Reni's Review! Axel (Corps Security, #1) by Harper Sloan

Axel (Corps Security, #1)
by Harper Sloan

Published: July 8, 2013
When I read it: July 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Stand Alone: Series
    * Axel
    * Cage
    * Beck
    * Uncaged
    * Cooper
    * Locke
Pages: 328

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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?

Note from the author--This book is intended for a mature reading audience and isn't suitable for younger readers.

First thought upon finishing Axel?

Where in the name of all things holy can I get my hands on a man like that?! Holy hell, he’s sex incarnate. He is walking, breathing, dirty talking sex in the flesh. Now, couple that with the fact that this book is chocked full of Axel-like men, and….well… I’m pretty sure see where I’m going with this. I will warn you though, if you’re at all squeamish when it comes to dirty talk or foul language, you might as well pass this time around. Axel pretty much speaks his mind and is a master at bedroom related chatter. He can sling the C-word with the best of ‘em. The man has no shame. I guess being an ex-marine will do that to you.

Anyway, let me collect thoughts. Enough about the man candy…

Izzy (Isabelle) West, and for a while Hunter, is a very broken woman. We’re talking held together very loosely by Elmer’s Glue. She’s had unimaginable loss in her life – her parents and the love of her life, Axel just to name a few.

People say karma is a bitch, but I have news for you, karma doesn’t have anything on fate when she is after blood. Not a single thing.

After years of grief, at the age of 21, she decides to try to live again. Thinking Brandon Hunter was a pretty good catch, she gave him a whirl. He would never be Axel, but it was time to let that dream go – he was gone. She married Brandon, and her life was destroyed even more by his cruel, unloving hands. Let’s get something straight here: no man should EVER put his hands on a woman. There is just no excuse for it. Reading scenes about a man brutally attacking a woman is not an easy thing to do. I give Ms. Sloan a lot of credit. It was hard enough to read it. I can’t imagine writing it. Anyway, as I was saying… Brandon is basically a giant waste of life. He has Izzy in his grasp for six long years before she finally has enough and escapes with the help of her bestie, Dee.

Fast forward two years. Izzy is living with Dee (Denise) in a townhouse somewhere in Georgia. She’s been fighting for a divorce from her scumbag of a husband and the man just does not want to let go. She’s got a new man in her life, Greg. It’s not what you think. Greg’s like an extremely over protective big brother. He’s an ex-marine and even owns his own “protection agency”. He’s recently joined up with some guys from his old unit and they’re working together to expand the business. Well, imagine Izzy’s surprise when one of those fine hunks happens to be Axel; the same Axel who walked away from her twelve years ago.

Ready or not…time to find some of that locked down courage and face the facts. Ax is back and we are about to have a make it or break it, come to Jesus talk. For the first time in years, the thought of opening up those old wounds doesn’t terrify me.

If it’s not bad enough that Izzy is fighting her past loss and a crazy husband who won’t let go, she’s now facing the man who tore out her heart and shredded it to pieces. She thought he was dead, but standing in front of her, he seems to be very much alive.

“The past can’t touch me.
I am stronger than this.
I am a survivor.
Fuck you, fate…fuck you hard.”

If you’ve read (and loved) either A Beautiful Lie by T.E. Sivec or Hell, Fire and Freedom by Shannon Callahan, I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll like this book as well. It’s funny that I have a slight obsession with books that star hunky alpha males, because I married a man who is the complete opposite of Axel. He’s totally passive and non-violent. The only thing they have in common is their military background. I guess that’s what makes books like these so appealing. You’re able to step into a fantasy world with a drool worthy man waiting at the flip of each page.

There’s so much more I could say about this story, but I don’t want to bore you with my detailed thoughts or ruin the story. The long and the short of it is that I’m in love with Axel. I’m just going to throw this out there right now… If you aren’t easily offended by vulgar language/dirty talk, like yourself and alpha male and a little suspense, you NEED to add this to your TBR list. I’d even go as far as telling you to bump it up to the top. This debut novel is one you just can’t miss. To say I’m looking forward to reading Greg Cage’s story is an understatement. Harper Sloan, you better get those fingers a typin’.

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