Saturday, June 7, 2014

REVIEW - KNOCKOUT (Wayward Fighters #1) by J.C. Valentine:

TITLE: Knockout
SERIES: Wayward Fighters
AUTHOR: J.C. Valentine
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 8, 2014
FORMAT: eBook and Paperback
PAGES: Approx. 420 Print

RATING: 4 Stars!

From the wrong side of the tracks...

Alyson Blake had learned early on that the only one she could depend on was herself. The only light in her life was a boy whom everyone agreed was destined for prison; but with his first kiss, he had set her soul on fire. Since the day the police dragged him away in handcuffs, she had managed to lead a quiet life, but when she attends an event fraught with mayhem, trouble resurfaces.

The one person she can’t forget...

Jamison Weston is the kind of guy dads load their shotguns for; endowed with a hot temper and a rap sheet as long as both tattooed arms. Known as “The Judge,” Jami’s hot temper, lethal fists, and cocky attitude have earned him respect and admiration both in and out of the ring. But just when he thinks he’s pummeled his past to death, Alyson Blake reenters his life.

Two paths collide…

After years of separation, Alyson is eager to reexplore the man who’s never left her thoughts, but for Jamison, she’s both the distraction he wants, but doesn’t need. As the two embark on a relationship that neither of them expected or bargained for, an outside threat closes in. When Alyson crosses the line of professionalism and takes her work home with her, her life is put in danger, leaving Jamison with no choice but to once again step in and become her protector.

WARNING **Book One in a two part story.** This book contains a mild cliffhanger ending that will be resolved in book two.

REVIEWERS NOTE: Knockout is book one in the Wayward Fighters series and is an Adult Contemporary Romance written by J.C. Valentine. I read this as a R2R with Fifty Shades Support Group on Goodreads. As always, a special thank you to the mods and author for allowing me to participate.

4 Knockout Stars!
Sexy MMA Fighter With A Sketchy Past Falls For the Childhood Friend He Left Behind! Bring On The Angst! 

The Review: 
I really enjoyed this steamy, intense and angsty read. Our two main characters have history as childhood friends which is one of my favorite type of reads and this author did a great job connecting past and present. And of course the hero is a smokin’ hot MMA fighter who wants nothing to do with commitment and the heroine is a sweet temptation who slowly breaks down his walls. Yeah! Loved this read.

Alyson Blake works as a social worker, helping abused and battered women and their children leave the domestic hell that’s shredding them of their independence and self-worth. She does this because her past is darkened with the same things these women and children are going through. Her father tormented her youth, leaving bruises on both her and her mother more times than she could count. Her only saving grace was the wayward boy next door who crawled in through her bedroom window to protect her when he could and to keep her company while a nightmare played out on the other side of her bedroom door. 

That is until one fateful night drove him away.

Jamison Weston’s childhood was filled with criminal activity and a home life he rather forget. Putting all his anger and fear into MMA fighting saved his life and he wants nothing but to rise to the top and prove to everyone he really is worth something. That is until the girl who stole his heart so long ago comes waltzing back into his life.

It’s been five years since Ally last saw Jami but Ally is determined to get the second chance she’s wanted since the night he left. But as Jami works his magic in the ring, Ally is reminded of the violence in her past and sometimes the man she’s falling in love with all over again, scares her. I really enjoyed Ally’s character. She was brave and strong and she didn’t wallow or complain. Yes, she hated the violence but she pushed forward so she could stand strong for Jami. I loved that. And she took in strangers because she wanted them to have a better life, a chance at a future and an escape. I loved her noble cause and the lengths she went to in order to help.

Distractions are the last thing Jami needs but he is having a hard time staying away from Ally and together, these two steam up the pages with their intense chemistry! Jami was definitely an alpha male. He knows what he wants and he goes after it full force but he also has a vulnerable side. He’s sweet but he’s also focused and sometimes that gets in the way of other things.

This story explodes with fun and sexy moments, some scary stalker action and friendships that will have you grinning from ear to ear. And the fight scenes! Oh my! This book had some intense fight sequences, which felt realistic and the nail biting suspense on who was going to come out the victor literally had me on the edge of my seat. I felt like I was watching a Rocky movie where just when you think the hero can’t take any more of a beating, he rises back up and comes out of his huddle swinging. It was exciting, exhilarating and very well written. 

All along we get a few snippets of Jami and Ally’s past , but I really wanted to know more about Jami. We know that his home life was bad, that he had to commit crimes to survive and that his father tried to keep him down by stealing his money. But I wanted to know more about how he spent his days, the things he had to do and more about where his head was at after the “incident” that caused him to leave and not look back. His friendship with Ally seemed to be the one constant in his life but he left it all behind after that night and I wanted more on the why’s. Maybe in the next book.

And for Ally’s character, after the “incident”, it’s hinted that the abuse stopped but what happened to Ally’s father and mother? So many questions unanswered. Maybe it was intentional so that there’s more flashbacks in the second book. I hope there’s more to come on their pasts.

The Wrap Up: 
Open ended questions aside, this book rocked! I love this author and her writing style and with the cliffy this book ends on, I can’t wait for the second book in this series to see how Jami and Ally’s story continues.

Buy the Book!

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