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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Review: Guarded Heart by Lisa Andres

Guarded Heart is the second book in the Dubicki's series by Lisa Andres. This book can be read as standalone as it is about interconnected characters. I was excited to read this story after reading the blurb because I love stories about sexy MMA fighters. There is just something about an athletic man that knows how to hand himself, and they are usually alpha which makes for an interesting story every time. I have never read a book by Lisa Andres before this one though, so I went into this one not really knowing what to expect. I think that this book had a lot of promise, and I think with a little work this could be a pretty good story. I did have problems with it though, and unfortunately this one just didn't work for me.

Carissa has had a tough life. She has no idea who her father is, and her mother is a coke addicted runway model that couldn't care less about her daughter. She was raped at fourteen and left home. She found some roommates and got a job and has been on her own ever since. Now she works for a hospice care center for the elderly and has hopes of becoming a registered nurse someday. She agrees to go out with her friend one night and ends up meeting Jesse. They are both drawn together and feel attracted to one another. After Carissa gets drugged and abandoned by her friend, Jesse finds her and takes care of her. She runs off the next morning only to end up seeing him again after her friend drags her to an MMA fight. Jesse and Carissa meet back up and end up dating. When Jesse's past suddenly comes back though, Carissa begins to wonder how well she knows Jesse and if she can really trust him.

I liked Jesse well enough, but I thought he handled a few things poorly. He was sweet and patient with Carissa most of the time, but there were a couple of times that he should have been more honest with Carissa. She gave him the opportunity to be honest and he didn't, and then he got mad at her for her being mad about his dishonesty. It was pretty immature and he knew that she needed honesty because of her past. I liked Carissa for the most part, but she also had her moments. She was damaged from her past, and would often run before getting all the facts or when she was scared. But she also for everything that she said bothered her, seemed to move rather quickly with Jesse. I felt like their relationship was really rushed. I think that they had great chemistry, but I didn't really ever buy the feelings that happened so quickly between them.

I felt like this story while having potential just fell short and wasn't able to deliver on the promise of what could have been a good story. It was short, and I think the length really hurt in this case because it didn't seem real or believable with how short it was. I also felt like this book had a tendency to just dump a bunch of info without ever really showing you what was going on. It was hard to get into at times because it just felt awkward in parts and as though we as readers were being told rather than showed what was happening. I also just felt like pretty much every big conflict or event in this story was predictable and overdone. It was most every cliche that you have seen already done in NA stories, and just felt like the same story retold with a few differences. There was nothing new or unique about this one, and it didn't stand out at all. I also felt like a few large things were brought up and then just glossed over without question at all, and that was pretty much what killed it for me. Without spoiling it, I just felt like there was one huge thing that Jesse should have checked out better without just believing right off considering the circumstances. The fact that he just went along no questions asked pretty much just solidified the fact that this story wasn't for me. There were some sweet parts, and the characters were likable enough even being underdeveloped. But I just wasn't able to get behind this story. If you are looking for a quick and sweet read with a happy ending you might give this one a shot, but if you are wanting a story that is really developed and believable with something unique or different this one might not be for you.

**Copy Provided by Sizzling PR**

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