Review: Otherwise Occupied by Shay Savage

Posted 06/20/2014 by Cezanne in Book, Review /// 0 Comments ///


Review: Otherwise Occupied by Shay Savage Title: Otherwise Occupied
Author: Shay Savage
Published on: June 15, 2013
Genres: Crime, Mystery
Page Count: 269
Book Rating:

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Evan Arden is a hit man for a Chicago mob boss. He lives his life day to day with not much more than the company of his dog, Odin. He’s been in trouble, and has to work hard to get back into his boss’s good graces, but the target proves to be difficult. As the demons of his past begin to haunt him, he seeks the comfort from an unlikely candidate, but will confiding in her be his undoing?

​He’s struggling to forget his past, and keep himself Otherwise Occupied.

Cezanne’s Thoughts…

“Roses are red, Violets are blue. I’m a f*cked up hitman, and nothing rhymes with that.” 

Wow, wow, wow! Otherwise Occupied left me completely consumed and anxious for more. Evan Arden is probably one of the most uniquely complex and interesting characters I’ve ever read. He wasn’t a good guy and he wasn’t completely a bad guy but he was just truly damaged and I loved him anyway.

Evan is an ex-marine turned mob hitman. He was discharged from the Marines after being held as POW for 18 months. Evan lived through hell and he’s still haunted with nightmares from what he experienced. When we first met Evan in the Otherwise Alone novella, he was exiled to the Arizona desert after a job went wrong. He was in the alone in the Arizona for months and his only companion was his dog Odin. That was until one night a dark haired beauty landed on his door step. They shared a brief but passionate night together. Even though it was one evening, Lia stirred something in him that was long dormant.  Just a day later he is called back to Chicago and has one woman on his mind.

“You endured more than most men ever will. You’ve had it worse than anyone you ever killed. They died quick and easy. You’ve been dying since they brought you home from that war.”

The book is strictly told in Evan’s point of view and we delve into all his dark thoughts, flashbacks, and his loneliness. Evan is not only good at what he does, he’s the best. He was unapologetic for the things he did as a hit man and he was cold, calculated, and loyal to his boss. He wants to get back in his boss’ good graces and does everything to prove his commitment. Even though he did bad things, I still loved him, and I was still cheering for him to find some sort of happiness. 

“While the water poured over me, images of long, smooth dark hair – almost black, but not quite – and matching dark eyed flooded my mental vision. I could almost feel her smooth skin against my palms.”

Evan doesn’t usually do relationships and in his line of work, getting close to anyone is dangerous. He’s a ladies man though and he can’t have the one he wants so he finds a substitute. I don’t want to giveaway to much but it was very different sort of relationship. It wasn’t just strictly about the sex but it also gave him some of the comfort that he needed. 

This book was intense and I didn’t want to put it down. The last few chapters had me freaking out and I was so nervous to see how it would end in this book. I loved Shay Savage’s writing!  Shay Savage has an amazing way of capturing emotions and drawing you into a book. This was such a great male POV. This was amazing story and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.


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About Shay Savage

Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her family and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker, and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies, masquerading as a zombie, is a HUGE Star Wars fan, and member of the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers. When the geek fun runs out, she also loves soccer in any and all forms – especially the Columbus Crew, Arsenal and Bayern Munich – and anxiously awaits the 2014 World Cup. Savage holds a degree in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.