Friday, March 28, 2014
Axel by Harper Sloan
"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?" (Description from Goodreads.com)
Note from the author--This book is intended for a mature reading audience and isn't suitable for younger readers.
Reading the first chapter I came across this paragraph which I thought set the tone for the whole book, a turn on words that take her angst and make you laugh as Iz tries to find a way to deal with the hand she currently has all the while hoping for better. "Fate might hate me, but that doesn't stop me from hoping one day she forget about her favorite chew toy. When that day comes I hope karma has some fun with that bi&^h, fate."
In the prologue you get a glimpse at the horrible marriage and abuse Iz has been enduring. You also will get flash backs to the abuse over the course of the book. They are real and are gritty and really show the abuse and how it can affect someone. There is no glossing over it and I appreciate that the most. I hope that someone reading this book might recognize that their friend is in a similar situation and be just like Dee, offering help when needed and a strong friendship to lean on. Dee truly saved Iz's life and this books shows you the power of friendship.
Now on to Iz and Axel...I think for younger readers, those who grew up with email and social media might not understand how they could have lost touch. As you read the story you see many factors working against them. With FaceBook, Twitter, email and cellphones, life has changed and it's easier to keep in-touch and track of people. Without these factors, losing touch was sometimes apart of the world we use to live in. Which was sad to read about because you could feel the connection they had as kids.
As they meet up again, it takes time for trust to become apart of the equation. Some stories you think, "that would never happen" and know the ARC was used to push the story forward. This situation felt very believable and easy to understand.
I also liked how the author showed the contrast between abuse and alpha male. Most books don't show the difference. The alpha male just seems like a huge (insert creative word here). Axel showed the difference though actions and words. The book showed a stark contrast that between what is and is not acceptable from lovers and boyfriends.
We also get to see the strong bonds of friendship and relationships in the book. Iz has made her own family with Cage and Dee. Two strong people who help support her at her worst moments. As Cage's friends enter the picture we get to see Iz make new bonds but also have old ones tested. I appreciated this in the story since we seem to have all experience this when new friends enter the picture.
On a final note, this book is very sexy between Axel and Iz. On a scale of 0 to 100 (50 Shades), I would say this was around a 60% sexy...Axel is a talker! The book also shows violence between Iz and her ex. The violence is nothing like a horror movie. but abuse is gritty and horrible. Reading about it can make you feel depressed for the character. While saying that, Axel is well worth the read. I look forward to reading more in the series.
I was lucky enough to get my copy from the library...make sure to check out yours to see if they have a copy. Axel is also sold at the usual places...Amazon and B&N.
Posted by Carolyn Borgen