In her Loveswept debut, Sidney Halston turns up the heat as a sexy cage fighter shows a former bookworm how delicious a few rounds between the sheets can be.
For Chrissy Martin, returning to her Florida hometown always seems to bring bad luck. The day starts with a breakup text, followed by a jailhouse phone call from her troublemaker brother. Now a routine traffic stop has ended with her accidentally punching an officer . . . in a delicate place. Then Chrissy realizes that the hot cop on the receiving end of her right hook is none other than the man from her teenage fantasies.
Jack Daniels knows how to take a hit. After all, when he’s not chasing reckless drivers, he’s kicking ass in a mixed martial arts ring. So what takes his breath away isn’t the low blow, but the woman who dealt it: a gorgeous knockout with legs Jack wouldn’t mind being pinned under—who just so happens to be his best friend’s nerdy little sister, all grown up. Soon their instant chemistry leads to a sizzling affair, but Jack and Chrissy are fighting an uphill battle if they want to make love last beyond the final bell.
Source: ARC from the author
My Rating: 5/5 stars
OK, here’s the deal: as a reader I find it is generally not a good idea when an author completely changes his or her writing “voice” and/or style. However, from time-to-time, a particularly talented author can do just that and successfully so. In this instance, Sidney Halston has not only changed her writing voice but has also switched genres with little to no effort. The final result is an exciting new read, Against the Cage.
They say you can’t go home again but Chrissy Martin is going to test that theory when, after eleven years away she returns to Tarpon Springs, Florida to bail out her worthless brother, Slade Martin. Intending to get in and get out and back to her life, Chrissy’s plans are torpedoed when she is pulled over on her way to break in to her family home. As if the universe completely hates her, not only is she pulled over but, in the process of presenting her license and registration, she accidentally punches the cop in the crotch and gets cursed at repeatedly while he rolls around on the ground in pain. Oh, and the final insult to injury is the fact that the cop just happens to be her brother’s best friend and her childhood crush, Jack Daniels. Yes, that is really his name and he hates it 🙂
For the past eleven years, Jack has looked after Chrissy’s dumbass brother, bailed him out when necessary and asked after Chrissy at every turn. In addition to his role as police officer, Jack also enjoys the occasional MMA fight – as a contestant and not just a viewer, he has completely remodeled his family home and, he is the not-so-proud owner of a nasty little Chihuahua by the name of Drogo. The totally unexpected presence of the decidedly grown up and slammin’ sexy Chrissy Martin has flapped the generally unflappable Jack. Her presence in his house and his life is a threat to his sanity. Oh, and his nasty little dog may like her too and Drogo likes no one!
Not to be outdone, Chrissy is totally blown away by the sheer beauty of Jack and if the situation were at all different, she may just have to consider a hook-up. But, Chrissy is on her way out of town just as soon as things are settled with her brother. HA!! Enter Sidney Halston and her evil genius ways . . . .
It takes about a nanosecond for both Jack and Chrissy to realize that there is some real chemistry between them and as far as science experiments go, their chemistry is explosive. Furthermore, as we have already determined, the universe hates Chrissy and over the next few days her plan to get in and out of town is constantly thwarted. Her brother is badly hurt following an unsanctioned MMA fight, he fully intends to fight again within the next few days and if she can’t talk him out of the insanity, at least Chrissy can be there to patch him up when he comes out of the cage. But, she doesn’t have to be happy about it!!
For the bulk of the read, Chrissy is fighting with either her brother or with Jack as both seem to be completely unreasonable men. When not fighting, she is wooing Drogo and trying desperately to ignore her growing attraction to Jack. But that kind of sexy can only be ignored for so long and after one seriously delectable night, Chrissy begins to rethink her grand plan. Maybe, just maybe the universe doesn’t hate her quite as much as she thought. Again I repeat, HA! As we all know, the road to happiness (and Hell) is often paved with good intentions and though everyone involved has good intentions and is only interested in protecting everyone else, the secret keeping, lies of omission and grievous misunderstandings related to their collective past creates all kinds of drama and leaves Jack totally distraught and Chrissy on her way out of town after all.
The Bottom Line: I was a fan of Sidney Halston long before she asked me about reading Against the Cage. My previous experience with her writing includes the seriously dark, totally erotic and, slightly paranormal Seeing Red series and this is what I was expecting when I cracked the cover of this read. What I got was a totally different type of read that is no less well-written, no less entertaining and, no less sexy than her other books. The voice and style of Against the Cage is so different that I had to keep reminding myself that this was written by the same person who wrote the Seeing Red series. I was hooked from the beginning by Chrissy’s sharp wit and intelligence, Jack’s smoldering honed to perfection fighter’s body sexiness mixed with the whole “I’m a cop” thing and, by Drogo. Yes, the angry Chihuahua with a spiked collar and a bad attitude is a selling point for me 🙂 In all, I’m in and signed up for the rest of this series. Once again, Halston has put together a fantastic read that will certainly appeal to a wide range of readers.
About the author and where to find her:
Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”–Mark Twain. Or even simpler, “Just Do It”—Nike. And that’s exactly what she did. After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative romantic side and wrote Seeing Red.That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing.
Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing you can find her reading and reading and reading. She’s a reader first and a writer second. When she’s not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way.