He's guarded and secretive and that's the way he likes it. He was doing a damn good job of keeping it that way. Until her. Bailey showed up and Dominic’s life became a minefield. He can't decide if he wants to kiss her or shake her, but he does know that he'll fight to keep her safe. He'll be as savage as he is in the octagon, outside of it.
Neither of them wants to accept it happening, but the past has a way of sneaking into the present. Hearts will be shattered and bonds will be broken. Will they survive it?
There were parts of this book that I thought were brilliant. Then there were parts that confused me. And then...there were parts that made me want to throw my Kindle.
Let’s start with the brilliant bits:
He smiles as he nods his head and I can only stare. He has to know what his smile is capable of. No one is that dumb. His smile grows into a full-blown grin and I flush. Not out loud. Not out loud. Not out loud.
Now for the confusing bits:
And now for the bits that made me want to throw my Kindle in a fit of anger. It’s established from the very beginning of the book that Connor is a cruel, soulless, spineless abuser. Bailey knows that he’s not above using her son to manipulate and hurt her. So, the fact that she went anywhere with him willingly towards the end made me want to reach through my Kindle and smack the crap out of her.
“[Connor] looks helpless. Lost. I actually feel a stab of pity for him.”
I’m sorry...did you just say that you feel pity for the dude who has made your life a living hell? I must’ve read those lines at least ten times before I believed them. Why—in the name of all that’s holy—would she feel ANYTHING for this vile human being other than loathing? That’s not OK with me.
And it’s also well-established that Bailey is a great fighter. This dude is hurting her, hurting her son and she just takes the abuse? Why didn’t she kick the ever-lovin’ crap out of him? Having Dominic save her wasn’t nearly as satisfying as Bailey saving herself would’ve been.
But all-in-all, this was an interesting read that fans of MMA fighter romances will enjoy.
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Well, it’s well-written enough to help crush that portion of the romance stigma. But it’s definitely within kissing distance of being unrealistic, in my opinion. As it stands, I’d say it’s neither hurting or helping the romance stigma.
Other reading suggestions
This book was well-written enough that I’d be willing to check out the author’s backlist. For other stories about fighters who train survivors like Bailey, try Punching and Kissing by Helena Newbury or Once Pure by Cecy Robson.