So much better than Holding Strong (book 2)! Although I enjoyed heavyweight MMA fighter Denver Lewis and his buxom ladylove Cherry Peyton’s match up, there’s something about Stack and Vanity’s story that was much more captivating and interesting to me. Don’t get me wrong, Stack is just as alpha as the rest of the guys, but he was just enough of a good guy that it was a-okay.
After moving from the land of the sun, sand and surf (California) to follow her best friend Yvette Sweeney (No Limits, Book 1 which I didn’t read) in Ohio, Vanity Baker’s had a thing for Stack ‘The Wolf’ Hannigan. Too bad Stack’s lothario reputation with the single ladies is completely earned, acknowledged and accepted. No reason for it not to be; he’s single. To get Stack’s attention, Vanity makes him an offer he can’t refuse – a date to Cannon’s wedding along with a night of commitment free casual sex. Before the fateful day/night, Vanity quietly and assumingly ramps up the teasing.
I really enjoyed the pacing of this story; the first half was slow but not dragged out. I was pleasantly surprised that Vanity and Stack don’t just falling into marathon sex without any modicum of romance at all. I appreciated that Stack at least tried to not be just a horn-dog. In case you’re interested, there’s no lack of the sexing and yes, the chemistry between Vanity and Stack was smoldering hot.
Although I liked Vanity, I never understood why she kept ‘volunteering’ to folks that she had money. She claims modesty when telling people that she’s independently wealthy – I’m not sure Webster’s definition is the same as Vanity’s. Other than that, her being pretty enough to be a model didn’t phase me too much because even I’ve done that at a certain time in my life (much younger of course). And her family life was disheartening enough that I understood why she clung to her friendships as much as she did.
Stack’s gradual noticing of Vanity’s qualities (both in and out the bedroom) was refreshing. It wasn’t the kind of overnight switch of feelings that doesn’t ring true. I thought the way he treated Vanity was much better than I expected considering his story with the ladies, but once I got to know his family there was no surprise of where he got his gentlemanly manners and relationship expectations. Stack’s family — oh my goodness, that sister of his is a hot mess. I’d like to see her get her HEA after that ef’ing Phil. His mom is a sweet and kind woman who just wants both of her children to be happy.
All the fighters are back and have very active roles. That’s one of the things I really enjoy with Foster’s writing – the couple isn’t secluded. There’s a lot of interaction in both of their daily lives with other characters – the fighters, work, friends and anything else that makes these characters jump off the pages.
There was enough action, suspense and romance to make this a fun, sexy can’t-put-it-down read. This is proving to be a good series about this new group of MMA fighters in the SBC stable.
Happy Reading Folks!
*ARC provided by HQN via NetGalley for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Lori Foster
Release Date: August 25, 2015