Review: Unleashed by Scott Hildreth

Unleashed Cover

4.5 happily ever after Stars

Family. It’s a relatively fluid concept. It can encompass so many different relationships from those who are bound to us by blood and those we choose to walk with us on this earth for the length of our lives. It’s vital and makes up such a huge component of our heart and where we belong in our individual lives. Family gives shape and tangibility to what matters most.

Unleashed is about family. The process of finding it, claiming it and then letting it do what it does best – love you when you need it most.

Mike Ripton is about to go on trial for murder. When we last saw him, he was telling Vee how he had snapped the neck of his sister’s rapist. He has to decide whether he wants to take a plea deal or take a stand for what he chose and risk a life in prison. By this time, you know which path Ripp is going to choose, because you know who he is. And even though he has a hard time choosing his path and needs to let some family step in and remind him who he is, he chooses to stand up, to fight and hold his head high with Vee right by his side.

And speaking of Vee? She is the billy bad ass of all bad asses. We’ve spent two books watching Ripp take opponents apart in a myriad of rings both official and not – he owns those fights. Vee owns this one. The law is her ring and she is not only undefeated and unstoppable, she is the queen of the realm.

This book walks Ripp through some pretty significant changes to his life and character. And even when he struggles, he does so with style and a genuine self-awareness that is a joy to read. And to watch him with an expanded cast of characters new and old allows him to show off all of the different facets of his personality as well. Adding Austin and A-Train to the equation gives a new depth and dynamic in which to watch Ripp and Dekk interact and work.

This book is by far the most philosophical of the three. But Scott Hildreth continues to display his storytelling mastery by making it seem effortless and weaving worthy questions throughout the narrative in really interesting and genuine ways. Of the three books, this one had some pieces that were hard to read for me. Not because they weren’t written well but because they were rent with so much heart and soul that it was hard to remember I was reading fiction.

Hildreth manages to tie up everyone’s story line with a gorgeous bow by book’s end, leaving me with a giant grin on my face. I plowed through this series in less than three days and became extraordinarily attached to these characters and their stories in that short period of time. I was moved and delighted and shocked and turned on and a myriad of other things, often all at once. But I was never in doubt. Never once did these stories or characters leave me unprotected.

Jump into this series, if you’ve not already. Scott Hildreth has this. And he won’t ever lead you astray.

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