Impossible Choice by Sybil Bartel (Review)

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Impossible Choice is out! I’ve talked up Impossible Promise (Unchecked Book 1) (here) by Sybil Bartel, and the sequel was equally rave-worthy! Read on for my 5-star review, all book details, and info on how to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of No Apologies by the same author. This tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

  Impossible Choice

                                                  by Sybil Bartel

(Unchecked #2)
Published by: Carina Press
Publication date: August 31st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Purchase LinksAmazon |    Barnes & Noble

 

Official Synopsis

Book two of Unchecked

After her parents were murdered, Layna Blair spent three years on the run—until Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson stepped in and saved her. With him, Layna knew safety for the first time…but two weeks after shipping out for another tour in Afghanistan, Blaze comes home early.
When Layna sees the jagged wounds covering his body, every truth she thought she knew is destroyed. Blaze is distant and angry and though her heart is shattered, Layna desperately tries to keep their relationship together in the face of another tragedy. When the tenuous bonds holding them together are ripped apart by a revenge-hungry maniac, Layna must trust her survival instinct and bury her past for good.
But the enemy is two steps ahead, and before she can take action, Layna’s hand is forced by his deadly demands—save herself or save the man who risked his life for her freedom. Blaze saved her once. This time it’s her turn to protect him. 

My Review

She: Layna, 19, lost everything, including her sense of self when, at 16, she (audio) witnessed her parents’ murder. She was recently freed from the mobster who ruled her existence for the past three years by one devastatingly sexy marine and his military-trained friends. Life should be back to normal, but struggling to find herself inside a schorchingly intense relationship (not only between the sheets) with said marine, proves to be Layna’s biggest challenge ever.

He: Blaze (Buck) is an all or nothing guy. He used to be all marine. Now, he’s all marine (once a marine, always a marine) plus all Layna. Not good with big words or showing emotion (outside the bedroom), he smothers her. And then he leaves for the warzone.

The conflict: Love between two young people who’ve dealt with deadly danger and loss, and are then torn apart can be destructive.

The setting: Sunny Miami, sweltering heat, sea-front villas and fast cars.

The heat: Mind-numbingly hot! You don’t see much originality in sex scenes these days, but the steam in this one will set your fire alarm off.

The good stuff: The characters. They are not 3-D; they’re 4-D! I could not only feel but smell them (heat, sweat and coconut). All romance heroes are supposed to be hot, but Buck is scorching hot. Still, his domineering side got to me more than once, but then gradually he grows (not over his 6.4) and the author with masterful strokes (the operative word being “strokes”) turns him into the purrr…fect man.

Some reviewers of the previous book called Layna whiney and too angsty. Angst is a vital component in NA stories, and if Layna’s past coupled with the intensity of a relationship that asks too much too soon didn’t turn her into a hot mess, then she would have been a cartoon, not a character. Still, I’d like to see her less apologetic and gaining assertiveness through her actions.

The writing is stellar. Sybil Bartel draws full-fleshed characters that pop out of the book and greet you. After you’ve ended the book, you’ll know them … intimately. She’s a master at portraying emotion. This book will touch you in more ways than one.

The other stuff: Just some minor plot issues of the “didn’t he already know that?” type that didn’t take away from my reading pleasure.

Bottom line: I said in my review of Imporssible Promise that it was one of the best books I’ll read in 2015. Impossible Choice comes really close in that list. For an emotional ride you won’t easily forget, go get a copy!

About the Author

SybilI grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.
I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about me.

I grew up a faculty brat. I can swear like a sailor. I love men in uniform. I hate being told what to do. I can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out. My favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—I can’t decide. I have a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on me for driving directions, ever. And I have a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell my husband.

Connect with the Author

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Impossible Choice by Sybil Bartel (Blitz & Giveaway)

I’m thrilled to announce the release of Impossible Choice, the second book in Sybil Bartel’s heart-poundingly good NA series, Unchecked. I absolutely loved Impossible Promise (Unchecked Book 1), which I’ve raved about here. It goes without saying that I’ve already read Book #2 as well, and it’s just as good, if not better. (Review coming up.) Read on for all book details, to find out how to win a $50 Amazon gift card AND a free copy of Impossible Promise plus a titillating excerpt. This tour was brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

Impossible Choice
by Sybil Bartel

(Unchecked #2)
Published by: Carina Press
Publication date: August 31st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Purchase LinksAmazon |    Barnes & Noble

Official Synopsis

Book two of Unchecked

After her parents were murdered, Layna Blair spent three years on the run—until Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson stepped in and saved her. With him, Layna knew safety for the first time…but two weeks after shipping out for another tour in Afghanistan, Blaze comes home early.

When Layna sees the jagged wounds covering his body, every truth she thought she knew is destroyed. Blaze is distant and angry and though her heart is shattered, Layna desperately tries to keep their relationship together in the face of another tragedy. When the tenuous bonds holding them together are ripped apart by a revenge-hungry maniac, Layna must trust her survival instinct and bury her past for good.

But the enemy is two steps ahead, and before she can take action, Layna’s hand is forced by his deadly demands—save herself or save the man who risked his life for her freedom. Blaze saved her once. This time it’s her turn to protect him.

12d6c-goodreads

Enter here to win a $50 Amazon gift card plus an e-copy of Impossible Promise

(Ends September 10)

Excerpt

Trembling, I found a dress towards the back of the closet and yanked it out. Long, white, slinky, it had spaghetti straps and a large red flower silk screened on the bottom right. I couldn’t even remember what I’d bought it for. Didn’t matter. I slipped it over my head and ignored the way it hung too loosely around my hips. I stepped into high heeled sandals and searched through my mother’s jewelry for a pair of pearl and diamond earrings. I pinned my hair up in a loose twist and looked in the mirror.

A panicked young woman I didn’t recognize stared back. Eyes too big for her face, honeyed skin too pale, her mouth wouldn’t smile. An ugly scar marred her thin left upper arm and the bones below her neck showed just enough to not be sexy.

Make-up. I needed make-up. Scrambling for what little supplies I had, I lined my eyes in black, swiped on mascara and dusted color over my cheeks. Some nude lip gloss and it was as good as it was going to get. I’d never accumulated the amount of make-up my mother had. She never left the house without being a hundred percent flawless, her hair, her make-up, her clothes. A pang of grief gripped my chest and I fought back tears.

I would not cry. My mother rarely taught me things, she lived by example, but one of the things she did teach me was to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep moving, keep smiling. It was her arsenal. Never let them see you sweat, she used to say.

I went back to closet, found a small purse to match my shoes and when I took my wallet from my other bag, it slipped from my hand and landed face open.

I reached down and fate mocked me.

Layna Blair smiled at me from the clear plastic slot where you kept a driver’s license but Jennifer Dellis had slipped out from her hiding place behind it.

Hands shaking, I pulled out the two driver’s licenses. Layna Blair. Jennifer Dellis.

“You look stunning.”

I jumped and Blaze kissed my neck. “You ready?” His strong arms wrapped around me from behind.

I bit down on my trebling lip and looked over my shoulder at the man who’d saved Layna Blair.

He went perfectly still.

“I don’t know who I am.” I whispered.

About the Author

SybilI grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.
I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…

But Seriously?

Here are ten things you probably really want to know about me.

I grew up a faculty brat. I can swear like a sailor. I love men in uniform. I hate being told what to do. I can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out. My favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—I can’t decide. I have a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on me for driving directions, ever. And I have a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell my husband.

Connect with the Author

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