SPOILER ALERT!
Axel (Corps Security, #1) - Harper Sloan

Swear to Christ this bitch needs to calm her tits.
- AXEL!

Those are my fucking tits and she is my fucking girl.
- AXEL!

Are you in love yet? AXEL! sure takes heroics to a new level of caveman, doesn't he?

Beware of the New Alpha, romance readers!

He's hot, ripped, and hung like a horse.
His dick slices through granite and punches ten sharks.
He likes a girl with a vagina that can gush like a geyser
and HATES any man who dares look sideways at her.
His sperm are like ninjas that make dragon babies.
He may speak like a child but fucks like 8 porn stars.
The New Alpha makes good girls fantasize about douchebags.
Who needs good characterization when - blah, blah, blah - 12 pack?

"If you call me Holt one more fucking time I'm bending you over my knees, yeah?"
- AXEL!

Take me now, baby.

Hey, I get it. Some girls like this kind of guy. I don't, but then again, I dislike a lot of things that other people like - butterflies and tacos and bubblegum and Nickleback. People are horrendously awesome in their petty differences. AXEL! did not make me "wet," as the heroine Izzy frequently asserts. He's brutish, domineering, vapid, and rarely uses subjects in his sentences.

"Thought I could get you here and enjoy some dinner without having to be inside your wet heat."

"Dreamed of this for so fucking long, Izzy."

"It will be over before it begins baby, just have to cool off...want you so fucking bad."

"Feel so good...so wet, so hot."

- AXEL!

I could do this all day. Basically, if I dated AXEL!, I would have to wear earmuffs to avoid hearing his stupid voice saying stupid things. But whatever. He's just one character. Let's give the others a chance.

Izzy, the heroine, is a hot fucking mess. Her tragic backstory is so heavy-handed that the entire book is about people, like, holding Izzy like an infant and defending her honor or whatever. She's flanked by a group of burly ex-Marines who call her "baby girl" and coddle her like a speshul snowflake.

Here's a spoilery list from Izzy's Tragedy Factory:
Teenage boyfriend AXEL! leaves for the military.
Both of Izzy's parents die in a car accident.
Finds out she's pregnant with AXEL!'s baby.
Thinks AXEL! is dead.
Loses baby.
Both grandparents die, leaving her with no family.
Marries an abusive asshat.
Abusive asshat nearly beats her to death.
She ends up with fucking AXEL! D:

It's a new trend to give a heroine the shittiest life imaginable to create tension or something. In my reading experience, this trend always fails. The character ends up being more a list of the awful things that happened to her rather than a living, breathing person. It's clear that Izzy's broken. She's so broken that she drinks excessively and only finds comfort when a big macho man is protecting her. Aside from that, Izzy is ... nothing. She's a blank slate, a glove for AXEL!'s penis, a vessel for the reader to jump in and fantasize about hooking up with a sexy guy. And who can blame her for being less interesting than sandpaper when she has tons of men to make her decisions for her? She's everyone's "girl," after all, and AXEL! calls her "mine" at a frequency that makes him look more selfish than the world's brattiest toddler.

AXEL! is a poorly formed character as well. He's so outrageously pig-headed and ALPHA SAY RAWR that there is nothing left but a laughably ridiculous cliche. All the men in this are like that - thumping their chests and calling Izzy "girl" and probably pissing on things when no one's looking. When the hero of a ROMANCE novel has dialogue that sounds remarkably similar to the abusive ex's dialogue, it's clear that all characterization has been shot to hell and back.

Also, I'm 99.99% positive that the asshat ex is Garfield the Cat:

"What did I fucking say, Isabelle? NO DENISE! No afternoons chatting like little fucking bitches. You are to be here, cleaning my fucking house, cooking my fucking dinner, and spreading your fat fucking thighs for my dick!" He reaches out and grabs a bowl of chili, throwing it with all his strength against the wall. I watch chunks of meat, beans and sauce run down my happy yellow walls. "And what the fuck is this shit? I told you, you fucking bitch, I wanted lasagna! Does this look like lasagna?"

So now we know what happens when Garfield doesn't get his lasagna.

But worst of fucking all is the writing. I don't want to discourage first-time and self-pubbing authors, but let me be brutally honest for a minute. If I pay $3.99 for a BOOK, I expect it to be properly edited. Sadly, Axel does not live up to those simple expectations.

Behold what I like to call TENSE HELL:

My breathing slowly returns to normal and I felt like I am able to speak.

-__-

Quivers of arousal shoot through my body and if it hadn't been for his strong arm around me, I melt right here on his driveway.

WITHIN SENTENCES. The tense changes WITHIN the sentences.

Little did I know, the last time I look into these eyes would be when he turns around to wave while walking up the steps to the bus, the bus taking my heart with it.

I'll stop at three examples, which is fucking enough for my nerves at the moment. It happens constantly, though - switching tenses, abused commas, and funny errors.

This is when Izzy thinks like a pirate:

Coop laughs and scoops me up into a big hug and kisses me cheek earning a deep growl in warning from Axel.

And then this happens:

You can't see the lights yet but the torches are lit and the rose pedals against the green grass make it look like there is a blanket of pink and red.

Those are some really fancy pedals.

As for the sex ...

"Thought I could get you here and enjoy some dinner without having to be inside your wet heat. Fuck baby, I can smell you from here. I bet your pussy is soaked, fucking sopping wet and ready for me."

SERIOUSLY. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. SHE NEEDS TO SEE A GYNECOLOGIST YESTERDAY! D:

Oh, and for the record, the apparently badass "Corps Security" crew of AXEL! and his friends sucks at its job. I wouldn't trust them to protect my garden lilies from hungry rabbits. The abusive ex manages to beat the hell out of Izzy TWICE while she's supposedly under the "care" of Corps Security. Really, the only "tough" thing they do is stand around and growl at each other. Fuck those guys. I'll take my chances without the douche brigade.

I won't be reading any other books in this series, no matter how tempting it is to read about AXEL!'s meathead friends bossing people around and calling grown women "baby girl." BAVR likes a fun challenge, but I'll be damned before I pay another dollar for a book that can't decide what tense to use.

Ah, but why so serious? I'll leave you with some sage wisdom from our dashing title character.

"Princess, that's what happens when shit festers and bitches act like bitches."
- AXEL!