Book: Against the Ropes
Author: Sarah Castille
Format: Uncorrected ARC
Review by: Onnica
Basic story: Makayla Delaney (known as Mac) is in a pickle. Unsure of what to do with her life she works part-time in a dead-end admin job while studying to be an EMT. When helping out a friend one night, she’s introduced to the illicit world of underground MMA fighting. She’s working on the door taking tickets, when someone sneaks in without paying. She pursues him and realises too late that he’s the main attraction. His name? Torment. He’s huge, tattooed, toned and muscular and seems to be amused by everything Mac says and does. When he requests that she stays to see the match, she refuses – she can’t stand violence of any kind. As owner of the club, he makes her an offer she can’t very well refuse. As the club isn’t legit, it’s difficult to find a willing medic to look after the injured fighters. She’s reluctant, but her financial situation is getting worse by the day, so she agrees to patch up the wounded.
The more time Torment and Makayla spend together, the more confused she becomes. All his outward behaviour suggests that he likes her, but then there’s the case of the bleached-blonde girlfriend lurking around the ring who seems to hate Mac on sight and the fact that Torment doesn’t want to reveal any of his secrets – including his real name. Mac may not like the fighting, but the biggest fight she faces is dealing with her feelings for the man who makes her heart skip a beat…
Why you should read this: I’ll be honest, I picked this book in part due to its cover. It’s sizzling, am I right? I’m a newcomer to the whole MMA books that are springing up and this is a fun one. Makayla is funny – she’s a little insecure but she doesn’t let it dominate her character. She deals with Torment’s dominance and unreasonable behaviour calmly and firmly. He truly is the most alpha of alphas I’ve come across in a long time – he gives Christian Grey a run for his money! The plot is packed full of action – you’ll find out who Torment is and that there are secrets on both sides. Sarah Castille has a great turn of phrase making Mac a wise-cracking, fun heroine.
What you might hate: Ok – if you’re over the whole, ‘me man, you my woman’ thing, then this book may not be for you. Torment likes to protect the things and people he cares about. He has clear control issues and does not deny it. He likes to fight too – A LOT. It provides a good contrast between him and Mac. But beware, he is the kind of hero that doesn’t like another male so much as looking at Mac, which is pretty primeval.
Rating: 3/5 – I really enjoyed the book. It’s not perfect – it’s like two different books in one with all the drama and action that unfolds, but it’s definitely worth a read. The steamy scenes were super steamy and I really liked that the couple didn’t get together too quickly and the heat was allowed to build.
Against the Ropes is out now.