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New review is now up.

*****

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He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more…

Makayla never thought she’d set foot in an elite mixed-martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it’s these guys. Then again, at her first sight of the club’s owner she’s the one feeling breathless. 

The man they call Torment is all sleek muscle and restrained power. Whether it’s in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when a soft touch is required and when to launch a full-on assault. He always knows just how far he can push. And he’s about to tempt Makayla in ways she never imagined…

There are going to be a lot of people who won’t like this story.  Torment is very much an Alpha male – dominant, over-protective, aggressive, and violent (although never toward Makayla).  He’s one of those who thinks that he’s always right and that his “woman” needs to do whatever he says.  Part of it comes from his background as the son of a boxer, some of it from the tragedy that befell his family, and part of it from being a billionaire businessman.  But all of it is going to rub some people the wrong way so this is definitely not the book for them.

But if you are ok with that, then Against the Ropes is likely to keep you glued to the pages.  I fall into this category and I felt that Makayla does a great job of forging a relationship with him that works for them both.  Sure there is some manipulation involved but they are both aware of it and accept it and make it work.  But the road to that point is definitely not smooth.  Makayla has issues with violence and control due to her alcoholic father, so she has to learn whether she can trust Torment not to hurt her.  His need to protect her and his domination in the bedroom, even though she enjoys it, brings back unhappy memories and she has to decide if she can work with it because the man isn’t going to change.  Personally I think that Torment has issues that should have been addressed – guilt from not being able to protect his mother – and, while Makayla’s are adequately resolved, I think that some time needed to be spent on his.

Overall, I found Against the Ropes to be a sizzling page turner that kept me up late into the night.  And I’m very much looking forward to more stories from Castille, hopefully with more gorgeous fighters.

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