Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Review: "Axel" by Harper Sloan

(Corps Security #1)

Fate hasn’t always been friends with Isabelle West. In fact, fate has been a downright bitch. 

Isabelle has learned the hard way how hard life can be when fate isn’t by your side. It can hand you dreams on silver platters, but it can snatch them right back and hand you nightmares. One thing Isabelle knew for sure fate was consistent with was taking away everything she ever loved.

For the last two years Isabelle has been slowly clearing the clouds of her past. Happiness is finally on the horizon. She has a thriving business, great friends, and her life back. All she has to do is jump over the last hurdle…her ex-husband.

When problems start causing her to fear her new life, and memories that are better left forgotten start rushing to the surface the last thing she needs is a ghost from her past to come knocking on her door.

Axel never thought he would look into the eyes of Isabelle West again, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to now. He’s carried his anger for so long he isn’t sure he can just turn it off, but when he is faced with protecting her and an unexpected desire to have her again, life gets a little more complicated.

How will Axel and Isabelle deal when all their cards are put on the table and everything they thought was true blows up in their faces?

5 Stars!

Ok….as I am gathering my thoughts about this book, please let me say wowza! I purchased this book and Cage (book 2, review to follow) a little while ago with the intention of reading it….someday. Once Beck (book 3) was set with a release date, I knew I had to catch up on this series so I could jump on that tour (yay me!!).  I never knew that it would lead me down this path of giddiness. Yes….it is a well-known fact that I love me some good strong alpha male books…..but this one was super sexy and hot with some action to amp it up.

Isabelle (Izzy) West is in love with Axel Reid. Axel Reid is in love with Isabelle West. A love that can make it through anything….a bond worth fighting for and one that will never cease, no matter what the cards dealt are. And believe me, with fate working against Isabelle, there will be a few cards that need to be discarded.

We meet Isabelle and Axel while they are still in high school. They have a young love that is so full of affection, tenderness and pure raw emotion. They are making plans for their future and Axel is going to ensure he can take care of them. He enlists in the Marines and ships off. Isabelle does everything she can to keep in touch with him…..after all, they have plans.

Well, damn that bitch named fate…..she has other plans; plans that do not include Isabelle being happy. When everything possible that can go wrong, does go wrong, Isabelle needs to be strong. Life continues on….hearts get broken and memories are pushed away, but Isabelle picks up the pieces and starts all over again. I felt awful!!! Just awful for Isabelle…..all that she dealt with, coupled with the ‘loss’ of Axel, how much can a girls heart take?? The pain she felt….it poured off the pages. I felt her agony and loss as I read it.

Isabelle has lost all that was important in her life. Everything. She is going to start over….and her best friend Dee is there to help her. Dee is a great friend. The kind that every gal needs….Dee is there through thick and thin, making sure that she takes care of Isabelle. Their bond is very strong and we see how much Dee protects and takes care of Isabelle. Dee introduces Isabelle to Brandon….and within no time, Isabelle and Brandon are engaged and married. This marriage is very unhealthy and life altering on so many different levels, ones that play behind the scenes and are so well written into the plot and had me second guessing my suspicions on the outcome.  I just have to say that even though we all try and guess what is going to happen next….this one had me intrigued and kept me on my toes. I wanted to find out more, but then more twists were thrown in making me have to uncover more truths and lies. I loved that I got to “find out” what was going on as I read it. It wasn’t predictable from the beginning how it was going to play out, thankfully. All those ‘little’ intricacies….so well played!

The story picks up from here and we start to learn the little ins and outs of the marriage and the dire need to get out and away from Brandon.  Dee saves Izzy from this shamble of a marriage, but Brandon will not allow this. He makes her life a living nightmare…..during the marriage and after. Dee introduces Izzy to Greg Cage, and he is the rock she needs to move on with her life. He is the big brother she never had, the protector she needed and the friend she deserved.  Their bond is so concrete, so deep and so solid. It is amazing. I loved seeing how protective and caring he was with her. I seriously felt the warmth from this big, bad burly guy.

Greg has a security company that he runs, and he is calling in some friends to help out because things are starting to get sticky. Corps Security is definitely the security company I would like to have in case I ever need protection.
 Read: --> HOT MEN <--

We get to meet the crew on Izzy’s birthday after a day of pampering and shopping. Her birthday has a different meaning for her, one that she intends to numb and get through without remembering it. But when she has a breakdown on her birthday that leaves her unable to function, Greg and Dee are there to make sure they stop the reminder of a horrible past….and to find out why Greg’s new co-worker is causing such an alarming reaction for Izzy.

Now….I need to discuss Axel.  Clearly the book is named Axel, so we know he will make an appearance eventually, OH MY GOSH, when he does:
Panty. Melter.
Okay? Are you following me?? Uber sexy, uber hot, total alpha. Pure deliciousness all wrapped up in a Marine. Yes, yummy. We can all thank Harper now….because he is a vision.  He is all grown up, filled out and well trained….all makes for a sexy man!

Axel is an angry and hurt man, carrying around lies and misunderstandings in his closed off heart for the last decade. By the time he sees Izzy, and realizes who she is, all hell breaks loose. The wires that are crossed and the misinformation they both have plays out so well in this story. The angst and the want for understanding is so evident and so strong between Axel and Izzy, it just makes you want to shake them both! Axel and Izzy tip-toe around the pain and confusion that surrounds their past and how they lost each other until they finally have the necessary discussion. Their relationship is so loving and full-filling….the realization of what happened and the fact that they were able to move on from that was heart-warming. I loved to watch their hearts thaw and their relationship grow. It was rough, but beautiful and hot and!!! Axel oozes sex appeal and he certainly is swoon-worthy! He makes sure he does whatever he can to get Izzy back into his life. After all….she is HIS. And ONLY his.

We have missed so much, wasted so much time. Even though I know how much we still have to work out, and the small detail of reminding her she is mine, I still can’t fight the instantaneous contentment that washes over me.
I feel whole again. ~Axel

I can’t help the tears that slowly roll out of my eyes. This connection, this love that is between us has never died. My heart suddenly feels like it might explode. ~Izzy

The time that passes during this book was perfectly stated…it didn’t feel like I was jumping from life event to life event. A big pet peeve of mine is a rushed plot or a rushed ending. This one had neither.  It flowed so well and I didn’t feel rushed at all…I was able to truly enjoy this book from start to finish! This was a well spelled out book that made me smile. It made me hope and wish and dream right along with Izzy, all the while wanting to hug her and comfort her as well. I wanted to root on Axel and see their relationship progress….it was a love story, packed with some action and sexiness. I really enjoyed the emotions that I felt while reading this book and I feel that Harper captured them so well.

“Never again, Izzy West. I will never again let anyone take you from me, or anything from us.” His words hang between us both as a promise and a threat.

5 mouthwatering and deliciously sweet stars!


Purchase Links:

Corps Security Series

Cage (Corps Security, #2)
(Corps Security #2)

Greg Cage was born to protect. While growing up, he was his mother and sister’s shield against the world… until he failed. For the last decade, he has carried that guilt and need for vengeance around… until it was stripped from him. Now, with his best friend getting married and no longer needing his protection, he is even more lost, completely adrift, and desperate for some control. All he has ever known was how to protect: his family, his friends, and his country. Can he go against everything he has ever known, and give up that control?

Melissa Larson will never let anyone hold the reins in her life. She has been the rock in her family for more years than she can remember, and the fight to keep them together is her main priority right now. She has always been fiercely independent and proud. The last thing she will ever do is ask for someone else’s help. But when that choice is out of her control, forcing her to rely on others to save her and her family, and pick up the pieces that are left, will she be able to let someone else be her strength?

The second Greg locks eyes with Meli, he knows that she is someone he needs. Someone he craves. Meli knew the second she met Greg that he would be nothing but trouble and heartache. Her life takes an unexpected turn, and that bitch Fate is back to wreak more havoc on another member of the Corps family.

All hell breaks loose, leaving Greg no choice but to call in a favor. He hooks back up with his old friend Braxxon Breaker from the Breakneck MC. Together, they make sure that nothing threatens anyone Greg loves again.

Purchase links:

Beck (Corps Security, #3)
(Corps Security #3)


I’ve always been good at wearing masks. Not letting anyone see the real me. I’m content being the happy-go-lucky best friend. The strong willed boss. The independent woman who doesn’t need a man. 

But the truth is I’m just as broken as the rest of you. I’m terrified that all it will take is one person to make all my carefully constructed walls crumble into fine dust. So I guard my heart with everything I have. Determined to never let anyone get close enough to hurt me again.

All is perfect until HE walks into my life. No… he doesn’t just walk. He struts his good-looking, sex-oozing self right into my space and demands that I see HIM. Making me want what I know I can’t have.

So I did the only thing I know how to do.

I run.

But he just won’t let me go.


The second I see her, I know she will be mine. I see past the gorgeous smiles and heart-stopping laughter. I see HER. She doesn’t want me to know her secrets or the past that haunts her, but I make it my mission to find out.

To make her mine.

She can run all she wants, but it will never be far enough to stop me from coming after her. 

She’s it for me and she knows it.

She’s just too scared to admit it.

Coming December 30th!

About the Author:
Harper Sloan

Harper Sloan
Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed 'Estrogen Ocean', much to her husbands chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her eReader attached. She enjoys bad reality TV and cheesy romantic flicks. Her favorite kind of hero--the super alpha kind!

Harper started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.

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