Tuesday, August 5, 2014

✯Review✯The Last Woman (All That Remains #1) by S.M. Shade


When Abby Bailey meets former model and actor, Airen Holder, in a darkened department store, romance is the last thing on her mind. A plague has decimated the population, leaving Abby to raise her son alone in a world without electricity, clean water, or medical care. Her only priority is survival. 

Traumatized by the horror of the past months, Abby and Airen become a source of comfort for one another. Damaged by her past and convinced Airen is out of her league, Abby is determined to keep their relationship platonic. However, Airen is a hard man to resist, especially after he risks his life to save hers. 

When a man named Joseph falls unconscious in their yard, and Abby nurses him back to health, everything changes. How does love differ in this new post apocalyptic world? Can three unlikely survivors live long enough to find their place in it?

✯✯Allison's 5 Star Review!!✯✯

This is only the second post apocalyptic book I've ever read and it was very different from the other. It is S.M. Shade's debut novel and the first book in The Holder Series.

The Last Woman is a story of survival, family, friendships, love, hope, and  so much more.  I always say a great book is written in such a way that as the reader is reading, he/she is literally transported into the book. I was sucked in from the beginning. This book played out like a movie in my head. The characters were very well written and MOST were likable/lovable lol

The book starts with Abby Bailey and her 13 year old son Carter wandering a department store grabbing items. Abby then comes face to face with one of TVs hottest former actors... Airen Holder. She is in shock for 2 reasons...
1) Airen Holden is in front of her!!!
2) There are other survivors!
A plague has wiped out pretty much the entire human race. Abby and Carson somehow had an immunity to it and so far have thought of themselves as the only survivors considering had been on their own for so long.
Not only is Airen in front of her and as shocked as she is, but he isn't alone! He had a young girl with him, Jayla, who is a year younger than Abby's son. Aiden explains he and Jayla found each other and have been traveling together for months trying to find a good place to settle for winter.  Abby and Carson decide to invite Jayla and Airen to stay with them in their house.

 " I thought we might be the last two people in the world"
"Never think it." I hug him. "We survived, and now we know two others also have. There will be more people, we just have to find each other." 

Abby always thought of herself as the ugly duckling. She had a pretty crappy  Upbringing with a drug dealing father, a mother who could have cared less and a brother who was no better. It has taken a toll on her self esteem. She couldn't let her growing feelings for Airen show and she doesn't believe she is anywhere near his league since he is GORGEOUS!!!!

He was a model and famous actor on TV and was ridiculously good looking. Now i cannot imagine running into a sexy Hollywood actor after assuming there is nobody left in this world,and then getting to spend EVERYDAY with him for who knows how long..SWOOOONNNN!!!
He has a pantie dropping smile and a great personality. I love the playful banter that happens between him and Abby!

"Look, Aire, I want you and Jayla to stay. I think things will be better and easier on all of us if we stick together. I just want to assure you, I would never take advantage of the situation," I explained.
He gives me a confused grin. "Take advantage? How?"
The bastard. He knows what I'm getting at, but hes going to make me say it." I'm not hitting on you or trying to be with you or um...anything." My face becomes redder by the second. " I don't want you to worry. I want you to know I wouldn't...do that," I babble.
His smile broadens, spreading across his face. Why does he have to be so hot?
"Do I need to swear to the same?" He asks in an innocent tone.

Now let's talk about Abraham. The first few sentences into his story and knew I wasn't going to like him and that he was gonna be trouble. He is finding survivors and "saving them" because he believes its gods will and he needs to be the one to fulfill it. The guy is a creep and has serious issues!!!

Following that we are introduced to Troy. His story begins with him saving a man from committing suicide. He befriends the man, Micah, and they begin to travel together. Troy is gay and Micah gives him shit for it, but in a playful way. Both are accepting of each other. I mean when you find someone who is alive after wandering alone, sometimes its a breath of fresh air. Troy and Micha develop a strong brotherly bond that you'll see grow and eventually get tested.

The story goes back and forth between Abby, Abraham, and Troy.
Abby, Aiden, Carson and Jayla have established a nice little living arrangement and are starting to feel like life might not be so bad. They hunt, play, go to town for items they need ( shopping without the need to pay...I'm jealous lol) They have generators running with gas from local stations giving them power to certain amenities.

No great story wouldn't be complete without the random HOLY SHIT moments. Let me tell you...this book has quite a few. I was on the edge of my seat multiple times hoping this wouldn't be the end of a character I liked ( because we all know how heartbreaking it is when a character we like/love  dies..ugh)

One day a small child and his father turn up in Abby and Airen's front lawn. The father is passed out and the son is terrified. Since Abby knew that there were no doctors around she had started studying medical practices so she would be able to take care of any medical issues. She is able to nurse the man back to health and they all agreed to let him and his son move in. The man identifies himself as  Joseph and tells Abby how he lost his husband Tim to the plague along with his other child Mason. Mason and Walker were born via surrogacy. Both Joseph and Tim had given their "goods" to be inseminated and both took, resulting in Twins! Walker was Joseph's mini and Mason was Tim's. Joseph figures that  it must be in genes to survive since both Tim and Mason didn't survive.  When Abby finds out that Joseph was married to a man, she assumed he is gay.

When Josheph arrives and Airen notices Abby paying Joseph the attention now, and like all guys, he gets jealous. Abby cant figure out why especially since Joseph was gay. She tells Airen that Joseph is gay and he starts to relax a bit thinking competition is gone. Men....ugh. Later Joseph admits to Abby that he is bisexual and from there some crazy and fun stuff ensues lol.

I love love love the relationship between Abby, Joseph and Airen. It's fun, comical, and heartwarming.
Slowly more survivors are introduced some stay, some go, some survive and some don't ( good riddance! Lol).

You'll meet Mandy and Sara when Airen and Jospeh bring them back from town. They went for supplies because Joseph said he can make solar panels so they can harness energy and provide electricity to the whole house. Mandy adds some crazy into this story. This woman is...well you'll see.

About halfway through the book I was ugly crying... like pretty bad lol SM took the book and brought out the deepest emotions of a parent, of a friend , and of someone you considered a sister or brother. At times this book made me angry though. I was mad at characters and frustrated that certain things were happening. I  Spent times smiling ear to ear and at times I was hugging my pillow and crying.

What I loved about this book was that while the three different stories (Abby, Abraham, and Troy)were being told, they slowly weaved into one another. By the end all the characters lives were faced with each other.  The climax of the story is totally one that deserves the applause button lol

There are deaths and new life. There are black belts and weddings. There is hope for a new future.
The only thing I wish the author would have done  is give more details about the plague itself ,such as how it affected people, where it started, how the survivors managed to survive and what became of the evacuated.

If a book can bring out every single emotion from me from cover to cover and stay embedded in my mind so much so that I can't start another book because I am still lost in it....I would be doing a dishonor to give this book less than 5 stars. These characters show that even in the darkest times  that you think  you're alone , even strangers can become your best friend or your family. I cannot wait for the next book. 
If you enjoy a great story of hope, love, friendship and some crazy shit...I suggest you pick up this book like yesterday!

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