Review: Sucker Punched by Kelley R Martin

sucker-punchedReviewed by Shelly

This is a mixed bag for me. I thought the plot moved well, the characters were well rounded, and the dialogue exceptional (the cussing was a big much, however I’m not casting stones) but the mixed feelings are about the hero. Good night, the hero was a real piece of work. I’ve read about some not nice heroes but Blake Whitmore, you win the prize. I’m sure there’s an audience for that kind of hero, but for me, not so much because dude, you’re a douche who I wouldn’t spit on if you were on fire. If it wasn’t for Kelley Martin’s passionate writing, I would have given up on him very early on.

Like many of us when Macy Dunham was in high school, she wasn’t the coolest or the prettiest girl around. Not many of us were, and the ones who were – they usually peak and don’t hold up quite as well in the real world. I’m looking at you – Nick Coughlin and Jamie Beckett. After high school and in pre-law, Macy is working her way through school. Her parents are well off, not wealthy, but rich enough that Macy probably doesn’t have to work, but it’s a choice she made in an earnest effort to be independent. Having a night off, Macy decided to attend a party with her best friend Savannah and Savannah’s boyfriend Declan (book 1). It’s here that Macy has a chance to meet Blake. Blake is Declan’s older brother, so there’s a safeness there because of the familiarity. I’m assuming this of course as within a few hours of their meeting Macy and Blake are sexing it up in one of the few usable public bathrooms. I see where this is going.

Other than the grossness of the public bathroom, the chemistry of their initial coming together was pretty good until the camera got to filming. Oh, how I wished that had gotten into the wrong hands.

Although the blurb says that Macy is ‘practically a virgin’, don’t believe that, for there was nothing virginal about her activities with Blake. Macy expects Blake to be a one night stand when she meets him because she can tell that he’s a player, or he thinks he is anyway. And Blake sees Macy as something/someone he historically stays away from but she’s exceptionally pretty with a certain je ne sais quoi and nicknames her ‘Duchess’. I would have rather he said her name but at least it wasn’t ‘baby’ or ‘doll’ or some other nonsense.

Blake and Macy’s relationship was push and pull with Blake doing most of the pushing. They developed a tentative friendship where he constantly had a sexual remark as his only response, and she took in all in stride because well, she secretly had a thing for him. Ah, young love.

So what had happened was… Macy’s roommate decided that she’s moving in with her boyfriend. Unfortunately for Macy she wasn’t told of the plans until it was a week before their new lease was signed. So without a place to live, Macy temporarily moves back home with her parents, but there’s an unfortunate mishap with the family dog using her personal item (think B.O.B) as a chew toy at the family diner and Macy decides that it’s time to move out again. And as a token of his friendship Blake invites Macy to stay at his home, rent free. Hard way to learn that nothing in this world is free, but our heroine is still young and lessons must be learned.

The heart of his story begins after Macy moves in with Blake. We get to see and appreciate the douchery that is Blake. There’s so much I could tell you here, but I don’t want to spoil it because Blake is a rare form of a hero. You can see when he’s about to self-destruct and it’s painful to watch, because his main addiction absolves him of his sins. But for Macy it’s a fresh wound every single time, and what’s more – when she finally comes to the realization of Blake’s underlying problem, it’s too late. Her heart’s already involved. I wish I could say that I felt sorry for Blake and I came to like him at the end, but I didn’t. I wish I could say that Macy standing up for herself and her subsequent support of Blake made me like her more because truly folks, I wish his time of repentance was longer, much much longer.

After Macy moves in Blake does have sex with two women, Chloe and Tori. The first one was after a night of heavy drinking; he doesn’t even remember having sex with the other woman. The other occasion was the 2nd night after he and Macy committed to having a relationship. There was some heavy drinking that night too.

I didn’t want this to end, I would have gladly read more of Blake’s struggle to be a better person for himself and for Macy.

Keep up the good work, Martin, your story was compelling. I was mad, happy, and sad then happy all over again.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: B+

*ARC provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon

Sucker Punched
by Kelley R Martin
Release Date: September 27, 2016

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