{Review} Stacked Up by Sidney Halston


FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Random House LLC (via NetGalley).
{Review} Stacked Up by Sidney HalstonStacked Up by Sidney Halston
Series: Worth the Fight #6
Publisher: Loveswept on May 31, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Pages: 265

Our Rating

4 Stars

Working two jobs to support her infant daughter is harder than anything Penny Richards has ever done, but it sure beats living under the rules of her stepfather, a television preacher who demands a picture-perfect family. And if Penny hadn’t struck out on her own, she never would have met Travis Calhoun. The intensely physical heavyweight brawler has a way of drawing out her wild side. But Travis lives fast, with no responsibilities—and that just isn’t for Penny.

Most of the women in Travis’s circle wear tight clothes, high heels, and tons of makeup—not pearls or plaid headbands. But once he works past Penny’s inhibitions, Travis discovers a kindred spirit who longs to trust someone with her body, and her secrets. Still, Travis can’t help but wonder if this rich girl is just slumming it before she returns to her privileged life. Now it’s up to Penny to prove that she wants her hard-edged, hard-loving fighter just the way he is.

This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.

Stacked Up by Sidney Halston

No one knows much about the local bartender Penny, and that’s the way she wants it.  On the run from a life of wealth, strict rules, hypocritical judgment, and terrible unhappiness, she’s now living paycheck to paycheck and trying to create a safe, happy life for her daughter.  MMA fighter Travis isn’t used to women like Penny, but even though he can’t seem to get her to open up, he can’t stop thinking about her.  She lives in a world mired with responsibilities, while his is more laissez-faire, but when opposites attract, they may just find they’re made for each other.

The Verdict:  Penny is one character I’ve been super curious about through the previous books.  It’s clear there’s more to her than we’ve been shown, but she’s good at keeping her personal life almost completely private.  And as her past is revealed to us in Stacked Up, it’s soon clear why.  Penny’s story is quite different from the usual romance novel drama.  Long under the control of her mega-preacher stepfather, she brought shame upon the church when she became pregnant out of wedlock.  But she wasn’t about to be kept in that world of arranged relationships and hypocrisy, so she bundled up her infant daughter and ran off to get a new start.  Now several years later, she’s making do in Tarpon Springs, but she still lives in fear that her old life will catch up with her and perhaps lead to loss of custody of her daughter.  The last thing she needs is to become involved with an MMA fighter who’s not looking for settling down and shouldering responsibility, but Travis isn’t one to give up easily.

Their relationship starts out as somewhat affectionate chemistry.  The attraction is definitely there, but Penny is afraid to act on it.  However, when things finally begin to heat up and fall into place for these two, it’s not a case of instant happiness.  As expected, Penny has to put her daughter first, and Travis seems to have a lot of growing up to do.  His growth as a character is one of the more interesting and organic parts of their story — he doesn’t get everything right the first time or simply fall into step as the protector and provider from day one.  As a result, it took forever for them to finally reach that contented plane, but in that way, Penny and Travis’s story felt realistic.  Like in the other books in the series, the chemistry is sizzling hot, but the steady climb of their relationship makes sure none of it feels rushed or foolish.

It would be easy to dislike Travis for his position on children — he doesn’t want them, doesn’t really even like them, and continually refers to Penny’s daughter as “the kid.”  But after a while, some of that seems to come more from fearful habit than current feeling, and when the time comes, he doesn’t hesitate to be the man they both need.

Stacked Up by Sidney Halston is another great, hot romance that feels original in both its plot and humor.  Having been a reader from the very first book in the series, I’m a bit sad to see it come to a close, but I can’t think of a better story with which to end our visit to Tarpon Springs.

The Breakdown
Cover Design
4 star rating
Plot & Pace
5 star rating
4 star rating
Style & Editing
5 star rating
Story Conclusion
4 star rating
Overall Rating 4 star rating

About Sidney Halston

Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain, or even simpler, “Just Do It” Nike.

And that’s exactly what she did. After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative romantic side and wrote Seeing Red, among four other novels currently in the works, including the sequel to Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal and she fell in love with writing.

Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing you can find her reading and reading and reading… She’s a reader first and a writer second.

When she’s not writing or reading her life is complete and utter chaos trying to balance family life with work, and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Author: ysar

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