it isn’t just his own life on the line – he’s got to protect Lia from the man who once called him son.

My review

This is the final book in the series and it is a perfect blend of the first two - hot sexy romance and action packed psychological thriller.

Iit picks up where book 2 left off - Evan in complete breakdown. Now that Lia is back in his life, she is only person that can save him from the dark abyss of insanity. Suddenly Evan finds himself caring for her more than he expected initially which prompts him to do everything in his power to protect her.

The plot has many twists and turns and kept me on the edge till the end. Just when I thought I knew what would happen and the author surprised me by taking the things in completely new direction.

I found myself deeply emotionally engaged with Evan. He was still cold-hearted, merciless hit man we got to know in the previous books, yet  with Lia now in his life and by his side he started restore some of his former self. I liked that he didn't change overnight, he didn't become suddenly sensitive, caring, remorseful of his past. It was a slow, painful struggle with himself and with everybody around him. 

I liked Lia a lot as well. She was strong and didn't let Evan overtake her completely. She loved him and was ready to help him through everything but she demanded that he trust her with his true story. It was not easy for her accept his past and present. She loved him but some of the things he did bothered her and she didn't try to hide it. It's refreshing to come across a strong and independent heroine who doesn't hesitate to speak her mind.

Like the previous books, this one is also told solely from Evan's POV. I loved his voice - cold, emotionless, yet filled with pain and suffering. His inner struggles, his hallucinations and his warring emotions were captivating. His obsessive need to protect and take care of Lia became a bit repetitive around the middle of the book but they were also understandably given his situation.

The ending was a bit too good to be true. It was sweet and I appreciate the chance of peaceful life Evan got but it affected slightly authenticity of the book. I can't imagine trying to leave the Mafia would work exactly like this.

Overall, I enjoyed this series very much. I liked the male POV, the whole mob world, the behind the scenes in the mind and soul of an ex-Marine, a POW, a hit man and his love for a beautiful strong woman which ultimately saves him from himself.

The secondary characters were also well drawn, the Mafia world was rich and realistic. Odin, Evan's dog had a special place in the whole story which I quite enjoyed.

I would definitely recommend this series to fans of the psychological thriller who are looking for realistic stories and are not afraid of some violence and a lot of dark emotions.

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