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Publisher's Summary

Isabelle West has learned the hard way how hard life can be when fate isn't by your side. 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. 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?

Contains mature themes.

©2013 E.S. Harper (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Alpha heroes you'll want to kidnap and keep, heroines to root for, and sizzling love scenes with emotional punch." (Carly Phillips, New York Times best-selling author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    639
  • 4 Stars
    318
  • 3 Stars
    132
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    24

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    570
  • 4 Stars
    268
  • 3 Stars
    145
  • 2 Stars
    58
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    26

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    268
  • 3 Stars
    131
  • 2 Stars
    27
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    24
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Liked the plot but........

Wow, this, is a really hard review for me to do. Liked the plot, even though it was predictable. The narration was really hard for me, Abby C had way to much angst in her voice ALL the time so when it was needed for the story line it didn't really make an impression. Sean wasn't bad either but did not fit the character, every sentence felt like a graph, high to low high to low he would be better suited for a story about a PI in the thirties or something. These guys need a Phil G with the deep sexy voice. I felt the females were just a bit too high school for being thirty. Izzy was the worst, the love of your life, made plain multiple times, walks back into your life and you want to shun him and not get any answers, wow I don't think so. I really would like to go to the next book but not sure I can get thru another several hours with these narrators. I will most likely try, just to see if all the soft, breathy I'm so hurt voice is carried over to the next story. If so it will be my last I will buy the kindle edition.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

HOT! PROTECTIVE ALPHA'S!

After being notified that her true luv (a Marine) is dead, Izzy eventually marries someone else. This story starts w/ the final straw to that disastrous, abusive marriage... then steps straight to a few yrs later when her hunky BFF invites a few of his business partners/hot ex-marine buddies to a bar to help celebrate her bday... & one of them happens to be her giant broad- shouldered brooding ex-LUV... (who's just a wee bit annoyed w/ her for not waiting on him.)
I could have done without half of the crying & drama overkill n the first half... (some serious "eye poke" moments to someone who was raised in a low drama/"rub some dirt on it" household.) But other then that... It was HOT! The sex scenes were very well written & you could always tell they liked it... A LOT. LOL ;) The group of Marine/Alpha's were gruffly protective & loving. Great story!
Now... I've got to go buy the next one... (Sshh... Don't tell my husband...;)

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CAROLYN
  • Newark, New Jersey, United States
  • 12-05-14

A TRAGIC, BITTER-SWEET & EMOTIONAL LOVE STORY

Izzy and Axel were teenage sweethearts and after graduating Axel joins the Marines - they both promise to keep in touch but things go terribly wrong when fate messes up their plans with heartbreaking consequences for them both. Izzy's just out of an abusive marriage however she's emotionally damaged, scared and lost but, with the help of her two very good m/f friends, Izzy's coping and waiting for her husband to sign the divorce papers. But he's not letting her go that easy and starts threatening her so Greg, her male best friend (who's an ex Marine), uses Corps Security which is made up of his fellow ex Marines and.... yeah you guessed it - Axel's one of them.

When the two meet again after years of anger and pain it's dramatic, heartbreaking and raw but their chemistry's still there.... now if only they could calmly talk to each other it might work out but unfortunately neither one wants to listen.

It's an emotional and frustrating listen with two heartbroken lovers with a lot of hurt filled 'baggage' from their past threatening to tear them further apart and there's deadly drama from the ex. Great secondary characters, a handsome, sexy and very Alpha Hero and a Heroine who's been through Hell and it's only going to get worse before it gets better. Very passionate pleas, tear filled breakdowns, hot sex, heart-felt sorrow and pain and a traumatic climactic bloody twist all eventually lead to a sweet and loving HEA.

Dual POV's, dual narrators who both did a great job in bringing the story and characters to life with all the emotions needed in this roller-coaster love story.

Worth a credit? A well narrated non-stop and addictive listen and a great intro into a new series about hot Alpha ex Marines finding love makes this, IMHO, a creditworthy addition to any romance lover's library.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It's OK

I read this book a few years back and enjoyed the alpha male story, so was excited to see it as an audio book. What a disappointment...I started to return it because the narration (both the man and the woman) were, well, not nearly as hot as the story. AND, I think I've gotten accustomed to Kristen Ashley's alpha males, so the Cage boys don't have the attraction they once used to. This is a good story idea made mediocre by writing that is lackluster. All I could think of in terms of Izzie was how all she did was cry and fall apart; the narrator seldom finished a sentence without an audible (no pun intended) gasp that was most distracting. The whole narration portrayed the character of Izzie as borderline hysteric all the time...no evidence of strength whatsoever. Grew VERY tired of that. Also, I like erotic writing but it needs to be sensual and steamy...not gross and constant. In any event, I was not impressed by my second go around with Axel and even less so with the narration.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I don't know... Sort of maddening.

First of all, the positives:
Abby Craden gives a magnificent performance! Sean Crisden is good, but sometimes sounds flat out bored.

The heroine is extremely likeable and I found myself rooting for her (in the beginning).

Now the not so positives:
The focus of the story is about a woman rebuilding her life after a traumatic, abusive relationship that no woman should ever have to endure! I found myself really pulling for her as she tried to rebuild her life with the support of close friends.

Now, I am a male listener who is a sucker for a good romance novel. Always have been. One recurring theme in Romance, that I have never really understood, is the strongly possessive, insanely jealous and controlling male lead. What is that about? I understand the desire to have a strong male character in a story and I am totally all right with that. But sometimes... It's way too much and far too irritating. Like the guy is a one trick pony with no depth, but he's drop-dead gorgeous and has a big wiener so that makes it all okay?

Maybe it's just eye candy for the story. That, I understand for a tertiary character. Not for the male protagonist.

Now, in steps the male lead in this story. Axel. A former lover and boyfriend of the female lead. This guy is an immediate, macho ass hat and the story turns south the second he shows his face.

He begins doing the exact things that the female lead has been trying to get away from for years! He is possessive, controlling, and abusive! She's a TRAUMA survivor! She just got out of an abusive relationship and now she's going to jump right back into another one, just because the guy is an Adonis? And her friends, who have been working so hard to help her are just going to stand idly by and not say a word to either character? I don't think that a woman in therapy, who has endured and escaped the type of treatment she went through would respond positively to that kind of treatment. Regardless of whether or not it is a former lover or not. She's going to run at the least, or at the worst, fold up on herself.

Another thing that made the story hard for me. I am not a fan of conflict driven by lack of communication. The majority of the story is just the two main characters not talking to one another and the friends surrounding them, who know the entire story, not stepping in and telling this abusive ass hat to "back off! She's been through shit!" This made me crazy! Everyone just sits idly by and says, "It's not my story to tell." You don't have to tell the story. If you care for this woman the way you profess to, step up and tell the guy to lighten up and let her come to you when she's ready!

And if I heard the words "baby girl" or "baby" one more time, I might have run into traffic to play. I understand terms of endearment, but come on! Don't use them to replace a character's name.

Lastly, the producer or the sound engineer on this audio book should be sent back to school or find a new vocation. Abby Craden is more than capable of expertly portraying a soft voice presentation. You do NOT have to lower the audio level on her! There were large portions of the performance, where Abby is portraying a softer, more relaxed tone of voice, and they lower the levels to almost unintelligible! Maddening, because you turn the volume up to try to hear her, and Sean comes on at normal levels and blows your ear drums out!

All in all, too many things wrong with this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

eVeRy Other WORD.... SeRiOuSlY ?

Over the top with the foul language!
Trash... returned for my credit back ! Why do some authors think they have to swear like trash to write a story? This book had so much f... bombs in the first 5 chapters, that I couldn't get into the story! And Issy was so whiny and weak.. I won't bother with trying another of her books.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So Heartfelt

Wonderful beginning to series. A long enduring love...tension, alpha males who are tender hearted. Angst that isn't drawn out too long. Tear jerking moments! Will read/listen to again and again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't take female narration.

I have read this series and it is one of my all time favorites. Love, love, love! I loved it so much I thought I would listen as well but I could hardly get past the first chapter. Over time of listening to Ms. Craden she has become so overly dramatic and angsty and just way too much. I just can't listen anymore. Sorry. I recommend reading it. But I loved Mr. Crisden. I really am sorry, Abby. Just to whiny.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story - irregular volume

This story has a sad , almost depressive start but builds up into something beautiful! The readers are doing a great job and I almost melted listening to 'Axel's' voice - so hot! Only the volume varies between too quiet and then again almost booming even with the same reader speaking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love this book.

I love the characters, and story of this book.
I own this on my nook (B&N) as well.


The only thing that I feel needs adjusting is the recording volume. The female lead is so much quieter than the male lead. I kept having to adjust the volume.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel Shead
  • 05-26-17

Heroine is pathetic

The narrator read the heroine as having no backbone. I know the character has been through some trials, but she is made out to be insipid and wet. What the main hero actually sees in her is beyond belief - nothing to recommend her. When I read the books to me the heroine had some spark and humour -the reading had nothing.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charlotte
  • 03-02-15

It was okay

Really wished that I read the book instead of listening to it narrator at times she was really bad and very child like.