Deacon is book four in Kristen Ashley’s Unfinished Hero’s series. This series is a bit darker and dirtier than the typical KA stuff. She describes it as:
And last, one final warning, the heroes of these books are anti-heroes. They are good men who do bad things. They have their reasons. They have their own codes. They may seek (and find) redemption. Or they may not. They simply are who they are, do what they do and find love along the way.
Deacon is definitely an anti-hero. From the first time Cassidy sees Deacon he is described as someone you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley.
But I didn’t take a step back because of that. I did it because he was terrifying. Utterly. Huge. Dark. His face a cold, expressionless mask. His chill swept through the foyer, causing a shiver to glide over my skin even though it was a sunny day in August, warm, and we had no air conditioning. Further, I knew in a glance he was gone. There was nothing there. He was standing. His blood was coursing through his veins. He was breathing. But that was it. He existed. He did not live. He did not feel. He did not smile. He did not laugh.
Deacon made an appearance in Raid and was described as the scary motherfucker. Cassidy’s first thoughts on Deacon are not wrong as Marcus is even quoted as saying about Deacon to Raid:
Marcus Sloan held his eyes then stated, “I’m happy for you. It would be easy for you to go the way of Deacon. Lose yourself in the job, feel nothing, want nothing, get up and exist through the day doing what you have to do then go to bed with nothing to look forward to when you wake up in the morning.”
We know that Deacon got into the bounty hunter business when he was looking for his wife. That didn’t turn out well and he ended up staying in that world. He had nothing to live for so he just existed. Now, periodically, he shows up at Cassidy’s lodge and requests cabin 11. It might be months later but he is always back.
Cassidy knew from a young age where she wanted to be and what she wanted to do. So when she gets the opportunity to buy her cabins she takes her boyfriends and they do it. Her boyfriend turn out to be a loser and not willing to work so months later she is on her own with all the hard work staring her in the face. Glacier Lily Cottages is all she has ever wanted though and she is determined to succeed. One of the bright spots in her life is the moment when she sees Deacon’s, or as she knows him John Priest, truck pull into her area.
There was a moment where Cassidy thought they could be more but in his usual brusque way Deacon turns her away. Until one day when he can’t resist and things change. Cassidy and Deacon are together but only to the point where Deacon will let her in. He won’t talk about his past or really anything about him. Cassidy thinks this is ok until the day she finds a picture of him with another woman and they are wearing wedding rings. She demands an explanation and when he won’t give one, tells him to get out. Is that the end of Deacon and Cassidy or does life have more in store for them?
I am a true KA lover, as a lot of other people I know are. Most of us gobble up her books. The Unfinished Heroes series is something a little different from her light-hearted, funny style. These men are tortured and not good. Deacon fits right in. The first half of this one was really working for me. At first, Cassidy is a not your typical Mary Sue KA heroine. She moved far away from her family and is working hard to make a life with her cabins. She forgoes pleasures and fun in order to be successful. I had full respect for her….until Deacon came along.
Deacon is what he is and that is a KA hero. He is on a need-to-know basis and apparently Cassidy does not need to know. Anything. He goes away on jobs and when she stops calling him because he won’t return her calls, it is her fault. When she asks where they stand and wants to pay for things, he gets high-handed and goes about his own way. There is no compromise. Not an ounce. And when she finally calls him on it, instead of explaining and talking like a person in love would do, he leaves. He leaves her for six months.
After six months and true devastation you would think there would be serious groveling in order to get back in her good graces. There is groveling but not in the form I would ever come to expect. Deacon allows Cassidy to do some dirty things to his body and then all is forgiven. Huh? Say what? It can’t be all about sex. Yes, Deacon has had a rough time and was seriously wronged by his previous wife but if there is to be a healthy relationship here, he can’t just give himself sexually. Even if the reader is supposed to translate that into him giving everything, it doesn’t come across like that. To me, it was a total cop-out for a real discussion.
Deacon is, by far, the hottest and dirtiest KA book I have read. There is a lot of anal play, light bondage and spanking and filthy talk. I’m a fan of these things so I like where Ms. Ashley is going here. 😉
Overall, the first half of the book was great, but the second half frustrated and upset me. I can’t have confidence in a relationship where the people can’t talk things out and instead resort to the bedroom to make things better. Why Cassidy forgave so easily and went back to Deacon like nothing happened is beyond me. I wish the end had been different. I really do. Final grade- C
“You’re not messy,” Raid point out.
“Money’s better messy,” Deacon replied.
“Since when did you need money?” Raid asked.
“Since I decided to buy an island and move there with my favorite volleyball,”