Series: Surviving Raine, book 2
Published on June 16, 2014 Genres: Adult Suspense, Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Sebastian Stark just isn’t cut out for normal life with a girlfriend in the hot and humid city of Miami. All in all, he’d rather be back on the island where it was just the two of them, and he could keep everything in balance. The bar down the street tempts him daily, but he’s determined to remain strong. Adjusting to normal life is difficult, but Bastian is doing his best to keep himself together and the nightmares away. Raine’s happy, and that’s what matters to him the most.
But not all nightmares can be driven away.
When Bastian’s former mentor comes into the picture and presents him with an ultimatum, Bastian slips into old habits. Though he wants to shield Raine from the truth, the shady circumstances of his past form into a hurricane he can’t control. In an effort to protect her, Bastian has no choice but to throw himself back into his old job – death match tournaments – just one last time.
Dropped into the arctic wilderness with weapons loaded, Bastian has to compete against representatives from major crime lords all over the states. He’s studied his competition, he knows their weaknesses, and he’s ready to battle for the woman he loves. There’s only one opponent in the mix that causes him any concern. In order to guarantee Raine’s safety, Bastian will be pitted against the key hit man for Chicago’s largest mob family – a guy who’s known as one hell of a shot.
A guy named Evan Arden.
We LOVE Shay here at NAA. Make sure you check out our Author Spotlight and this week’s Hump Day Hottie below. Because we love Shay so much, we needed two reviews of Book 2 in the Surviving Raine series…
So there I was, laying on Shay Savage’s bed in a hotel room in Chicago with my friend Kristi, as one does upon meeting an author for the first time. It was early May, and rumor had it that the long awaited sequel to Surviving Raine was close to fruition. Shay whipped out her cell phone and showed us a picture of Sebastian Stark while Evan Arden made shots. You think I’m making this up don’t you? I have witnesses.
Anyway, after a few drinks Shay offered to show us the synopsis to Bastian’s Storm. Uh, hell yes! Kristi and I bowed our heads together over Shay’s cell phone to read as Shay watched our reactions. WAIT. What did I just read? Bastian has to play in one last death match tournament? TO THE DEATH? No! This is supposed to be my, I mean Raine’s HEA. Okay, fine, big breath. It’s Bastian, he’ll win. Wait…. what’s the last sentence? He’s competing against Evan Arden? In a death match?
Now Kristi hasn’t read Evan’s series, Otherwise Alone, Otherwise Occupied and Otherwise Unharmed. So Kristi is all, “Yay, Bastian’s a badass!” While I’m all, “YOU’RE PITTING YOUR HEROS AGAINST EACH OTHER?” This cannot be happening. I love them both. I’m invested in them both. What kind of sicko battles her heroes to the death? (I’m looking at you, Shay)
My feels are all over the place and I haven’t even read the book yet. The Evan Arden series is complete. I thought Evan & Lia were living happily ever after. Now Evan is being taken out of retirement to fight Bastian to the death. Only one of them can survive. Shay’s just crazy enough to do it too.
Bastian has trouble accumulating to society, to say the least. He misses the island. Yeah… the island where they were stranded with no electricity, communication or toilet paper. That island. Bastian goes so far as to suggest that they could go back sometime for a vacation. Clueless bastard. He struggles with basic societal norms. Being polite to Raine’s friends, staying sober. And then… his past comes back with a vengeance.
Bastian does make it back to an island, one covered in snow and ice and subzero temperatures. The death match is in a place so remote it’s only accessible by dropping from a helicopter. The conditions so harsh they will kill you if another contestant doesn’t do it first.
Bastian’s Storm is less of a love story than Surviving Raine was, though their love for each other is evident. Why Raine puts up with some pretty deplorable behavior is understandable. So how does it all end? Without giving away spoilers… I can say no more.
To add to Jana’s introduction on how we got to know the synopsis in Chicago, I have to say it… authors are truly my rock stars. So when Jana is like, Shay wants us to go to her room… I was already packing up my goods from the restaurant and half way out the door skipping in delight to meet the author of Surviving Raine while a whole group of friends stared at me from the restaurant window. I’m not really kidding either.
Surviving what? Please tell me you read Surviving Raine, because it was my favorite read last summer. Jana is a great friend to have… she even pushes you, I mean persuades you to read certain books, and last year she wouldn’t shut up about Surviving Raine. Once I read Surviving Raine, I reminded her she is one of my favorite book pimps and that it’s not hard to be Team Bastian after reading that story. Book one is so different and addicting than any other book I’ve read to date, if you haven’t read it, it’s a must and a definite before you read this book.
Any way I digress, after reading the Bastian’s Storm synopsis I turned to Jana… she had tears in her eyes. (And she wasn’t even drinking that much!) We stared at each other, then at Shay. I looked at TST (you know EVAN ARDEN) and he winked at me… smug bastard probably knows who’s gonna die and no matter how many times I asked, neither Shay nor TST/Evan Arden would give me a hint of what to expect…but then we all did a shot and it kinda made the shock of the synopsis a little bit better. But damn it, I was thinking about that synopsis for weeks.
Shay is a master at writing the male POV. I haven’t read another author who writes the male POV as well as Shay does. Bastian is a complex character. He’s angry, he’s arrogant, he’s rude and temperamental… hell, he’s certifiable crazy, but he’s also good, and strong, and loving and charming, and Raine is his whole world, swoon. While reading this book I felt Bastian’s pain and uncertainty with his life off the island. He’s trying to adjust back to society… sober. He’s trying to not beat people to a pulp for looking at him or Raine a certain way… he’s trying to make friends…and some days are better than others.
When his past collides with his present and threatens his future… he falls from his grace and focuses on picking himself up and conquering his demons to reclaim the life he wants with Raine. This story has a lot going for it. It has terrific suspense. A truly hot, bad ass, alpha male with a temper like no other- Bastian is up there as one of my top book boyfriends. It has some of the hottest sex scenes I’ve read. It has heart and depth, and most of all; it has you on the edge of your seat, reading as fast as you can to see how it all plays out.
5 Bad Ass Bastian Stark Stars… but please tell me there’s more. I have questions. I want, no I need the answers, or a bit more closure.