Author: Sarah Robinson
Publication: Loveswept (September 29, 2015)
Description: Perfect for fans of Katy Evans and Monica Murphy, Sarah Robinson’s blistering-hot series debut introduces the Kavanagh brothers—mixed martial arts fighters who work hard, play hard, and love with all their hearts.
As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.
Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.
My Thoughts: Rory Kavanagh was a star in the MMA until a nasty knee injury sidelines him. He is finished with the physical therapy but is using booze and pills to mask the pain. He doesn't know what he wants out of life and has set aside enough money to not have to rush into a choice.
Clare Ivers is on the run from a dominating boyfriend who's a drug dealer and all-around nasty human being. They meet one evening when he drifts into the bar where she is bartending. They meet again the next day when she stops in at the gym his family owns to sign up for some self-defense classes.
Clare has dreams of being a veterinarian and she and Rory bond over the rescue dog that he has adopted and rehabilitated. Their relationship grows as she calls out the best in him and she learns that a man can be strong and protective without taking away all her choices.
Both characters were well-rounded people with both strengths and flaws. I liked the side characters - Rory's parents, brothers, and cousin - and can't wait to read more books in this series in hopes that his brothers and cousin will find their happy endings too.
"It's not about letting you in, Rory. It's about being afraid to let myself out. I've lived behind certain walls my whole life; I'm safe there. Something about you is trying to change that, and I don't know why I'm letting it." He loved her honesty and the way she admitted her fears to him, causing him to grab her hand in his again. She didn't pull away this time, and he was glad because he wouldn't have let her.I bought this book. You can buy your copy here.