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In Defying The Odds, Melody Dylan has moved to the small town of Garnet to start over.  She’s divorced her abusive husband, gotten a restraining order against him, and come somewhere new.  Taking a job as a waitress in the local diner, she gives a slice of pie to a man eating alone on Thanksgiving, changing her life forever.  Clay Powers grew up in Garnet and is now one of the most famous UFC fighters in the world, but he still feels as much of an outsider as ever.  Until he gets a little gift of kindness from the new girl in town.

This is marked as erotica, although it really isn’t all that different than some of the more steamy mainstream romance novels out there.  I don’t know what causes a book to be labeled one or the other – maybe it depends on frequency of the sex scenes or the words that are used.  Yes, the sex is hot (but that’s not a bad thing) and graphic, but it is also tender and emotional.  These two are as mismatched a couple as you can get – a woman who was beaten and a man who fights for a living – and everyone likes to point it out.  But they are also so much more.  Their relationship is sweet and they have so much heart, I loved them both immediately.

Clay grew up as a foster kid and his only real family is his two best friends, Jules and Wyatt.  He’s big, gruff and misunderstood, a little lonely.  Melody has had it rough but she hasn’t totally lost her innocence and good nature.  She sees so much more in Clay than most people do and she’s attracted to his big heart immediately.  They have their issues, mostly stemming from her ex-husband, but the resolution is so very touching.

If you don’t mind a little sizzle in your story (alright, a lot of sizzle), run out and get Defying The Odds, then kick back and enjoy the ride.  But be warned, this is the first in Moon’s Battered Hearts series, so get ready to head back out to get the second in the series, Star Crossed.