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The Swallow

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Kathryn Bryant became an NSA agent only because her asshole ex-boyfriend, the current covert ops director, lied and coerced her into working for the NSA.

She imagined a life with a good-looking husband (former ex-boyfriend), wearing gray pantsuits, and sensible pumps as a boring tax attorney living in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Instead, a uniform of plunging, cleavage-exposing blouses, tight skirts, and stilettos fill her closet.

She’s miserable because espionage appears sexy until the mission includes dry humping a fat, snoring naked man. So she plots to disappear and escape, but she has to complete one last mission with a target that is unlike any other, manufacturing desire for him is unnecessary. Spending the week with Alex Reed without arousing suspicion puts all Kathryn’s wits and training to the test. Alex is a witty, accomplished attorney that unknowingly represents a US company that funds terrorism. Kathryn realizes he may provide the best path for her escape, but can she convince him that their week together wasn't all a lie or will she sacrifice the mission and happiness with the truth?

Isabelle Joshua makes her powerful debut with this intriguing, fast-paced, suspenseful romance. Similar to Carrie on Homeland and Elizabeth on The Americans, Kathryn is thrust into a world of counter-terrorism and uses her sex appeal and intelligence to become the top agent for the NSA, surrounded by men trying to control her life.

Visit isabellejoshua.com to learn about her upcoming books.

304 pages, Paperback

First published March 7, 2016

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About the author

Isabelle Joshua

4 books17 followers
Isabelle Joshua wrote her first novel while in graduate school. She is a mother of five children and has been married for over 12 years. She lives in the south and enjoys her air conditioner while sitting in front of her laptop creating stories, researching ideas, or getting sidetracked by funny videos.

She loves romance and interesting characters. She's been an avid reader since childhood. Her characters are witty and complex, they love intensely, and most of the time steam up the windows with their heat. She loves a good story that captures a reader and doesn't let go. She hopes to create stories that capture her readers as well.

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Profile Image for Shelby.
13 reviews21 followers
March 10, 2016
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you like a good love story, stop reading this review and go read this book. It is phenomenal. The Swallow by Isabelle Joshua is well written and just a great read. It has action, suspense, and romance.

The Swallow centers around Katherine who is a spy for the National Security Agency. Her job is to seduce, without being too intimate, terrorists with information that threatens the security of the United States. Sexy and smart, Katherine is the perfect spy. The only issue is she was blackmailed into the position by her ex-boyfriend Evan and hates what she has to do to keep her nation safe. That is until her next mission, where her target is...see full review at http://papercraneseandd.blogspot.com.
Profile Image for Debbie Hughes.
187 reviews8 followers
March 7, 2016
This book is just wonderful! I stayed on the edge of my seat and I will lose my mind waiting for book two. I'm not very patient so if there is more then one more book I need to wait till I can have them all to read in order right after each other. Because this cliff hanger is killing me. I am so team Alex and I know this will all work out, but I don't know if my heart can handle it.

This book is full of excitement and such a great flow. The author does a great job keeping the story moving and keeping your attention. I love that Kathryn is such an intelligent and strong women. This is just a great story.....

Waiting, not so patiently, for book 2....
1 review2 followers
February 22, 2016
I thought this was a great book. Nice, quick read. I enjoyed the characters and the way the author told a very interesting love story mixed with intrique. Very good read and I recommend it.
January 27, 2017
After reading The Swallow, an advanced copy given to me, I can say that this was an ok story. It took me awhile to read it because in my opinion it was a bit to realistic for my taste. Nevertheless, I did like reading about Kathryn`s story. There were a few moments where I was wondering if the author thought of taking another angle then the one she took. I love the emotional experience that is written in The Swallow. I didn't like the she loss her memory, but I loved how awareness to brain injuries is used here. I would recommend The Swallow to those looking for realistic stories.
887 reviews1 follower
March 20, 2016
I received an ARC of this book from the author for an honest review.

Kathryn works with the NSA to get information that is needed usually from unsavory people who would use it in unsavoury ways. Her job revolves around using her body and a drug to play with her targets mind and make them think they have had the time of their life with her. She hates her job and is silently making plans to escape, until Alex. This time the target is someone she has to get close to for a longer period tan she normally would, and as she gets closer to him she finds herself falling in love.

The book is shown from the perspective of Kathryn, so we only knows what she knows and what she feels and everything about everyone else is hypothesised. Kathyrn goes undercover as Ava and finds herself falling for her target, spends a month with him before an accident tears it all apart. This accident separates the book into two sections for me, and two different versions of the Kat is painted.

I disliked Kathryn decisions in the first half when she revealed after a week with Alex, everything about herself and her job etc. That struck me as maybe not something a person in that job/situation would do especially as they are still employed within a government agency and they would be confidentiality clauses etc, even if she had a plan to leave.

In the second half I liked her a bit more, even if she was dealing with a serious injury. Her reactions and personality seemed like the true person. However there were a few instances where I honestly wanted to scream at her for her behaviour and her decisions, also true in the first half. I really wanted to love the book, but unfortunately there was something missing and the characters all of them except for Alex rubbed me the wrong way. Kathyrn acceptance of Evan her boss behaviour when he recruited her, his messing about with specifically choosing her for the Alex mission all annoyed me big time. It seemed so unprofessional, and self-serving.

The cliffhanger at the end was unwanted, as I wanted finality and it to be all over and done. Honestly I want to rant, but will refrain and say read and judge for yourself. The writing was okay, plot points were okay, sex scenes were good and frequent. Being from only Kathryn's POV, we are limited to what she know, sees and judges from the people around her actions so I'm hoping with the second book, there are a few more POV to get a more rounded view.
July 23, 2016
Good read

The story held my interest and I couldn't put it down! It's a fun, light read that has potential for a more captivating storyline, but I did enjoy it overall. The romance scenes are just enough and not overdone. It definitely left me wanting to read book two. For a first novel, per the author's notes, I thought it was a fantastic start to a hopefully long and successful career. I would recommend this book and found it to be entertaining.
8 reviews1 follower
May 28, 2016
How long do we have to wait?

I can't wait to for the next book...everyone needs an Alex! I enjoyed the story and look forward to seeing where the Caged Beauty series takes us. Well done!
Barbara Maberry
Profile Image for Reader Views.
2,120 reviews72 followers
October 3, 2016
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (09/16)

“The Swallow” is the first book in the Caged Beauty Series, and the debut novel by author Isabelle Joshua.

Special Agent Kathryn Bryant was tricked and coerced into working for the NSA by her ex-boyfriend, Evan, who is now her boss. Espionage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and after one too many missions extracting sensitive data from disgusting lowlifes, Kathryn vows to make an escape, and begins careful deliberation of her secret exit to her new life. One more mission, that’s what she keeps telling herself, but her latest target, Alex, is unlike any she has ever known. After spending a week with Alex, Kathryn realizes that he is the perfect person to help her escape, but how can she convince him, and will she sacrifice the mission in the process?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thoroughly. A bit of espionage, a bit of intrigue, a bit of romance – what’s not to like? The writing is straightforward, deliberate, and often brash, pulling the reader deeply into the story, either through a glimpse into Kathryn’s innermost thoughts or through the witty dialogue between the characters.

Ranking closely second to the writing style, are the delightful characters created by Ms. Joshua. Kathryn is a strong female lead, confident and sexy, down to earth and playful, but also mean, and sometimes nasty, especially in the second half of the book. Alex is every woman’s dream guy – thoughtful, caring, gorgeous, sensitive, strong, manly, and forgiving, almost to a fault - I could go on, but you get the idea. I felt like a fly on the wall watching their relationship develop, and the sex scenes – the perfect mix of romance and steam - sultry, inviting, and hot, without being sappy, insulting, or slutty. The supporting characters are genuine and create a nice balance, aiding the protagonists through a steadily moving plot.

I don’t usually do this, as I believe in the old adage of not judging a book by its cover and all, but I have to add that in addition to a fantastic story, the book cover is quite exquisite – simple, yet beautiful, clean and enticing.

“The Swallow” by Isabelle Joshua is a creative, intriguing story, and sets a solid foundation for a spectacular series, a bit different from anything currently on the market. That said, I was disappointed to learn that there is only one more book in the series, scheduled for production in 2017. Overall, I highly recommend this book and look forward to the upcoming conclusion, “The Bluebird.” One can always hope Joshua’s fans can change her mind by urging her to continue this incredible series!
Profile Image for Isabelle Joshua.
Author 4 books17 followers
June 24, 2016
It's my book so of course I love it!

It tells the story of Kathryn Bryant who was forced to become a spy for the NSA. Her ex-boyfriend broke her heart and is now her boss, sending her on missions to "flirt with, entice, entrap" unattractive and unappealing targets to get to the intel, she's in and out in a few hours. But now after she's set her escape plan (really a defection) in motion, she has to spend the week with a target, Alex Reed.

The problem is this target is HOT, and he turns the tables by pursuing her. She can't help but fall for his gorgeous face, rockin' body, funny and sweet personality. Don't let "funny and sweet" fool you because the heat radiates between them. But once the missions over, she has a choice to make: does she go through with her original plan to escape or does she follow her heart.

It is a fast-paced, fun, sexy and will keep you up all night read!
Profile Image for Daniela.
7 reviews
August 28, 2016
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I tend to proceed with caution when it comes to a new author. However, with this author, there is no need. I was pleasantly surprised to get completely wrapped up in Kathryn and Alex's story. It was difficult to put down.

Can't wait for the next book!
Profile Image for S S.
20 reviews1 follower
August 31, 2016
I love this novel and this author! The characters are well developed, relatable, and multi-layered. The story is the perfect combination of literature and romance - Isabelle Joshua kept me on the edge of my seat and swooning throughout. Definitely recommend this book and I can't wait to read the next volume!
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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