Logan Rettino never imagined she’d fall so far. Dropped by her ex on national TV, she’s gone from prima ballerina to ring card girl, reduced to revving up the crowds before MMA bouts. However distasteful she finds her new job, it pays well…and she needs the money if she’s ever going to rebuild her life. Promised a huge bonus if she can convince a brooding, gifted welterweight to keep fighting, she’ll do whatever it takes to earn his trust.
Keane O’Shea is unbeatable in the octagon. A former marine, he fights with a ruthlessness no gym jockey can match. He knows his brutal strength is too much for the delicate ex-ballerina, regardless of how fascinating he finds Logan’s tight dancer’s body. But one private performance and he’s drawn to her in a way he can’t—or won’t—resist.
As Logan discovers the heartbreaking truth that lies beneath this handsome warrior’s rage, she’ll need to forfeit everything she thought mattered for the one thing that matters the most: saving Keane from himself.
MMA-champion-turned-model Caden Kelly is hell-bent on reestablishing himself as the best fighter in the country. He’d been on a roll, too, until that loudmouth reporter hit him in the head with a camera on national TV. The headaches he’s suffered since are nothing compared to the one he gets when she shows up, seeking an exclusive. That Sophie’s gorgeous is undeniable…but she’s also the most infuriating woman he’s ever met.
Stepping into the ring with Caden Kelly is not for the faint of heart, but Sophie’s never been the delicate type. This champion may have finally met his match—both in and out of the bedroom.
Bracken Kelly is a lot of things. A ball buster. A hardass. An undercover narcotics detective who’s gotten in too deep with a biker crew and landed himself in big trouble with Internal Affairs. Posing as a trainer to clear his name and uncover the methamphetamine being run out of Reno’s toughest fight club is the easy part—Bracken’s been fighting for half his life. Convincing a female featherweight with a smart mouth and a hotter body to let him train her? That complicates things.
Huntley Wittaker left a lot behind when she moved to Reno—her family business, her overprotective brothers, her psychopathic ex-boyfriend and her Southern Belle persona. In Nevada, she can be whatever she wants to be. And what Huntley wants to be is a fighter, even if her punch stinks. All she needs is the right trainer. The domineering brute of a biker who answers her ad isn’t it, but he’s all she’s got.
Bracken has a job to do and this time, he plans on succeeding, even if that means lying his way to getting sweaty with Huntley outside of the ring. But as he and Huntley grow closer and lies turn into truths, they’ll be faced with a different kind of fight—one neither of them is prepared for and one that threatens to tear them apart forever.
Knock Out: For the most part, O’Shea was an ass. Of course, his behavior was explained and I could sympathize with him but still, Logan took quite an emotional beating. He might have the bigger muscles, but for the most part, I found her the stronger character. O’Shea did redeem himself in a major, romantic way at the end of the story. I only wish he did it sooner. I was actually tired of watching her chase/beg/plead for him.
Tap Out: We’ve all heard reports of drug use in correlation with any sport. So, the plot was not off the mark at all. For that, I give this story an A. What made this story get an A++ rating was the chemistry, the playfulness, between Caden and Sophie. I absolutely adored their video messages to each other. Romance at its finest moment.
Complaint: I felt Sophie’s past issues weren’t resolved. MM brought up Hank Cawfield multiple times but her demons were pushed aside to make room for Caden’s. For me, the brush off was noted and not appreciated.
Out for the Count: Yes, MM focused her attention on a female fighter. This pleases me to no end. 🙂 While the men of the octagon are badass, this tale reinforces the knowledge women are a force to reckon with as well. Trainer, undercover cop, DEA agents, rogue cop, gangs…. This story is a thrill ride from beginning to end. Loved it!
And way to kick some major ass, Huntley! Oh yeah, Bracken wasn’t so bad either. *winks*
Complaint: Again, we find another woman throwing themself at a man. Why? It’ not needed.
For this repeated offense, my score went from a 5 to a 4.
Overall Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)