Sunday, September 1, 2013

REVIEW: AGAINST THE ROPES BY SARAH CASTILLE

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 underground mixed-martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it’s these guys. Trouble is, at her first sight of the club’s owner she’s the one feeling breathless.

All sleek muscle and restrained power, the man they call Torment plays to win at any cost. Whether it’s in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when to use a soft touch 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…



Paperback368 pages
Expected publication: September 3rd 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
eArc received from publisher via NetGalley


Where to find Against the Ropes:

Where to find Sarah Castille:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

One look at the cover and you can pretty much guarantee that Courtney and I were very interested in seeing what this book was all about. We are, after all, suckers for scantily clad hot men. Lucky for us, this book seemed to be full of them.

Yep. I think the cover influenced our decision by at least 75%! But...it was very memorable so I couldn't wait to get started! 

The story of Makayla and Max (AKA Torment) is one that really explores the issues of communication and trust; Max isn't always big on communicating (at least initially) which then triggers issues with Makayla. Because of a nightmarish relationship with her father and watching her mother struggle to gain every single thing she had, Makayla isn't one to trust easily and she strives to do things on her her terms. Max, who also had some ugliness in his childhood, has worked hard to become who he is. He's skittish to expose Makayla to all sides of him because he apparently had issues with social climbers in the past. So with him withholding information and her finding things out...trouble brews. It doesn't help that she hates violence and he runs and participates in an underground fight club...a club that she ends up working at due to an outstanding debt. It also doesn't help that she likes danger and adrenaline and he is all about her safety and protection. And finally, their chemistry is hot but also triggers flashbacks from her horrendous past. So...as you can see..they have some issues to work through.

I like to think of Torment as a man of many, many layers. When we first meet him I thought of him as very playful and fun. He mostly maintains that throughout the book, but as we blend the man we know as Torment who the man that is also Max outside of the Redemption (his MMA club) it is clear that he is a complicated guy! 

Makayla on the other hand I feel like we knew pretty well. We were in her head 100% of the time, but she was also very, very wishy washy. It takes her obviously the entire book to figure out her direction and purpose and life....but I was very glad to see that she made those decisions on her own for herself. While she had Max in mind, she didn't let his affluence make decisions for her or turn her into someone she wasn't. I enjoyed their journey even though she was quite frustrating at times.

This read is a very quick read. Sarah Castille drops you right in to the plot on page one and in order to catch up to what's happening you must read further. She weaves numerous storylines involving Makayla's best friend, Makayla's work life and her debt, the fighters and fight club scene, and Makayla and Max's pasts. It's got a little of everything and is action packed.

There was quite a lot going on wasn't there! I didn't even realize, but all that and more was there. I did thoroughly enjoy their antics in the ring a lot because they were fun and just enjoying each other! 

I'm happy to say that this books ends happily and isn't too angst inducing. It's nice to see our book girl and boy find their happily ever after. After all of the insane cliff hangers this week I am so, so, so, so happy about this too! :D

Shelley: 3 Stars
Courtney: 3 Stars



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