This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
[Tour Review] Sybil Bartel: Impossible Promise

Impossible Promise (The Unchecked Series, #1) by Sybil Bartel

Series: Unchecked #1
eBook, English, 276 pages
Debut: March 23, 2015
@ Goodreads
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dark / Violance / Angst, New Adult, Suspense
Heat Level : two-flames | Overall Rating: three-half-stars

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 façade 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.

Read First: March 31-April 1, 2015 | Snuck from: Xpresso Book Tours -- I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I had very, very high hopes for this story. It ticked all my boxes, and getting head over heels into it like it did made for a really good start. It made me really like Blaze, because he was totally Marine and hero material down to his core, just the way I love it, and Layna was a fairly good damsel in distress if you leave out her drinking habit, which was only one part of her that didn't make any sense. She lived in fear, real fear, and you can design your character to either take the short way out and drink it away, or she's a fighter dishing back out when she can, but someone like that wouldn't drink when anxious. You see my problem? And because she was so inconsistent, I couldn't come to like her like I wanted to. I liked her mouthy side, just like the guys did, and it's okay if she breaks down somewhere along the way, but not this up and down. Gr.

Sadly, there was no clinging on the Blaze, either. As you get more into it, Blaze was too absent, and there was no switch to his PoV to cover for it. His inner demons and current conflinct would've made for a good story in itself -- the things he said really hit home -- but the way it was did nothing but drill holes in Layna's storyline. Layna's was great material too, but the two just didn't mix well. Like, not at all, which I partly blame on her inconsistent characterization. With all that, all my high hopes and the great potential of the idea to mix those two went out the window.

Furthermore, the insta. It's totally expected in a stoy like this, but this ending was a little overkill even for me, especially with the ultra-short time frame and the open trianlge. I have nothing against a triangle, I actually liked that Layna was so clearly attracted to both of them, but it gives you the impression of being resolved at the end, and then the sneak peek into the sequel tells you it isn't. Eh? It's just more fuzzy edges and instability, which pisses me off because I liked the writing style pretty much, and of course I wanna know if Blaze can keep his promise, but mainly I just want more Talon -- much more!

Talon *_* ... When he came along, I almost died, honestly... I want one. Neil was awesome, too. They totally outranked our main couple, sorry to say, but their characters were very well done in comparison to the heroes. Talon was a lot sweet and a bit broken, always trying to do right by others, my perfect kind of guy, and I'd love to find out what made him this way, because I smell a good background story here. Same goes for Neil. He didn't make me all that curious, he was so quiet, but that scar? And the way he fishtailed around Talon to give Layna a real choice? Tells me he has to be a great guy who I'd like to get to know better, stormy Viking eyes and all. *swoons over those two*

Area Scan: Idea: 5/5 -- Style/Vocab: 3.5/5 -- Plot: 3/5 -- Heroes: 3/5 -- Sidekicks: 5/5 -- Villains: 3/5 -- Romance: 3/5 -- Drama: 4/5 -- Suspense: 4/5 -- Smut: 2/5

Discovered: 3+ Hoods3hoods

#1 Impossible Promise | #2 Impossible Choice

About Sybil Bartel

I 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.


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