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The Ultimatum

(The Guardian #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  3,641 ratings  ·  467 reviews
Librarian’s note: This is a previously-published edition of
Kindle ASIN: B01LLPKKH0.

Thief. Manipulator. Con artist. Call it what you will—Bianca St. Ives is the best in the business.

Growing up, Bianca St. Ives knew she was different from all her friends. Instead of playing hopscotch or combing her dolls' hair, she studied martial arts with sensei masters and dismant
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by MIRA
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Karen And after just starting Book 1, I believe I’m hooked, as long as Julia Whelan remains narrator, which seems to be so.
Anna Adams 2018 and it's called "The Moscow Deception."…more2018 and it's called "The Moscow Deception."(less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Alex is The Romance Fox
Karen Robards's latest book, The Ultimatum, which looks like the 1st book in The Guardian Series was one of the most excruciating books I have read by this author.

I had such high hopes after reading Chapter 1......the story started with a certainly got my attention.........I couldn't wait to turn to the next chapter!!!

And what happened after turning the 1st page of Chapter 2?? Nothing!!! What follows are loooong and repetitive scenes after scenes. Nothing made any sense...not the c
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Wow?! And not in a good way. 1 1/2 stars rounded down because it was such a huge disappointment.

The first chapter in this book was awesome and I thought this was going to be the start of a good series. And then it moved into a ridiculously long (was it 100 pages?) of escaping out of a building, hitting a 1980's style hot kiss in the bathroom between strangers (way too new writer cliche from a writer who should know better) and then a whole lot of tell not show.

I skim read the majority of the boo
4.5 "Super Soldier Heroine" Stars for the story and 5 stars for the narration.

What an engaging listen! I absolutely loved the suspense and powerful, super talented heroine who can give most superheroes a run for their money (think of her as a feminine version of MacGyver--the late 1980s and early 1990s hit TV show--or Sidney Bristow from the 2000s hit TV show, Alias). Amazingly, as many books as I have read or listened to by Ms. Robards, she never ceases to surprise me with her creativity and a
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt really frightened reading this novel. In a small, one story house on the shore of Lake Michigan. On a cold October night a man was there to kill everyone who lived in the house. Mother Issa was waiting for husband to come home and four-year-old Beth was excited that daddy was coming home. With hearing foot steps on the gravel, Issa thought her husband had returned home. But then as she couldn’t see no car she then realises that someone is in the house. Issa hides Beth in a basement cabine ...more
D.B. Reynolds
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 enthusiastic stars! This is Karen Robards at her finest, with action, intrigue, and romance combined into one kick-ass story that grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let go until the final paragraph. Warning to some readers: This is the first book in a series, and although there is a satisfying ending, it's also meant to lead into more books. If I'd had the next book, I'd have started reading it the moment I finished this one. It's just that good. ...more
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Song for summary: Love Lies by Khalid & Normani

An explosive read! The characters are adept, badass, calculating, deceiving, and lethal; while the plot is an electrifying thrill ride from start to finish. With covert operatives, elaborate disguises, intricate schemes, and secret identities; The Ultimatum is a fast-paced, action packed novel that gives us a look into the cunning and dangerous world of elite thieves. As the stakes climb higher and the betrayals run deeper, a young, world-class man
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was wondering if I would make it through this new book by KR. It was really slow for me at the beginning. The story is told mostly from the h's point of view. There is not much dialogue between characters. As I got to the halfway mark I started enjoying it. This was book #1 in her new series, so the ending leaves you hanging. I look forward to reading the next one. ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ultimatum is the first book in The Guardian series which promises to be a good one. Bianca is a thief who works with her father to pull off very elaborate cons and steal valuable items. Near the beginning of the book, Bianca's father is killed in the middle of a job, so Bianca opens a security business in Savannah, Georgia and tries to live a somewhat normal life. It isn't long though, before her past comes back to haunt her. Bianca has left open several avenues of communication in the faint ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kick-ass-heroine
Romantic Suspense > Contemporary > Spies & Politics > Conspiracies
Series: The Guardian, Book 1
Publication Date : June 13, 2017

Bianca St Ives, discovers the safe she has broken into is empty. Realizing they have been set up to take the blame, the team has to take off before they are captured. However things won't go as easy as expected. Lots of action will follow...

I really enjoyed this Jane Bond type story with a strong female lead who can take care of herself. There were many twists and turns a
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
The 1st chapter is 4 star quality. The rest of the story just slowly lost my attention and interest. Simple plot, solid action and just predictable twists. The main character lost appeal as the story progressed. When she found out things about her past or her family ( I didnt really fell confident in her decision making skills or intelligence as a character). This one just didnt do it for me.
Kathy Davie
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-action
First in The Guardian action thriller series and revolving around Bianca St Ives, a thief, con artist, and respected security consultant in Savannah, Georgia.

My Take
Lord, talk about IN-TENSE. Robards will keep you flipping these pages…and you may want to be sure to have The Moscow Deception on hand before you finish The Ultimatum. I almost wanted to scream when I discovered my library didn't have it as an eBook!

The details in here about thievery, misdirection, planning on the fly, the fun ga
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a small, one story house on the shore of Lake Michigan. On a cold October night a man was there to kill everyone who lived in the house. Mother Issa was waiting for husband to come home and four-year-old Beth was excited that daddy was coming home.
With hearing foot steps on the gravel, Issa thought her husband had returned home. But then as she couldn't see no car she then realises that someone is in the house. Issa hides Beth in a basement cabinet.
The out come of this story is so utterly u
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-arc
Good start to a new series by Robards. Great characters, an interesting storyline, and lots of action make this one a winner!
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bianca St Ives is more of a hero to me than all of the other heroes that I have followed over the years. She is the main character in this book [and apparently there will be a book series] who is so amazing that I find myself going back to re-read what she did! WOW. How did she get out of that one?

Like several other books I have read recently, this one involves the main character being a criminal of sorts, engaging in something of a scam, stealing but not really stealing because the scam is to
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Three stars: An exciting thriller that opens with a bang, but then fizzles.

Bianca is not your average girl. She is a highly trained thief, manipulator, con artist and killer, and tonight she is once again testing her skills. Unfortunately, the heist goes wrong quickly, and Bianca’s must use all of her training and tools to escape. Just when she thinks she will make the boat, disaster strikes. Three of her comrades are caught and killed, one of whom is her father. The very man who trained her. R
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
In compliance with FTC guidelines -- I received this book from Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine.

More accurate rating is 3.5 stars.

I enjoyed this book and it kept my interest. I read it quickly and was involved and wanted to know the outcome of the story. Most importantly, I am quite happy to report that the female lead character did not make me angry or seethe with disgust. Tha
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
The Ultimatum (The Guardian, #1)
by Karen Robards (Goodreads Author), read by Julia Whelan

Pretty good. Bianca is a little whiny and there seems to me to be an undercurrent from Robards of saying "No girls, you can't be superheroes. Men are always better - see how Colin keeps finding you. You really want him to find you." Plus Bianca reminds me a little bit of that TV show "Castle" where he thinks he's a great writer but he's not. We hear Biana recite all these "rules" that Mason taught her but
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like suspense and an ending you won't soon forget, this is a great story! I listened on audio CD, and narration by Julia Whelan added enjoyment to the suspense. The second disk covered an elapsed story time of 5 to 7 minutes and kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire 60 to 75 minutes of listening time! I love an amazing ending, and this story did not disappoint, resulting in a rating of 7 out of 10. ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Well, The Ultimatum is my first ever Karen Robards book and it won't be the last. Wow! This book was amazing. It left me breathless, from the gripping and very scary prologue, right through to the last word, I just couldn't put it down. Ms Robards really is a wonderful storyteller. This is a fast paced thriller that pulls no punches, is action packed, but is also heavily character driven, and this surprised me. It's an entertaining and compulsive read.

I couldn't put this book down, it really do
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was definitely an action packed book and it starts out with a bang and a bust. The bust being the two million dollars that Bianca with her dad and their team was set up and in position to steal. However, that was kind of hard for them to do as the vault was empty when they got there. Having been found out, the chase is on and Bianca's father was killed in the getaway, or was he? No one really seems to know. No one has heard from him in years, including his daughter.

Bianca then decides to go
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, suspense
See full review at

What a thrilling story! The Ultimatum was all non-stop action as one woman’s past began to unravel and everything she thought she knew came into question.

‘Mentor, teacher, taskmaster. Ruthless disciplinarian. Despot. Her constant in an uncertain world. Con man. Thief. Dad.’

Karen Robards is at the top of her game with this new series. The only way I can describe the level of subterfuge and action in this novel is to compare it to a female James Bond meets th
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Opening a Karen Robards suspense thriller is the same as opening a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. But whatever you take a bite of is gonna be rich and deliciously satisfying.

From the opening chapter where a terrified little girl is witness to her parents murder, the suspense builds like a tsunami tidal wave.

Then we get to meet Bianca St. Ives, she’s a cool cucumber and expert thief. It’s nail biting how she narrowly escapes capture time and again, and she is clever. S
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Karen Robards is one of the best authors in the Romance and action genre. She has always been one of my "buy without reading overview" authors. I have never given her books anything less than 5 stars...until now. Let me explain...there is no question that she is held at a higher standard than most simply because she is "that good"! She's never let her fans down. Never!
In this case, the story is good and is obviously a first book in a series that will continue with these characters. I'm disappoin
Lyndi W.
Feb 11, 2018 marked it as d-n-f
Eleven chapters and 38% of the way through and I'm done. Nothing is happening. Nothing is explained. It's boring and pointless. She's charging TWELVE WHOLE DOLLARS for the Kindle edition? Are you fucking kidding me? That is offensive. ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it! Over all, the story line was good with some surprises! I do like Bianca! Great beginning and a good ending!
I've had this book on my kindle FOR. EV. ER.

I got it ages ago and started reading it and loved the beginning. But somewhere in the middle it fizzed. And then I'd put it down. Then I'd notice it was still there hovering at the 40% mark, and then I'd read some more but it would not keep me engaged so I'd put it down. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I adore heist books and long cons and capers and thieves etc. So this book was way up my alley! This book started with a bang and was both fun and angsty. There
Lisa B.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
The ultimate question when starting a new series is - do I like this story line enough to want to continue to read more books? With The Ultimatum, the answer is yes.

The female lead, Bianca St. Ives, is a bit James Bondish. She smart, beautiful, quick thinking and a good problem solver. While she frequently gets herself into difficult situations, she always finds an interesting way out. I find these kinds of stories to be pure escapism. Something just to have fun with. And the ending? The author
Lady Jane
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not my usual kind of read, but entertaining and interesting.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
First book I’ve read by this author but returned it & signed out another by her. Not bad!
Jun 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
I am going to make a lot of Robards fans mad, but it is what it is, and what it is , is a terrible book! Chapter 1 really grabbed me and I was thrilled to get into the rest of the book, Chapter 2 was so boring and long I am thinking what happened after the first chapter?! This book is so far fetched , so unbelievable, so not in Robards wheelhouse, why oh why did she think she could go some place that only the pros can write about without being so unreal and boring? I really had to struggle throu ...more
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Karen Robards is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than fifty books and one novella. She has won multiple awards including six Affaire de Coeur Silver Pen Awards for favorite author.
Karen has been writing since she was very young, and was first published nationally in the December 1973 Reader's Digest. She sold her first romance novel, ISLAND FLAME, wh

Other books in the series

The Guardian (3 books)
  • The Moscow Deception (The Guardian, #2)
  • The Fifth Doctrine (The Guardian, #3)

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