Series: Unchecked, Book 2
Author: Sybil Bartel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 Sweltering Keys
**Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to me by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
After her parents were murdered, Layna Blair spent three years on the run—until Marine Sergeant Blaze Johnson stepped in and saved her. With him, Layna knew safety for the first time…but two weeks after shipping out for another tour in Afghanistan, Blaze comes home early.Sybil Bartel is the queen of making me indecisive on the hero I want the heroine to end up with. The Unchecked series has made me a little ADD, in that when Layna is with Blaze, I love her with Blaze and want them to find their happily ever after, but.....when Layna is with Talon, I'm head over crazy for those two and wonder, just wonder, if Talon is a better option. This book is no different because Talon as usual plays such a pivotal role in the development of this couple but in the end, it's Blaze who holds Layna's heart and Blaze who aims to keep it.
When Layna sees the jagged wounds covering his body, every truth she thought she knew is destroyed. Blaze is distant and angry and though her heart is shattered, Layna desperately tries to keep their relationship together in the face of another tragedy. When the tenuous bonds holding them together are ripped apart by a revenge-hungry maniac, Layna must trust her survival instinct and bury her past for good.
But the enemy is two steps ahead, and before she can take action, Layna's hand is forced by his deadly demands—save herself or save the man who risked his life for her freedom. Blaze saved her once. This time it's her turn to protect him.
So much happens in this book in terms of drama and character growth. Blaze gets injured and returns home to Layna who is terrified of losing yet another person she loves to violence and circumstances that are outside of her control. Given that Layna has been on her own for so long, I think she's still struggling with figuring out who she is as a free individual when Blaze comes home and it profoundly impacts her ability to be who he needed her to be. But we see Layna grow and in that growth, we see her emerge as stronger and more independent. Layna discovers how to take her life back and it is a beauty to watch.
As with previous books, Blaze overreacts and does things to hurt Layna. There were times that I didn't like his character very much but then he would do something sweet and heartfelt and I couldn't help but love him. The insecurities that exist between these two lead to so many misunderstandings throughout the book but they ultimately work through them. I was quite pleased with how Impossible Choice ends and I'm hoping that Bartel will be writing more books in the future.
On a side note, Talon's story is one that has to eventually be told. I mean the guy has soooo much mystery surrounding him that I'm dying for him to get a happily ever after. I'll continue stocking Bartel's website for any indication that Talon will get a book. I'm giving this one 5 Sweltering Keys because it held my interest and I read it in two days.