I was provided with an advance reader copy by Tasty Book Tours, the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.
Series: Worth the Fight #1
Published by Loveswept on May 27, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Tasty Book Tours, the publisher
Amazon • Barnes and Noble • Google Play • iBookstore • Goodreads
In her Loveswept debut, Sidney Halston turns up the heat as a sexy cage fighter shows a former bookworm how delicious a few rounds between the sheets can be.
For Chrissy Martin, returning to her Florida hometown always seems to bring bad luck. The day starts with a breakup text, followed by a jailhouse phone call from her troublemaker brother. Now a routine traffic stop has ended with her accidentally punching an officer . . . in a delicate place. Then Chrissy realizes that the hot cop on the receiving end of her right hook is none other than the man from her teenage fantasies.
Jack Daniels knows how to take a hit. After all, when he’s not chasing reckless drivers, he’s kicking ass in a mixed martial arts ring. So what takes his breath away isn’t the low blow, but the woman who dealt it: a gorgeous knockout with legs Jack wouldn’t mind being pinned under—who just so happens to be his best friend’s nerdy little sister, all grown up. Soon their instant chemistry leads to a sizzling affair, but Jack and Chrissy are fighting an uphill battle if they want to make love last beyond the final bell.
Today, I am excited to be one of the stops on the book tour for Sidney Halston’s Loveswept debut, Against the Cage.
Here at MWR, as part of the tour, you will find out a little about the book, what I thought of it, an excerpt of awesome and there will be a prize on offer at the end. Yay!
What did I think of Against the Cage:
MMA appears to have become a hot spot for romance writers, and so it should – the tough guys, the muscles, the emotion all lend themselves quite well to hot romance.
What I like about how MMA is addressed in Against the Cage is the heroine may not like the violence and doesn’t like to see her brother or the hero getting beaten up, but she doesn’t dismiss their passion for it without thought.
I thoroughly enjoyed the humour and witty dialogue in Against the Cage, and the chemistry between Chrissy and Jack is unquestionable. The heat they generate at times is worth fanning yourself over, I can tell you. I liked that their friendship was strong as well, and they weren’t just all about the sexytimes.
The real star of the story is Drogo, Jack’s big beast in the body of a small dog. I loved this surly little fellow! I’m also pretty keen to hear more about Chrissy’s brother Slade, and there are some other potential heroes in and around the gym.
While this was a quick read, it’s by no means too short – it draws you in the world of Chrissy and Jack’s relationship, and never makes you feel as if you have missed something along the way.
I am looking forward to see how the Worth the Fight series develops – I, for one, will be continuing to read it.
Here’s a tempter from the pages of Against the Cage to whet your appetite – this is from the opening chapter:
“Fan-freaking-tastic!” Chrissy slammed her fists into the steering wheel of her piece of crap ten-year old car.
The red and blue sirens blared behind her. Annoyed, she pulled over to the side of the road. Not even an hour ago, she had broken one of the heels of her favorite red stilettos while she ungracefully left the Courthouse and slipped on a crack on the sidewalk. She then hobbled to her car where she found it lopsided, which she foolishly ignored. Of course, the lopsidedness was a flat tire, which blew a few minutes later as she was driving down the highway. She then called AAA and waited an hour for her tire to be changed. Now, the icing on the craptastic cake was making his way towards her car with a blinding flashlight pointed right into her eyes. All she could see was black spots floating around her line of vision and an outline of a tall man stalking towards her window. Just great!
As soon as she began manually rolling down the window, the Florida heat and humidity flooded into the car, causing sweat to trickle down the nape of her neck, and her hair to stick to the sides of her face. And, yes, she rolled it down because her crappy car didn’t have electric anything because her car was, well, it was crap.
“License and registration,” said the husky voice from outside.
Still seeing spots, she let out a loud sigh and shifted her body away from the window to grab the heavy oversized mess of a purse that sat on the floor of the backseat. Her hands shook slightly and her eyes squinted as she looked for her license in what some might consider small carry-on luggage rather than a purse. She felt her pulse accelerate; she hated dealing with police officers. Who didn’t?
God, where was her license? As soon as she got her life together, getting her purse organized would be the first order of business, she thought, as she berated herself for being such a mess. When she finally found her drivers license in the black hole she called a purse, she yelled out a triumphant, “AHA!” then reached towards the glove compartment and began throwing out papers in search of the elusive registration. After organizing her purse, the glove compartment in her car would be next on her to-do list.
“Anytime time now, ma’am,” he said, as his fingers drummed on the roof of her car. It was annoying.
“Did you just growl at me, ma’am?” No stupid, I groaned not growled.
She groaned again.
“Lady, I’m speaking to you.”
After the day she’d had, all she wanted was to get in and then get the hell out of this podunk town that just happened to be where she’d grown up. Not having returned since she was eighteen, she regretted the moment she’d answered Slade’s phone call that morning asking her to bail him out of jail.
Eleven years she had avoided Tarpon Springs, Florida. Eleven long drama-free years. And now, after the series of events that had transpired during the last twelve hours, she realized why. This town brought out the worst in her.
“Here it is!” She squealed victoriously and, without looking, hastily swung her arm towards the open window to hand the officer her documents. Instead of a hand meeting hers, she found herself ramming her paperwork right into a bulge. A very large bulge.
A moan and an “ugh” was all she heard.
“Oh, my!” She clasped both hands to her mouth. Mortified. “Oh, my God, officer, I’m so sorry. I didn’t—”
“Shhh!” He snapped at her from the ground.
Unable to open the door because he was crouched against it, rambling something she couldn’t make out, Chrissy unsnapped her seatbelt and stuck her head out the window and looked down.
“Please tell me I didn’t just hit you in the…” She was too humiliated to say the word.
“In the balls? Yes, lady, you punched me right in the balls.”
“I’m so sorry, officer. It was an accident. I’ve had a terrible day. My purse is a mess, which made me nervous ‘cause I wasn’t sure where my license was and, by the way, your fingers tapping on the roof of my car wasn’t helping, not that I am using your incessant tapping as an excuse, but really, it didn’t help and anyway, AAA took forever, and then you blinded me with your lights, I couldn’t see and then,” Okay, now shewas rambling a mile a minute. She shook her head frantically as if that would stop the verbal diarrhea from spewing out of her mouth. “Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, I am so so sorry. I’m a doctor, let me help you.”
“No! No. Just stay in the vehicle. I think you’ve done enough. Just give me a second to recover,” he grumbled, sounding a few octaves too high.
She settled back into her seat, her cheeks flaming. Okay, so things could definitely get worse. Much worse! There she had been, thinking all optimistically that things couldn’t possibly get any worse and then BAM! She rams a cop right in the nuts! She’d probably get arrested for this. Life imprisonment. It was plausible, considering the kind of day she’d had.
“Officer?” Chrissy stuck her head out the window once again, adjusting her eyeglasses that had dropped to the end of her nose.
“Can you just be quiet for a goddamn minute!” He snapped at her from the ground. He was still crouched down, his back to her car. Now that the spots weren’t impairing her vision, she could see the back of his Khaki shirt, as he bowed over and presumably grabbed his manhood. The shirt looked like it was struggling not to rip down the middle from the strain that went shoulder to shoulder from his very wide back.
“You don’t have to be an ass,” she murmured under her breath. But, as soon as it slipped out of her mouth, she regretted it.
“Did you just call me an ass, right after punching me in the balls? Ya’ know, I’ve tasered people for less.”
There it was: domineering alpha-male who thought he could walk around intimidating women. The precise definition of a cop in her book. She sat back and crossed her arms. “I didn’t punch you in the nuts. Well, I did. But, it was an accident. I’m trying to help. I already apologized. By the way, you shouldn’t be so close to the street. It’s night out and a car could run you over.”
He cleared his throat a few moments later. “You’re right. It’s 101 at the Academy. Although, I don’t remember learning about correct protocol for this particular scenario, where a crazy woman punches you in the balls. I’m wondering what the proper procedures should be.” Behind the pain, his voice hinted at amusement.
Ever so slowly, Officer domineering stood up and turned towards her window, holding on to the roof of her car at arms-length, bringing her face-to-face with his now-injured male organ. She cleared her throat, nervously.
Gingerly, he bent down to window-level and for the first time, she was able to see his face. And, like a lightening bolt, Chrissy’s past collided right into her, a past she so wanted to forget.
“Holy shit! Fuck. My. Life!” And she closed her eyes and thumped her forehead against the steering wheel.
A little bit about Sidney Halston:
Sidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” (Mark Twain). Or even simpler: “Just do it” (Nike). And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.
Now, here’s a little giveaway!
To celebrate the release of Against the Cage, Sidney will be awarding a grand prize to one lucky reader of either a$25.00 e-retailer gift card or a prize pack with Against the Cage and Loveswept Swag. You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
Click on the tour banner at the top of the post to see the other stops on the tour.