Review: Andre by Sybil Bartel

AndreTitle: Andre

Author: Sybil Bartel

Year of publication: 2017

The heroine: Surf shop employee Kendall Reed

The hero: Ex-marine sniper/Security firm owner Andre Luna

The blurb: The Marines trained me to set my sights and wait for the shot. For eight years, I guarded my brothers and defended my country. Now I protect my clients. My personal security firm is the best in the business because I leave nothing to chance… until a dark-haired, hazel-eyed spitfire crosses my path.

She and her sexy as hell strip tease were supposed to be a one-night distraction. But too late I noticed the branding on her back and my blood ran cold. This woman wasn’t a distraction — she was a death sentence.

Knowing who she was left me no choice. I took her on as my client. But running from her past wasn’t an option. The Marines didn’t train me to retreat. They taught me to engage.
One shot. One kill.

Standalone or series: Book three of The Uncompromising series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: I loved Andre from the moment I met him in the Alpha Escort series. He didn’t seem as serious as the other guys, and was quite a flirt. The heroine is Kendall Reed, who we first met in Talon’s book. She works at Talon’s surf shop as a favour to Candle, the biker in the Lone Coasters MC that our heroes cross path with frequently. Everyone seems to think that Kendall is Candle’s old lady, but the truth is much darker.

Kendall has been looking over her shoulder for three years with good reason: she escaped from the cult she was born into. Her biological father is River Stephens, a sexual predator who fathered all the children born into the cult. He also has a predilection for having sex with all the girls and branding all his flock on their lower back. The government has been trying to get him on something illegal for years, but he’s smart.

Candle, a former cult member who was booted for giving Kendall a flower, helped her get out and has been shielding her from the cult ever since. However, one of the MC members sees Kendall’s brand and, since River Stephens has put a two million dollar bounty on her head (literally), everyone’s after her.

When Andre finds out who she is and what’s going on, he wants to help her. He’s long been attracted to her, but Kendall is prickly. She’s acidic and smart mouthed, and scared to let anyone get too close to her. She knows that her father wants her dead for escaping the cult and doesn’t think anyone can save her, so she pushes everyone away. Except Andre. She’s attracted to him but scared to let him get close in case he’s killed.

Andre doesn’t want to involve anyone else in helping Kendall, not his friends or his employees, but he reluctantly turns to Neil, who then of course brings everyone else on board, knowing they can’t do this on their own. It was nice to see Alex, Jared and Dane from the Escort series, along with the triplets from Neil’s book and some of Andre’s men. Kendall and Talon, despite working together, have never been friends… but it broke my heart to find out Kendall wanted to work for Talon because she knew he could protect her if the cult came for her. She never told him about them or who she was, and there’s a really sweet moment in the book when, after he finds out, he hugs her and tells her he would have protected her if he’d known.

Andre and co decide to storm the compound and offer a trade for the bounty on Kendall’s head. It all goes south, of course, but they find assistance from the man known as Hero. He was Kendall’s first lover, and he also wanted to protect her. She only realised after she got out how much Hero shielded her from River and his vileness. It turns out Hero wasn’t born into the cult, and his birth name is actually Callan – his story is book five in this series.

Kendall and Andre stop denying their attraction to each other, even though Kendall finds it hard to trust him (or trust anyone, really). She’s torn; she wants to be with him, tells him she wants to have his child, but still pushes him away. He understands she’s been conditioned and the last three years have been terrifying for her, on the run with an assumed name, unable to trust anyone and always looking over her shoulder, so he perseveres with her. He makes it clear she’s his woman and he will fight for her. In the end, Kendall is able to stop running, but she needs space so she holes up at a hotel that is right across from Andre’s penthouse. Hero/Callan finds her and tells Andre where she is, and he goes to get his girl. Hurrah!

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