Author: Abby Niles
Rating: 3.5 stars
Type: Novel in Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: Doctor Ella Watts wants her old life back. Desperately. But the past has returned for its rematch, and going back home—even telling anyone her real name—isn’t an option until she’s confident in her MMA abilities. Personal trainer Lance Black is the man to help her reach her goals. Not only is he toned, muscular, and gorgeous, he’s patient, a great teacher, and willing to treat her like a worthy opponent. Except his size makes her freeze whenever he gets too close. If Ella can’t learn how to overcome her fear of being attacked, she’ll never be able to move on with her life.
Underground fighter Lance Black knows there’s more to the mysterious blonde ninja than a beautiful woman determined to improve her fighting skills. She can best anyone close to her size – man or woman – but insists on working out with him, even though he’s got a good 70 pounds and several inches on her. Despite her reticence, he’s determined to get her to open up so he can help her get over her mental block. And if that means he can get to know her outside the gym, all the better.
As long as she never learns his secrets.
Review: This story was about redemption, and it had a lot of secrets and suspense. While I had a hard time getting into it and didn’t ever really click with the characters, I still think there was enough positives about the story to make it a recommendation. If you enjoy MMA fighting, you’ll like it. If you enjoy watching characters led astray by good intentions gone horribly wrong, this is for you. And I have to give the author kudos on some major league heat in writing the sex scenes between the main characters!
Ella Watts has a lot of reasons to have left her job and her hometown. Her ex who’d gone to jail for injuring her was unexpectedly getting released for good behavior. Ha! She’d never feel safe again, especially since the last time she’d seen him he’d threatened her that he was going to come after her when he got out. Would you?
Lance Black isn’t a totally likeable character for me, but he’s the hero of this tale. He’s screwed up a lot; and now, even though he’d had great intentions when he’d borrowed the money to help his daughter get the meds she’d needed to fight the leukemia, he’s in a world of hurt. He owes the McNealys a lot of money and he can’t let his ex know he borrowed it because she’ll cut off visitation to his daughter. The one good thing in his day is helping train the new woman at the gym.
These two have got enough issues to fill up a warehouse, but they’re drawn to each other. And as Ella gets blackmailed into patching yup injuries at the underground fighting ring the McNealys are running with Lance as their main draw, she starts to not only have feelings for him but to question what the heck he’s doing there, fighting unsanctioned fights with little to no recovery time. That can’t be good for him.
Feelings, lots of feelings in this story as well as some bad choices. Luckily, as is inevitable in romances, things work out.I haven’t read any of the other three books in the series, which could account for my not being as involved in the plot as I could have been. While the ride isn’t always smooth, if you like romances about fighters and the gritty, inside world of MMA, I think you’ll enjoy this. Thanks!