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Defensive

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The follow-up novel to the novella Guarded. Once you find the love of your life, it’s all sunshine and roses, right? Not for most relationships and definitely not for Vanessa Smith and Jackson Berrios. Vanessa Smith is finally divorced from her ex-husband and is in a committed relationship with basketball star, Jackson Berrios. Someone from Vanessa's past comes back into her The follow-up novel to the novella Guarded. Once you find the love of your life, it’s all sunshine and roses, right? Not for most relationships and definitely not for Vanessa Smith and Jackson Berrios. Vanessa Smith is finally divorced from her ex-husband and is in a committed relationship with basketball star, Jackson Berrios. Someone from Vanessa's past comes back into her life just when she needs a friend but could complicate the relationship between her and Jackson. Will the couple be able to get through their pasts coming back to the surface? Can two different circumstances tear them apart or sear them together? Will they iron out their problems and have a happily ever after…?


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The follow-up novel to the novella Guarded. Once you find the love of your life, it’s all sunshine and roses, right? Not for most relationships and definitely not for Vanessa Smith and Jackson Berrios. Vanessa Smith is finally divorced from her ex-husband and is in a committed relationship with basketball star, Jackson Berrios. Someone from Vanessa's past comes back into her The follow-up novel to the novella Guarded. Once you find the love of your life, it’s all sunshine and roses, right? Not for most relationships and definitely not for Vanessa Smith and Jackson Berrios. Vanessa Smith is finally divorced from her ex-husband and is in a committed relationship with basketball star, Jackson Berrios. Someone from Vanessa's past comes back into her life just when she needs a friend but could complicate the relationship between her and Jackson. Will the couple be able to get through their pasts coming back to the surface? Can two different circumstances tear them apart or sear them together? Will they iron out their problems and have a happily ever after…?

30 review for Defensive

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I'm so glad I could read the rest of Jackson and Vanessa's story and I'm honored that JD Rivera trusts me enough to let me beta read for her! This book was awesome! Vanessa and Jackson have only been dating for a while, but life seems to throw a wrench into the mix. A series of events ends up having Vanessa question everything. She's been through so much and she's not sure if she can take anymore. I'm not going to go into any detail. I don't want to put any spoilers on here, but it's a must read! I'm so glad I could read the rest of Jackson and Vanessa's story and I'm honored that JD Rivera trusts me enough to let me beta read for her! This book was awesome! Vanessa and Jackson have only been dating for a while, but life seems to throw a wrench into the mix. A series of events ends up having Vanessa question everything. She's been through so much and she's not sure if she can take anymore. I'm not going to go into any detail. I don't want to put any spoilers on here, but it's a must read! I really hope that JD Rivera writes the story of Amanda and Landon!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Monica Cullip

    Defensive J.D. Rivera This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. We first meet Vanessa and Jackson when they literally crash into one another in Guarded. Even with Vanessa going through a divorce from her cheating, verabally abusive husband Shane, she and Jackson hit it of and fall in love. They have the start of something really special. A bump in the road appears when his ex-girlfriend Cynthia announces she is pregnant with his child.Well that will certainly put the brakes on a Defensive J.D. Rivera This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. We first meet Vanessa and Jackson when they literally crash into one another in Guarded. Even with Vanessa going through a divorce from her cheating, verabally abusive husband Shane, she and Jackson hit it of and fall in love. They have the start of something really special. A bump in the road appears when his ex-girlfriend Cynthia announces she is pregnant with his child.Well that will certainly put the brakes on a new relationship.But they perservere and continue on. I love how this author presented us with bits and pieces that explained her relationship with Shane and the reasons for his horrendous behaviour. It was great that Vanessa was able to understand and find closure with that part of her life. All is not clear sailing yet for her though, she has some very tough times ahead as she deals with some personal issues. It appears that Shane is going to be around to hold her hand and only time will tell how Jackson will react to that news. Will he be mature enough to allow her this new friendship or will he just want to rip his head off for all the heartbreak he was ultimately responsible for. There are some serious issues that Vanessa needs to deal with, some trust issues that she needs to learn. Vanessa needs to be able to confide in Jackson when she needs to, and trust that he will be there for her. Things take a while as she pushes him away and tries to deal with everything herself. Will these two lovers ever just learn how to love. To just let go of all outside interference and just learn to rely on one another to truly appreciate each other for who and what they are and what they mean to one another. The author did a great job with this series detailing the road to love and happiness is bound to have so many conflicts in it. That the true basis and life line in a relationship is openness, communication and trust. I also really enjoyed the secondary characters and would love to see another story based on the relationship between her brother and her best friend. They have serious chemistry and history. I rated the first part of this series a 4/5, but I believe after reading them together that they deserve a 5/5.

  3. 5 out of 5

    books are love

    This was a nice book. there were times when I wanted to smack Vanessa upside the head and say what is wrong with you. I think even her brother and best friend did as well. Jackson dude you have the worst luck when it comes to timing with things. Seriously poor guy. I loved though how much he was into family and wanting to spend time with Vanessa's nephew. I hope his best friend Ray gets someone soon though I feel for him. This book picks up where guarded left off so you may want to read that firs This was a nice book. there were times when I wanted to smack Vanessa upside the head and say what is wrong with you. I think even her brother and best friend did as well. Jackson dude you have the worst luck when it comes to timing with things. Seriously poor guy. I loved though how much he was into family and wanting to spend time with Vanessa's nephew. I hope his best friend Ray gets someone soon though I feel for him. This book picks up where guarded left off so you may want to read that first so you can get some of the nuances. Here Vanessa and Jackson are going strong until Vanessa's insecurities and ex husband comes into the picture. Jackson has a surprise from his ex occur and he assures Vanessa it will not change things but it puts the seeds of doubt in her. And those seeds grew rapid especially after her health issue and her ex husband's revelations. When she cuts Jackson off he is devastated and she turns to her ex for friendship. Poor Jackson there, I think this pushed him over and he does a stupid stupid thing. Pays the price too although Vanessa technically kicked him to the curb so she shouldn't have a qualm with him. Well he tries to explain she won't listen until her friend intervenes and even that didn't go so well. It isn't until she is attacked in front of her home and Jackson stays with her that Vanessa realizes his love and that she made a mistake. Takes you long enough girl. Meanwhile her brother and best friend are trying to deal with their past together. Her brother loves her but she won't forgive, it takes Vanessa's attack to get those to to finally come around. Can't wait for that backstory in a book though. Juicy for sure. So Jackson and Vanessa finally come together yay. This book is the journey of their growth as individuals and together. They learn that they need each other's strength and love to be whole. Jackson knew this way before Vanessa but Vanessa was too insecure to realize it at first. The sweetness of Jackson will have you smile. Great guy and the way that Vanessa's ex is becoming a better man is great to see as well. A fun sweet read about love and acceptance.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Casey Peeler

    I feel in love with Jackson Berrios in Guarded, but what’s not to love about a hot, perfectly chiseled body of an OCK Thunder basketball player? Oh, I might add that he is a really good guy as well… or at least tries to be. One thing I might need to add is that you defiantly need to read Guarded first. In fact, that’s what made me fall for all of these characters, and have a strong dislike for Shane. In Guarded, we are hit with a major bombshell from the get go. I just knew this was going to tea I feel in love with Jackson Berrios in Guarded, but what’s not to love about a hot, perfectly chiseled body of an OCK Thunder basketball player? Oh, I might add that he is a really good guy as well… or at least tries to be. One thing I might need to add is that you defiantly need to read Guarded first. In fact, that’s what made me fall for all of these characters, and have a strong dislike for Shane. In Guarded, we are hit with a major bombshell from the get go. I just knew this was going to tear Vanessa and Jackson apart. Vanessa is as stubborn as they come. She has a major bombshell herself and chooses to keep quiet because she believe that is what’s best for Jackson. Truth be told, it only makes it harder on all of them. Defensive was the perfect novel to follow up Guarded. I love how each of the characters are real, what you see is what you get, and had me questioning other people’s motives. In Defensive, you will fall in love with Amanda. She honestly is my favorite. Even over smoking’ hot Jackson! She’s spunky, a true bff, and keeps it real with Vanessa. You will also get to know Shane. He’s not my favorite, and I just kept waiting to see if their was something he wasn’t telling. Jackson and I both have mutual feelings for him. He did keep this story interesting to say the least. If you are looking for a quick read that will have you wanting to be a part of their world, Guarded & Defensive are for you! Get your copy today!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Krissy

    After loving 'Guarded' (the novella that starts the story) I couldn't wait to get my hands on 'Defensive'. Vanessa and Jackson's story had me hooked and 'Defensive' didn't disappoint at all. Finally in a happy and loving relationship and free from her past, Vanessa is enjoying her life. That is until several things happen all at once; Jackson's ex shows up with a huge surprise, Vanessa experiences her own unexpected event and her ex husband re-enters her life. Even though Jackson tries to reassure After loving 'Guarded' (the novella that starts the story) I couldn't wait to get my hands on 'Defensive'. Vanessa and Jackson's story had me hooked and 'Defensive' didn't disappoint at all. Finally in a happy and loving relationship and free from her past, Vanessa is enjoying her life. That is until several things happen all at once; Jackson's ex shows up with a huge surprise, Vanessa experiences her own unexpected event and her ex husband re-enters her life. Even though Jackson tries to reassure Vanessa that everything will be fine, her insecurities come to the fore front and spins their relationship out of control. Jackson makes a huge mistake while they are apart and Vanessa's renewed friendship with her ex husband cause major hurdles for them to overcome. There's a surprise at the end that you don't see coming and wow what a perfect ending it was. The character development was done really well as they grew as individuals and together. Even though Vanessa didn't make the right decisions at times, I kind of understood why she acted the way she did. This was a really great fast read but you absolutely have to read Guarded first to understand where everything started. I really hope we get to see Amanda and Landon's story because that will no doubt be another story that I will happily devour.

  6. 5 out of 5

    A. Gorman

    I am one lucky chick because I was asked to beta read Defensive. I love Guarded so I was more than happy to jump in and read Defensive. Vanessa Smith’s life was going wonderful. She was in a relationship with on very hot basketball player, Jackson Barrios. Vanessa is battling with her self-confidence from her failed marriage and she feels she isn’t good enough for Jackson… Then Jackson’s ex-girlfriend comes back into the picture and drops a huge bombshell that further makes Vanessa doubt herself I am one lucky chick because I was asked to beta read Defensive. I love Guarded so I was more than happy to jump in and read Defensive. Vanessa Smith’s life was going wonderful. She was in a relationship with on very hot basketball player, Jackson Barrios. Vanessa is battling with her self-confidence from her failed marriage and she feels she isn’t good enough for Jackson… Then Jackson’s ex-girlfriend comes back into the picture and drops a huge bombshell that further makes Vanessa doubt herself more. However, Vanessa is carrying a secret of her own and she further spirals into more self doubt. When it comes crashing down, she leans on the one person she shouldn’t; her ex-husband. When you think the story is over, bam! A twist you don't see coming hits you and it leaves you saying oh my!! The ending is well, awesome. I want more... :)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Holly Michelle

    Characters:4 Plot: 3.5 Overall: 4 After reading Gaurded it left me wanting to know more about the characters backgrounds. In this book Defensive if picks up right where the Novella left us. We do get to learn more about each of the characters and the secrets they all seem to have from the past. I found this book to be a little predictable at times. Vanessa's decisions made me want to slap her. While you wanted to feel sorry for Jackson. The entire book was filled with things that kept them apart Characters:4 Plot: 3.5 Overall: 4 After reading Gaurded it left me wanting to know more about the characters backgrounds. In this book Defensive if picks up right where the Novella left us. We do get to learn more about each of the characters and the secrets they all seem to have from the past. I found this book to be a little predictable at times. Vanessa's decisions made me want to slap her. While you wanted to feel sorry for Jackson. The entire book was filled with things that kept them apart. Made them second guess. Tons of obstacles were in wait for Vanessa and Jackson. And while it took a tragedy and friends to bring them back together we are left with a HEA.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Being from Tulsa Ok I loved that this story took place in OKC!#! I knew exactly what places J.D was talking and could actually picture Vanessa and Jackson enjoying them!. and as a plus Jackson plays for the THUNDER!! I'm a huge thunder fan.... Defensive and Guarded are the stories Jackson and Vanessa. Vanessa has been married to a cheating Asshole of a husband and thinks that all men are alike. So when the charming ,sexy and professional basketball player Jackson knocks her down one day in the p Being from Tulsa Ok I loved that this story took place in OKC!#! I knew exactly what places J.D was talking and could actually picture Vanessa and Jackson enjoying them!. and as a plus Jackson plays for the THUNDER!! I'm a huge thunder fan.... Defensive and Guarded are the stories Jackson and Vanessa. Vanessa has been married to a cheating Asshole of a husband and thinks that all men are alike. So when the charming ,sexy and professional basketball player Jackson knocks her down one day in the park why should he be any different??? The version I received had both books in it. Guarded is a continuation of defensive and both books are alternating POV's.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lin

    I sorry but I just hated this one. I don't know why I even bother reading this one. This one pissed me off. I hate books like this. I could not stand anyone in this book except for Eric, Vanessa's nephew. If that's what people think love is, I fill sorry for them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    3.5 stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Raj

    I think I loved Defensive more than the first book Guarded because it was full of angst, heartache, love, jealousy, sacrifice and redemption which I love seeing in a romance book. Defensive continued Vanessa and Jackson's journey as a couple and the threats they faced to stay together. My heart really ached for Vanessa because she went through so much heartache and experienced loss that her insecurities resurfaced questioning if she could ever give Jackson what he needed, so she had me screaming I think I loved Defensive more than the first book Guarded because it was full of angst, heartache, love, jealousy, sacrifice and redemption which I love seeing in a romance book. Defensive continued Vanessa and Jackson's journey as a couple and the threats they faced to stay together. My heart really ached for Vanessa because she went through so much heartache and experienced loss that her insecurities resurfaced questioning if she could ever give Jackson what he needed, so she had me screaming whilst also understanding why she sacrificed her own happiness for the benefit of others and therefore pushed her man away. Now Jackson's love for Vanessa never wavered and reading his struggles and what he faced made my heart melt he was just so sweet and amazing, the guy was so in love with Vanessa and truly committed whilst still standing by where he was needed and wanting the woman he loved by his side. I loved the chemistry and heat between Vanessa and Jackson and his possessiveness even whilst apart. His stupidity made him lose some points but he was heartbroken and instantly regretted his actions, and my hating him was soon over when Vanessa got her own back at him and had me shouting you go girl lol. The scenes between Vanessa and Shane were full of regret and forgiveness as he divulged the reasons behind his cheating, and through their struggles they found peace and repaired their bond and friendship. Jackson was the hero for me in this as he never gave up on Vanessa, which was further proven when Vanessa found herself in danger and his protectiveness was tested to the core. Jackson's relationship with Vanessa's brother Landon and his son Eric was a steal. The epilogue was the icing on the cake. This was a really lovely emotional read that left me longing to also read about Amanda and Landon.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chelly Peeler

    First off, if you haven’t read the novella Guarded, do it! What are you waiting for? In Guarded, we meet Vanessa & Jackson, and also their friends and exes, and Defensive picks up where Guarded left off. Vanessa still finds it hard to believe that the hot new star player for the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, Jackson Berrios, chose her for his girlfriend. He could literally have any girl he wanted, but he chose her, and she couldn’t be more thankful. She’s still getting used to being in First off, if you haven’t read the novella Guarded, do it! What are you waiting for? In Guarded, we meet Vanessa & Jackson, and also their friends and exes, and Defensive picks up where Guarded left off. Vanessa still finds it hard to believe that the hot new star player for the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, Jackson Berrios, chose her for his girlfriend. He could literally have any girl he wanted, but he chose her, and she couldn’t be more thankful. She’s still getting used to being in the spotlight, and with the whispers constantly surrounding her, she has trouble trusting that he actually loves her and will not leave her. Throw in some MAJOR shockers from people in both Jackson and Vanessa’s pasts, and it seems the relationship may be doomed before it ever gets a good start. And just when you think it may be possible to handle one situation, another bombshell is dropped. When history starts to repeat itself for Vanessa, will she push Jackson away to guard her heart? Can Jackson convince her to let her defenses down and see that he truly loves her? Vanessa thinks she will never be able to give Jackson what he wants, can the couple really have their happily ever after? Defensive is a beautiful story of love and acceptance, family and protection, forgiveness and moving forward, and I really enjoyed the journey of Jackson and Vanessa. There were bumps along the way, but what relationship doesn’t have those? I’m also glad Shane got a little redemption for himself – I still don’t like him, but at least now we sort of know why he was the way he was. I really hope we get Amanda and Landon’s story (Vanessa’s BFF and brother), I’m routing for them!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Scandalous Book Blog

    When I read the novella Guarded (guarded 0.5 which introduced us to the main players of defensive) I was on the fence somewhat about the book I was not sure if I liked it or not but the couple Jackson and Vanessa stuck with me something about their story stayed with me until I saw this book Defensive and I knew I had to read and uncover more about them. And I'm so glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Their story developed in such an unexpected sometimes heartbreaking and beautiful ways. Van When I read the novella Guarded (guarded 0.5 which introduced us to the main players of defensive) I was on the fence somewhat about the book I was not sure if I liked it or not but the couple Jackson and Vanessa stuck with me something about their story stayed with me until I saw this book Defensive and I knew I had to read and uncover more about them. And I'm so glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Their story developed in such an unexpected sometimes heartbreaking and beautiful ways. Vanessa, the young kind hearted beautiful young women. Is still having self esteem issues after her divorce from her ex husband/ childhood sweetheart. Jackson, baseball star and Puerto Rican hottie is trying is best to show Vanessa the depths of his love for her and just how different he is form her ex but sometimes despite all the progress made, when history seems like it's repeating itself and your a defensive person your only option is to shut down and push the ones you love away. And this is exactly what Vanessa did when she felt her ship was sinking. Will Jackson be able to save their relationship and get it back above water?!? I truly hope so because these two are made for each other but there is only one way to find out and that is by taking a chance on this book. Go on you know you want to one-click you wont regret it. The writing is good and much improved from Guarded the growth in the author is evident and the story line is well taught out and executed. well done R.D. Rivera you should be proud yourself. The emotions flowed and your heart will bleed for what this couple goes through. I would 100% recommend. 4/5 Stars (Natasha Scandalous Book Blog)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Now I Read Book Blog

    This is the first book that I have read from Author J.D. Rivera and after reading this book I can say this will not be may last one. As I sat down and started reading this book was drawled in by the story and the character in this book. I fell in love with the character in this book right way . This book has some twist and turn that at time had me on the edge of my set. This book had some hot men in it . This book was full of emotional roller coaster that at time mad e me gasp because my heart b This is the first book that I have read from Author J.D. Rivera and after reading this book I can say this will not be may last one. As I sat down and started reading this book was drawled in by the story and the character in this book. I fell in love with the character in this book right way . This book has some twist and turn that at time had me on the edge of my set. This book had some hot men in it . This book was full of emotional roller coaster that at time mad e me gasp because my heart broke for the character in the story. Vanessa Smith is just trying to pick up her pieces from her life with her ex husband and start new life. She has her family and friends their beside her to help her along the way. When she meet Jackson Berrios she think may finally found the one. But your past all ways try to come back and bite you ass when you least are looking for it. So when Jackson ex comes and say she having his kid its to much for Vanessa to take because she just found out she thinks she having his baby to . But when she was having Jackson baby and now has lost it she decide to push him away and tell him its over. But you cant fight what the heart wants Can they move past each other past and their lost of a child to have a happy ever after or will it be to much for tehm Their is a lot more juiciness to this book that I have not even talked about . I can't wait to read more from this author in the future.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Okay, so let me start off by saying wow! That Epilogue really gave my head a spin. I knew that Vanessa’s husband was a total dick, but after reading what set him off and led to his asshole tendencies, OMG! Vanessa is finally divorced. Does this make her life easier, umm probably not! Shane, Vanessa’s ex, has come back into her life, making their friendship a probable cause to complicate her relationship with Jackson. Can two very different but yet similar circumstances pull down Vanessa’s defense Okay, so let me start off by saying wow! That Epilogue really gave my head a spin. I knew that Vanessa’s husband was a total dick, but after reading what set him off and led to his asshole tendencies, OMG! Vanessa is finally divorced. Does this make her life easier, umm probably not! Shane, Vanessa’s ex, has come back into her life, making their friendship a probable cause to complicate her relationship with Jackson. Can two very different but yet similar circumstances pull down Vanessa’s defenses or make her put her guard back up? Shane comes clean with all his skeletons in the closet. Will this cause Vanessa to want to hate him even more, is that possible? Or will she show some sympathy and start forgiving him? This book tears at my heart’s strings on numerous occasions. It was a fast read and I really enjoyed it. I gave it 4 stars as well. The information that was released in this book really explains and gives further background details to get you up to date. I’m very surprised and excited at some facts that come out. I hope this is not the end of this series because I look forward to reading more about these characters.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•

    I really enjoyed the novella so happily 1-clicked when this was released. These two are very much in love and Vanessa is learning to adjust to Jackson's lifestyle and fame. They meet each others families and things are progressing really well. Someone from Jackson's past comes back into his life with huge news that will test them as a couple. Just when Vanessa was feeling secure in her relationship with Jackson she is suddenly plagued with self doubt and also has to deal with some real personal li I really enjoyed the novella so happily 1-clicked when this was released. These two are very much in love and Vanessa is learning to adjust to Jackson's lifestyle and fame. They meet each others families and things are progressing really well. Someone from Jackson's past comes back into his life with huge news that will test them as a couple. Just when Vanessa was feeling secure in her relationship with Jackson she is suddenly plagued with self doubt and also has to deal with some real personal life changing issues herself. They have a lot to deal with and Vanessa lets her self doubt get in the way of how she really feels about Jackson and I felt really sad for her. He is just a normal guy who has fallen in love with a girl who loves him for who he is and not what he can offer her. This is a really sweet story :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Estella

    I was given this book for an honest review. This was a very refreshing story! I enjoyed seeing what the true love of a good man can do for a broken woman. Jackson and Vanessa have quite a few obstacles to over coming. This is a HEA book. I fell in love with the characters, the story line and the fact that the story is told in dual point of view. This was a very sweet book. You should read book 1 called Guarded! Happy reading!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Meiwilli

    Bliss!!! Loved the continued story of Jackson and Vanessa. I was rooting for them all the way. The only thing I would have liked more would have been better character descriptions, i.e., how tall was Jackson? Besides being blond, what did Amanda look like? A fairy tale come true but you have to put on your big girl panties for this one!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Leisa Prater

    you can never go wrong with my favorite sport...basketball....a NBA pro hottie.....loved it!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Debbie "Buried in Her TBR Pile"

    The Book Affair: Volume 1

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Garrett

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stella Zemeckis lloyd

  25. 5 out of 5

    Reggie V

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bitch With A Book

  27. 5 out of 5

    J.D. Rivera

  28. 5 out of 5

    Liz Huff Dellinger

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Brasic

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jhahne

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