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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review: Saving a Legend by Sarah Robinson

Okay so I fell pretty hard for the first book and curiosity lead me to read Saving a Legend.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: June 14, 2016

His family's gym has produced a roster of mixed martial arts legends, but so far Kieran Kavanagh hasn't followed in their footsteps. After a brawl lands him in jail, Kieran is assigned to work at a center for at-risk youth. Though given a second chance, Kieran's simply going through the motions—until he meets one very special kid, Shea Doherty, and falls hard for her very beautiful, very grown-up big sister, Fiona. The trouble is, Kieran's best opening moves are getting him nowhere fast.

Fiona Doherty has too many responsibilities to fool around, especially now that she has custody of Shea. Sure, she'd love to find a devoted partner. But she won't jeopardize her sister's happiness—or risk revealing her tortured past—on a love-'em-and-leave-'em type of guy like Kieran . . . so it's up to him to prove her wrong. As Fiona spends more time with Kieran, she starts to see a softer side of the reckless warrior. Now she must admit that when it comes to the possibility of real love, well . . . there's a fighting chance.

Kieran Kavanaugh was sent to jail for two years and now that he’s out he needs to decide what he’s going to do with his life. His family owns a Mixed Martial Arts studio that has produced some legends but Kieran isn’t one of them. Even though he’s assigned to work at a center for at-risk youth, Kieran continues to just go through the motions. Then he meets the very special Shea Doherty and her older sister Fiona and everything starts to click for Kieran. Unfortunately, Fiona doesn’t have time for a fling with a playboy like him so now Kieran has to prove to Fiona that he wants more than just a temporary fling with her and that he’s capable of staying out of trouble.

I feel like it’s been forever and a day since I read Rory Kavanagh’s story (Breaking a Legend). In the first book of the series, Kieran was mentioned several times but since he was still in jail at the time, he was never introduced to readers.

Saving a Legend served as the introduction to Kieran and his journey to a happy ending. To me he was like a bright, shiny, new toy and I didn’t know what to expect from this character. He was a complicated mess of emotions and while that might be a turnoff for some, it was a green light for me. Kieran was who he was, he went to jail for assault after an underground fight ring he was involved in got busted, he served his time, and came out different but at the same time he was still lost about his role in life.

What I really loved from the first book that definitely carried on to this one was how imperfect and flawed the author makes her characters. Kieran’s a hot mess but at the same time Sarah Robinson created feelings of empathy for him without making excuses for the bad choices he made. Kieran was literally a representation of every person who has screwed up, paid the consequences, and just wanted to get their lives on track. Totally and completely relatable. He wasn’t a bad boy with an attitude either, he had a kind heart that just needed to be restarted. It seems to be a family trait with the Kavanaghs to protect those who can’t protect themselves.

Fiona had similar traits but she limited her protective streak to her autistic sister Shea. I remember Fiona from her very brief scene in the first book so this was also like an introduction to her.

Kieran and Fiona had a pretty strong attraction but what I liked is that nothing happened right away. Fiona was super focused on her sister’s needs and had her priorities straight yet I didn’t feel like she was this untouchable role model of the perfect sister. She was strong and vulnerable just like Kieran was strong and vulnerable. These two really did help each other deal with their pasts and fight for a good future together. Once they crossed the line into intimacy it was a complete scorcher. These two were just hot, hot, HOT together but at the same time Kieran and Fiona continued to build on the bond they had started before getting intimate and it really sold me on their romance.

With four other siblings, parents and a cousin, Kieran had his hands full getting back on track with them all and it wasn’t always smooth sailing. The Kavanagh family dynamic was different with Kieran around, sometimes tense, sometimes bittersweet, and sometimes it was just entertaining. Kieran’s brothers all had varying degrees of feelings when it came to Kieran’s stint in jail and it was interesting watching them all deal with it in their own ways. I can’t decide which brother I’m fascinated with now since they’re all different but I can say that I was surprised at how much I really liked Fiona’s sister Shea. I don’t want to reveal too much but it was clear that the author took the time to make sure that Shea was as realistic to the children she represented as possible. Shea was something really special and I don’t think I’ll be the only reader who thinks so.

All in all, the amount of angst, drama, sex, humor, and love was well balanced and made Saving a Legend more than just an MMA Romance, it was a story about making a better life, family, and friendship. I loved seeing the Kavanaghs again but most of all I loved seeing Kieran learn and grow from his experience in prison.

Final Verdict: Rory Kavanagh is still my favorite (Actually it’s because he’s got Ace the pitbull) but Kieran’s climb from bottom to top was just as emotional and should not be missed.

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