Don't Look Back: An Unbroken Heroes Novel

Don't Look Back: An Unbroken Heroes Novel

by Dawn Ryder

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Overview

SHE IS THE ONLY WOMAN WORTH FIGHTING—OR DYING—FOR. . .

Shadow Ops Agent Thais Sinclair has sworn off falling in love for good. It’s what’s kept her calculated, steady, and on-task in a world dominated by men. She needs nothing and no one but her own wits and strength to guide her. But when she’s slated to shadow the one man who could reveal their entire operation, all bets are off.

Dunn Bateson, illegitimate son of a Southern debutante, has always had to fight harder than the rest to get what he wants. Now, the last thing he needs is Thais following his every move. She is so strong, sly, seductive. . .No woman has ever captivated him so completely. Thais may only have room for her mission in her heart, but is Dunn up to the challenge of showing her that she’s worth every risk he is willing to take?

The Unbroken Heroes series is:

“Heart-stopping.”

Publishers Weekly

“Enthralling...a must-read for fans of romantic suspense and military heroes.”

The Reading Café

“Sexy, rugged, and explosive.”

—#1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250132741
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 08/28/2018
Series: Unbroken Heroes Series , #6
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 481,790
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dawn Ryder is the contemporary romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances—her official naughty inner child. The author of Dangerous to Know, she commercially publishes in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She lives in Southern California.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"You're doing it wrong, brother," Saxon Hale said as he slapped Vitus Hale on the shoulder.

Vitus sent Saxon a hard look. "Fuck off."

Saxon only grinned at Vitus's response, but there was a snort from Damascus Hale. She sent her husband a stern look designed to reprimand him. "Don't teach our daughter profanity."

"She's a little young to pick up words, princess," Vitus replied as he tried to adjust the way he was cradling his newborn daughter. The infant let out a little sound, earning a frown from Vitus. The assembled family members laughed at his expense.

"Babies absorb far more language than you realize," Damascus informed Vitus.

Miranda Delacroix cooed to the baby as she lifted her from Vitus's arms. "She's perfect ...," the new grandmother gushed.

* * *

It was a private gathering.

Pullman looked through the scope of his rifle, lining up the crosshairs on Miranda Delacroix Ryland.

It would be easy to drop the Congress hopeful right there among her kin. Which was fortuitous, considering he'd been paid a lot of money to put a bullet through her head, and there was even a bonus if he got the job done quickly.

He lifted his head though and relaxed his hand, removing his finger from the trigger. It wasn't that he had any remorse about hitting his target while she was attending a christening for her grandchild.

He was a hitman; it was what he did.

A lack of concern went with the job. It was sort of a requirement.

But in this case, he settled for lifting up a camera and snapping pictures of the location. Saxon Hale and his team of Shadow Ops agents had been off the grid for over a year now. The top-secret location was referred to as the "nest."

The intel might have value on the black market.

It wasn't the job he was on, but a wise man never lets an opportunity go untried. Pullman indulged in a grin as he watched the family group. Sure, they looked pretty normal, until the high-powered lens on his camera started catching sight of chest harnesses and rifles stored on the sides of the buildings. There was a cute little vintage house, surrounded by a graveyard of cars and trucks rusting away. The twisted mass of metal was a smokescreen for the Cold War–era missile silo being refurbished two hundred yards behind the house.

Patience was key to success. The right time and the right place, essential to performance. At least the sort of performance Pullman was interested in being known for. A clean kill, no evidence for law enforcement to find and follow back to the person who had paid for the hit.

Pullman lowered his camera, watching as the christening ceremony got started. Vitus and Damascus Hale handed their infant daughter over to the selected godparents. Saxon Hale and Ginger Hale stood in their places as Colonel Bryan Magnus officiated.

Miranda stood off to one side, smiling like the proud grandmother she was.

Carl Davis would want Pullman to put a slug in Miranda right there.

But Carl Davis was an idiot. A vindictive one, too. Pullman avoided adding the word "evil" because he was working for the guy and couldn't get too picky about the way he made his income.

Pullman grunted and looked forward to finishing his job for the presidential hopeful Carl Davis because when the job was done, he would be free to have a beer. Pullman never drank while on a job. Being a hitman was becoming more challenging as the modern age made staying faceless far harder than it had ever been before.

There was no way Pullman would be stupid enough to drop Miranda Ryland while she was standing on a Shadow Ops location. Sure, it looked like a mess. A construction site just underway. Only a fool would buy that story.

Saxon and Vitus Hale were ex-SEALs. And they weren't the only seasoned operators attending the christening.

Colonel Bryan Magnus had an impressive service record, too, and there were other Shadow Ops agents as well.

Nope. No way was Pullman going to drop her there, even if he suspected Carl Davis just might want him to compromise the nest location as a nice added bonus.

Carl wasn't paying for that service, and Pullman never worked for free. If Carl wanted the Shadow Ops teams uprooted because they felt they were compromised, he'd have to shell out the cash.

So far, Carl had only paid for Miranda Delacroix to be dropped.

He'd do the job. But when the timing was right. He couldn't spend the money if he were in prison or dead. And Carl wouldn't mind a bit if he were killed trying to escape. Not that Pullman held it against Carl — the guy was paying a hitman to take out a rival, so expecting morality would be foolish.

Pullman shouldered his rifle and began trekking his way back through the forest that surrounded the area. He pulled a hat down on his head, looking like any of a dozen locals who were out hunting.

He'd get Miranda a little later. When she was away from the secret location. It would preserve his ability to sell the pictures of the site. If the Congress hopeful went down too close to it, the Shadow Ops team would abandon it and set up another location.

Planning was always key.

* * *

Vitus Hale had two places he called home.

He grinned for a moment as he watched the people on the sidewalk in Washington, D.C.

Only two — boy, marriage had domesticated him.

His wife, Damascus, would give him a look if she heard his sarcasm, but then again, she'd known what he was when they fell in love.

You mean you made the ultimate mistake of falling in love with your package ...

He had, and he still wasn't sorry, either. Sure, there had been a year when he'd thought Damascus had chosen her rich father's lifestyle over him, but that was history now.

Yup.

Not that falling in love meant he was going to start reporting to a cubical every day.

Vitus caught sight of his section leader. Kagan didn't make it too easy. Vitus caught a glimpse of him in his peripheral vision. He held himself steady for a moment, making sure no one was watching him, before he moved off to where Kagan was settling down on a park bench.

Vitus moved slowly, stopping a few other places before sitting beside Kagan.

"It's too quiet," Kagan began.

Vitus gave his section leader a single nod but held silent. Kagan wasn't just his superior because someone had promoted him. No, Kagan was a man Vitus followed because he'd earned it. Kagan didn't talk often, and he didn't give away his motive, either. In short, Kagan was worth listening to, especially when he'd called Vitus for a meeting.

"Carl should have put his people on dealing with us threatening him," Kagan continued.

"My bet is, he has," Vitus responded. "This aide of his, Eric Geyer, seems to know how to keep a lid on what he's doing."

"That's what I'm concerned about," Kagan said with a hard look toward Vitus. "Tyler Martin might have been one of us, but his failing was his need to be recognized for his work."

Vitus's lips twitched. "Tyler liked to wear his I-was-there ribbons, sure enough."

Kagan's expression cracked for a second at Vitus's description of military medals. In the world of Shadow Ops teams, Vitus fit right in because he didn't care what people thought of him. He didn't need a medal to prove his worth, and he didn't flash the ones he'd earned around. No, he found his confidence deep inside himself, where he damn well knew the value of the service he'd done for his country and mankind.

Tyler Martin had been weak enough to need confirmation from the people around him.

"I assigned Dare Servant to a new location in case we need a plan B," Kagan continued. "My guess is, Carl won't be wise enough to take our warning."

Vitus enjoyed a flashback. They'd replaced Carl Davis's personal security and faced him down inside one of his plush presidential hotel suites. He'd been scared. In fact, Vitus doubted Carl had ever tasted fear quite that intense before. They could have killed him; they'd had plenty of reason to. Carl had charged Tyler Martin with killing Vitus and his brother, Saxon, as well as members of their teams.

More than once they'd overcome the odds.

Vitus savored the knowledge. But he wasn't foolish enough to overlook the fact that his victories were salt in Carl Davis's wounds.

"Miranda took a chance in giving us that tape she made," Kagan added. "Carl will want his pound of flesh. This campaign is the perfect cover for him to have a hitman take her out."

"I've been watching her," Vitus said.

"I know," Kagan offered dryly. "Officially, I don't have a reason to assign a team to her."

"Unless you want to confess that we threatened Carl Davis," Vitus said, offering his section leader a smirk.

"A warning," Kagan corrected him. "One none of us expects him to take ..."

"But we made the effort," Vitus said. Yeah, they'd made the effort because they were men of honor. People used the word lightly too often for his peace of mind, but he'd found the sort of men and women who understood the true meaning in it among the SEALs and Shadow Ops. Kagan was a hard man who'd made tough choices, but Vitus followed his command because he knew without a shred of doubt that his section leader was motivated by integrity.

That was why they hadn't killed Carl Davis when they'd had the chance.

"Stay sharp," Kagan advised him with a knowing look. "It's going to hit the fan. Soon. Leave your family underground."

Vitus nodded, acknowledging the warning. "They're back under Colonel Magnus's command."

Kagan drew in a deep breath. "Bryan Magnus knows what to do if Carl takes us out."

Vitus felt his body shift. It was a slight tensing of the muscles with a tingle rippling along his spine. He was no stranger to the sensation, the only thing new to the situation was the fact that now he had a wife and daughter. On over a hundred missions with the SEALs, he'd taken the ultimate risk with his life. It had been his drug of choice, the need to put boot to ass for justice. Damascus might accept who he was, but there was still a little hollow feeling settling into the pit of his stomach as he saw the look on Kagan's face.

They were going to war. Only this time, it was on home soil.

At least his section leader thought so, and Vitus couldn't fault his logic.

"Shadow Miranda," Kagan said. "I've got Sinclair off grid in case we need her as a resource."

"Am I officially on a case?"

"At the moment there is no case," Kagan said, giving him a tilt of his head. "Officially, you're waiting for assignment." Kagan shot him a hard look. "Be ready for the call."

"Yes, sir."

They parted ways. Vitus moved through the crowded streets of the capital before ducking into a doorway and disappearing into an underground network of tunnels few civilians knew about. Hell, there were plenty of FBI and CIA agents who didn't know what lay beneath the pavement. Deep below the traffic-clogged streets, Vitus pressed his palm and let his retina be scanned before entering a facility that contained some of the most dangerous viruses on the planet. His wife worked daily in an effort to make sure they were prepared to deal with bio-attacks. It meant working with the viruses, and that was done where an accident could never leak out into the population.

Damascus had signed on in an effort to escape her father's plans to have her marry Carl Davis. Underground, Vitus was free to allow his lips to curve up. He'd enjoyed stealing his princess away by winning her heart. Her father hadn't made it easy, but, hell, Vitus had never been a fan of taking the easy path in life.

He made his way to the small center where his daughter was being cared for. She had her fist in her mouth, sucking on it, as he nodded to the day care personnel before gently scooping the infant up.

Life was a precious thing.

And a magical one.

He'd never realized how amazing it might be to hold his child.

Carl Davis had better heed their warning, because the next time Carl made a play against them, Vitus was going to kill him. The stakes were too high now.

Which meant he was going to have to step outside the lines of protocol.

"Be ready for the call."

There was a mountain of meaning in Kagan's words. Vitus held on to his daughter for a few more precious seconds before he forced himself into action. Being ready meant making sure he had every assist he could manage.

It also meant doing right by family.

He made his way into the small suite he shared with his wife and pulled a prepaid phone out of his pocket. Miranda Delacroix was his mother-in-law.

She was also Dunn Bateson's natural mother.

Vitus didn't know the man well. Of course, no one really did from what Vitus could tell. Dunn was a recluse who seemed to enjoy casting his aura of mystery. He certainly invested a lot of cash in keeping the paparazzi guessing on just where he was.

But Vitus had a number to reach him.

Vitus hesitated for a long moment. In the end, though, it was the lingering feeling of having his daughter in his hands that made him push the dial button on the phone.

Family was worth everything a man had in him to give. Not every man lived by that code, but Vitus knew Dunn did.

Miranda was his mother.

"Vitus Hale," Dunn answered on the third ring. "How can I bail your Shadow Ops team out today?"

There was a hint of a smirk coming through the line. Vitus enjoyed the brassy humor the Scotsman seemed to have an endless supply of.

"It's payback time," Vitus began. "I'm calling to give you a heads-up. Unofficially."

There was silence for a moment. "I'm listening," Dunn replied, all hints of teasing gone.

Dunn didn't disappoint him by drawing out the conversation. Vitus was left looking at his phone after Dunn ended the call just three minutes later.

No, Dunn wasn't going to waste time chatting. Miranda might have been forced to give birth to him in secret by her powerful political family because they wouldn't have the scandal of her having a child with a man they didn't approve of, but Dunn wasn't going to stand by idly while his mother might be on a hitman's list.

Was that what Kagan had meant by making sure Vitus had his resources in line?

Actually, Vitus did think Kagan had wanted him to call Dunn. His section leader couldn't do it. No, there were too many eyes on him.

But what Vitus did when he wasn't on a case, well, that was no one's business. It was the unspoken element that kept their Shadow Ops teams as effective as they were. It was also the thing so many hopeful recruits tried to get a grasp on but failed.

You either understood or you didn't, and that comprehension was a must for the men and women Kagan put Shadow Ops badges into the hands of. They took the cases no one wanted. Dealt with the criminals who won too damn often.

Dunn wasn't one of them.

And yet, he was by way of stepping up when he'd been needed. The guy liked his privacy though, living as a recluse, and he had enough money to help him pull it off well enough to have Vitus admiring him.

Dunn was the sort of ace in the hole they needed. The asset Carl Davis wouldn't see in play on the board. He'd been involved in operations before, but he was also a master of the art of being a recluse. He'd never left a trail, which meant Carl and his people wouldn't be looking for him.

* * *

Dunn Bateson stood gazing out of his office windows. Vitus Hale wasn't a man given to hype.

Dunn heard Vitus's words ringing in his ears. There was also a strange tingle going down his spine. Edinburgh was a place known for spirits and supernatural happenings. Tonight, Dunn found himself caught in a moment of contemplation that just might have been crafted by the hands of fate.

Miranda was his mother. Vitus had pegged him perfectly. Something Dunn would give the American full credit for achieving. Not many men could read him so well.

Maybe it was the connection of Vitus being married to his half sister, Damascus.

Dunn looked down at his phone and realized he was hesitating. Miranda's number was illuminated on the screen, waiting for him to push the dial function key.

He hated that he was still wondering if he should reach out to her.

"Yer mother loved you, son ... never doubt it ..."

His father's words rose from his memory.

"She loved me ..."

Duncan Bateson had insisted his son should know the truth once he was old enough.

"Miranda wanted to marry me, ran away with me, but her family, they vowed to destroy everything I had if she didn't return to them. I could have lived without money, but what sort of son would I be to allow such a thing to happen to my father?" His father's crusty face had twisted with a grief Dunn hadn't imagined his sire could ever feel. Not Duncan Miles Bateson, the icon of Bateson Industries.

And yet, Dunn recalled in vivid detail the way his father's eyes had actually turned glassy with unshed tears.

He'd loved her until the day he died.

And Miranda? She'd come to see Dunn the moment her husband was dead.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Don't Look Back"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Dawn Ryder.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Don't Look Back: An Unbroken Heroes Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
MaimeosAngelsEL More than 1 year ago
4 Star reviews of Don’t Look Back (Unbroken Heroes #6) by Dawn Ryder Thais Sinclair is a shadow ops agent, a woman in a man’s world. She depends on no one and the last thing she wants or needs is a man in her life, especially Dun Bateson. Dun is rich and has had a tough past, he knows he has to fight for what or who he wants. Although they try to fight it, neither Thais or Dun can fight the chemistry between them. The pace was quick and is certainly steamy. Dawn Ryder is a new author to me and although I enjoyed this book, I have to say that I was totally confused at times. There seemed to be so many POV’s that I honestly got lost. To be fair if I had read the other books in the series it may have helped as I believe this is the last one and I am guessing that the author was also tying up any loose ends. An enjoyable read and I will be looking at other books written by Dawn Ryder. I received this book through the publisher and Netgalley.
BuckeyeAngel 12 days ago
Shadow Ops Agent Thais Sinclair has sworn off falling in love for good. It’s what’s kept her calculated, steady, and on-task in a world dominated by men. She needs nothing and no one but her own wits and strength to guide her. But when she’s slated to shadow the one man who could reveal their entire operation, all bets are off. Dunn Bateson, illegitimate son of a Southern debutante, has always had to fight harder than the rest to get what he wants. Now, the last thing he needs is Thais following his every move. She is so strong, sly, seductive. . . No woman has ever captivated him so completely. Thais may only have room for her mission in her heart, but is Dunn up to the challenge of showing her that she’s worth every risk he is willing to take? This was a decent story that was mostly wrapping up a series. I felt that because of that, the romance was more a side character, which is ok. I’ve enjoyed the entire series from this author and I look forward to reading her next series. I recommend as long as you’ve read the rest of the books in the series. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love everything about it
annie2015 More than 1 year ago
This is the 6th book in this series and the first I've read by this author. I liked this book, the main characters, and the storyline but I do feel I missed things about some of the characters by not having read the other books in the series beforehand. I may check out the other books. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin's Press, via NetGalley. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias.
UpAllNightBB More than 1 year ago
4 Stars Review by Angelique Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog When there’s a spark, especially with the one person you know you should never fall for, it’s hard to stay away. Dawn Ryder captures a wild mix of emotion, intrigue and action in her latest novel, Don’t Look Back. This is also the sixth and last installment of the Unbroken Heroes series. The story follows Shadow Ops Agent, Thais Sinclair as she’s ordered to shadow Dunn Bateson. Of course working isn’t a problem at all, to her work has become her life. The problem is the man she’s expected to shadow. He doesn’t make it easy for her to simply do her job and he has found a way to press all her buttons. Dunn, having been used in the past isn’t easy to give people second chances, nor give too much attention to the one’s he knows he should keep his distance from. But Thais is something else completely. She’s strong and self-sufficient and she’s an enigma, no matter how hard he tries to not let her get under his skin, it’s impossible. From the first encounter they both tread carefully, throughout everything that happens, both good, bad and questionable, they eventually end up where they should. “Now? She was left staring at him, trying to decide if she should just jump off the cliff with him.” It isn’t often that I give a book anything less than five stars, but due to too many characters and names in simply the first part of the book, I got way too confused. It all made more sense in the end and the characters revealed themselves and what their role was.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story, it was fun, fast and entertaining. I appreciated the way Ryder wove a complex and suspense-filled plot, chuck full of political machinations that had you loving and hating specific characters. The romance didn't ring true for me. I felt there was too much explained and repeated internal turmoil, which always hits me wrong, and makes me feel slightly disconnected to the characters. For a romantic suspense, the suspense was a really like and the romance was a like, so overall this was a 3.5 star read for me. I received this ARC copy of Don't Look Back from St. Martin's Press. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Jolie More than 1 year ago
Don't Look Back justifies my dislike of picking up books mid/at the end of the series. What I dislike even more is being confused by a book. And I was confused by this book. I would have been fine if the focus was on Dunn and Thais. Maybe a secondary main plotline about Carl's evil doings. Instead, I got a book that was told from many points of views. I got many storylines going on. I was confused by where Thais' storyline was going and what the Shadow Ops wanted to be done with her. I could go on and on but you get the drift with where I was going. I didn't dislike Don't Look Back. Stripping away the "extras" that came with it, I thought that Dunn and Thais' story was fantastic. Their backstories were tragic. I felt that because of everything that was crammed into the book, I didn't get a chance to know them. I felt that their story was lost under the many other plotlines. I wanted to know them better. I wanted to know why Dunn's mother left him. I wanted to know exactly what Thais' mother trained her to do. Even more so, I wanted to know what Thais' husband and brother-in-law were doing that justified her killing them. Maybe these questions were answered in the earlier books but I don't know. I didn't read them. My other problem with the book was that there was no distinction when the POV's changed. I kept going back and rereading the previous paragraph because I got confused. There would be a scene between Thais and Dunn and it would change to Kagan or any of the Shadow Ops and then would change to Carl and then change back to Dunn or Thais. All within the same chapters. Something like this (*****) would have been great. It would have made reading Don't Look Back go so much smoother than it did. I did keep in mind that I was reading an ARC but still. Very annoying. The Thais and Dunn's sex scenes were fantastic. I liked that Thais didn't want to be treated like a fragile doll. She liked it a little rough. I also liked that Dunn was able to provide that and more to her.  The suspense angle of the book didn't do it for me. Because of all the POV's, I wasn't able to get as involved with the book as I would have been. So, I wasn't able to get deep into the suspense part of the book. It was there but I thought it was lukewarm, at the best. The end of the book was a confusing mess. There was too much going on. Also, the very ending threw me. I had an issue imagining what happened happening. **I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**
Shadowplay4u More than 1 year ago
Don’t Look Back is a phenomenal work of art! To have the privilege to read such a masterful, high-octane story that kept me on my toes and guessing the entire time was such a wonderful delight to all of my senses. I love stories that pull every part of my heart and mind in without reservation or hesitation. This was a mind-blowing out of control train that barreled past my defenses and blew my entire world to smithereens in the best way possible. What a fantastic treasure that I will replay in my mind for a long time to come! Shadow Ops Agent Thais Sinclair lives for the job. All she knows or cares about is her team and the next job. Love is something she extracted from her live for the sake of being the best agent and completing her work effectively and effectively. Nothing good ever came from it, so like a thorn in her side she removed it and left it dead in the past. Dunn Bateson is a true enigma to Thais and her team, and yet they need him and his resources for one all-important mission. When the reason for his help is revealed to him, Dunn can’t say no which only makes him more uncomfortable. There are good reasons he is known as a recluse, but Thais threatens to burn them all to the ground. She can’t divert her attention away from the tasks assigned to her, and yet she can’t deny the pull to Dunn. Will Dunn extract himself from this mission unscathed, or will the strength, beauty, and intelligence he sees in Thais bring his life and walls tumbling down around his ears? I don’t think that anything can be done when two people are both unwillingly drawn and equally repelled by the other. Nature will take its course, but it will draw all secrets and buried emotions to the foreground. No one can hide when love will not be denied no matter how adamant or determined they might be. The heart knows what it wants, and it will fight dirty to get it. When life is determined to change despite what you want, you can either willingly give in or watch as everything you know is systematically transformed before your very eyes. This is the first book by Dawn Ryder that I have read, and I am completely at her mercy. Her storyline was gripping and captivating while her stunning characters stole my heart and never let it go. I was completely and utterly lost to this world of secrets and shadows. This is a breath taking masterpiece that will live in my heart forever.
FanniAnn More than 1 year ago
Fast paced action packed story that will have you in the edge of your seat, will they won't they, Shadow ops agent Thais and Dunn, this is their story and the last in this series I received a copy from Netgalley and I am voluntarily leaving my own honest opinion
FanniAnn More than 1 year ago
Fast paced action packed story that will have you in the edge of your seat, will they won't they, Shadow ops agent Thais and Dunn, this is their story and the last in this series I received a copy from Netgalley and I am voluntarily leaving my own honest opinion
FanniAnn More than 1 year ago
Fast paced action packed story that will have you in the edge of your seat, will they won't they, Shadow ops agent Thais and Dunn, this is their story and the last in this series I received a copy from Netgalley and I am voluntarily leaving my own honest opinion
Sakshi More than 1 year ago
Don't Look Back by Dawn Ryder is a fast-paced romantic action suspense and is the final book in the Unbroken Heroes series. I didn't realize this when I requested it on Net galley so I often had trouble getting acquainted with the names. It really felt like being bombarded with information you had no idea about. Romance was one strong point of this book. The raging attraction between the lead characters, Thais Sinclair and Dunn Bateson, was insurmountable that soon led to the bright flare of their passionate romance. The sexual chemistry alone carried this book forward a long way. The author vacillated between several sections of the story too often. Scenes between one set of characters were left in between to check back into other section of the story. It not only disrupted the flow of the book but also confused and annoyed me to no end. Also, the author poked into almost every character's head. There were so many POVs that it became difficult for me to keep track of everybody's thoughts. This book could have been so much better if the author had stuck to a tight storyline. The book was all over the place. One moment it was about a political assassination and the next the family mother-son bond that the author emphasized so much upon in the beginning was almost lost between the nuances of the tumultuous relationship of Dunn and Sinclair. While the book is advertised as a standalone despite being part of a series, I did not find it so. There was too much history between the characters and that may have been the reason why I felt so disconnected with the storyline. Political ambitions, danger, thrill, deceit, action and romance could have taken this book to another level but all these were lost somewhere in between and all we were left with was a confusing piece of mess with a flat plot.
thicks More than 1 year ago
One man consumed with gaining more power and hold over others leads the Shadow Ops teams on a wild adventure. There is plenty of action and intrigue with tons of twist and turns that will keep you flying thru the pages. Dunn has been a recluse for good reason, he also has a rep for being someone you don't mess with. His ties to the Shadow Ops team keeps him in the loop but his mother being the target makes him ready to cross whatever lines he has to to keep her safe. It wont be easy since she is as full of piss and vinegar and as he is and stubborn to boot. Thais follows the rules and assigned to Dunn, the man that makes her want to toss it all. I love how this author puts this all together. The action and intrigue with the hot and steamy. This is a great story of making changes for love and taking care of family. I love the blend of it all and this author's style. I haven't read her before but her characters make it worth the effort. Loved Thais, she's strong and independent and while she doesn't need a man she knows when it's time to deal with wants versus needs. Great read can't wait for more from the author of this standalone read.
tsinclr More than 1 year ago
Thais loves her job and thinks that's all she needs to be happy. She also has an attraction to her current target that she is determined to ignore. Dunn is attracted to Thais but knows she is dedicated to her job. They both have sworn off love due failed past relationships. While trying to examine their feelings and decide whether to move forward, they also have to try to stay alive and keep Dunn's mother alive. A story that keeps you wondering what will happen next.
rc1836 More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, steamy action packed romance This is the 6th book in Dawn Ryder's Unbroken Heroes series and I think I might have enjoyed the book s little more if I had more of a foundation to the secondary characters, bad guys etc. That being said it was well written and I liked Thais and Dunn as a couple, and the chemistry between them sizzles . I hope to read more books by the author in the future but will make sure I start with book 1. I received an advance reader copy from Netgalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is about a couple of strong women and the men around them. There is Miranda who is running for office and helping her colleague get elected president. Of course in politics, there is always someone you have to step on. And Carl Davis keeps pushing her to get her support. He try’s to marry her daughter for political gain. When that doesn't work he decides Miranda needs to be killed. Then we have Thais Sinclair she is a tough as nails member of Shadows Ops. An under the radar government agency run by one man no-one tries to get to. But since he and his team helped Miranda get some very incriminating evidence on Carl he's been trying to shut them down. While trying to save Miranda from an assassination attempt Thais is arrested and put in a place no one can get to her or so they thought. From here the story just gets better and better. This finds herself with the one man she can not get out of her head. And when Dunn lets her know he feels the same way everything changes. This is a great story I highly recommend it.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
This is a high action, fast paced story with a whole lot going on. At times a little too much. I had to backtrack to catch up a couple of times to clear up my confusion. Thais and Dunn were both interesting characters although they were both annoying at times. Didn't really feel the chemistry between them either. This was a pretty good story that wrapped up the series loose ends nicely. I was hoping for something more grand for the series finale but this was ok. I'd recommend.
Rainn2978 More than 1 year ago
I would recommend reading the previous books in this series before reading this one. It can be read as a standalone but it will make more sense if you read the others first. This one is about Thais Sinclair and Dunn Bateson. Thais is a shadow ops agent who has been tasked with shadowing Dunn to make sure they aren't revealed to other. Dunn doesn't want or need Thais sticking with him especially when he realizes that he is attracted to her. What neither realize is that they both need each other, in ways neither are completely ready for. I had a hard time with this one. I'm not sure if I just wasn't connecting with it but I almost felt like the characters weren't right for each other. Something just seemed off to me and I can't quite put my finger on what it is. It is still a decent read and it added to the overall story line, although I still feel like there are things that weren't fully explained. The writing is good, I just had a hard time getting into it. Thais and Dunn don't seem to have that connection that you would expect romantically-at least they didn't to me. Their characters themselves were good. I liked how their backgrounds are explained and how that made them the people they are now but the romance almost seemed forced to me. That being said, I'm sure that someone else might love it. It just wasn't my favorite of this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don’t Look Back by Dawn Ryder is billed as the final book in a series that can be read as a standalone novel. To me there was way too much not explained for it to work well as a standalone. In addition, this book is billed as a romance between Thais and Dunn, and while the romance part of it is interesting, it’s only part of a story told from at least twelve points of view. The story constantly switches from one character to another within chapters that go on forever. It also gets incredibly confusing about just what exactly Shadow Ops wants to do with Thais. Do they want her in custody, do they want her with Dunn, do they want her in custody? This part of the story isn’t consistent, which is disappointing because the relationship between Thais and Dunn should be top billing, but often spends time relegated to the backseat as the author wraps up what I’m guessing was a storyline across the whole Unbroken Heroes series.
FaeScot More than 1 year ago
Terrific conclusion to the Unbroken Heroes Series, white hot, action, redemption and finding your soul! We finally get agent Thias Sinclair and Dunn Bateson HEA and boy do they have to fight for it, as it should be. So many bad guys get what's coming to them and a couple surprise redemptions too. The thought I kept having is "Sometimes you have to put a mad dog down". Thias is the over-the-top sexy ops agent that seems to have no emotions. Oh she does, believe me, they're just buried deep to protect her abused heart. Dunn Bateson is an elusive international businessman that occasionally helps Shadow Ops. He's the illegitimate son of congress hopeful Miranda Delacroix. Miranda is from a powerful political family in DC that killed her politically dirty congressman husband her family forced her to marry. This book is centered around Miranda's run for congress and her support of Carl Davis' rival Tom Hilliard. Carl is a beyond dirty politician and is WAY out of control. His aide Eric knew what he was getting into, is reaching the end of his rope trying to reign him in. Carl's trying to stop Kagan's Shadow Ops by putting a hit on Thias and later one of Miranda's daughter Damascus, now wife of Vitus Hale of Shadow Ops. Dunn is hiding a secret that we finally learn reading the book that makes his involvement with Shadow Ops make sense. We even have a former bad guy find his soul and become a good guy. So many twists and turns in this book! Absolutely FABULOUS! Thank you Dawn and St. Martin's for giving me the opportunity to review this story as well as most of the series!
gmcootie More than 1 year ago
From the Goodreads description: “Shadow Ops Agent Thais Sinclair has sworn off falling in love for good. It’s what’s kept her calculated, steady, and on-task in a world dominated by men. She needs nothing and no one but her own wits and strength to guide her. But when she’s slated to shadow the one man who could reveal their entire operation, all bets are off. Dunn Bateson, illegitimate son of a Southern debutante, has always had to fight harder than the rest to get what he wants. Now, the last thing he needs is Thais following his every move. She is so strong, sly, seductive. . . No woman has ever captivated him so completely. Thais may only have room for her mission in her heart, but is Dunn up to the challenge of showing her that she’s worth every risk he is willing to take?” Don’t Look Back is the sixth book in Dawn Ryder’s Unbroken Heroes series. This was a new-to-me author, so I had not read any of the previous books, and it was difficult to follow at times without knowing the history of the characters or previous events. Don’t Look Back was fast-paced with a lot of action and danger and a solid plot line focusing on politics. It was engrossing and had me reading to the end. However, there are several flaws that detracted from my enjoyment. Almost all of the characters had unusual names, which isn’t usually a problem but in this story I found it distracting. The dialogue was often wooden or had the characters speaking like gangsters, also taking away from the basic story and action. The romance between Dunn and Thais was sweet enough and had you hoping they could somehow work things out and end up together, but the actual romantic scenes were not well-written, swinging from childish writing to crude and outright vulgarity. I see there are many positive reviews for this book and the entire series, so perhaps it was just not for me. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC. I was not required to provide a review and all opinions are my own.
micharch More than 1 year ago
Thais and Dunn have circled around each other for a while in these books. Now Dunn sees his opportunity to get Thais into his orbit. Dunn knows Thais thinks of him as an ordinary civilian who has money and plays with danger, but he is so much more. When his layers start being peeled back, Thais is stunned at what she finds. I gave Dunn credit because he figured out how to get Thais where he wanted her. He predicted her moves before she made them and didn't allow her to run too far from him. I had some problems with their insta-love suddenly coming to the forefront for both of them. Some of it was too contrived for me to fully invest in them as a couple. The whole Carl Davis saga comes to its conclusion. Let's just say that Carl was not someone who should have been allowed to continue his power trip and/or reign of terror. I was kind of lost on parts of this book because I haven't read all the books in the rest of the series. I did feel the book would have been better for me if I had some more backstory on the side characters. Overall it was an okay read for me. I think if you have enjoyed the other books in this series, this one will be a good pick for you. I received an ARC from St. Martin's Press for my honest review.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
DON’T LOOK BACK is the sixth (and final ?) instalment in Dawn Ryder’s contemporary, adult UNBROKEN HEROES erotic, romantic suspense series focusing on the men and women who work for an elite Shadow Ops Team made up of ex-SEALs and other special forces warriors. This is reclusive British businessman Dunn Bateson, and Shadows Ops Agent Thais Sinclair’s story line. DON’T LOOK BACK should probably not be read as a stand alone; I recommend reading the series in order for back story and cohesion as there is an on-going premise throughout the series. Told from several third person perspectives including Dunn and Thais DON’T LOOK BACK is the culmination of six story lines focusing on the political atmosphere surrounding the US Federal elections. Dunn Bateson is the illegitimate son of a powerful woman running for office, a woman who has figured prominently in the upcoming elections for the US Congress, but it is Dunn’s attraction to Shadow Ops agent Thais Sinclair that finds our couple at odds with one another when Thais is assigned protection duty to the man that pushes all of her buttons. With the political campaign pushes into high gear, Miranda Delacroix continues to be targeted by the front-running opponent, an opponent who is not against using hired assassins and dupes in his bid for higher office. As the Shadow Ops team continues to ‘shadow’ Miss Delacroix, a more dark and sinister mind begins to unravel in his attempts to destroy them all. What ensues is the building romance between Thais and Dunn, and the fall-out as a series of attempts on the lives of the people they love finds the Shadow Ops team pulling out all the stops to serve and protect. The relationship between Thais and Dunn is fraught with the palpable sexual attraction that does not go unnoticed by the Shadow Ops team, an attraction that is questioned by the people in charge. Both Dunn and Thais have been burned in the past- used by the people professing their love. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. The world building follows several paths and several perspectives as the Shadow Ops team must work overtime to take down the man in question, a man whose need to win at all costs could very well cost them all of their lives. Once again, similar to all of the previous story lines, the back and forth between numerous points of view is frenzied and disconcerting- the affect may be too erratic for some readers as the story line relentlessly and rapidly jumps between different perspectives without so much as a break or introduction. It can be confusing and unsettling from paragraph to paragraph, numerous times throughout each chapter, or within a single page, such that the reader may have to re-read the previous passages to follow the jump in perspectives. DON’T LOOK BACK is a story of suspense, political intrigue, power and control. The premise is intriguing and action-packed; the characters are animated, dynamic and edgy; the romance is passionate and seductive. If you can look past the frantic change in perspectives, DON’T LOOK BACK is a fitting conclusion to Dawn Ryder’s UNBROKEN HEROES.
valerie holm More than 1 year ago
Miranda Delacroix has made an enemy of Carl Davis. Miranda surrendered evidence to a Special Ops team implicating an associate of Carl's in a severe crime, injuring Carl's political career. Carl ordered an assassin to take out Miranda to safeguard his political goals. Don't Look Back by Dawn Ryder belongs to the Unbroken Heroes series. From the beginning, it was apparent this book was part of a series. Even though it was a bit disorienting at first, it quickly becomes clear how the characters fit into each other's pasts. All I needed was a basic understanding of past events, so I would say Don't Look Back could be read as a stand-alone novel. This book would be good for those who enjoy a political crime thriller, or romance novels. The pacing of Don't Look Back is frenetic. Switches in the narrative produce just enough to advance the plot before diverting the action to other characters. This method kept me invested in the intrigue. Various players attempt to outwit each other for victory. It immediately drew me into the events of the quest to bring down the enemy. The threat to Miranda's life brings her reclusive, billionaire son Dunn to the States from Scotland. The Special Ops team safeguarding Miranda have personal ties to her and her adult children. Thais, who is a member of Special Ops, and Dunn have a desire growing between them. Thais' assignment places her in position to guard Dunn and keep him from executing a premature move against Davis. When the two of them acknowledge the chemistry they share, they realize it is something they can no longer deny. When their physical encounters begin, Thais and Dunn are unsure how a relationship will work for them. The author gives insights into the emotional connection the couple is forming and walls they have both built begin to crumble. Even though Thais and Dunn fear what is growing between them, they determine the passion they feel for each other is worth experiencing. The injustice perpetrated by a political figure, assassination for power, was an act that one could argue hits a little close to home. Misdeeds in our government I absolutely believe happens. To the scale of covert assassinations, who's to say? Watching a group who could change things in this atmosphere, had me rooting for them. Witnessing Dunn and Thais' affection grow was a satisfying romance. They were sensual and intense. An alpha couple aptly paired. I most definitely recommend Don't Look Back by Dawn Ryder. I received an advance reader copy of this novel from NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for my honest opinion. I encourage all readers to reach their own conclusions.
PennieM More than 1 year ago
There was a lot going on and so many inconsistencies it was hard to keep up with so many voices I found myself confused at times. Not sure if it was the story or the fever ravaging my body but I tend to think it was the story. Thais seemed to be pulled in too many directions and not sure what she was ultimately supposed to be doing but Dunn definitely was seduced and doing the seducing. This is supposed to be the last of this series. **Received this ARC for review from the publisher via NetGalley**