New Release (Book Review & Excerpt): Hard to Fight by Bella Jewel


Title: Hard to Fight
Author: Bella Jewel
Series: Alpha’s Heart, #1
Imprint: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Rating: 3 stars

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 sure…it’s going to be a case they will never forget.

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Loved the premise:  Badass female bounty hunter is a great character type and when I read the blurb, I had visions of Out of Sight with Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney, which is super sexy. It’s that touch of the forbidden that hooks me. Raide’s on the run, Grace has to catch him, how can they clear his name and be together? All that plus the idea of each book in this series focusing on a woman in a male-dominated field finding love intrigued me. It has great long-term story potential, plus it’s pretty much a guarantee for a complete, non-cliffhanger of a story – my favorite kind.

Elements of the wacky: This was funnier than I thought it would be and its silliness at times amused me. I’ll admit Grace reminded me of Stephanie Plum series, in that she gets some of the small bail jumps that can lead to craziness, she has a hot mentor (Vance) and while she has badass moments, sometimes her lack of confidence tends to make her come off as a bit dingy. This is not a bad comparison, because I’ve definitely enjoyed that long running series. However, while that other series focuses just one lead character’s life, I love that the focus in this one would be on romance, so future entries would be about different couples in this same ‘verse, hopefully with some crossover potential.

Good sexual tension: Raide and Grace begin with some heavy sexual tension and it builds with every encounter, so when they give into their passion, it’s satisfying. There is insta-love, however, because it felt to me as if they transitioned from this attraction straight to the deep feels after one night of passion, which left me shaking my head. I really would have liked to have seen more time and effort spent on establishing their emotional connection.

Leave logic at the door: There’s angst because of their situation, but the thing I struggled with is the lack of logic employed by Grace at the best of times. There’s shades of the fantastical as far as what happens while Grace “hunts” Raide and the race to catch the true villain of the piece. I was able to just go along for the ride, and it was entertaining, as long as I didn’t think too hard on the whys and how the hell could that work out.


The Bottom Line

I liked it. Even the crazy bits entertained me. If you’re a fan of Bella Jewel, you’ll probably enjoy this.

– Ivy

*An ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest for review.


“I’m freaking out, Kady,” I whisper down the phone. “How the hell am I supposed to get him in?”

“With your mind,” she says with amusement in her voice. “And your body.”

I frown. “My body?”

“Don’t you see? You’re looking at this all wrong. You’re expecting to be able to just go over and drag him in but you can’t do that. Whether you like it or not, you don’t have the physical power to bring a man his size in. So start thinking outside the box.”

She’s piqued my interest. “Go on. .

“Seduce him.”

I blink. “Excuse me?”

She huffs as if my question is completely unwarranted. “Seduce him.”

I laugh nervously. “Kady, I met him and basically abused him for being a player. Then I told him girls like me never sleep with men like him, and now you’re asking me to approach him and try to make him believe I’m interested?”


I close my eyes. “Yeah, that’s not going to happen.”

“What are you going to do, then?” she challenges. “Waltz up to him and order him to come in? He’ll run before you get your damned gun from your purse.”

I laugh. “I know how to use my gun, thank you very much—I’m just not allowed to use it unless it’s life or death.”

“Seriously, Gracie,” she says, softer now. “Think about it. You seduce him, get him interested, then you set him up. You could do something as simple as making him drop you to work one day—and, bam, he’s in.”

She makes a really good point.

“He’s not just going to grow an attraction to me overnight.”

“What?” She giggles. “A man isn’t just going to fall at your feet? Gasp. But seriously, that man was undressing you with his eyes. I don’t think you’ll have a problem.”

I snort. “Shut up—he was not.”

“He was so, and you can do it. I know you can. Just drop the charm on him, and you’ll have him panting.”

It’s actually not a bad idea. It would be an easy way of getting Raide in without alerting him or having to wrestle him. I might be trained, but a man his size wouldn’t be easy to move.

Being a bounty hunter isn’t always easy. We have to track down criminals and bring them in for their trials, things like that. It isn’t always a walk in the park, a good deal of them run or attempt to assault us, so we’re always on our feet.

“I’ll think about it, but it is a good plan.”

I hear her clap and squeal. “While you’re at it, get some of that fine ass for yourself.”

“I think that’s against the code. . . .”

“Not if it’s kept secret.” She’s grinning—I can hear it in her voice.

I laugh, flopping down onto my couch. “You’re a rebel, Kady…”

…I hang up and lean back against the soft cushions of the couch. Seduce Raide Knox, prove my team wrong, and get the chance to expand my career. It all sounds simple, but I have no doubt whatsoever that it won’t be. Raide is a hard man, and he’s going to think I’m a great big joke when I turn up, trying to seduce him. I can only hope he’s seducible.

Things are about to get interesting.


Bella Jewel is a USA Today bestselling author. She lives in North Queensland where she’s working on her next novel.

Bella Jewel

St. Martin’s Romance

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