Review: Neil by Sybil Bartel [Giveaway]

neil Neil
(Uncompromising #2)
By: Sybil Bartel
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: Aug. 22, 2016
Genre: Romance

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Ex-Danish Military Special Forces, built like a legend, and uncompromising in every way—Neil Christensen didn’t walk into my life. The Viking-sized warrior crashed it like a hurricane.

The moment he showed up at my strip club, my life fell to shit. South Florida’s most ruthless motorcycle gang, the cops, the Feds—they all want something I don’t have, something the Viking took from me.

I thought I could run, but the motorcycle gang caught me. Now the only thing standing between me and an unmarked grave is a warrior I don’t trust.

I’m not afraid to die, but I am terrified of weathering the storm. Because when a Viking decides to unleash his fury, no one is going to come out unscathed.

Warning: This book contains alpha heroes, offensive language, violence and sexual situations. Mature audiences only. 18+

NEIL is a full-length, standalone novel and is the second book in the Uncompromising Series.

TALON, the first book in the Uncompromising Series is also a full-length standalone novel and is available now.



My thoughts…

I thought this book was going to be about a stripper and a former Danish Special Forces soldier. However, these two met way before that when Neil saved her from an attack. Fast forward and we have Ariel working the desk at a security company where Neil walks in and is “one of the guys.” That’s where the story takes off. Pretty soon the quiet and commanding Ex-Danish soldier starts pushing his way into Ariel’s life while trying to remain distant. Meanwhile, Ariel’s baby-daddy shows up, drops a bomb in her lap, and pretty soon Ariel has the local motorcycle gang breathing down her back with threats. So, yeah, this wasn’t just simply a story about a former military guy who meets a stripper and falls in love. There was a lot more backstory and suspense than that.

I liked that Neil was this massive imposing “Viking” who everyone, even his own co-workers, feared, and yet he was always gentle with her son. From the moment he met him, Neil was picking him up, holding him, teaching him Danish, and always concerned about his well-being. So, of course, their co-workers were both shocked and concerned when they noticed Neil hanging around Ariel and her son a lot. He started to step up and do things for her like buy her groceries when she clearly needed it, and that softer side was really endearing. However, Neil is your typical overbearing-controlling-demanding-super-Alpha-male and it didn’t always come off as being protective in a good way. He was extremely blunt and didn’t mash words. He called it like he saw it. So when he see’s that Ariel has barely any food in the house, he sort of calls her a negligent mom in a round-about way by pointing out she was able to afford a cheap, crappy dress in order to attend her friends wedding but not enough groceries for her son. Then he turned around and bought her groceries and a flat-screen TV. I mean, she’s a young single mom doing all that she can for her son. Just some of the things he would say to her really sent my hackles raising. He treats her son like he’s his own and then turns around and looks down on Ariel… while still seamlessly throwing out signals like he’s interested in her.

“You’re just like every other alpha soldier who thinks he’s invincible. You fuck like a champion and fight like a warrior. […] But you hide like a goddamn coward.”

Ariel was another confusing character. I mean, she seems to not know how to just stop for a moment and breathe. I mean, she made some really poor choices throughout this book and I really wanted to smack her upside the head. I mean, your ex (who is a prospect for a shady and illegal motorcycle club) is being cuffed and taken away and right before he’s hauled off he tells you to make sure the cops don’t look in the back of your vehicle. Do you A.) Tell the cops there’s something in the car that your ex was driving, or B.) Listen to your ex and quickly drive off so that you can discreetly check out what’s in the back without cops around? I mean, REALLY!? Not to mention there were times where she tried to run off instead of trusting her boss and Neil, who are part of a security company, to help get her out of the mess she’s in because she chose option B. Plus, the kicker for me was that she was hornier than a boy on prom night, and I’m not just talking about Neil. I mean, here she is, with the enemy who’s got a weapon on him, her son’s hiding in a closet, and she’s practically salivating at the mouth. I’m sorry but WHAT!!?

Aside from my issues with the characters I did really enjoy the story. I know it doesn’t seem like I would have but I did. There was a lot of suspense, a lot of heart-warming moments, and quite a bit of steamy scenes to balance it all out. About halfway through the book I thought, “This has to be the end of the book”, because it seemed like things were wrapping up. There was just so much going on that I kind of can’t believe the author fit it all into one story. Sure, I had issues with this story and the ending was a bit lacking in that feel-good way but it kind of worked. I mean, way too many times I read a book about a super-macho-Alpha that turns to putty when around his female and that’s not the case with Neil. What you see is what you get with him and he’s not going to wax poetic just because he’s interested in some chick or they are in bed together. He’s the same ruthless “Viking” coming out of the story as he was going into it, and I really liked that. I liked that he didn’t just magically change because he found “the one.” Heck, Neil’s so bad-ass Viking he doesn’t even say he loves her throughout the whole book. Sorry if that’s a spoiler to anyone but I mean, THAT’S the kind of guy he is. He’s blunt, possessive, protective, aggressive, and he doesn’t apologize to no one.

“How about you answer a question? You said I was important to you then you said no attachments. You said you wouldn’t have asked me on a date, yet here we are, at a restaurant, after you’ve fucked me and gotten so deep in my problems that you were almost hanged. You can’t wake up next to me but you’ll piss all over some guy who brings me clothes? What the hell kind of no attachment is that?

“The sexual kind.”

One thing I liked about Neil (the book, not the guy) was that even though it’s a second in a series, it stands on its own. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have never thought it was part of a series. While Neil isn’t for everyone, it’s a good read for those looking for a Hero that makes no excuses and doesn’t change for anyone, even his leading lady.



Favorite quote…

“Viking was a warrior. He’d always be a warrior and that terrified me but I’d never fully understood why until this very second. Warriors weren’t permanent. They didn’t five away their hearts. They took what they wanted and the collateral damage was the hearts of those they left behind, trampled in their wake.”


If you want to know a little bit about the first book, Talon, I have an excerpt from it here.



Meet the author…

sybilSybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.
Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
But Seriously?
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.
She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.

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Giveaway time!


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12 Thoughts on “Review: Neil by Sybil Bartel [Giveaway]

  1. Neil sounds like a well written and compelling character. This book sounds right up my alley! Great review, Kristin! 🙂

  2. I kind of want this book now. I’m not sure if Ariel will annoy me or not, but I think I can look past it lol

  3. Veronica Vasquez on 5 October, 2016 at 8:05 pm said:

    Sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. It says a lot about the book that despite your issues with it you still enjoyed it so much. I get what you’re saying about Ariel and she might irritate me because I don’t know that I could forgive her stupid decisions…especially when she has a son. And Neil is definitely going to have me in a tither with some of the things he says to Ariel. But you’re right – there is something about a guy who holds steady in who he is, and apologizes to no one. I might be able to get on board with that. 😉 Great review, Kristin. I’ve already put Neil on my tbr. 😀

  5. It sure sounds like there is a lot of suspense in it. Those alpha types can be a bit much sometimes when they get too overprotective, but it does seems like this one has a soft side as well, which is nice to hear. That does sound like Ariel doesn’t make the best decisions at times. But I can also see why you liked this book with how blunt Neil can be and what you see is what you get and the romance and suspense.

  6. I love your review! It’s so hard to write objective reviews when the characters do silly things like “look in the trunk” when you know they shouldn’t but that author did a great job if you got lost in the book like that. I mean, there ARE those kind of people out there, right 🙂 We just avoid them b/c they drive us personally nuts 😉

    I love alpha males that tell it like is; those are my faves!!!

  7. Ooh this sounds really interesting. I’m glad you still liked the story in spite of the issues. Nice review.

  8. I do like the sound of Neil, but I may get a little annoyed like you that he was all judgemental about Ariel and how she parented. And Ariel sounds frustrating too… might be why they are good together! 😉

  9. Cathy French on 10 October, 2016 at 6:40 am said:

    I like that even though this is the second in a series that it can be read as a standalone.

  10. debbie on 10 October, 2016 at 9:23 pm said:

    I love the cover and aa looking forward to reading it

  11. Not my usual type of book, the irritating protagonist. But I feel like if someone handed it to me I would still read it.

  12. Oh my! Well doesn’t that look good!

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