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With Emma #1

Withstanding the Enemy

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Emma Andrews was orphaned at a young age with no family to turn to. Tired of the broken foster-care system, and believing it was her only option, she runs to a multi-millionaire with a reputation of hiring young women. It is only then that she learns what real monsters look like…
Emma uses her overactive imagination to help her get through the toughest of days. By daydreaming a life full of love and freewill, she manages her colorless prison, but even in her wildest dreams, she would have never imagined it could become a reality. That is, until she meets Chance, a man willing to lay his life down to save hers.
But what Emma doesn’t expect is to fight her own personal demons—her heart.

289 pages, Kindle Edition

Published January 31, 2020

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About the author

T. L. Mahrt is a former business owner, where she utilized her education in cosmetology, barbering and massage therapy for several years. She was raised on and is currently living on a farm in Nebraska, where you can find her running barefoot in the country side with her loving husband and inspiring children and massive dogs.

After having her son, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, she made the life altering decision to stay home to care for her two children and pursue her love for writing. She has a love for romance and poetry where, her overactive imagination, along with her adventures and up beat lifestyle drives her inspiration for her writing.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews
Profile Image for Dash fan .
1,463 reviews706 followers
May 9, 2020
5☆ A Gripping, Enthralling, Dark Romantic Suspense/ Thriller, I Couldn't Put Down!

Withstanding the Enemy Is a thrilling and gripping romantic suspense/ thriller that had me enthralled from the first few pages!

Emma's Mother died when she was just 14, in and out of foster homes, at 16 she eventually runs away from the dangers of her latest Foster home... but into the arms of the Brutal and Dangerous Rick Stevens.

Rick Stevens is a very dangerous man .... he hires young girls, has his fingers in many pies including....Owning Club Envy, along with a New York skyscraper, consisting of 20 floors, the nightclub, a gym, library and penthouse. Oh and he owns Emma, she is his and only his! She's his possession and his not about to let her go!

Chance is head security guard and has a thing for Emma, he knows she belongs to Rick and it's dangerous to even consider having feelings for her, but he can't help being drawn to her beauty and innocence!

Ms May has been looking after Rick since he was a small boy. After his mum dies she vows to protect him from his drunken abusive father. But now an adult he has changed in many ways...but she still sees that lost little boy!

Can Chance whisk Emma away to safety or is she destined to be Rick's forever!

Emma is such an endearing character, you can't help feeling sorry for her. She's very naive, comes across as innocent, has her head in the clouds and I was willing her to escape from the evil, abusive clutches of Rick!

Chance was a brilliant character, not only is he incredibly handsome, he has many sides to his character and many secrets which I loved uncovering. I was rooting for him to save Emma the whole way through!

I have to mention that there are scenes of domestic violence and sexual scenes, but are kept in line with the plot, which some readers may find sensitive to read.

Withstanding the Enemy is an enthralling and gripping Page Turner, I was on tender hooks the whole way through.
I loved the suspense and danger, the unpredictable feelings and unease I got from Rick as tension built was brilliantly plotted.
​The Characters were well written, very complex and not all likeable, but that's ok as I'm pretty sure I wasn't meant to like them all!
This is my first book by T.L Mahrt and I'm very excited to read more!

Thank you to Rachel Random Resources for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

You can Find this Review and all my Other Reviews on My Blog :-

Profile Image for Nursebookie.
2,040 reviews314 followers
August 29, 2020
Withstanding the Enemy by T.L. Mahrt is an enthralling and entertaining read - my first from this author and this is the first book in the series. It is an amazing Romantic Suspense read with characters I absolutely enjoyed reading about.

Emma is a young woman who has bounced from foster homes. She is naïve, a complex character for sure, and has a great backstory that my heart wrenched for her. Through desperation, she ended up working for a powerful millionaire, Rick Stevens. Rick has a tough history too. Though quite successful, he is really a broken man inside, and still suffering through and reeling the effects of his abusive father. Chance, the handsome head of security in Rick's team is set to protect Emma at all cost. You will be rooting for Chance and Emma and feel you want to hate Rick, but you also end up understanding how he ended up being the Rick that he is.

The writing is solid and the pacing perfect. The story had some surprises but definitely was a page turner that once I started, I could not let go of this fun read. I was so invested in the characters and with the cliffhanger of an ending, I will be counting the days to read the second installment.

I enjoyed this book and recommend this for a great escape read especially now during the quarantine.
Profile Image for Shae.
2,629 reviews301 followers
September 7, 2020
3.5 stars
This book was incredibly intense for me. He have a girl trapped in an abusive relationship, and it can be VERY TRIGGERING to read, as there is domestic violence, clear manipulation, and hints at an earlier rape from this man. He is very controlling, and it is hard to read. Please tread with caution if you are sensitive to those things.
Thankfully, we have a white knight disguised as a bodyguard for our girl, Emma. He is protective of her and fierce. He wants to do whatever it takes to keep her safe.
There is a huge mystery wrapped up in the story as well, and MAN THAT CLIFFHANGER!!! I've already ordered book 2!
Profile Image for Callie Sutcliffe.
Author 5 books54 followers
February 6, 2020
T.L Mahrt wrote about a much needed to hear subject and the truth behind it all. Emma has lived a life of bondage and knows she has to break free. Freedom comes in the form of Chance who is willing to risk everything to free her. But many obstacles get in the way. This book is the first part of Emma's story. Can't wait to read the next book!
Profile Image for Jennifer Mullins.
474 reviews16 followers
January 5, 2020
Thank you to the author for an ARC!

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, there are scenes of domestic violence that could trigger certain audiences.

My heart hurt for Emma while reading this! Her internal conflicts are influenced by situations she’s endured for many years. There are events that still haunt her that slowly unravel for the audience. Her choices are sometimes infuriating, but as a reader, you still feel compassion and understanding.

Chance is tasked with protecting Emma but it gets complicated. He also has demons from his past that are not yet revealed but influence his thoughts and actions regarding Emma. There are some surprising twists throughout the story and the ending is a huge cliffhanger! I’m rooting for Chance and Emma and am eagerly waiting for the next book!
Profile Image for The Book Junkie Reads . . ..
4,861 reviews138 followers
December 14, 2020
Overall 4 out of 5 stars
Performance 4 out of 5 stars
Story 4 out of 5 stars

There were a few things not mentioned in the genre that I found held appeal to the listen. There was a bit of darkness and suspense. I found that I was waiting for each chapter to end so that I could hear what was coming in the next chapter. Captivating characters of all backgrounds and levels of intrigue. The challenges of falling in love can come in many forms. The one chosen for Chance and Emma was one of those that challenged more than helped. Watching how they navigated the situations was well worth listening to each and every tone, pitch, high and low of this audio.

Nyamukandawiri was matching with this story.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by T. L. Mahrt. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Profile Image for Jamie Biggs.
Author 4 books13 followers
January 7, 2020
I was excited to have the opportunity to read an advance copy of Withstanding the Enemy. It is a dark romance about a young woman caught in a situation in which she has no control over, and trying to survive. I couldn’t put it down! I found myself rooting for Chance but then questioned Rick’s true intentions. I’m looking forward to the next installment of Emma’s story.
Profile Image for StaceyWare19.
103 reviews8 followers
May 10, 2020
Wow! Wow! I absolutely loved this! ❤️
Steamy, hot, erotic, crime, mystery, domestic abuse the whole package and left on an absolute cliff hanger!!! .
I need more.......... #blogtour #ebook #bookaddict #bookworm
Profile Image for Em Jackson.
54 reviews2 followers
May 16, 2020
Withstanding the Enemy is the first-person romantic tale of Emma and Chase – who, through unconventional means, meet and slowly fall for one another in this steamy story. She’s the focus of attention of a local gang lord, who keeps her locked away in his penthouse under a strict set of rules. He’s, Chase, is the bodyguard hired to escort her around, and ensure nothing untoward happens to her. Through immediate infatuation with each other comes a deep bond, and one that must stand a difficult, uphill struggle. Can he protect her? Is she strong enough to shake off her mental shackles and trust him? Only time will tell.

I requested this as an audiobook, and as it’s also on Kindle Unlimited, I got in on there as well, so this review will be looking at both versions. My first point, I feel I really should mention somewhere, is that this is a very candid romance, that you may want to be mindful of if you too are looking for audiobooks. I realized right around the scene involving Emma in a bath, that I probably didn’t want this on loudspeaker, as with Lockdown comes not being home alone. I really didn’t think Mr J would accept I’d been given the book to review as a valid excuse… but headphones to exist. This is narrated very well, with different voices given to each character. Personally though, I’d have preferred a second, male, narrator for Chase, maybe with him doing the other male voices as well, just to keep within fantasy, but as is, the woman who does this is great. She speaks fluidly, keeps great pace, and captures attention. I’m a huge fan of audiobooks, and as life goes on, I find I prefer them more and more. Any time someone has an audiobook up for review, I get genuinely excited. I don’t have the mind I used to, to read, and lately find it increasingly easier to become distracted – things that aren’t slights on authors, it’s just situational. This offered an alternative, and I adored that. Yes, it had me scrambling to get it off loud speaker, but I could exist off my couch and do things with it on. It, in that regard, gave me freedom. The narrator added to that and made the experience great. Tie in an author who knows their craft, and you have a good time. I didn’t once feel this dragged, or that I wished I were listening to something else – I just had it on and absorbed the story.

Plot wise, this isn’t the most unique of baselines, but it’s told in an intriguing way. By alternating chapters between our main characters, we get two sides of the coin. At the heart of this, it’s a damsel in distress tale, but it’s also about mental health, escapism, and defying the odds. Chase gives Emma opportunities, but she’s the one who must save herself at the end of the day. It’s also a sexy story about two people who desperately want to get into one another’s pants – I mean, if you’re looking for a romance, this is absolutely one that’ll float your boat. I enjoyed the different layers, and felt the author blended erotica with just enough reality to hit a part of the brain that recognizes aspects as possible, and real. It’s not easily done in this genre, but here it’s done well.

I mentioned earlier that I got this on KU as well, and I did so because I wanted to a) sometimes read along with the narration, as that’s a joyous experience and b) see if I preferred one version over the other. Personally, for this genre, I think I’d have preferred to read it overall, but for what it gave me, I did prefer the audiobook. There’s a lot to be said about a story whose moral is about liberty, giving the reader/listener the opportunity for movement and action. I listened to this while doing the most seemingly mundane things. I did dishes. I baked bread. I organized my bookcase. I even went through my pantry and tidied it. I just had a great, freeing time, and if you’re looking for great audiobooks, that are a little raunchy, that you don’t have to stop everything for, this is fantastic. It’s around eight hours long, but easy to pick up and put down as needed, and is light enough to not feel burdened, but twisted just right to capture and keep attention. I really did enjoy this one – and I’m not an immediate reader of the genre.

Something else I’d like to talk about are the characters. There’s a thick air of trope here, but through using stereotype available, comes the ability to just make it very special. Chase was probably my favorite character, followed by Brutus, as they’re both strong, but not toxic men, who just have everyone’s best interests at heart. There are toxic men, but they’re meant to be, and it’s clear this isn’t playing on any tedious typecasts, it’s just mindfully presented that good guys are great, and bad guys are awful. I love a novel where the antagonist is just a mean bastard, and I love when the heroes are warm, maybe a little broken, but overall lovely guys, and this fulfilled everything I’d wanted from it. So, if you love character driven novels, with mobster overtones, and damsel in the tower ladies, this is absolutely something to check out.

Overall, Withstanding the Enemy is about overcoming one’s internal and external demons, while being open to new possibilities, and maybe even love if you let it be on the table. A must for romance fans, and for anyone who really enjoys gangster fiction.
Profile Image for Eclectic.
1,313 reviews5 followers
May 12, 2020
To be honest, I've never read a story quite like this one. It's a dark romance with a hint of erotica and lots of mystery.

Emma Andrews is not in control of her life. She has been manipulated by Rick Stevens for 7 years starting at the young age of 18 and now he wants to marry her. She is caught in a never-ending nightmare living with a man who is physically abusive one minute and kind the next.  Emma constantly battles with her hatred of Rick the abuser, and love (or is it lust) for Rick the gentleman. How can she even consider kissing the man who whipped her and beats her over petty things?  What about her growing feelings for Chance, the sexy and kind bodyguard hired by Rick to protect her from Rick's illegal activities?  He desires her, but he knows she is Rick's property. And then there is the man with "the Ocean Eye" who she believes is in her dreams until she has an erotic encounter with him at her masquerade engagement party to Rick.  

Chance is undercover to find out some intel on Rick Stevens' shady dealings, but why is his contact called The Lieutenant asking about Emma?  And why is Rick beefing up security for Emma in his grand New York skyscraper?  Chance's hatred for Rick Stevens is deep and he swears to protect Emma at any cost because he's in love with her. But there is an incident in Chance's past that he doesn't want to repeat again.

Told in Emma and Chance's voices, this complicated story made me uncomfortable with Emma's feelings toward Rick which could most likely be a form of Stockholm Syndrome when the hostage falls for their captor. She is definitely very naive about men. As for Chance, I am intrigued by his mysterious backstory about Libby which is touched on, but not fully explained. Other supporting characters have me perplexed as well.  For example, I didn't know how to interpret Brutus, Rick's butler, and Ms. May, Rick's chef who seem to care for Emma, but do nothing about Rick's abuse of her.  The question of who Emma chooses is sort of dealt with but is a spoiler and I suggest you read the book to find out.  And did I mention it ends in a cliffhanger?

I give Ms. Mahrt kudos for an incredibly disturbing look at manipulation at its worst.  As I said before this is a very unique and dark romance filled with intense emotions and questionable motives.  If you like dark romances with provocative characters and edgy suspense, give this book a try.

Thank you to Ms. Mahrt for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
Profile Image for Tony Parsons.
4,156 reviews75 followers
February 7, 2020
NYC, NY. Penthouse. Club Envy takes up the 1st 3 floors.
Rick Stevens (multi-millionaire) is going to make sure no one sees what he has done to Emma Andrews.
Emma ran away from her last foster home.
Hopefully the concealer will cover up the horrible marks on her face.
Rick has summoned the employees to his office.
Brutus (70, British butler) announced Emma’s presence to Rick for dinner.

Ms. May (Italian, Rick’s chef) has made spaghetti & there is a select wine to go with it.
Ms. Gale (onset dementia, librarian) will be going into a rest home, & the library is now Emma’s to do with what she would like.
Rick also proposed to her.
Andy Marshall is going to Chance’s (guard) training in self-defense.
Chance is to make sure Emma has everything for the new/improved library.
Molly Wright was introduced as the new chef.
Emma “Em” was given the ultimatum. Read over the prenuptial contract for life & sign it.
Lenny (55, Rick’s asst./companion) was assigned to help Emma along with Jordan & Leah with
the library renovation & wedding masquerade party planning.
Rick had left her red rose/note.

A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written romance book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great romantic movie, or better yet a mini TV series. It was just OK for me so I will only rate it at 4/5 stars.

Thank you for the free author; Goodreads; MakingConnections; Making Connections discussion group talk; Amazon Digital Services LLC.; book
Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)
Profile Image for Kate A.
449 reviews12 followers
May 12, 2020
Rating 3.5/5

Every now and then I enjoy a steamy romance, they are always easy to get into and of course very entertaining. Withstanding The Enemy was a bit different to me in that its storyline was a bit deeper than I was expecting.

There were a lot of layers to the storyline and this created an exciting suspense that ran through both the events of the book and the romance, I never knew what to expect next. This next sentence is kind of difficult to get my head around, but I liked the way it showed a controlling relationship, that it showed how people can get sucked into such a situation and why it’s not so easy to just leave.

Exploring Emma’s feelings about it felt so realistic and even though the rational side of most people would be willing her to get away from Rick, it was interesting to experience the doubt and uncertainty that his manipulation caused. I liked Emma as a character she was a bit innocent and naive but also resilient and I’m glad she still had a bit of a spark about her.

I also liked that she didn’t just jump at Chance, that she had other emotions that she was dealing with and things at times got a bit messy because of that. I did like Chance but it took me a while to warm up to him, not that I disliked him in any way I was maybe just a bit indifferent. Towards the end as we get to know a bit more about him I felt like I could start to get behind his feelings for Emma but I think I did miss out on the rush of their chemistry a little because of it.

There are some trigger warnings attached to this book but I think the author handled the subjects well and I’m interested to see where Emma’s story takes her next.

Originally posted on everywhere and nowhere
Profile Image for Lynn Reynolds.
1,680 reviews38 followers
July 11, 2020
This story grabbed my attention almost from the beginning. I've never listened to our narrator before and it did take me a little time to get used to her way of talking. She is able to change the tone of her voice so that you know when a male character is speaking. Another first is reading a story by this author. Telling Emma's story in the first person made it possible to know exactly what she was thinking and feeling. Especially when it came to one strong character, Rick. The author did a great job in showing the many sides to him.

The only thing I marked down on my rating was the performance and that's just because I'm still learning our narrator's style and how one consonant seemed to have an extra sound . No one talks the same as someone else. There are those with accents. There are those that talk louder or softer than others. By thinking that Ms. Nyamukandawiri is speaking softly gives me some idea of who Emma is. By the time I was finished getting an idea of her style than I had to wonder what book two would do for me.

Now that I've had the chance to get to know a little bit about Emma and the trials that she's had to deal with there's no way I can stop now. She may not think so but she is a survivor. But the suspense that is part of her world isn't over. My only choice will be whether I be patient and see if an audio version comes out or not wait and read the book. There are questions that get raised that I need to get the answers to and at the very least I need to see how Ms. Mahrt answers them.

I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Alison.
878 reviews65 followers
May 9, 2020
I’ve always been drawn to romantic/suspense, abuse mixed with dark/sexual content in a book. I have no idea why, maybe it’s my inner psyche trying to escape or perhaps it’s a complex way of wanting to understand what goes through the minds of the characters involved, it especially helps if the story is fictitious so I know there is no real suffering, that way I can explore & pull apart the reasons why.

T L Mahrt is a new author to me, from the outset I sensed she is from the USA & not the UK, her writing has a rougher aspect to it which works well in this subject.

Emma is a character that is either easy to like or feel sorry for, having said that it’s infuriating at times why she is with Rick or why the hell she doesn’t get out of the relationship? Her background in foster care hasn’t given her the right tools to deal with growing up & she just endures more torment, there seems to be help in the arms of Chance, perhaps her imagined bondage ties can be loosened with help.

There are a lot of people in this story to keep track of & some of the scenes might be triggers to some readers for sure but if you are of the mind that wants to jump onto a roller coaster of suspense & can manage by holding onto your seat you may get a surprise at how addictive this book can be. Take a deep breath because you will become immersed thinking you can see the way it’s going but I didn’t see that ending coming ….

I read & reviewed this book voluntarily, thanks to the author, publisher & Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy.
Profile Image for Lita Thomas.
1,373 reviews18 followers
March 24, 2021
Withstanding The Enemy: A contract for life (With Emma Book 1) by T.L. Mahrt. I am so confused regarding this story. This is my first time reading this author. When I read the synopsis I was very interested in reading this story. Emma has made a decision to leave foster care. At the time she thought she was making a good decision. She heard of a man who would hire girls no questions asked.  What end up happening was she end up jumping from the frying pan and into the fire. Now at 23 she finds herself going from employee to girlfriend.  She is imprisoned in an opulent penthouse with a physically and an emotionally  man who was once her savior. When Chance comes into her life as her bodyguard her life gets emotionally turned upside down. At some point in this story I couldn't tell what Emma was seeing or experiencing was real or in her mind. The constant battle of her feelings for Chance and her boyfriend Rick was enough to give me whiplash. Than there were the feelings Chance has for Emma and his real purpose for being in the penthouse. There was just so much going on. I did know who was genuine or who had nefarious motives. The ending had me all over the place. All I know is the the prologue of the next book was included and it is because of it I am curious to go on with this trilogy.  The fact that I didn't know this book was a trilogy may add to my feelings of confusion with this story. I definitely would have read it with a different mindset. With that being said, I give this book 3 stars.
Profile Image for Lilly.
373 reviews18 followers
August 16, 2020
Ok, I want book 2 and all the next books by T. L. Mahrt. Just to get this out of the way, this book was great! It kept me awake two nights, during working week, but I just could not put it down. The plot captivated me, I fell in love with the characters and out of love with sleep! I am addicted to the series after book 1 and I am looking forward for the next installment.

Emma is a victim, a victim of others but also a victim of her own innocence. She managed to run from her last foster home and ended up with a man more dangerous than any other. To Rick she is nothing but a possession. He is obsessed by her and he is not willing to share. Emma has no way of escaping. This until Chance finally takes a step forward.

Both characters have their own demons and some of these demons will be revealed in the next book. Both characters need to become more mature and much stronger together, but also individually. They need to save each other from their past and construct a safe future. There is danger lurking, there are supportive characters that I loved just as much and there is such an intense action!

To conclude, I think this was an exceptional book and as I was mentioning in the beginning, I cannot wait to read book 2! Be aware going into the story that there are some violent scenes that may be uncomfortable, but other than this, I think you will be as captivated as I was by the first installment in Emma and Chance’s story!
944 reviews2 followers
January 4, 2021
This book is gripping, captivating with an astonishing plot, complex characters with depth and growth tangled with realistic array of emotions ranging from hatred, sorrow, protection and love. This page turner draws the reader in with lots of intrigue, danger, action and suspense and succeeds in keeping you on the edge of your seat, captivated and with baited breath

The emotional and heart wrenching glimpses of the trauma that Emma went through and was still subjected to at the hands of Rick when he manipulates her, holds her captive and subjects her to domestic abuse was appalling. Emma was very young, only 16 when she ran from her foster home into the clutches of Rick Stevens and has ben held captive for the past 7 years. Due to his manipulation Emma is very naïve and innocent and spends her days willing herself to be in a different place just to escape the horrors of daily existence. When she meets the secretive Chance, who is her guard things start changing and suddenly becomes more bearable for Emma. The book ends in a huge cliffhanger and I can't wait to read book 2.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
March 24, 2021
Withstanding the Enemy is book 1 in a Trilogy. There are some twists and turns that I didn't see coming and it ends on a hella of a cliffie! This is a dark suspenseful romance. Meaning there could be some triggers for some.

This is Emma Andrews story. She has been in and out of foster homes since her parents died. She ends up running to multi-millionaire Rick Stevens. He isn't a good man and feels he owns her and finds out he loves Emma. Chance has been put in charge to guard Emma's safety. Now Emma has mixed emotions as to whom she loves or doesn't love.

The only thing that I would question is this authors taste in beer. Come on in this day time there are so many other better beers out there than Bud Light. (just saying) ;)

So as I said there is a HUGE cliffhanger at the end of this book. I have the next book on my kindle and will be starting it ASAP.
I give this book 4 stars.

For your information on the rest of the trilogies:

Within the Shadows, Book 2
Withholding the Key is Book 3 and is the conclusion to this series. I do believe they are all out now. So no more possible cliffhangers.
Profile Image for Jane Hunt.
Author 3 books103 followers
May 12, 2020
I reviewed the audiobook edition of this story. Written from the first-person point of view it alternates between the main protagonists, Emma and Chance. Emma has a tragedy filled past. Her current life with Rick is abusive and controlling. Chance is undercover investigating Rick, but his feelings for Emma are real and hard to control.

The suspenseful plot's dominant focus is Emma and Chance and their passion. The dark sensual romance is erotic and explicit. Naive and vulnerable Emma is easy to empathise. She is confused and fearful but becomes stronger as the story progresses.

The first book in a trilogy, it ends on a cliffhanger.

The narration is clear and well-paced, although some of the male characters would be more convincing, with a male narrator. The English accent of the butler jarred on me.

I received an audiobook copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer Pierson.
11.2k reviews144 followers
March 26, 2021
Withstanding the Enemy was a very intense & painfully emotional read for me, and it took me a cool minute to get out of my funk after I finished it. Emma's life has been a series of horrible things starting in the foster system which led to her getting hired by Rick, a powerful millionaire, and it only got worse from there. He's not a good guy so she's in the fiery pits of hell & she also has a bodyguard named Chance, who she's starting to feel a connection with. I know with Rick's past being revealed as we get glimpses of why he is the way he is, it didn't change my mind about him one bit. This story had angst for days, a suspense factor providing f-bomb worthy twists, and I was on the edge of my seat cover to cover waiting for the dangerous shoe to drop leading to the cliffhanger. So yeah, that's all that I'm going to say about that, and now it's time for y'all to hit those one click buttons! HIGHLY RECOMMEND! 
Profile Image for Rachel.
587 reviews21 followers
May 9, 2020
I was unsure whether Withstanding the Enemy audiobook was going to be for me because of the trigger warnings but I gave it a chance anyway as the blurb did sound really interesting, and I am so glad I did.

Emma is an interesting character, engaged to Rick, who she is hoping to find the good side of him but also falling for Chance too. Rick and Chance also had my interest piqued, both different in so many ways, I felt I wanted to give Rick the benefit of the doubt but on the other hand I was also wanting Emma and Chance to get together. 

It was steamy, romantic and suspenseful and I am looking forward to the next instalment.

The narrator's performance was spot on, a beautiful voice that kept my attention from start to finish.
Profile Image for Jocelyne.
3,659 reviews11 followers
May 27, 2020
This was my first T.L. Mahrt's book. This is the first book in the With Emma Series, a Dark Rromantic Suspense. I love the cover! Emma is young and naive. Her story is breathtaking. Rick, a multi-millionaire and Emma's fiancé, is dark, manipulative, powerful, and ruthless. Chance, Emma's bodyguard, is intriguing, handsome and protective. The story unfolds at a slow pace. The story is told with Emma and Chance's POV. The storyline is filled with angst, mystery, drama, suspense, and twists and turns, and ended with a cliffhanger. Nyamukandawiri did a great job with the narration. I would love to listen to the next book in the Series, Within the Shadows. I was given a free review copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
2 reviews
March 13, 2020
Where do I even start?! If you like suspense and romance this is a book for you! I could hardly set this book down once I started to read it! I would come home after work, get supper ready, boys homework done, my nightly bathing, and then sit and read till I knew if I didn’t put down the book, I wouldn’t be able to function the next day. It took me only a couple of nights to read the whole book! It kept me intrigued the whole time! I was sadden when I finished because I was reading to jump into the next book. This book is one that can be re-read over n over again! Amazing book from an amazing author! Must read!
Profile Image for Dawn.
734 reviews
March 22, 2021
Emma is in a controlling relationship. Rick is the one in control. When he hires her a guard, lines get crossed between Emma and Chase, the guard.
This is the third book in the series. I have not read the first two. I was able to follow it without much difficulty.
I listened to the audiobook. The narrator did an exquisite job. Different voices were used for each character, enhancing the story.
The story itself was magnetic. I was consumed by how Emma reacted to the different situations. As much as I liked the story, I feel like I would have liked it better had I read the first two stories.
Many thanks to Bare Naked Words for providing me with an ARC of this audiobook.
2,469 reviews8 followers
February 10, 2021
This book is a suspenseful romantic thriller featuring Emma, a teenager drawn to a millionaire when she escapes from foster care, Rick, her wealthy obsessive and abusive fiance after living with him for years, and Chance, her bodyguard who is an undercover agent investigating Rick. This novel is well written, has fantastic and complex characters, and is an intriguing story with twists, obsession and eroticism. It's also an addictive read but it does end in a cliffhanger.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
February 6, 2020
I received an advanced copy of Withstanding the Enemy. Withstanding the enemy is an exciting suspense romance. From the moment I started reading it, Iwas unable to put it down.
Emma being orphaned at a young age is trying to survive without having a support of any family. Emma is trying to find the goodness in Rick but falling for Chance. Withstanding the enemy is page turner and leaves you in suspense. I can't wait to read Within the shawdows.
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6,380 reviews19 followers
January 12, 2021
I really enjoyed reading this book with its dark and twisted story. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time as I read this book. I couldn’t believe that she stayed with him but I also understood that in her defense that she didn’t feel she had a different choice. A mind blowing tale of manipulation masquerading as love.

I requested a copy of this book so I could provide an honest review.
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1,386 reviews8 followers
January 2, 2021
Emma has been with Rick for seven years. He is controlling and abusive. He hires Chance as a body guard for Emma. Rick asks Emma to marry him. She's surprised that she has begun to have feelings for him. At the same time she also is developing feelings for Chance. This book ends in a cliff hanger.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
January 23, 2020
What an absolutely amazing book!

I loved the enternal debate Emma had with her conflicting feelings between two men she had very different relationships with. The story weaved in all the right places with a perfect mix of passion and suspense making me want more.

I can not wait for more!
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