Review: Reckless by Sybil Bartel

recklessTitle: Reckless

Author: Sybil Bartel

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

The heroine: Art gallery owner Princess Calandra Sophia Paradis Spiros

The hero: Ex-Marine/Bodyguard Damian Tyler

The blurb: Bodyguard.

Escort.

Bad boy.

I didn’t come from the wrong side of the tracks. I was the wrong side. Every cliché you could think of, my family embraced. The only advantage I had was being the best looking out of all my brothers. Except when I joined the Marines, looks didn’t count for shit downrange.

I wasn’t active duty anymore, and working for the best personal security firm in the business, my looks were getting me in more trouble than they were worth. I just didn’t realize how much trouble until a princess from a country I’d never heard of asked for me by name. Her request was simple—me, my gun, four days and five parties. But she recklessly failed to mention one crucial part of the assignment… pretend to be her new fiancé.

Now she was about to find out how reckless a bodyguard could be.

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

The review: The third book in the Alpha Bodyguard series is about Tyler, whom we’ve met in quite a few books set in this universe previously. He’s one of the younger bodyguards on Andre Luna’s payroll, but he’s ex-military and more than capable of doing his job.

When Luna calls Tyler to his residential building to meet a potential new client early one morning, Tyler’s wary – he’s the only employee who even knows where Andre lives, and Andre never meets clients at his home. When Tyler arrives, he lays eyes on the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. She’s well-spoken and regal, and he soon learns why – she is a princess of a small (imaginary) nation near the Greek Islands, but has lived in the US for years.

She goes by Sophia Paradis, her middle and mother’s maiden names, but her first name is Calandra. She tells Andre and Tyler that she needs private security for a function she’s having at her art gallery the next night because she’s wearing expensive jewellery. Andre and Tyler knows she’s lying about why she needs protection, but she won’t be drawn into telling them the truth. Since she’s offering to pay an obscene amount of money for the job, which Tyler needs so he can buy his mother – a woman who raised him and his four brothers alone after his father died in an accident when Tyler was a baby – he accepts the job.

And falls head over heels in love with Calandra, as he calls her after she confesses she prefers her first name. Tyler’s never believed in love at first sight, but that changes when he meets her. By the end of the day, he has gotten the truth out of her about why she really hired him; she has a stalker, whose behaviour is escalating. He’s also managed to break every rule of the job and has sex with her in her office, crossing the line from client/bodyguard to so much more.

Calandra has never really gotten close to people because the one person she loved most – her mother – died when she was a child, and she’s afraid that people are only drawn to her because of her lineage. She’s afraid to let anyone into her heart again, in case she loses them, too. She’s never been with a man before, and Tyler is an attractive hurricane of a man who bursts into her life and claims her as his. He takes her to have dinner with his family, and meeting his mother and four brothers is both charming and hilarious. There’s also the usual appearances of other favourite heroes – Collins, Talon, Dane, Jared, and my Viking, Neil.

The whole book, apart from the epilogue, takes place over a forty-eight hour period so if you’re not a fan of a hero and heroine who fall in love at first sight, this may not be the book for you. But this author is one of my absolute favourites and I always enjoy her stories, and this one is no exception.

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