Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: Impossible Promise (Unchecked #1) by Sybil Bartel

Three years ago, Layna Blair listened in horror over a telephone line as her parents were murdered. When the killer said she was next, Layna panicked and made a deadly deal—his secret in exchange for her life. She’s paid the price every day since, becoming a prisoner in plain sight.

Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson offers Layna a way out—her freedom, his rules, no questions asked—and she takes it, despite knowing what her keepers do to people who get too close. She doesn’t know Blaze is fighting his own demons or that beneath his warrior fa├žade is a man on the verge of breaking.

Embarking on a wild revenge mission with Blaze and his smooth-talking best friend, Talon, is not what Layna signed on for. But attempting to run when Blaze has made no secret he intends to make her his is a reckless mistake. With the killer closing in, it’s up to Blaze to save them all—and to Layna to realize that she’s risked the one thing she can’t afford to lose.

Now, this is the story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down ... just kidding. I had you going, didn't I? That song is stuck in my head today. Anyway, Impossible Promise is about a woman named Layna who has been on the run from a faceless villain for three years. One day, she walks into a church (seemingly the only place where her henchmen stalkers will leave her alone) and kind of meets Blaze. Within the few seconds of their interaction, Blaze becomes her protection, her salvation and maybe her only hope. 

Boy, oh, boy do I have things to say about this one. Let's get the good stuff out of the way. The idea behind the story was good. I found it intriguing enough to pick it up and give it a shot. I LOVED the idea. I think I just like it when there is this screwed up heroine and she gets saved by her knight in pressed dress blues. So ... yeah. That's about it on the good stuff ... I liked the premise.

Unfortunately, this book just didn't play out how I was expecting it to ... oh, there was a lot of action and drama and some mystery but when your heroine is a whiny chick who cries all the damn time and has (what I think is) undiagnosed bipolar disorder, it's not a good read. Not that there is anything wrong with someone being bipolar. But that is not how the character was described. And instead of being self-assured, loner woman, she was someone who needed constant reassurance of how pretty she was all the time. It read like a LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME type situation. You know that type of girl, they know that they are attractive and they pretend to not know so that people have to tell them over and over that they are pretty. She's also "shy" ... but throws herself at men she barely knows, grinds in their laps and shoves her tongue down their throats ... shy? I think not. AND she's a sassy character but the thrill of reading all of that sassiness was overridden by her annoying actions with yanking two different guys around. She acted like she was a fifteen year old nympho. She was very immature especially for someone who had been through as many things as she has ... those types of situations should have made her more mature, not like a petulant child. Oh, OH! One minute she is crying and screaming and losing her shit about gunfire and then the next minute she is a weapons expert that would rival the entire military. She is not a heroine that readers will look up to, she is a cautionary tale of a girl who peaked in high school. I just don't think that this character was consistent. At all. I shouldn't have to constantly wonder: Is she shy? Is she bold? Is she bipolar? Is she immature? Is she a nympho? Is she pretty? Why is she crying this time? Why is she naked AGAIN?

With the way the Layna character was written, along with it came massive pissing contests between two dudes who have been friends for forever. Again, this isn't a bad thing to read about ... I think that a healthy dose of rivalry can kick a story up a notch. But this was just too much. It was every other paragraph ... one was marking his territory and then the other would and then Layna would prefer one over the other and then the pissing would start all over again. 

I think that if the characters were written differently, my review would have been the polar opposite of this one. Like I said, the story was good but the characters ruined it for me. I won't be checking out the next book, I don't think. 

Available: March 23rd, 2015

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