Fighting Dirty by Sidney Halston

When I started this book, I was thinking the hero was somebody different. I doubt if I’d misread his description in the previous book. It’s more likely I’m getting characters crossed considering how much reading I’ve done this year (I’ve already finished my 2015 Goodreads Challenge). So I was really happy when instead of a hard, broody fighter, he turned out to be kind of a nerd.

Trigger warning: There is a description of rape in this book.

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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

One-Sentence Synopsis
A nerdy business man and wannabe fighter convinces the object of his attraction to enter in a no strings attached relationship with him. For a fully synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
I enjoyed the book previous to this one in the series, but I think I liked this one more. The nerd hero was a bonus, but I also liked the heroine. JL is cute and quirky, and even though she’s built some personal walls, I liked that she tried to bring Enzo out of his stuffy businessman personality to show him how to relax and have fun.

winning

One of the things this author does really well is reveal things as the story progresses. It’s not until later in the book we found some serious things about JL and we get a better look at just how toxic Enzo’s family is.

The cameos from the other characters were fun, but not overpowering. Also, the story delivered a right hook into my feels that I hadn’t even seen coming. Well played, Miss Halston. Well played.

The Romance Factor
For two characters with baggage, JL and Enzo had some major chemistry. I love it when characters think they can enter into a fling-only relationship. Silly people…don’t they know they’re in a romance novel? But it’s the slow progression of them trying to deny their feelings and failing miserably to the reader while getting all sorts of angsty and hurt that the other one doesn’t feel more for them. It’s so good, and it’s what makes a novel for me. 4/5

The Steam Factor
This book brought the sex in high doses. There was a lot of it. Plus it was detailed, and there were a few things that don’t always get mentioned in other books, so that was a bonus. 5/5

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Final Thoughts
I haven’t done it yet, but seriously…one of these days I’m going to go back and read the first ones in the series. These books are good and fun, but they don’t shy away from some serious issues.

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