How could she have been so stupid? When Jessica Cross decides to give her violently jealous boyfriend—the otherwise influential and charming Dennis Stavros—a second chance, she very nearly becomes a statistic. After weeks of healing from a broken rib and collapsed lung, and with Dennis behind bars, Jessica finally feels ready to come out of hiding. But will she ever be able to take a chance on love again with someone new?
Mixed martial arts fighter Slade Martin knows he has a bad reputation. Hell, he’s probably earned it. So it won’t be easy to convince beautiful, vulnerable Jessica that she can trust him—that from the moment she walked into his life, she’s been the only one he’s wanted. Powerful and confident, Slade knows he can honor his vow to protect Jessica body and soul. Winning her heart will be another matter . . . but a woman like Jessica is worth the fight.
Slade Martin is about as badass as they come. He is a super-simple guy with two total and complete desires. Desire one is mixed martial arts and the dream of one day owning his own gym. Slade is, quite literally willing to put his life on the line to make this dream come true. Desire two is Jessica Cross, the woman Slade has adored for quite some time yet hasn’t ever really been able to get close to. Like his dream of owning a gym, Slade is willing to put his life on the line and give up his freedom for Jessica.
Jessica Cross never intended to be a statistic. From a wealthy family who have high expectations for their daughter and her life, Jessica hasn’t told her family the real reason she broke things off with her boyfriend, Dennis. As far as Jessica’s parents are concerned, Dennis, with his charm, family connections, and political aspirations is the perfect match for Jessica. What they don’t know is that Dennis is bat-shit crazy and likes to beat Jessica. Slade Martin knows all these things and wants nothing more than to hurt Dennis, protect Jessica, and make her his own. Given her recent experiences, Jessica is beyond hesitant to jump into a new relationship but there is just something about Slade that is hard to resist. With nearly everyone else, Slade is big, bad, and scary but with Jessica, he is kind, caring, intensely sexual, and hugely protective.
Slade never imagined when he finally got Jessica into his life and into his home it would be because she is recuperating from a serious beating at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. Bringing Jessica deeper into his life is one of Slade’s greatest desires and while he is generally a fairly aggressive guy, Jessica needs something far different. With Jessica, Slade taps into the parts of his personality that don’t normally see the light of day. As an MMA fighter, Slade gets to let his anger and aggression out but with Jessica, he gets to be gentle and caring, and just aggressive enough in the bedroom to completely satisfy each other. More surprisingly, Slade quickly realizes he doesn’t just want a little bit of time and a lot of sex with Jessica but a whole hell of a lot of each.
Now let’s add some drama into the mix. Jessica has to deal with not just her recovery but the choices she made to get her to her current place in life. She has to deal with her family and her future and how disparate the two really are. Then, there is the fact that her ex is still causing some fairly serious problems for both she and Slade. From Jessica’s perspective, it is all just too much to bear and the easiest and most heartbreaking solution for all involved is simply to leave town. Jessica is only half of Slade’s drama. He wants her desperately but he also wants his own gym. With Jessica, he is facing jail time as a result of a confrontation with her crazy ex as well as facing her leaving town. With his dream of owning a gym, Slade is facing a lack of funds which can easily be remedied with just a few more unsanctioned, high risk fights. However, he has been fighting for a lot of years and the injuries are adding up to the point that one more serious blow and Slade is in the realm of long-term irreversible damage or even death. Like Jessica, some things are just worth the time, the effort, and the risk.
The Bottom Line: The title, Full Contact really does epitomize Slade Martin. From start to finish, Slade is full tilt and focused on his two goals, getting enough money to buy a gym and making Jessica his. Slade is so focused on these goals that he often disregards even his own well-being and while that may seem stupid (and it is on some levels) is also an expression of his confidence. Slade has confidence in spades and that is very much a part of his appeal. His foul mouth and absolute determination make him sexy as hell and when you throw in all the crap he has to go through and the opposition he faces, well, Slade is just about perfect. One of the awesome ironies of this read is how often Slade says he doesn’t do drama but there is a butt load of drama in his life and in this read. Every single bit of the drama makes sense to the read and particularly to Jessica and speaks to Slade’s character. That Slade is willing to endure the drama he so despises for the realization of his dream and an HEA is a delightful irony that I chuckled about many, many times throughout this read.
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.