by J.C. Valentine
Wayward Fighters #1
Publication Date: April 6, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, MMA, Sports Romance
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.
I have some mixed feelings on this book. There were some things I loved and other things I did not love. However, overall, it was a good book that kept me interested with some good characters and a little mystery.
In a nutshell, Alyson goes to an MMA fight with her BFF, locks eyes with a hot fighter who turns out to be her childhood neighbor who just happened to “save” her. She and BFF get invited to post-bout party in his suite, they realize they know each other, talk and nothing else. She leaves. He finds her. They get close, but no sex because he doesn’t do relationships and she only wants a relationship. She has loved him since they were kids. He loves her but is apparently not wired to notice he loves her. She’s gotten herself in a mess and he harbors deep-seated anger issues.
What I Liked:
Jami. I liked Jami. He was unapologetic and honest about what he could give Alyson. He eventually figured his stuff out. He is protective, bordering on overprotective, but in my opinion did not cross the line. He has an honest to goodness internal conflict going on. I liked the second chance romance trope. It worked well in this book. I loved the descriptive MMA fight scenes. The one at the end of the book kept me turning pages so fast I almost got a paper cute.
What I Liked Less:
Alyson. Poor Alyson-that is the message I got from the book about our heroine. She had a really bad childhood and I get that. She rose from the ashes of said childhood and is doing well for herself, helping others in her former situation. However, Alyson is dumber than a box of rocks. She repeatedly puts herself in bad situations out a misguided sense of heroism. She pushes Jami away several times then huffs because he doesn’t come back and grovel at her feet. Oh, and for a girl so in love with Jami, she sure does have a wandering eye.
I also felt that the book went in too many different directions at times and I got a bit lost trying to keep up with the third person omniscient POV. Personally, I think alternating POVs would have worked better here because there was so much internal conflict that I think we missed out on.
Overall, I liked. I was invested enough to keep turning pages. It does end on a cliffhanger and Jami and Alyson’s story picks up in the next book (see below). If you enjoy MMA romances you will like this.
by J.C. Valentine
Wayward Fighters #2
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, MMA, Sports Romance
History brought them together. Circumstances may keep them apart.
Alyson Blake’s past left her with scars. Scars that she tried to fix the only way she knew how—by helping others. But actions have consequences, and Alyson is about to find out that being naïve is no excuse.
Fighting is Jamison Weston’s passion. Alyson is his obsession. Despite the past and a few lingering concerns, their relationship is as solid as ever. Until a shocking lie is uncovered and all of his plans begin to unravel. Now, Jami is rushing to pick up the pieces, but as relationships are put to the test, will he be strong enough to keep it together, or will it all just fall apart?
I gotta tell you, if you thought you loved Jami before, just wait. He is grittier, dirtier and more fiercely protectively of Alyson than ever.
In a nutshell: Our second chance couple is back and their happily ever after is hanging in the balance. Jami and Alyson are still happy but that lingering doubt still remains for both of them. There seems to be something to threaten their happy around every corner and when the twist of all twists happens, you will never see it coming.
What I liked:
Jami! Still like Jami. He is even more protective and we get to see a more vulnerable side to him. He goes off the rails a little and it works.
I was frustrated with the mystery in book one, because I felt it was almost distracting, but it plays a much bigger role in this book and it gets its due. And that darn twist. Phew.
The sexiness ratchets up about fifty notches.
The epilogue is perfection!
What I didn’t like:
I still had issues with Alyson, but I liked her more in this book. She still has a misguided sense of heroism and puts herself in dumb situations. However, this time, she only has eyes for Jami. She is still a stubborn PIA.
The secondary characters, specifically Liv (Alyson’s BFF) and Spencer (Jami’s friend). They had very little to add in the first book and Liv still is just background. Spencer, well I don’t like him. That’s it. I just don’t like him.
As with all books, happiness is fleeting at times for our couple. With outside interference and Alyson propensity to screw things up, I wanted to throw the book across the room at times, but Jami saves it all (literally and figuratively). Tense moments, sexy times and one heck of a twist I didn’t see coming, Tapout was a good read.
ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE
J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.
Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.
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