Axel is a mixture of themes: romance, love, and the tough issue of domestic violence. I enjoyed this book because of the weaving and bobbing of these elements. The novel has light moments, suspense, and action.
The emotional ties of Axel and Izzy are apparent throughout the story even when divided.
Axel and Izzy are separated at a young age. This starts them on the path of a 12 year estrangement. Axel has a tough alpha-male persona that is hardened by his military service. His anger and frustration has festered over the lost time.
Izzy has had a very unfortunate life filled with despair, heartbreak, and violence. Izzy’s character has trouble coping with what can only be described as one hell after another. Izzy spends her time attempting to keep her emotional self above water. She forms strong bonds with Dee and Greg (supporting characters) and this enables her to move on.
Not only does Harper Sloan make us form attachments to Izzy and Axel but her supporting characters as well. This is important for the reader and the impulse to continue the series. Dee is caring, helpful, and saves Izzy at her lowest point. Greg comes in later in Izzy’s life but is no less important than Dee. Greg is the catalyst for Izzy’s healing and her association to him is what spurs her eventual redemption and healing.
This is an emotionally charged read with heavy subject matter but the author’s message is clear, true love conquers all.