FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Random House LLC (via NetGalley).
Series: Worth the Fight #2
Publisher: Loveswept on October 28, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
How could she have been so stupid? When Jessica Cross decides to give her violently jealous boyfriend—the otherwise influential and charming Dennis Stavros—a second chance, she very nearly becomes a statistic. After weeks of healing from a broken rib and collapsed lung, and with Dennis behind bars, Jessica finally feels ready to come out of hiding. But will she ever be able to take a chance on love again with someone new?
Mixed martial arts fighter Slade Martin knows he has a bad reputation. Hell, he's probably earned it. So it won’t be easy to convince beautiful, vulnerable Jessica that she can trust him—that from the moment she walked into his life, she’s been the only one he’s wanted. Powerful and confident, Slade knows he can honor his vow to protect Jessica body and soul. Winning her heart will be another matter . . . but a woman like Jessica is worth the fight.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
When bartender Jessica’s now ex-boyfriend puts her in the hospital, irresponsible womanizer Slade is more than ready to come to her rescue. After all, it was his interference that set the jerk off, even if there’s no excuse for what happened. Only now that he’s designated himself as Jessica’s savior, Slade’s got to clean up his act and show her what a good guy he can really be if he’s going to have any chance of getting her to see him as more than just another flirty customer at the bar.
I can’t say I liked Slade all that much in Against the Cage, but now that I’ve read his story, he doesn’t seem quite so selfish and irresponsible. Perhaps it simply took Jessica to give him focus.
Just as in the previous book, Full Contact started out with a hilarious bang. Instead of immediately showing Slade’s good side, the story gives us a good laugh at the Slade we remember, the one who doesn’t seem to know what a relationship is and is in everything for fun and personal gain. It’s in that moment that we get to see how lost he’s really been, not to mention how perfect Jessica just may be for him.
Jessica could easily have been a stereotypical victim, but even as she’s been caught in the standard role of an abused woman, complete with all the traps and sad facts that story brings, she knows she deserves — and wants — more. Unfortunately, her abuser has ties to power in the small town, making his threats to damage her life all the more frightening. This is where someone like Slade, someone who’s used to making up his own rules and living life for himself, is a perfect match for her.
Recovering from an assault at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Jessica’s been staying with Slade, irresponsible womanizer and former MMA fighter. Slade’s always been flirty, asking her out at least a hundred times, but Jessica was taken at the time — albeit by someone who didn’t deserve her. Even so, Jessica knows that Slade has earned every bit of his reputation, so no matter how good he’s been to her in the aftermath of her violent relationship with Dennis, falling for him might not be the best idea. Slade see’s both Jessica’s strength and wounds, and it brings out the protector in him. He’s never made any secret of his attraction to her, but he has a reputation to overcome if he’s going to be worthy of her. At the same time, her abusive ex Dennis lurking in the background means he’s got to keep an eye on her, even if she insists she can take care of herself.
The chemistry between Slade and Jessica is off the charts, and their banter keeps things light even as they heat up. Slade’s not the fastest on the uptake, but his heart more than makes up for it when he lets himself fall for Jessica, and the way he takes care of her is incredibly sweet. Of course, it’s also great to revisit the other best couple in Tarpon Springs, complete with their demon chihuahua, while Jessica and Slade work through to their happily ever after. Through it all, there are plenty of laughs, lots of good friendship, and one hell of a steamy romance. So far, this series is lighthearted without being complete fluff, romantic and fun, and incredibly entertaining, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!