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Friday, October 6, 2017

Review: Dirty Boxing by Harper St. George and Tara Wyatt

Whoa, I really liked this MMA romance! The hero was so emotionally invested in his relationship while the heroine was the one who balked. Loved the switch!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: October 3, 2017

After an unstable childhood, Jules Darcy is very familiar with the risks of falling in love. And as an adult, she’s never let herself forget just how high those stakes can be. That’s why she ran away a year ago after her fling with MMA fighter Nick Giannakis quickly got serious. But when she jumps at the opportunity to reconnect with her dad by accepting a job with his growing fight league, she’s stunned to learn the abs, the chiseled arms, and the rock-solid punches she has to market belong to none other than her former fling. Unable to run away from the sexy middleweight this time, Jules vows to keep things strictly professional. But one look at Nick, and her resolve starts to crumble….

The last thing Nick expects when he signs with the prestigious World Fighting Championship is that he’ll have to work with the only woman who ever broke his heart. Desperate to hide the pain she caused him, Nick vows to keep his distance from his gorgeous ex. But when he realizes their intense chemistry hasn’t faded after a year apart, he wonders if they could have a future together, even if dating the boss’s daughter could complicate his bid for the championship belt.

Under the bright lights of Las Vegas, in the world of high-stakes prize fighting, they’ll have to take a risk and decide if their love is worth fighting for.

What’s it About? Jules Darcy’s fling with MMA fighter Nick Giannakis was only supposed to be that, a fling, but things got real serious real quick and she ran away, breaking Nick’s heart in the process. A year later, Darcy is working with her dad in his fight league as a marketing director and wouldn’t you know it, Nick is now one of her dad’s fighters. Neither one of them is prepared to face the past but the heat and the emotions between them won’t go away. After growing up witnessing her parents’ disaster of a marriage, Jules is determined not to fall for Nick again while Nick is equally determined to get Jules back and for good.

Overall reaction to the story? In a word? RAWR. Dirty Boxing packs an emotional punch! Nick and Jules’ second chance romance is filled with longing, unrequited love, and lots of passion! What I love most is that it was the hero who fell hard and fast first and is nursing a clear case of broken heart syndrome when the heroine walks back into his life. He’s so emotionally invested in their second chance and the heroine is the one holding back. That put things into a different perspective and made things more interesting. I did have one or two bones to pick with the heroine over her repetitive stubbornness but it didn’t deter my overall enjoyment of the story. Harper St. George and Tara Wyatt make a fantastic writing team.

Describe the hero in five words: Emotional. Stubborn. Kind. Goofy. Giving.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Nick is a darling, he’s a total sweetheart who just happens to be an amazing fighter. He wasn’t emotional closed off, he was the opposite, ready and willing to love Jules because he knows she’s special. He isn’t a commitmentphobe, he’s good to his friends and loves his family. I fell a bit in love with him myself and wasn’t entirely convinced that Jules deserved someone so devoted and fun. When you see the words “MMA Fighter” you expect a grunting, monosyllabic, closed off guy that fights for a living but Nick had more depth and a personality outside of the MMA circuit. It made him seem more human and likable.

Describe the heroine in five words: Stubborn. Intelligent. Vulnerable. Kind. Lonely.
Did you like her? About 90% of the time I did.
Why? Jules had a hard time growing up, she saw her parents’ marriage crumble and her dad choose fighting over her time and time again so she’s a bit gun shy about relationships and especially relationships with fighters. I get that and I felt bad for the woman she became. She was closed off emotionally and lonely. I wanted her to learn and grow and realize that she couldn’t keep letting her parents’ disaster of a marriage hold her back but dang Jules was so freaking stubborn! It was the same lame argument over and over with her even though Nick was the type of man to back up his words with actions. Jules knew Nick was a good man, she knew he had strong feelings for her, and she knew he desperately wanted to make it work between them because he showed her every single time that he was serious about her yet she kept pushing him away and using her parents as an excuse. I felt like shaking her and saying “What is wrong with you?? He’s SHOWING you how much he cares not making a bunch of empty promises, get with it girl!” She frustrated me towards the end with how little she had budged when it came to her relationship with Nick.

Let’s talk about the romance: Oh man, these two were hot and dirty for each other! That red hot passion that flared to life when they first met is just as strong and fierce in the present, but it was also the tender, loving way Nick treated and looked at Jules that had me envying this girl. These two were so good together, a great balance of love, respect, and friendship.

How about that supporting cast? In Dirty Boxing Jules’ father runs the fight league that Nick belongs too and now Jules is hoping to establish a relationship with her father while working for him. Honestly, Jules father isn’t worth the time. He’s so selfish and determined to remember an alternate life where he wasn’t a loser father. Ugh, he just ticked me off but in the end Jules’ way of dealing with him gave me a bit of satisfaction. The other fighters are mainly there to fill in scenes with the exception of Gabe who carries around some massive pain. He’s got my attention too. I want to know his story.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. Dirty Boxing’s hero is completely different than what you’d expect him to be and that’s a big part of what makes this book a total win.

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