3.5 out of 5 stars
"Axel and Izzy, huh? That mean you wanna be my girlfriend or some shit?"
**Please note, book gifted by author in exchange for an honest review**
Axel is the debut novel and book 1 of the Corp Security series by new author Harper Sloan. For the most part, Izzy's childhood is a happy one. She has loving parents and the boy of her dreams. When all she holds dear is taken from her, in one way or another, she falls into a downward spiral that will reshape her life forever.
When things really come to a head and she's trying to secure her future, that path leads her, face first, into the wall of her past.
I really liked the idea of the story, it takes on a subject of very sensitive nature but one that is a very, very real problem in our society. I felt that aspect of the story rang true and helped to explain why Izzy is "Izzy". Our heroine has been through a lot, more than any one single person should ever have to deal with in one lifetime, I only regret not being able to connect with her more. I can't quite put my finger on it as to why I never got on board with her. She seemed to go back and forth a bit, noting how she had coped with something from her past but clearly hadn't. She noted, in a scene with one of the Corp boys that she had been alone for so long but actually Dee and Greg had been her rocks, her family, for quite some time. Perhaps it was the first person point of view. For me, that can be very tricky when it comes to anything beyond a short story and so I found myself needing a switch from Izzy's mind to another character before that switch actually happened. Ms. Sloan built up an intriguing ensemble cast and I would have loved to stepped into their minds as well, even if just briefly.
Axel, or as I prefer "Ax" (the name Axel kept giving me flashes of Axel Rose and I don't mean A.R. in prime either! Eesh..yeah, I'm weird, I know this.), carried the pairing for me. He's gorgeous, stunning even, and even though his "alpha" persona crossed into "asshole" land from time to time, overall, his heart, while broken, is huge. When he loves, he loves hard and that makes him an ideal lead. That being said, my standout character for Axel is Greg, I've dubbed him my 'gentle giant'. I loved Greg from the moment he made his appearance, through a questionable choice he made and all the way to the end. The Corp boys will definitely be interesting, I'm especially curious about Maddox and what it is that haunts him. Even though they slipped up, I mean you tell Izzy to stay close but then let her go off to Dee's on her own...tsk tsk, I still expect a lot from these former Marines and the ladies that are sure to steal their hearts.