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Withstanding the Enemy by T. L. Mahrt

Withstanding the Enemy


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.

Trigger Warnings:  Mid violence, domestic assault and heavy sexual content. Profanity language used.

Withstanding - Promo Pic 2


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 eyes” 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.


Withstanding the Enemy Cover

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T.L. MahrtT. 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.

T. L. Mahrt has a thirst for knowledge, and is currently working on her Bachelor of Applied Science in Communication Studies degree.

Follow Ms. Mahrt on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, and Facebook Readers Group