Review: Merciless by Sybil Bartel

mercilessTitle: Merciless

Author: Sybil Bartel

Year of publication: Out today! The author kindly gave me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Brooke(lynn) Barrone

The hero: Ex-Marine sniper/bodyguard Garrett Collins

The blurb: Bodyguard.


Gun for hire.

I didn’t care what you called it, the end result was always the same.

You paid me for a job, you got results. The Marines trained me to shoot, but life taught me to aim. Working for the best personal security firm in the business was a stepping stone. Put in my time, build the resume, then move on. I didn’t do attachments, on any level.

Until a smoking-hot former one-night stand crossed the street in front of me, holding hands with a kid who was my spitting image. She tried to play it off, deny he was mine. She said she didn’t even remember me, right before she picked her kid up and ran. She thought she’d made a clean escape.

But she was about to find out how merciless a bodyguard could be.

Standalone or series: This is book two in the Alpha Bodyguard series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: I have never come across another romance author who can create alphas quite as well as this one. Sybil’s alphas are hot, unrelenting, bossy and dominating. I found Collins to be a little softer around the edges than his fellow bodyguards, but that made him all the more endearing.

The story starts three years ago. Collins is back in Miami for twenty-four hours to see his ailing mother and he drops in to see a friend, Dax Tyler, (the brother of the Tyler who stars in the next book, Reckless) at his bar. It’s there he meets Brookelynn, a homeless, bruised young woman who Dax found going through his garbage. He gave her a job and some food, but she doesn’t talk much.

Collins finds himself intrigued by the woman, and when they hear a loud crash out back, they race out to find her surrounded by shattered glass and injured. It’s clear that she’s being abused by someone, but Brookelynn refuses to tell him anything. Despite the fact he’s about to be shipped out again, he follows her after she leaves the bar and sees she’s staying in some seedy motel and using a rusty bike to get around.

He eventually coaxes her into coming to his condo for a meal, and they end up in bed together. Collins will only be gone for another three months, so he offers her his condo and asks her to stay. To wait for him. However, during the night, the man Brookelynn was running from shows up at Collins’s condo, and Brookelynn feels she has no choice but to go with the man she’s been trying to escape for years – but not after taking the keys to Collins’s car.

Collins is determined to find Brookelynn, and he spends the next year looking. Not even Andre Luna can locate her. She’s a ghost. He tries to forget her, but can’t. Three years later, Collins has left the Marines and is working for Andre in Miami. He’s on assignment one day when he literally walks straight past her – and this time, she’s not alone. She has a small child with her. A child who looks exactly like Collins did at the same age.

Now that Collins has found Brookelynn again, he’s not going to let her go – especially now he knows they have a son. He manages to find out Brookelynn has been living with a man who is known for money laundering for a powerful cartel, and this is the man she was running from when he first met her. Getting her away from Nathan Lewis isn’t going to be easy, but Collins isn’t going to leave his son and the woman he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about for three years in harm’s way. Oh, he’s plenty annoyed with her, but when he realises the situation she and their son are in, he knows he has to get her out.

With the help of the always cheerful and flirty Talon, the gorgeously dominant Neil, and a few other familiar faces, Collins manages to extract Brookelynn and their boy safely – but not before he is mortally shot. Once he recovers from his injuries, he stays with them in a safe house where he and Brookelynn must decide if they have something between them worth fighting for.

This book has all the hallmarks of Sybil’s delicious writing – hot bodyguards, strong women, incredibly hot sex scenes, and two characters who have a connection that runs deep. Another fantastic book.




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