Feel free to peruse my review of the first book in the Braxton Arcade series: Earning Her Trust by clicking here.
Great, now that that's settled we can move on to my review of the spectacular Guarding Her Heart ft. the overly protective Conor and the damsel he loves to rescue, Elle.
Blurb: She moved into his house… then into his heart. Elle Lee is on the run—hiding from her ex and his family. After secretly moving to the other side of the country, she wants nothing more than to stay shielded behind the carefully constructed armor that’s kept her, and her secrets, safe all these years. But when she befriends Conor—the strong, quiet guard who works security for the mysterious Alice Braxton—she finds herself wanting to step out from behind her armor and experience life again.
Conor Kahele is a protector—always has been, always will be. So when timid Elle gets a job at the Braxton Arcade, he can’t help but watch out for her. They become fast friends and when Elle finds herself with little money and no place to live, Conor is unable to stop himself from asking her to move in. Platonically, of course.
But friendship goes out the window the more they learn about one another, and soon Conor finds himself agreeing to take Elle’s virginity. What neither agreed to was giving the other their heart. While people from Elle’s past hunt her, demons from Conor’s past haunt him. If he can guard her heart, Conor just might save them both. But if he fails, if he goes too far, he might become the very thing that stalks them.
Review: I really enjoyed the explosive drama and over the top sexual experiences in Earning Her Trust, so there wasn't a doubt in my mind that I was going to love Guarding Her Heart, but I suppose I was surprised by how much I loved it. The relationship between Elle and Conor had a different feel to it than the one between Marrin and Damian, but it was still a sexy, insta-love with chemistry out the wazoo.
Conor is domineering, but kind and thoughtful. And Elle is fragile, but she's no dummy, nor is her confidence at rock-bottom levels like so many books with dominating men these days (those are good in their own ways, but not the case here). They balance each other out nicely with Conor's desperate need to make up for a perceived wrong by protecting those around him and Elle's dark past giving her a very good reason to need protecting. Their shared kink was also--muah--perfection. It sort of snuck in there for me and I was like, "hold up, wait a minute, what's that now?"
The plot is full of excitement (maybe a smidge too much rescuing happening for my particular tastes, but you won't be bored, that's for sure). I was on my toes a lot of the book because just when I thought I'd wrapped my head around what was happening, Ian switched things up and the mystery continued.
With both Ian's first and second books I find myself constantly impressed that these are the first two books she's ever written. Her writing screams of experience. If you're a fan of kink clubs and damsels in distress then Guarding Her Heart is the perfect read!