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…
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Makayla Delaney has really never done anything the easy way. Her childhood was a series of horrors until her mother was finally able to break away from her abusive father, though she graduated at the top of her class she just can’t commit to medical school, she lives in an absolute dump with far too many people and, her financial situation is deteriorating rapidly. Above all else, Makayla can’t stomach violence of any kind and so she just can’t believe it when she finds herself desperate for money and working an extra job at Redemption, an underground MMA club full of hot, hard men who are ready to pound one another senseless.
Max Huntington aka Torment is the hottest and the hardest of the men assembled. He is wealthy beyond reason, the owner of Redemption and a lot of other stuff, he has a passion for controlled violence, he has an iron will and, as of the moment he sees her, a desire to possess Makayla Delaney. Though she is so far removed from his usual flavor of high society arm candy, Makayla is intriguing and Max knows instantly that he has found someone special. Here’s the rub: Max is a violent (though by no means cruel) man who loves to fight and be in control at all times. Thanks to her background, Makayla has no stomach for violence and giving up control to anyone, and most especially a man, scares the Hell out of her. Here’s the bigger rub: Makayla is drawn to Max like no other man before and though she is often slightly unnerved by his need for control she wants to be with him. In just a short amount of time Makayla and Max find themselves immersed in one anothers’ lives and while Max is absolutely and without doubt or hesitation ready to commit, Makayla is not nearly so sure. Breaking down her walls and allowing herself to truly experience all that is Max is one of the hardest challenges Makayla has ever faced and she just isn’t sure she is up to the challenge.
Given his need to control everything at all times Max often finds himself completely at a loss where Makayla’s behavior is concerned. Sensing his wild girl wants to try and experience more than she ever has before, Max pushes her in every way possible, including in the bedroom. Max is as fearsome in the bedroom as he is in the ring and he is constantly asking Makayla to go above and beyond her comfort zone. Though he sees signs of distress, Makayla assures Max that everything is alright and that she trusts him. Unfortunately, despite Max’s every effort to help Makayla and protect her, she pushes him away and creates a level of heartbreak neither has ever known before.
The Bottom Line: Holy Hell is this book HOT!!! Against the Ropes has it all: hot, hard bodied fighters with a soft side, plenty of excellent backstory where Makayla and Max are concerned, enough drama to fill more than one book and, some seriously fine naughty bits. This is truly a story of opposites attract and I was drawn to both characters equally from the very beginning. Though Max enjoys violence he is in no way cruel and is, in fact a very caring man with a heightened need to protect those he loves and, a troubled past of his own. Makayla is so much more than even she realizes and by Max’s side she is able to heal, to grow and, to become comfortable with herself and her (raging!) desires. That is, after she pushes him away a few times. The naughty bits are just the right level of kink for me and plentiful, to say the least. The sex never overshadows the plot or the characters but fits in perfectly and mimics the strong desires of both lead characters. Max and Makayla are a power couple in every sense of the word and a great foundation for the Redemption series. In all, I was absolutely sucked into this book and immensely pleased that the second book is already available 🙂