Review: You Are Mine by Jackie Ashenden (Nine Circles #3)

Note: This ARC was provided by St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Among their circle of friends, there is no doubt that Zac Rutherford and Eva King are the closest, a kinship that began seven  years ago, when Zac rescued Eva from an obviously difficult and abusive situation, one that he has never asked her about. When her past threatens to rear its nightmarish ugly head, Zac is poised to be her protector, a role he's played since they first met, but confronting Eva's past and the man who left her traumatized means facing the memories whose continued existence she refuses to acknowledge but still fester. To overcome her unspoken fears, Zac is left with no other choice but to push through Eva's barriers, but doing so will mean he'll have to finally own up to his feelings for the only woman he craves to be with and who has ever made him want something he never thought he'd ever need for himself: forever.

I've been a fan of Jackie Ashenden's Nine Circles romantic suspense series from the beginning and with the release of You Are Mine, the third and latest addition, readers get some answers but are also left with new questions. It seems like just when we think one mystery has been solved, another one crops up. This is the kind of series that you'll need to read from the very beginning and I'm seriously suggesting that you do so. I've read a number of reviews that pointed out that the readers were confused about what was going on because they went into this third book without reading the first two that were published. When it comes to a series, I always recommend that the books be read in order, even when it's stated that one can be read as a standalone. Then, you'll have the back stories and your reading experiences will be more well-rounded.

Zac Rutherford and Eva King have the kind of relationship that has piqued my curiosity from the first time that it was clear just how close they were in Mine to Take. There's obviously a shared experience that's made them that way and you can't help but wonder what the foundation of their friendship is actually made of. I've been itching to read their story from the time I finished the second book, Make You Mine, and now that I'm done, I was taken aback at just how dark their personal histories are. I mean,  yes, each of the members of Nine Circles have dark pasts, but when Eva's is revealed, Zac's decision to help her deal with it the way he did made more sense. I know there are some people who do not really like how that was all handled, but every book affects each reader differently and we will simply have to agree to disagree.

Everything about Zac and Eva in this book is intense and there were times I found myself cringing at how they were treating each other. My heart kind of broke for Zac because of how Eva initially treated him, though I highly doubt someone like Zac would appreciate anything akin to pity when it's thrown his way. If you're looking for a sweet romance, then I suggest you move along because the Nine Circles series are definitely not sweet. What it does have is a strong overall story arc with individual life and love stories that show that love isn't always borne of flowers, chocolates and old-fashioned courting. I thought the series was going to end with Zac and Eva's story but it seems I've got a fourth book to look forward to in March 2016 (though I do wish it continued the whole use of "Mine" in the title). You Are Mine receives five stars. ♥

Release Date: 06 October 2015

Date Read: 04 October 2015

Learn more about Jackie Ashenden here.

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