Sunday, August 16, 2015

ARC Review: HARD TO FIGHT by Bella Jewel

by Bella Jewel
Alpha's Heart, Book 1

Grace is a bounty hunter who wants to be taken seriously, but her boss refuses to believe that a woman can bring down a dangerous criminal. She finally gets a chance to prove herself when she's given the case of a lifetime: capture Raide Knox and bring him to justice.

Raide is a dangerous fugitive on the run...and the sexiest man Grace has ever met. Catching Raide won't be easy. He's not the kind of man to go down without a fight. Raide is more intense and frustrating than any man she's ever had to deal with, and the instantaneous attraction that sparks between them is undeniable. One thing is for's going to be a case they will never forget.

Hard to Fight is an entertaining read with a sassy heroine and an alpha hero.  It starts off like gangbusters and keeps up its fast pace.  Grace is in the untraditional field of bounty hunting and struggles to establish her role in that profession.  She gets an opportunity to bring in a prominent bail jumper and seeks to use untraditional means to bring him.  Raide has skipped bail, but he is wrongly accused and seeks to find the real perpetrator of his sister’s murder.  Along the way, he meets a super sassy “waitress” with a sarcastic tongue and kick ass moves.  

I like Grace’s character.  She is funny, ambitious and very focused.  Some of the best lines in the book come from her character.  Lines like, “Are you going to attack me with your sword. . . . Or better yet, keep your sword sheathed and be a decent human being” has me laughing out loud.  At the start, the book reminds me of the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones without the paranormal elements.  They have the same irreverent tone that I enjoy.  As I continued reading I found other similarities:

1. Both work at the periphery of law enforcement. Grace is a bounty hunter.  Charley is a private investigator. 
2. Both are very close to their dads while estranged from their mother figures.  
3. Both have strife with their sisters. 
4. Both have men who are attracted to them but whose affections are unrequited.  Grace has Vance.  Charley has Garrett Swopes. 
5. Both heroes are a little dark and edgy.  Both Raide and Reyes have been accused of a crime they didn’t commit. (Reyes did get convicted but the judgment is later overturned.)

With so many similarities, it is easy to invite comparisons.  Darynda Jones is an expert at balancing humor with heart and suspense.   You can find a lot of those same elements in this book too.  However, there are times when it feels like the author might trying too hard. Grace is a sympathetic character, but there are times when she is incredibly emotional and whiney. 

There is also an odd voice change in Chapter 31.  A third person, who has just recently been introduced, takes over the narrative.  It is a jarring switch and I had to wonder if the author could’ve presented the same information through another character.  

Entertaining and fun, this is like a good “B” movie.  

Thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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