Growing up an Army brat, Violet Channing could never meet her dad’s high expectations. But in the eyes of her best friend, she could do no wrong. He even insisted that he should be her first kiss. Now Cain Sorensen is all grown up, hardened by years in special ops and always looking for a good fight. Tall, with striking blue eyes and impossibly blond hair, he’s a modern-day Viking warrior. Of course, Violet’s all grown up, too, and she’s ready to surrender to his every command.
Cain knows he’s bad for Violet. His work is dangerous, and his hobbies are downright deadly. As a private mercenary and a mixed martial arts fighter, he could never let such an innocent soul into his world. And yet his most grueling combat training is no match for Violet’s killer curves, hot touch, and suggestive glances. Now all of Cain’s most explosive fantasies are coming true—but once they cross the line between friends and lovers, there’s no turning back.
Source: Author and Purchase
My Rating: 6 DAMN BIG STARS
Cain Mother Effing Sorensen!!! Holy Hannah do I love this book!!! I have officially read it three times and I have no intention of three being the last time I read this book. Seriously?? This one is on my list of all-time favorite reads and here’s why.
The cover: Let’s just start with the first thing you see. Hands down, this is the finest cover of the series and that cover model, yeah, he works for me on all kinds of levels. More importantly (but not much!) is how much the model resembles who I saw in my head as I read this book all three times. This is really a near-perfect pairing between the actual image and the written description.
The plot: Halston throws everything into this book and from start to finish it is captivating. Cain has a very hard past that he has worked to overcome but he’s a guy so his version of overcoming is to first, run away from it; two, suppress it; three, ignore it; and, finally, beat the crap out of other grown men as an MMA fighter. Unfortunately, the past has a way of cropping up and biting one on the ass. For Cain, that past is not only his issues with his parent’s but also the loss of his best friend in war, and his feelings for his dead best friend’s fiancé, Violet. Of all of past problems, Violet is by far the curviest, most delightful, most talkative, sexiest, most frustrating issue. She is the one past and now present problem that Cain just can’t seem to overcome and God help him, he doesn’t want to.
For Violet, the move to Tarpon Springs was a necessary evil. Following the death of her fiancé, life in her hometown was generally unbearable. After finishing her nursing degree and at the urging of her best girlfriend, JL, Violet packed her bags and moved to Florida. Violet expected to find peace and a fresh new start, what she got is Cain Sorensen, her dead fiancé’s best-friend and the object of her damn-near life-long crush. Hoping to resume the strong friendship they once shared, Violet runs headlong toward Cain only to be shot down, insulted, and generally ignored at every turn. Violet is completely confused by Cain and his actions but she just can’t seem to shake her feelings for him.
The past and the present of two decidedly different characters come together in such a beautiful and seamless way in this read.
The characters: I am a total character junkie and Laid Out brings it where the characters are concerned. Violet is one of the sweetest most charming characters in all of the Worth the Fight series. From the moment she opens her mouth (and she does that a lot!) she will hook you and have you rooting for her. She is a wonderful contradiction. In so many ways she is confident yet in others her lack of confidence is glaring. She smart and totally witty yet at other times she stumbles and fumbles her words and often plants both feet firmly in her mouth.
Cain Mother Effing Sorensen!!! Without doubt and without reservation, Cain is my favorite character in the entire Worth the Fight Series. No one else even comes close to his awesomeness. Up until Violet pulls the words out of him, Cain is a man of very, very, very, very few words. He is quite literally silent but deadly and that makes him all kinds of sexy. Cain’s past has certainly left him damaged and until Violet, he was willing to just keep running, suppressing, ignoring, and fighting. Violet brings out both the best and the worst in Cain and because of Violet, he wants to finally deal with the worst in order to be his best for her. Cain is honorable, sexy, fiercely loyal, sexy, intelligent, sexy, scary skilled in a lot of arenas, sexy, and did I mention, sexy?
On top of Violet and Cain are the usual suspects from the Worth the Fight world. Chrissy and Jack and Slade and Jessica are happily moving forward with their lives as other previously minor characters begin to play a more prominent role. For example, Violet lives with JL and has known JL and her twin, Travis for many, many years. Clearly, their time is coming 🙂
The Bottom Line: I can’t express enough how much I LOVE this book. In only a handful of cases over more than three years of blogging have I handed down a 6-star review. Everything I love about reading and writing comes together in Laid Out. Fantastic characters that I just can’t get enough of, excellent plot that has both highs and lows, past crashes into the present, supremely strong writing, and the overall ability to suck me in and make me forget about the real world. Do I really need to further sell this one to you??
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.