Friday, September 8, 2017

Release Blitz & Review: Guarded - R.C. Martin

Title: Guarded
Author: R.C. Martin
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: September 8, 2017

she’s distractingly Gorgeous. in my line of work, I can’t afford to be Unfocused, but she is just as Alluring as she is forbidden. I should stay away, and yet I don’t.// he is Ridiculously sexy. never have I ever been Drawn to a man so ardently. his touch is Everything, consuming me completely. what exists between us Deserves a chance, but he won’t let me in.

raw. passionate. desperate. real. I take her there—every time.// he feels it, too—I know he does. we could have it all, if only he wasn’t so guarded.

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5 Stars
There is no good stopping point in Guarded, by the way, not even the end. I already want more. R.C. Martin sucks you into the sweet world of Jill from the very first page. She's a nice girl from a small town, her hopes and dreams are simple, but her love is anything but. She loves hard and holds on tight, so when she finds Leo Vollucci is the one making his way into her heart she lets him in. He's the handsome and protective bodyguard to Ashley Hicks, her cousin Corie's dreamboat, famous husband. Leo give in to her, promising only the weekend, but neither can deny the attraction. Only, his past is dark and twisted and letting people in is something he never allows for, not even for the girl who makes him feel something he can't quite name. 

"I'm not a tender man, and she appears to be a gentle woman. Oil and water don't mix."

I really didn't expect to fall head over heels for Jill and Leo. They're the kind of couple you don't picture together, their worlds so different that it's unimaginable that they'd ever work, but Jill's sweet has some spice to it and Leo's tough demeanor comes down just for her. Told from dual perspectives, readers get to not just see their relationship as it unfolds, but truly get into the mind of each character as they battle what their hearts and minds are telling them. 

"I know that it's not fair to compare anyone to him. His beauty, his power, his strength-it's too much for someone else to live up to."

 It's so easy to like Jill as a character, she's complex emotionally, but is presented as a simple girl. She's average, but in a good way, and I loved that her standard fashion was a t-shirt and shorts. She's a girl readers will relate to. Leo, on the other hand, is imposing in height and demeanor, his looks so handsome I think anyone else would be afraid to approach him. Their relationship, meant to last a weekend, is driven by lust, but like most affairs it becomes something more. I really liked that the relationship was kicked off by lust, built by a long-distance friendship, and morphed into something more. It doesn't feel like insta-love and I love R.C. Martin for that. However, what I'm calling a relationship is the most complex of types. Their worlds are clashing, the distance seems insurmountable, and Leo's inability to give himself completely to Jill has massive consequences. They seem so great together, but the complexities between them are what make Guarded such a phenomenal book. I wanted the best for them, but the best can't be achieved without getting through the hard stuff and the stuff between these two is definitely hard. There were times when I had hope, times when I felt let down, and times when I thought it was too little, too late, time to walk away. 

"The truth is, it doesn't matter what I say. I don't like not knowing where she is. That's how far I let this get." 

 Guarded is a standalone novel that features characters from Backwoods Belle and readers will be delighted to see Corie and Ashley again. Jill and Leo's story, though, is very different. They are driven by a physical need, their emotions taking much longer to catch on. It's adult, it's sexy, and it's emotional, my favorite kind of read. It is obvious how much work went into Guarded with R.C. Martin's already fabulous writing taken up a notch. I could feel each character's emotions, I was invested in their lives, and I definitely had a blush to my cheeks when I read about just how much chemistry these two had between them. For fans of more adult contemporary romance reads, Guarded is for you.

Author Bio

I'm a born and bred Coloradan. While I now reside in Virginia, the land of the Rocky Mountains is where I've left a piece of my heart and where my characters come to life. I started writing love stories when I was seventeen, and I haven't been able to stop! With me, you'll find that I dabble in a few different romance genres, but my voice is one that's all about the heart. Writing is my dream; and as a dreamer, you can rest assured that there are many more novels in my head that I can hardly wait to share.
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