(Once a Marine Series, Bk #3)
by Jennifer Apodaca
This Marine will protect her at all costs...
When wealthy heiress Alyssa Brooks finds out her stepfather has been paying her fiancé to marry her, she's humiliated and betrayed. She quickly breaks the engagement, only to be blackmailed by her now ex-fiancé, who threatens both Alyssa and the son she gave up for adoption. With nowhere to go, she turns to the one man she can trust.
Former Marine sniper Hunter Reece's lethal skills could save Alyssa's life. But his little sister's best friend has turned into a woman, who is an irresistible mix of secrets and sexiness. And while Hunter can trust himself to protect her, he can't trust himself to keep his attraction hidden...or even pretend to be the man that Alyssa remembers.
Because the only way to keep the lovely heiress safe is to become the one thing he knows she could never love...a killer.
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Though this is the third book in the "Once A Marine" series, it can be read as a standalone. Always a good thing in the event this one catches your eye first! However, you will not want to miss out on the previous installments as they are awesome!
There are several tropes in this one story.... the "girl having a crush on the friend's older brother" or the other way around "Hero has crush on little sister's BFF", "child given up for adoption", "ex blackmailing Heroine", and "the man set to protect the heroine falls for her" are just a few of them. There are one ore two more, but don't want to give you any spoilers. These tropes make the story a tad predictable. A bit of a shame because I've eagerly awaiting the next installment for what seemed like forever!
With that said, this is where Jennifer's writing style shines through.... Hunter is man still working through the darkness that was his past job. The job that saved countless lives is now costing him a life of his own. He uses his art as a way to cope with the darkness but doesn't let anyone see this side of himself. Alyssa has blamed herself for the death of her mother years ago and in an effort to make amens, continues to work for the company her mother built even if that isn't what she wants to do. As the blurb says she finds out that her stepfather has paid her fiancé to marry her, she breaks off the engagement and the ex is now blackmailing her, but there is more to that story you find out towards the end of the book. As the story continues, you find out more about Alyssa's past and what her true passions are (work wise). In between all this, Hunter and Alyssa are fighting the attraction they obviously feel for each other. However, you know how that is going to turn out, this is a romance novel after all. I really did enjoy them opening up to each other and the parts where they are becoming friends and learning more about one another.
I would have enjoyed the story more if the last trope (not going to tell you) would not have been included. I don't think it was necessary. Also his reaction wasn't one that I thought he would have had, not after everything that had gone on between them.
This is definitely still a great series and on that I'm going to continue to read. Aside from the tropes that made the story predictable, Jennifer's writing of the character's struggle and their interactions makes you want to read this story!
Rating; 3.5 Stars - I Liked It A Lot
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Entangled Publishing, Entangled Ignite via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.