Note: This ARC was provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
“I love you,” I say, and Mike reads my expression. He doesn’t know I just made the biggest decision of my life, but I hope he can see it in my eyes—that I choose him, that I will always choose him.“I love you too,” he says, and when he kisses me, there is love, and there are sparks, and there is the promise of a future that I will no longer allow anyone to threaten.Mike Madden is mine, and I’m keeping him.
Now, this--THIS!--is how you end a series as fantastic as Mayhem proved to be. Jamie Shaw gives the boys of The Last Ones to Know the kind of send-off young rock stars who have found love and purpose deserve to have. While the wait may have been a rather long one--more than a year and a half, people!--but God, was it worth it. Twenty-five-year-old Mike Madden is the one member of The Last Ones to Know who wasn't hooking up with groupies; he was looking for "the one". When the girl he crushed on in the third grade--the same one who became his girlfriend in high school and went on to break his heart when she told him that being in a band would get him nowhere (HA!)--shows up at a concert with her cousin in tow, she latches on to him immediately, and Mike wonders if this could be their second shot at a far happier ending. But you know how certain movies shouldn't get a sequel or a reboot? Well, Mike's relationship with his ex should have stayed where it was--in the past. His bandmates and their girlfriends pointed that fact out to him, because they could all see what Mike was just figuring out: he belonged with someone like twenty-three-year-old veterinary student Hailey Harper. Oh yeah, the same Hailey who happens to be his kinda-sorta-maybe former-slash-current girlfriend's gorgeous gamer, vegetarian cousin. Complicated, yes?
Hailey and Mike's love story is the best kind of havoc (see what I did there?). These two were so frickin' cute together! They were both adorable AND hot, especially when they finally got together. Hailey seemed awkward but it was as if she had no choice but to be so, no thanks to the circumstances she found herself in. Yep, her evil cousin, Danica Carlisle, made sure that she put Hailey in her place often and in the most passive aggressively demeaning ways as possible. When these two were introduced in Chaos, I had my fingers crossed that Mike wouldn't end up with Danica. It was clear from the moment that the rest of the guys in the band saw her at the concert that she was going to go all Yoko Ono if Mike ever allowed her back into his life. Hailey's name was mentioned twice, but I so hoped it was going to be her that Mike was going to be paired up with and thank goodness prayers and wishes from fans and readers of the series were heard! I seriously wanted to push Danica off a very steep cliff more than once. Yep, I would have dragged her back up the damned cliff and pushed her off again and again. Overkill? This deranged wannabe would have deserved it. Heck, what happened between her and Hailey was too good for someone like her. Danica was the bane of Hailey's existence and a first class, grade A bitch.
But back to Mike and Hailey... I squeed over these two! As in, full-on, girly squeeing went on more than once as I was reading their story. I loved that Hailey's twelve-year-old brother Luke was shipping them even before they decided to give being together a try. Rowan Michaels and Dee Dawson, Adam Everest's and Joel Gibbon's girlfriends, respectively, were the ying and yang wingwomen who reminded Hailey that she didn't deserve to be treated like crap by Danica and that she and Mike were perfect together. We were given a quirky love story that truly was all Mike and Hailey's and I was more than satisfied by the time I got to the end. Speaking of the end, that's what Havoc is--the end of the four-book series that is Mayhem. But this wasn't just a series ender; it was a full circle moment. The rest of the guys and their girls were to be expected, but having other familiar side characters who caught our attention as the series progressed come back was both perfectly poignant. This was a rock star romance that I loved from the first novel and that love just got stronger as I read each book that followed. I'm not sure what Jamie Shaw has up next, but I'm looking forward to seeing where she takes us next. Before that, though, she so deserves kudos for a well-written, much-loved series. No surprise: I'm giving Havoc five-plus stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Mayhem series:
Mayhem (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
Riot (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review
Chaos (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review
Havoc (book four) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Date Read: 21 February 2017
Learn more about Jamie Shaw.