Let’s talk fighters for a hot second here, shall we? I love them. And the grittier and more emotional, the better. If you follow my reviews, you already know that I don’t do flowery, sweet, or insta-lovey, so you won’t find those books on my list. What you will find is a list of all my favorites. These are all books that I’ve read and loved. I’ll make sure to note some of the books that I’ve beed recommended but haven’t had a chance to read yet towards the end. And as always, I’d love to hear from you all in comments; which are your favorite, any I missed that I should read? Don’t be shy. I love discovering new books and making new book friends.
But now, without further ado, let’s get to my list, shall we?
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
"You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Travis! I don’t belong to you!”
In the second it took him to turn and face me, his expression had contorted into anger. He stomped toward me, planting his hands on the bed and leaning into my face.
“WELL I BELONG TO YOU!” The veins in his neck bulged as he shouted, and I met his glare, refusing to even flinch. He looked at my lips, panting. “I belong to you.”
It wouldn’t be a fighter list with Travis fucking Maddox. This is the book that started it all for me. Sure it was at a time where my pervi factor wasn’t quite as…uhem…strong, and lower steam level didn’t bother me much. But even then, I’ve reread this book at least 5 times. Maybe it’s the angst? Truth be told, I’ve attempted the other books in this series, but nothing beats this one. Nothing. If you want to keep liking Abby, I’d suggest perhaps giving Walking Disaster a pass. But then, I tend to be picky with these things. This was the book that really started my addiction. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend giving it a try 😉
Remington Tate. *pervy shiver*
The man. The legend. The dirty talker. The sex god. Suffice it to say, my ovaries liked this book verra much. Remy is every ounce the alpha male that I absolutely love to read about.
Now there were a couple follow up novels to this couple, but for me, nothing beat the original.
Rules of Entanglement (A Fighting for Love Novel #2) by Gina L. Maxwell
"Understand, Vanessa, that I never take my release before my lover. However," he continued, his gaze boring into her, "I also have the resolve to keep you on the edge like this for hours. I won't give in until you give me what I want."
She has seven rules. He has seven days to break them.
Oh yeah. Gina Maxwell outdid herself with this fabulous book. You have District Attorney Vanessa MacGregor, who lives her life by structured rules. Then you have Jackson “Jax” Maris who’s focused on surfing, training, and fighting…and breaking every single one of Vanessa’s rules. If that’s not a recipe for delicious sexual chemistry, I don’t know what is.
There’s three books total in this series, and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them. But nothing beats Rules of Entanglement for me. It was easily my favorite of the three.
Fighting for Love #1
Also in the series
Fighting for Irish
Fighting for Love #3
Back In Black (SBC Fighters #5) by Lori Foster
A hot- headed sports club president and a take no prisoners, sassy PR expert. Put them together when Gillian is sent to work on Drew’s image and tone down his cussing and misogynistic ways and watch sparks fly!
I’m a huge fan of Lori Foster, but this is by far one of my favorite series by her. I’ve loved every single book in this series, but Back In Black was my favorite. It also had the biggest alpha-holish hero. Clearly you’re shocked right about now that I loved it, right? You know I love me the alpha holes. But Drew sure changes his tune not long into things. Gillian can be highly persuasive.
Now this book does have some mixed reviews, so it’s all subjective to tastes. I personally really enjoyed it when I read it when it first released.
Also in the series
SBC Fighters, Book 1
SBC Fighters, Book 2
Hard To Handle
SBC Fighters, Book 3
Worth noting, there is a fourth book in this series, My Man Michael. I’m not including it in my list simply because it was a bit of a dud for me. I love all things Lori Foster, but this one was sadly a miss. If you’re reading order OCD, no worries because each book is easily read as a standalone and you’d have no problems skipping over book 4 and jumping right into book 5 if so chose. I’ve read books 1, 2, and 3 and loved them all!
Don’t let the size of this book fool you. At 132 pages this one packs a hell of a punch. Pun most definitely intended. It’s a little taboo and a whole lot dirty.
You have an underground fighter with a kink for rape fantasy role play. Don’t let this intimidate you because in true Cara McKenna fashion this is done very well, and as tastefully as a highly erotic romance can be. It’s deliciously naughty kind of read that you finish in one sitting. Big rec from this particular pervert 😉
Hector (5th Street #3) by Elizabeth Reyes
“Unless I’m way off, and I have been in the past, unless you are this talented of an actor and the sincerity I’m feeling when you speak of your feelings for me—this trust that you’ve talked about taking so seriously isn’t all real—then I promise you that can’t imagine anything making me change my mind about you.”
This is book 3 in Elizabeth Reyes’s New Adult Romance series, 5th Street, but it’s easily read as a standalone. I’ve skipped around with this series, and I have to say this book was by far my favorite.
I’m not typically a fan of extremely shy, too innocent to believe and awkward heroines. But Charlee turned out to be so much more. While she is shy, she has a backbone, and does show it at the opportune time. Also, turns out, she has quite an uhem…freaky side to her. She really gave new meaning to the adage that it’s the quiet ones that you gotta worry about.
Hector is as Alpha as they come. He is protective, possessive, and jealous. So basically he ticks off all my particular boxes LOL
Well angst me, why don’t you, Mandi Beck and then hit me over the head with a cliffhanger like a two by four. This uber sexy debut novel definitely caught my eye with the cover. What? It’s a hot cover dammit!
Deacon “The Hitman” Love was every inch the OTT alpha male that I adore. There may have been times that I wanted to slap the heroine with my kindle, but she managed to warm me up towards her by the end. Luckily for you all, book 2 and the conclusion of Deacon and Frankie’s story is already out (LOVE BURNS), so no worries of cliffys that may spike your blood pressure 😉
Friends to lovers fans will definitely enjoy this second installment from Abbi’s Love to the Extreme series. If you haven’t read book 1, you can still read this one as each book is perfectly enjoyed as a standalone.
Julie Rogers has been in love with Tommy “Lightning” Sparks since she was 10 years old. But she knows that nothing will ever come of those feelings, since all Tommy sees her as is a sister. Their lives are too different, but that doesn’t stop her from still having feelings for him.
When Tommy loses not only his Middleweight champion title along with his professional MMA career, but his home goes down in flames, he turns to his best friend, Julie. Living together, all of a sudden Tommy starts to see that he might see Julie as something other than just his best friend…
Also in the series
Love to the Extreme #1
Love to the Extreme #3
Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter #1) by Vi Keeland
“You’re a beautiful, smart, strong woman who is used to being treated like a lady." I’m confused at his words and Nico sees it on my face. He pulls me to him and buries his face in my neck. His breath is so close to my ear when he speaks, I feel the words throughout my body as he speaks them. "But when I finally get you underneath me, I’m definitely not going to treat you like a lady."
I’m woman enough to admit that what initially drew me to this book was the cover. Shallow of me? Perhaps. But is it so wrong that I just want to lick it? I think not. Then I read this: tattooed, hard-bodied MMA fighter and my inner dirty girl was all “READTHISRIGHTTHISSECOND” What can I say, she’s a demanding one.
This was the first book in Vi’s Worth The Fight series and was utterly delicious. Nico Hunter was absolute perfection. If you like steamy romance with MMA fighters and sassy heroines, this is definitely a must read!
Also in the series
Worth The Chance
MMA Fighter #2
MMA Fighter #3
I was highly anticipating Liv and Vinny’s story in book 2, and can say it was very much worth the wait for me. Ha! See what I did there? While book 3 wasn’t my favorite in the series, it was still an enjoyable read.
Knock Out (Billionaire's Club: New Orleans #1) by Mallery Malone
“I want you, Renata. I want you under me in my bed, above me on this weight bench, beside me in the sauna. I want to know if you still taste as sweet as I remember, if you still whimper when I fill you, or if you’ll pull my hair like you used to do when I buried my face between those thighs. I want you every way I can have you."
He is all about pleasure. His. His woman’s. Incredible, unrelenting, mind-blowing pleasure.
Heavy weight champion, Sebastian Delacroix knows how to handle pain.
But when he has a woman beneath him, in his bed, her softness in his hands, it’s all about hot, unforgettable satisfaction and all the ways he can take it and give it.
No one walks away from him…Except one woman: Renata Giordano. And now she’s back. Strong, sexy, irresistible Renata.
This time, she will not escape.
Sebastian is coming for her and he’ll fight as dirty as he has to.
She will be his.
If that synopsis doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about this sexy novella, I’m not sure what else I can tell you. Oh did I mention Renata is also a fighter? Yeah. It’s like that! I’ve loved the rest of this series as well, but this book was the only one that featured a fighter
Having never read anything by this author, this was a total impulse read for me based on nothing more than the cover. Look, we’ve already covered the fact that I’m a total cover whore, so let’s not focus on that, mkay? Moving on…
While I can’t say that this book blew me away, it did provide for a light and sexy afternoon read. Kyran, the hero, was just the right amount of jaded and brooding that I typically like. Add into that mix his habit of bare knuckle fighting in the ring to relieve stress and I’m on Alpha cloud 9. It was a bit of been there, read that, but still an enjoyable read.
Fight For Me by Bethany Bazile
"He was trouble, and I was the new toy he wanted to play with until it broke. I had no doubt it wouldn't take much for him to break me, but I didn't care. I'd be left with all the broken pieces with no clue how to put myself back together, but the trade-off might be worth it."
Ovaries, meet your next smutty indulgence. Fight For Me definitely has the sexy smut to match that unbelievably hot cover. But it’s not mindless smut either, there’s a good story in there too.
The heroine is grieving a tragedy that she blames herself for. Ryder has always wanted her but knew he wasn’t good enough for her until fate brings them together. Did I mention that Ryder is a heavyweight MMA champion with a penchant for dirty talk? Oh yeah. There’s some cheesy lines in here that I could have done without, but that aside, I enjoyed this one verra much.
Considering how much I loved Lori Foster’s SBC Fighters series, I was thrilled to see her coming out with a new fighter series.
If you’re looking for a fighter romance but swoony is more your speed and you’d prefer a nice guy, No Limits is the perfect read. It was slower paced that I’m used to, but I still loved it.
Cannon was actually first introduced Getting Rowdy Love Undercover series and he happened to be my favorite part of that book. So when I realized the Cannon in No Limits will be THAT Cannon, I may have peed a little in excitement. I love Lori’s writing and her swoony heroes, and this was no exception.
Also in the series
I’m behind on this series, so I haven’t had the chance to read the next 2 books just yet. But they’re all sitting pretty on my kindle waiting for me. Book 4, Fighting Dirty, is one of my anticipated releases since the hero is one I fell completely in lust with in No Limits. This book will be releasing on February 23, 2016
Crossing the Line (Battered Hearts #3) by Kele Moon
"Every story had an innocent beginning, even theirs, and Tabitha found herself wishing she had a chance to go back and relive it one more time, because she didn't want to let go any more than Wyatt did.."
An unforgettable second chance romance, a one in a million kind of love, tragedy, redemption and healing. All of this in one phenomenal, incredibly written, richly developed and emotional book. I loved this book. Absolutely everything about this book.
Wyatt Conner has loved Tabitha since 3rd grade. What started innocent and pure, soon grew into a more intense love over time as they both grew into young adults. Their growing romance through the years was one of my favorite things about this book. It was absolutely beautiful. There was no internal drama or angst (though plenty of it from outside forces). Wyatt was absolutely perfect. He was protective and sweet, and yet he also had an undercurrent of finely leashed violence when it came to protecting Tabitha. It truly added to his appeal, since it was just that added element that kept him from being too perfect. Tragedy rips them apart only to reunite them years later.
Wyatt isn’t technically a fighter, he’s a sheriff, but with a fighting past. This entire series was absolutely fantastic and one I can’t recommend enough. Though the spin off (which I’ll get to in a bit) was my ALL TIME FAVORITE.
Also in the series
Defying the Odds
Battered Hearts #1
Battered Hearts #2
I highly recommend reading these books in order. They keep getting better and better with each one, with Wyatt and Romeo being my favorite. I highly recommend all three.
Among the Echoes (Wrecked and Ruined #2.5) by Aly Martinez
"Our relationship was established on secrets and lies, but in the end it flourished through truths. Slate told me years ago that we all have scars, and our relationship is no different. It could have easily been ruined from the start, but he fought for me- even when I couldn't fight for myself."
A famous heavyweight boxer and a woman that’s running for her life. Just that link reels you in, doesn’t it?
Don’t let the .5 fool you, this is a full length, stand alone novel. As a matter of fact, it’s basically a standalone. The reason for the half number is that it ties into Aly’s Wrecked and Ruined series. But not from the previous two books. Among the Shadows introduces a secondary character, Leo, that is the hero of Wrecked and Ruined book 3, Broken Course. This book is the perfect set up for him and his heroine.
Having said that, you can easily AtS without reading the previous two books (though I highly recommend you read them anyway simply because they’re great).
If you’ve read any Pepper Winters book then you already know this woman writes some dark romance. Deliciously dark romance. Destroyed is what Pepper called her Grey Romance. Now don’t get confused, there will be no fluffy kitties or butterflies here. This book will absolutely gut you and make even the coldest blackest cry ugly cry. But it’s not as brutal as her Dark stuff. Mostly.
This is also a complete standalone. So if you’ve wanted to dip your toes into dark but your ovaries still shrivel up in fear about dark romance, consider this your starting point.
Destroyed was simply unforgettable. A tortured hero, a woman that’s complicated but not broken, and the secrets that may cause them to lose everything is what makes this book an unputdownable read. Incredible writing, gripping story, multi-dimensional characters and enough feels to be absolutely heart wrenching. Prepare yourself for an ugly cry, because it will gut you. But I promise that it will hurt so good!
On the Ropes (Tapped Out #3) by Cari Quinn
"He'd have me on my back in a minute and be inside me in twice that. And I'd let him...hell, I'd beg him. Because he was the only one who'd ever made me feel this way, like my skin and bones weren't strong enough to hold my heart inside. He was everything.
I first discovered Cari Quinn though her sexy Brazen Romances. But this woman absolutely blew me away with her gritty writing in Shadowboxer (which FYI you can grab for FREE on amazon right now!)
After devouring Shadowboxer I knew I was hooked on this series. It’s gritty, sexy, emotional, basically ticks off every check box I have for my favorite romances. Now it’s fair to mention that it’s not for everyone, and certainly not for the faint of heart. But if you like your stories on the grittier side, you NEED to read this.
On The Ropes continues the story of the two secondary characters that were introduced in Shadowboxer. Giovanni, the bad boy sure to steal your heart, and Carly Anderson, the younger sister of the heroine from Shadowboxer.
This book had everything! Action, suspense, mafia, angst and grit, and enough sexual chemistry to set every ovary on fire within a 10 mi radius.
Also in the series
Tapped Out, #1
Body Shot (FREE on AMZ)
Tapped Out, #1.2
Tapped Out, #1.5
Tapped Out, #2
The feels! Oh the feels! This incredible friends-to-lovers romance is still one of my all time favorite books, not to mention fighter romances. Oh my god, it was just so beautiful.
The three Page brothers will steal your hearts and wrap them around their fingers. Each broken in their own way, none more so than Till Page. Till is the oldest brother and the one that’s been raising his younger brothers when he was just a child himself because their deadbeat parents couldn’t care less, Till is no stranger to responsibility. He’s always been a fighter, but now he can do it to support his family. There’s just one problem, his hearing is slowly going. The one constant in his life is Eliza Reynolds. Through ups and downs, and there’s plenty of downs, these two stand by each other. It’s not an easy love, it’s not a perfect love, but it’s an unforgettable one!
Also in the series
Don’t miss my second favorite book in the series, FIGHTING SHADOWS, the middle brother’s Flint’s book. This was just as good as the first book and best read in order. You’d enjoy it much more reading it after Fighting Silence.
Hands down. Bar none. My absolute favorite fighter romance book. Period.
Nothing past, present or current has come to equal the amazingness that was The Slayer for me. I’m a huge fan of Kele Moon as it is. But this book? I’m moving to pure stalker status.
Gut wrenchingly emotional, gritty and action packed, sensually erotic, and absolutely unforgettable. Untamed Hearts is the spin-off of Kele’s Battered Hearts series. The heroes are more anti-heroes bad boys but with hearts of gold. I highly recommend reading the Battered Hearts series first to really appreciate the Untamed Hearts as most characters first made an appearance in BH.
The Slayer is the story of Chuito ‘The Slayer’ Garcia, and it was Kele’s most emotional book yet. I loved it to absolute pieces. And trust me, this book is worth every penny, especially coming in at a length of 495 pages and not a page goes to waste. If there’s one book out of my entire list that I insist you read, let it be this one. This is one author I wish more people knew about because her talent deserves every one-click. I’m practically vibrating in anticipation of the next release!
Since I regularly update this list, here’s a few memorable recent reads I had that are perfect additions to this list
We have to take solace wherever we can find it, he’d said, and somehow, by some divine intervention or alignment of the stars or whatever the hell else determined their destinies…he was her solace.
Raw Deal is aptly titled because it certainly left me feeling raw. Raw with so much feeling, my heart near burst at the overwhelming emotion of it all. It was beautifully written, gripping, and poignant. It was a painful sort of beauty. A phenomenal story of love in the unlikeliest of places.
I adored everything about this book. EVERYTHING. I think I was sniffling though the entire thing. I couldn’t stop. I’m beyond excited for this brand new series from one of my favorite authors.
God, had any woman ever tasted so good, felt so perfect, so soft and strong and absofuckinglutely amazing? No way. At least none that he’d had. Sophie Caldwell left them so far in her dust that new rating systems would have to be invented. One through ten was a joke.
Sweet Victory was a deliciously satisfying conclusion to one of my favorite series. It was sexy and sweet. It was entertaining and scorching hot. It was everything I’ve come to expect from this author and exactly what made me a fan of hers to begin with.
“I want every single string, kitty. I want your heart.”
How have I not read anything by this author before? What is wrong with me? Why am I starting this series with book 3? Well, at least I know the answer to the third question there, and that’s because I like to do things back-asswards more often than not. As for the other two? I have no clue and I’m kicking myself for the mistake thoroughly because I seriously enjoyed this book.
As a reader that typically goes for the alphaholes and manwhores, it was a refreshing change of pace to get a nice guy. Kane Kavanagh has had the hots of his brother’s girlfriend’s best friend for some time and all he’s gotten in return is her snark and disinterest. But Kane is not the playboy and bad boy that he may come across as at first. Sure he’s focused on his professional fighting career, but he’s also loyal, sweet, and when the man sets his eyes on his goal, he’ll stop at nothing to get it…and what he wants is Nora. Nora has been trying to resist Kane for months, but when she finally gets to see the man beneath the sex appeal and show, she realizes that there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye.
So that's it for my ultimate list...as far as I've read anyway.
Below, are some of the fighter romances I've been recommended and have on my TBR. I'd love to hear from you if any of you read any of these. Loved it, hated it, tell me everything!