Review: Total Surrender

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Total Surrender
Total Surrender by Rebecca Zanetti
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A thrilling fight against time. A fight for life, and not just his. It’s a fight for the life and hapynness of his brothers and loved ones.

Jory Dean and his brothers were created and raised since birth to be the ultimate soldiers. They weren’t just robed of their childhood, they were made to believe they were soulless monsters, killing machines. But the fraternal bond they forged, didn’t just make them stronger it made them human.

“We have souls… Everybody. We have souls because I’ve seen them move. Grow. Hurt. Love. I promise you, no matter how they made us, we have souls.”

When they escaped the clutches of “the commander” they knew facing him again was inevitable. Their creator had implanted each one of them with a deadly chip only he controlled. But Jory got caught and shot. Spending two years in a comma. Waking up as a prisoner to find out one bullet caused his chip to malfunction.

Brilliant hacker Piper Oliver has been brought in to figure out a way to connect with Jory’s chip and save his life. She was told that man with the face of a fallen angel is a traitor. That he would try to sway her into helping him. But the commander’s warnings don’t ring true. And even if she is fervent about pleasing her employer, who also happens to be her estranged father, she will settle for no less than the truth.

I fell in love with the Dean brothers and the series’ premise from the first book. These books are action packed, filled with scorching romance and laced with beautiful sibling love. The writing is phenomenal, engaging in every page.

“Their mantra from childhood. Never alone.”

So I was sorely disappointed with this story for two reasons: the heroine and the plot holes. Piper may have been a spunky, intelligent woman unable to hide her big heart. But she was also naïve and gullible. Which irked me from the very beginning.

There was also her inconsistency as a computer geek. Programmers thrive on solving problems. As a software nerd myself, I know we’ll forgo sleep and food (except caffeine) until we find the solution we’ve been tasked to do. So the fact that Piper kept putting off writing a program to save a man’s life, spending hours cleaning in order to go to dinner to get to know her father better and a bit more about the man she was “trying” to save simple did not compute.

From a technical stand point, something that can probably be ignored, I feel the plot should apply for sainthood. It was holy with all its mishaps.

“He was minutes away from breaking the algorithm, and he didn’t need help.”

Jory did not need help, not even Piper’s, and his brothers had the code necessary for the chip deactivation, ready for him to work with as soon as he got his hands on it. Add to that, any of the Dean brothers were better qualified to work with him than Piper. Hacker extraordinare or not, she was still “human.” I won’t even mention the solution because I feel I’ve already given too much.

Not even the insta-love bothered me like the forced and predictable plot.

“A week with a Dean brother is like a year with anybody else. You know. With the shooting, the espionage, the fighting for their lives.”

I loved Jory though. He was “every movie hero, romance novel antihero, and sexy villain… all tumbled into one seriously hot package.” He was all alpha badass on the outside, but his brilliance and love for Piper and his family shone through in a stunning way.

“You’re a sweet little hacker who likes to flirt with danger. Baby, I am danger… I’ve never met a woman who needed a taming more than you do.”

I adored how he was possessive of Piper and let her choose at the same time. It was fantastic to see how he got to know the love of a woman. I also have to mention the great banter between the two and all the incredibly scorching moments.

“I love your body,” she breathed, running her hands down his chest. “My body loves you.”

Even though you can read this book as a standalone, the author expertly doling out the information needed, I have enjoyed getting to know the characters in the previous books and took great pleasure in getting to have them in this book again as well as get to know the new additions to the expanding Dean clan.

Perhaps you can ignore my pet peeves. The book is wonderfully written and I fell for Jory, the incredible secondary characters and all the touching moments. There were so many of these I had a difficult time choosing my favorites. Some heartbreaking, some heartwarming.

“What does motivate you?”
She paused. He was damn serious. “Why?”
“Because I’ll do whatever it takes. Money? Long life? Tour of the world? You ask for it, and I’ll do it—if you save my brother.” ~ Matt talking to Piper

Total Surrender is book 4 in the Sin Brothers series by Rebecca Zanetti. Told from both points of view, it can be read as a standalone with interconnected characters.

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* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via Netgalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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