Review: Raw Deal by @CherrieLynn

RAW DEAL
Series: Larson Brothers #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Cherrie Lynn
Release Date: January 24, 2017

Savannah’s brother was killed in a cage fight with Mike “Red Reaper” Larson after a savage punch to the head.

When Mike shows up at the funeral, he’s nothing like Savannah expected. Gone is the fierce, brutal beast she’s seen in the cage. In his place is a beautiful man torn with guilt, seeking forgiveness, and willing to do anything to ease her pain.

Her family doesn’t approve, but her heart doesn’t stand a chance. Irresistibly drawn together, neither of them can deny the intoxicating desire unleashed between them, turning their pain into the most exquisite pleasure.

But every time Mike steps into the cage, Savannah knows she could lose him too. She can’t go through that again, but how can she let go of the one man who sets her body and soul on fire?

AMAZON | B&N | iTUNES | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY

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.

Do you see that pathetic pile of emotional goo sitting there on the couch with her box of tissues and sniffling into her Ben & Jerry’s? Ignore her. She’s still trying to calm her tits after having her heart put through an emotional wringer that was this book. No really. She normally doesn’t cry through almost an entire book, and she definitely doesn’t refer to herself in the third person. So you know when all of this does happen, it’s definitely an unforgettable 5 star read. I’m talking have your tissues ready and prepare to have your hearts squeezed in a vice sort of read.

She didn’t know him, and no one would understand. But instead of letting go, she only squeezed his hand harder. The only anchor she had in this maelstrom of emotion was the hand that might very well have ended Tommy’s life.

What would you do if the man that may just be responsible for the single most devastating loss in your life is also the man that captures your heart and soul?

Losing her older brother is hard enough. Having to witness the blow to the head inside the MMA cage that caused his death is unforgettable. Savannah is the strongest link left in her family. Attempting to get through her own grief while consoling her parents and widowed sister in law is hard enough. But when the man that went head to head with Tommy in the fight that cost him his life shows up at the funeral, the last thing she expects is for him to enrapture her so thoroughly.

Mike Larson is the oldest of three brothers. Growing up hard, he’s made many sacrifices to support his brothers. He’s never hesitated to use his fists, after all, he’s made a successful career at it. Knowing that he’s responsible for a man’s death, no matter if it was a tragic accident, doesn’t ease his mind or heart. He’s haunted by his guilt and nothing will ease it unless he can make things right with the man’s family. Falling for his younger sister wasn’t in the plans, but their connection is simply inevitable.

He wanted her so fucking bad it terrified him, so bad it hurt.

Mike is a man wrecked by guilt and sorrow. He’s had a hard life, but nothing has been harder than living with the knowledge that it was his hit that cost a man’s life. He knows that falling for the guy’s sister is wrong, but he can’t stay away from her.

I cannot explain to you all just how much I adored Mike Larson. This is a man that is all alpha, but at his core he’s sweet, understanding, and as tender as he is devastatingly sexy.

He watched her, listening intently. No one had ever listened to her the way he did. Like every word was a treasure to be examined and considered.

This story was filled with so much emotion, it was impossible to read it with a dry eye. The connection between him and Savannah was incredible and undeniable. It was sizzling. It was utterly mesmerizing.

He could fall for this girl. So hard. So easily. Hell, he was fooling himself to think he hadn’t already begun that particular descent.

Savannah is woman that struggles with her own guilt. She knows her family and her sister in law will never accept her relationship, but she also sees a side of Mike that she knows not many have. The sweet and caring side. The side that will move mountains for the people he loves. A man that will do everything and anything at the drop of a hat just to be there for her and to make her smile.

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.

Of course it had Cherrie’s signature punch to the ovaries….

I want you begging, Savannah. Fucking begging me to come. If it takes all night, I’ve got it. If you have to miss your flight, I don’t care. Even if it has to be the last time, I don’t want you to ever forget.

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. And if this book is anything to go by, I already know the other two Larson brothers will be well worth the wait. A rockstar and a poker king? Bring. It. On.

Review: Becoming A Legend by Sarah Robinson

BECOMING A LEGEND
Series: Kavanagh Legends #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarah Robinson
Release Date: December 13, 2016

From the author of Saving a Legend (“A deep and moving story about family, acceptance, and love.”—Katy Evans) comes another smoldering MMA romance featuring the Kavanagh brothers, the chiseled alpha males whose real legacy is love.

Kane Kavanagh has always had one goal: being the best mixed martial arts fighter alive. With the MMA National Championships in Las Vegas fast approaching, the man they call “Killer” has no intention of letting anyone or anything get in his way. Somehow, though, a feisty opponent has slipped beneath his guard—and stolen his heart. Fiery and passionate, Nora Hannigan is harder to pin down than any rival Kane has faced in the ring. And she isn’t afraid to tell Kane that she wants nothing to do with him.

With her best friend about to marry into the Kavanagh family, Nora has been resisting Kane’s shameless attempts at flirting for months. But after their undeniable chemistry finally takes over, leading to the hottest night of Nora’s life, she’s running scared. There’s a lot about her life Kane doesn’t know, and she won’t be responsible for ending his career. Now Kane’s out to prove that he’s ready for commitment by winning her heart—and he’s never lost a fight.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

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 batboy 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.

Nora is a sweet girl that only ever wanted the love of her mother. Unfortunately her mother only ever cared about her herself and her next good time. Nora has been the adult her entire life and taking care of her mother is nothing new. She doesn’t want Kane or his amazing family to know the depth of the trouble she’s in or what her mother truly cost her, so avoiding Kane’s attentions is more of a necessity than she admits to at first. But the fiery attraction between them soon proves too much of a temptation to resist. What first starts as a not strings attached means to appease the sexual tension between them, soon begins to turn into something much more meaningful.

She wanted Kane, but she didn’t want him on those terms anymore, and certainly not at his expense. She wanted either everything or nothing, and she needed to find a way to be okay with whichever outcome occurred.

Becoming a Legend was a wonderful combination of sweet and sexy. Kane, while a playboy in his recent years, knows a good thing when he’s got it. And it’s only Nora for him as soon as they get started. I loved that there was absolutely no other woman drama. Kane only had eyes for Nora and I adored the sweet side of him that came out around her. He was protective and possessive but without going overboard.

Nora was a fantastic heroine. All she’s ever wanted was her mother’s love and seeing the extents of her sacrifices for her was almost heartbreaking to read. This was a perfectly paced, sweet and heartwarming romance that I enjoyed from start to finish. There was just the right amount of sizzle with just the perfect splash of action to spice things up. I loved that there was no craziness with Kane and Nora’s relationship. While the primary drama came from outside forces, it never felt like it was too much. It was the perfect addition to add an interesting plot line to the romance. If you’re looking for a sweet and sexy hero and romance with just as much sizzle, then this is definitely a must read.


Kavanagh Legends Series


BREAKING A LEGEND | SAVING A LEGEND | BECOMING A LEGEND

DGR’s Ultimate List of Fighters

DGR-Ultimate list of Fighters

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?


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 😉

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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.

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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.

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Seducing Cinderella
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.

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Also in the series

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Causing Havoc
SBC Fighters, Book 1

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Simon Says
SBC Fighters, Book 2

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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!

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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 😉

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Womanizer—check. 
Cocky—check. 
Dangerous—checkmate.

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

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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 😉

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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…

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Also in the series

Extreme Love
Love to the Extreme #1

Winning Love
Love to the Extreme #3

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!

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Also in the series

Worth The Chance
MMA Fighter #2

Worth Forgiving
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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Also in the series

Holding Strong
Ultimate #2

Tough Love
Ultimate #3

Fighting Dirty
Ultimate #4

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.

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Also in the series

Defying the Odds
Battered Hearts #1

Star Crossed
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).

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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!

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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.

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Also in the series

Shadowboxer (FREE)
Tapped Out, #1

Body Shot (FREE on AMZ)
Tapped Out, #1.2

Takedown
Tapped Out, #1.5

Sneak Attack
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!

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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!

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Since I regularly update this list, here’s a few memorable recent reads I had that are perfect additions to this list

Raw Deal (Larson Brothers #1)

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.


SWEET VICTORY (MMA Fighters #4)

 

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.


 

Becoming a Legend (Kavanagh Legends #3)

“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!

Review: ★On The Ropes★ by @cariquinn

OtR Review

Title: On The Ropes
Series: Tapped Out #3
Author: Cari Quinn
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2015
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He’s willing to die for vengeance, until she gives him a reason to live…The fighter…

Giovanni Costas is the newest hotshot fighter in New York City’s underground MMA scene. From the outside, he’s on top of the world. Winning all his matches, getting all the women he could ever want. The truth isn’t nearly so bright. Isolated and alone, far from his family in Vegas, he’s struggling with inner demons that threaten to swallow him whole.

The stakes…

The more Giovanni fights, the closer he gets to the people who ripped away the most precious thing in his life. Eradicating them is his only focus…until he meets his reason for turning his back on the seedy world that has consumed him for two years.

The biggest battle he’s ever faced…

Carly Anderson is living a double life. A culinary student by day and a dancer by dark, Carly spends her nights in a cage of her own choosing. Flirting with danger is the only thing that dulls the pain from her past. When she catches the eye of the wrong men, it’ll take the right one to save her. If Giovanni doesn’t break her—and himself—in the process…

Warning: please be advised this book contains content some may find triggering (sexual trauma) and also contains graphic sex, language and violence that may not be suitable for underage readers.

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Review 4.5 stars

On The Ropes-DGR

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.
Too much.

It’s been one year, a month, 3 days, 2 hrs and 58 minutes since I read Shadowboxer and been hounding Cari for a book for Giovanni and Carly. But who’s counting, eh? Tapped Out is a series that reads like it was custom written just for me. It’s everything I love in romance; gritty, sexy, action-packed, with a dash of suspense, and fantastic characters. Now if you know me, then you know there’s nothing I love more than a good alphahole. When Gio was first introduced as a secondary character in Shadowboxer, between his bad boy vibes and the barely restrained violence about him drew me in like a moth to a flame. Add in him being a successful MMA fighter with manwhoring tendencies and I. Was. Sold. But there was also something incredibly broken about him too. It’s clear that Gio was hiding some dark secret and pain and I was practically salivating to finally find out what it was.

Now I wasn’t hiding from trouble. I was seeking it, eyes wide open.

UntitledCarly Anderson was first introduced as the younger sister of fighter, Mia Anderson. While on the surface she seems to be a good girl, underneath is a bad girl just itching to get out. Carly has also been crushing hard on Giovanni since she first bumped into him at the same gym where Mia trains. Even though Gio fairly successfully killed her school girl crush when he walked away with another woman in front of her, there’s still something there. But now, it’s not something that Carly is willing to chase anymore. She’s focusing on her school and training to be a chef, and leading her double life as a topless dancer at a high end club that no one knows she works at.

dancing fed something dark and depraved inside me, a beast that wouldn’t be tamed.

Carly may only be 18 years old, but this is no blushing ingenue. The girl is tough as nails and doesn’t exactly shy away from male attention. She craves the men’s lusty looks like a drug. But one night, she allows her flirtation to temp the wrong man and gets thrown head first into something she has no hope of escaping…not without Gio’s protection.
OtR-DGRGio has been making a diligent effort to stay away from the young beauty that tempts him like no other. She’s too young, too innocent, too good for the likes of him and the danger that constantly surrounds himself. He sold his soul to the devil for a chance at revenge, and there’s no turning back the hands of time now that it’s all been set in motion. He’s too deep in to see a way out. He may not be able to give Carly what she wants, but he can be her protector…and because he can no longer deny the pull between them, her lover.

I wanted her soaked, swollen. Open to me in a way she’d never been to another, and never would be again once I was gone.

Carly and Gio together were absolutely magnetic. But there’s so much more going on in this book than just the budding romance between them. There’s the mob, there’s Gio’s revenge for what he lost, there’s the lingering effects of what happened with Mia in Sneak Attack. All of it culminates together for one quick paced and entertaining as hell read.

OnTheRopes3-DGRGio is the son of one of the biggest mob families in the city and turning away from that to the side of the enemy has put a price on his head. Can he keep Carly safe long enough to exact his revenge without succumbing fully to the dark side himself? Guess you’ll just have to read to find out.

On The Ropes was everything I’ve come to love about Cari’s writing. It’s gritty, emotion, and lawd but the woman can write a sex scene like no one’s business. There’s plenty of secondary characters thrown in the mix that made the story unfold like a movie behind my eyes. As much as my interest is piqued by Slater, I’m absolutely dying for a book for Dante. Dante is Gio’s older brother that has been in the “family business” that Gio turned his back on. After the events that unfold in this book, I’m even more curious for his story. Hell, who am I kidding? I’ll be stalking Cari incessantly for it.

As much as I loved Fox and Mia from Shadowboxer, I think I liked Carly and Gio together even more. They were so different and yet together…they fit. Their chemistry was absolutely sizzling.

Underneath him, I felt full possessed for the first time in my life. I hadn’t been fucked. I’d been owned.

OnTheRopes4-DGRCarly was everything I love about a great heroine. She took no shit from anyone and gave as good as she got.

If this series hasn’t hit your radar yet, you may have been living under a rock. If you enjoy your romances with a dash of dark and grit, it’s a must read. Tapped Out is definitely in my top 5 list of favorite fighter series and you can be assured that each upcoming book will be going straight to my auto-buy list. I love the absolute fuck out of it. While each book may be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the series in order to truly enjoy it. You would have a much better understanding and appreciation for the characters having that backstory on them.

READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Fighting Shadows★ by @AlyMartinezAuth

figthing shadows book tour

Title: Fighting Shadows
Series: On The Ropes #2
Author: Aly Martinez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2015
add-to-goodreads-button-2 fighting shadows cover

I come from a family of fighters. I always thought I’d follow in their shadows, becoming unstoppable in the ring. That changed the day I saved the life of a woman I loved, but could never have.My brother hailed me as a hero, and my reward was a wheelchair.

Paralyzed, my life became an inescapable nightmare.

Until I met her.

Ash Mabie had a heart-stopping smile and a laugh that numbed the rage and resentment brewing inside of me. She showed me that even the darkest night still had stars, and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.

I was a jaded asshole who fell for a girl with a knack for running away. I couldn’t even walk but I would have spent a lifetime chasing her.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting the shadows of our past.

Fighting to reclaim my future.

Fighting for her.

Buy Links

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Excerpt

“Hey, Flint? What time is it?” Quarry asked.Ash’s smile actually slipped completely. For the briefest of seconds, she appeared almost ashamed.

I dragged my eyes away from her in order to answer his question, but as I looked at my wrist, I had no answer at all.

“Here,” she said as she pulled my watch from her pocket.

What. The. Fuck?

Quarry howled with laughter, and Ash chewed on her bottom lip.

“Explain,” I demanded, wrapping my watch back around my wrist and shoving my wallet in the front pocket of my hoodie.

Quarry filled in the blank. “She’s a pickpocket, dude. You should have seen her when she fell on your lap. It was so fucking fast. She straight-up stole that shit from you, and you had no fucking clue.”

“I didn’t steal it! I was gonna give it back,” she amended uncomfortably. “It was just a joke.”

A joke.

  1. Fucking. Joke.

And just like that, I remembered why I didn’t laugh anymore.

“Was it funny? Stealing from the cripple? You get a good laugh out of that?” I snapped, spinning and rolling myself away. “You know, maybe my judgment of you wasn’t all that off to begin with. Like father, like daughter, I guess.” It was a low blow, but I felt completely betrayed by a woman I didn’t even know.

“Flint, wait. I wasn’t picking on the cripple!”

I fully realized that I had just used the term, but it enraged me that she’d had the audacity to repeat it back to me. Who the hell was this chick? I pushed a hand into my pocket, searching for my keys. Fuck the food. I’d leave her ass there. Hell, Quarry too if he didn’t get his ass to the car.

“Get in the car, Q!” I yelled, only to close my eyes and drop my chin to my chest when my hand never made contact on the keys. “Son of a bitch,” I said as I spun back around.

Quarry was laughing next to her, but Ash’s cheeks were bright red.

“Keys.” I snapped my fingers and opened my hand, palm up.

“Stop being a dick,” Quarry said, casually tossing an arm around Ash’s shoulders.

She didn’t budge as she held my glare.

“Keys,” I repeated, but she remained still.

“It was a joke.” Her chin began to quiver.

For fuck’s sake, I wasn’t in any kind of mood to deal with bullshit from some girl I didn’t even know and was quickly discovering I didn’t care to know, either.

Quarry’s eyes grew wide as she turned to him and buried her cries in his chest.

What the fuck, asshole! Q signed before rubbing his hands over her back.

Her shoulders shook as she let out a loud sob that shocked us both.

“Come on. Let’s sit down.” Q tried to guide her over to an empty table.

Ash refused to look up and tripped over one of the chairs.

“Shit,” Q said, catching her around the waist.

I was just about to roll my eyes when she glanced my way. He was still trying to get her back on her feet and over to a table when her tear-free, bright-blue eyes pointedly glanced in my direction. My head snapped back in surprise, but a smile grew on her face.

Ash was about to put on a show, and with that one look, she had invited me to have a front-row seat.

As she floundered all over Quarry, her hands slid between his pockets and her own. Every noise she made and each time she flailed covered up a jarring movement. She was keeping his mind too busy for it to process all the places she was touching him. Hell, I was only watching her and I could barely keep up.

There was no denying that it was entertaining, but I wasn’t willing to show her that. However, as she accidentally lifted her knee, catching Q in the balls, a laugh erupted from my throat. He cupped his crotch while she apologized profusely and pushed him toward the same chair he’d been dragging her to only seconds before. Just before he sat, Ash swung her arm out, unwinding Q’s belt from around his body before tossing it at me.

“Oh God. I’m so sorry!” she said as Quarry held a finger up to ask for a second to recover. She didn’t wait at all though. Instead, she walked over in my direction; her prideful smile grew with every step.

She pulled my keys out of her pocket and dropped them into my lap. They were quickly followed by Quarry’s phone, wallet, and house keys. Then she snagged his belt off the floor and tossed it over her shoulder.

“It had absolutely nothing to do with you being in a wheelchair. It was a joke and it wasn’t supposed to piss you off.”

“Hey!” Quarry yelled. “That was messed up. You did not have to knee me in the balls to prove a point to him.”

“Oh, that wasn’t to prove a point. That was for bullshitting me. You knew good and damn well that he wouldn’t find it funny,” she said without ever tearing her gaze from mine. “Look, I’m sorry. I don’t have a lot of friends. And I’ve mentally noted that pickpocketing might not be the best way to make new ones.” She shrugged. “Consider it a lesson learned.”

“Three burgers all the way, onion rings, and a shake?” the guy at the counter called out.

Ash arched an eyebrow. “You want it to go, or are we good?”

I didn’t have to drop my attitude. Sure, she’d apologized, but while I might have had a short fuse, I also had a hell of a long burn. However, as she stood in front of me with her arms crossed over her chest and her blue eyes pleading for forgiveness, it magically fell away.

I swallowed hard. “No. We’re good.”

“You sure?” She leaned in, eyeing me warily, but her smile began to grow.

I swear to God it pulled at my lips as well. I fought it. But the harder I tried to keep it restrained, the bigger Ash’s grew. She was stealing my smile. The chick was good! Finally, with an eye roll, I let out a quiet chuckle, which seemed to appease her.

“Good. Now, help your brother get redressed and I’ll make the fancy sauce.” She waggled her eyebrows.

Review 4.5 stars

FS-DGR


I fell in love with a girl who changed my life by showing me that even the darkest nights still had stars and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.

Aly Martines has quickly become one of my go-to favorite authors to read. I stalk her new releases incessantly and would pre-order without even batting an eye lash. I love her books that much. She writes some of my favorite broken heroes and heroines that melt their hearts and mend their broken pieces. Fighting Silence was one of my favorite books and a huge 5 star read for me. The teaser at the end of it for Flint’s story almost drove me mad in my wait for it. While you may technically read this book as a standalone, I’d advise against it. The story is based on the 3 Page brothers, and while each book focuses on each individual brother, it helps to know the full backstory, and Flint’s began partly in Fighting Silence. I knew just from reading the prologue that this book will be a huge winner for me, and I was not even a little bit wrong.
Fighting Shadows2-DGRFlint Page is the middle brother. He idolized his brother, heavyweight champion of the world, Till “The Silencer” Page. But while Till’s successful career only made his brother proud, his wife caused their inevitable disconnect. Flint has been in love with Eliza for as long as he remember, and the more he sees her with his brother, the more he gets swallowed up by his jealousy and self hate.


Whoever said time heals all wounds was an ignorant asshole. In my experience, time made everything worse.

The end of Fighting Silence finds Flint jumping in front of a bullet for Eliza and losing his ability to walk after getting shot in his back. Angry at the world, resentful, and drowning in his jealousy of his brother’s woman that he knows will never be his is slowly chipping away at him. His answer is to leave it all behind and to move as far away from them as possible in order to start anew. This is when Ash Mabie walks into his life.


If he’d just smiled a little more he could have been attractive. Maybe. But what really boggled my mind was the fact that it seemed like he truly wanted to be a miserable asshole. And let me just tell you, he excelled at it. Luckily, my father was a dick. I knew exactly how to handle it.

I loved Ash from just the first few pages. Having her father married to Flint’s deadbeat mom is the connection that brings them together. This is not a girl that had an easy life. Forced to pick pockets for her father, moving numerous times in a year and unable to go to school because of their less than legal life, this is someone that by all intents and purposes should be just as jaded as Flint. But she has this hopeful and sunny outlook to life that you can’t help but love. She’s so open with her feelings and trusting, and it all just works so well for her character. Her ways of looking at the world and calling Flint on his bullshit soon begin to chip away at his grumpy ways too.

There was no pain.
No ache in my chest.
No pity.
No bitterness.
I was numb.
And it was incredible.
Ash Mabie was quickly becoming my own personal brand of lidocaine.

What first began as an unlikely friendship soon begins to turn into something so much more. But Ash is heartbroken to learn that while she’s been falling head over heels for Flint, his heart belongs to another woman. That doesn’t stop her from giving her heart to Flint unconditionally; that’s just the kind of person she is.
FightingShadows-DGR


Flint, don’t get so caught up on the shadow that you forget the man who casts it. You might not be able to walk, but that’s the extent of your disability.

Of course what would an Aly Martinez book be without the hero’s inevitable fuck up. And when Flint Page fucks up, he royally fucks up. But oh man the feels of this book and his road to redeeming himself was so worth that fuck up. As much as I loved the first half of this book, I loved the second half even more.


You can try to run and I may not be able to chase you physically, but we need to be clear on one thing, Ash. I will NOT let you go again.
You belong with me. And I will do whatever I have to do in order to keep you….
I will chase you for the rest of my life if that is what it takes to be with you.”

FS1-DGR

 

I read this book in one sitting, completely unable to put it down. I spent the first half waiting for the shoe to drop (because the prologue was the worst tease ever), and I spent the second half with butterflies in my stomach reading Flint work for his forgiveness. I simply adored these two together. While Till and Eliza are still my favorite book in this series, Fighting Shadows was fantastic as well. Then came the tease for Quarry’s book and OH MY FREAKINGGAWDAREYOUKIDDINGME?! If I thought the wait for Flint’s book was painful, the wait for his book just may kill me.

Fighting Shadows was a beautiful and emotional story about love and second chances, strength and perseverance. It was packed with feels, heartbreak, and heart melting moments. Aly Martinez simply gets better and better with each new book and I can’t wait to see what she has in store with the next one. If you haven’t read this amazing series yet, you need to! Trust me when I tell you that you’ll be kicking your own ass for not reading it sooner.

 

Haven’t read this series yet? Meet Flint Quarry, Till & Eliza in Fighting Silence

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Sa2iVr

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Lhhn62

B&N: http://bit.ly/FightingSilenceBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1A2cSnr

iBooks: http://apple.co/1KQ2gmC

 

About the Author

aly martinez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

$50 Gift Card

Signed Set of Paperbacks (Fighting Silence & Shadows)

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Fighting Silence★ by @AlyMartinezAuth

Meet Till & Eliza in Aly Martinez’s newest fighter series!
It’s no secret that I adored this book. I’ve been singing it’s praises all over the place. Now you get to see exactly why. Scroll down to read my review and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
About The Book

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it’s the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?I’ve always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn’t a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting for my career.

Fighting the impending silence.

Fighting for her.

Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

I think that’s the sound I’ll miss the most.

Review
5 stars

I’d never had anything I could call my own, but Eliza Reynolds would always be mine.

If ever there was a book that everyone has to add to their TBR, this is that book. This incredible, emotional, beautiful, simply unforgettable book. This is Aly Martinez’s best book to date and quite honestly one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It was also probably my favorite friends-to-lovers romance I’ve ever read. Period.

…I had already been drowning in the ocean of life. Every gasp of air was a struggle. Just as I would breach the surface, filling my lungs with hope and determination to make it through another day, I was forced back under- harder every time.

Till Page met Eliza Reynolds when they were just 13 years old, and they each became an escape for the other. An escape from their glum reality. An escape from their problems. An escape from the real world. A fantasy built from the innocence of young hearts that built into an indescribably love as they got older.

Till’s life has never been easy. Forced to raise his two younger brothers from the time he was just a child himself because their parents couldn’t care less about anyone but themselves. Till struggles to make ends meet, all the while knowing that he’s facing a future of silence. A future in which a genetic condition may cause him to lose his hearing. A future that’s he’s absolutely terrified to face. When he climbs though a window of an abandoned apartment, looking to escape his reality, he comes crashing into a pair of blue eyes that irrevocably changes his life forever.

Eliza Reynolds grew up always fending for herself and never knowing the warmth of the love of her parents. But when a scrawny boy with tears in his captivating hazel eyes comes into her life, nothing is ever the same. She knows exactly who Till is, they go to school together after all. But he’s never acknowledged her, and that doesn’t change after they meet. But under the shadow of the night, in that abandoned apartment, they became the world for each other.

It was more than a friendship, but there wasn’t romance or sex. There was definitely love though. Immeasurable amounts of it. I knew Till had this grand fantasy about me. But what he didn’t realize was all that he gave me in return. He was the only thing I’d ever had that I honestly thought I couldn’t live without.

As they grow older, their friendship begins to turn into something much stronger. Something that Eliza knows is love unlike any she’ll ever feel for any other man, and a love that Till is absolutely terrified to acknowledge as more than that for a friend in fear of losing Eliza.

Turning his head, Till Page spoke words that solidified his claim on me for all eternity.
“I love you, Eliza.”

The book spans from the time Till and Eliza are 13 until they are 21, but it’s such a perfect progression that you can’t help but fall harder for them with every chapter. The author did such an incredible job infusing their romance with just that right amount of angst and emotion. It was absolute perfection.

There was nothing, NOTHING that I didn’t like about this book, and that’s a rare thing to happen to me. You feel everything right along the characters; their struggles, their pain, their love. I was an emotional wreck reading the second half of this book. And then that last 30%? Forget about it! I down right ugly cried.

I absolutely loved how Aly Martines was able to tie in characters from her previous books (Leo, Slate and Caleb make an appearance). But she does this giving readers that have read her previous books a little bonus, but allowing new readers to get to know these characters without ever feeling lost.

This book was so much more than just a romance though. It was also more that a fighter romance. It was a story or perseverance, of strength in the truest meaning of the word. Till’s story will absolutely break your heart. His relationship with his two brothers will also melt it. And his love for Eliza? It will warm it.

Eliza was a fantastic heroine. She was the perfect match for Till. Her strength, her maturity that’s well beyond her young years was so refreshing to read. This book truly had everything. It was emotional, it was a little angsty, and of course it was oh so sexy.

I may’ve been the first, but this time when I make you come I want to know I’ll be the last. Now,  fucking tell me it’s forever.

God, I just loved it so much. I don’t want to give you more of the plot because I don’t want to ruin the experience of reading it for yourself. Take my advice and go into this book without reading many reviews. You’ll just enjoy it that much more.

One of the most touching and unforgettable romances I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I absolutely cannot wait for Flint’s book next. Aly Martinez has given me a fighter romance that is a not only an auto-buy, it’s a MUST buy. I simply can’t recommend it enough. If you’ve loved her previous books, you will flat out adore this one. And if you haven’t discovered this phenomenal author yet, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll become a fan after reading Fighting Silence.

About the Author

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

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Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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