Book Review – Willing Victim by Cara McKenna

by Maryse on January 10, 2012 · 10 comments

in Alternative

Willing Victim: Remastered
Excellent little book (only 119 pages), if I do say so myself! Usually I don’t get enough from a short story to emotionally connect with the characters, but this one had me riveted. Not because of any action or suspense, but simply because the dynamic between the two main characters captured me. A little bit of the unknown, and an already shy’ish woman takes a huge chance on someone she can’t stop looking at. She approaches him.

The original cover!!

“You asking me out?”

You’ll never see him again in your life if he turns you down. Just say yes.

And he warns her…

“Sorry, but I’ll take a pass.”

The reply stung her ego a moment but she shook it off. “Why not?”

“I’m not your type,”

‘Cause you see, this one’s quite a bit harder then your typical romance… he likes an alternative kind of “love”. She can’t deny that the closer she gets, the more nervous she is, but she can’t walk away.

“Fine.” He tugged a napkin from the table’s dispenser and Laurel dug a pen from her purse. He scribbled an address in South Boston. “Friday and Saturday nights, eight to one. Tell the guy working that Flynn invited you.”

Laurel studied his slanted handwriting. “Okay,” she said, wondering if all of this newfound impulsivity would leave her by the weekend.

“If that doesn’t scare you off,” he said, “you can try asking me out again.”

And it’s the changes they make to accommodate each other and the surprises they encounter along the way, well… that’s where the fun is.

I had actually found this one a few weeks ago, after I read Defying the Odds. I was hungry for another “sexy brooding unbeatable fighter” read and searched (found a few others while I was at it. BTW, if you know of any, send your recommendations my way, please). So I happened upon this one, and the only thing that turned me off was the length of it. The story itself, had me intrigued, and well… if I can judge a book by it’s cover, this one already had a PLUS! I put it in my TBR list, and continued searching.

And then, my Facebook girls started talking about it. To quote Michele in regards to our enjoyment of the “more alternative” stuff… (while referring to Christian Grey) “…He created a Monster.. or two!!” Ummm… Michele? Make that 3.

Jenny: Thanks Michele. … I’ve been on a reading frenzy this weekend. Had to make the most of a quiet weekend lol Finished Willing Victim and liked that one….

and then… after a few of ‘em read it:

Michele: OMG! OMG! OMG! YOU DID AMAZING Jenny!!! I LOVED IT!! Flynn is ABSOLUTELY ON MY LIST!!! Thanks for the recommendation!! An underground boxing, dirty talking, ALPHA!!! How could I not LOVE it?!?! LOL. THANKS JENNY!!! :D

Jenny: Haha Michele you crack me up! Yay! So glad you loved it. Yep Flynn is on my top 10. I loved him. A dirty talking, underground fighting,INKED Alpha at that! Wow you read it as fast as me. I couldn’t put it down! Phew, so glad you liked it x

Michele: Oh yes!! Let’s not forget his Tats!! Lol. Yes I loved him & I didn’ t stop until it was finished! Lol. HOT

Gitte: LOL Michele, mine left the house today as I devoured the whole thing in one day!!! Jenny that was a great recommendation I LOVED Flynn YUM…he was HOT!!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: waiiiiiit wait wait!!!!! How did I miss an alpha inked undergeround BOXER??? WHAAAAAA??? Help please? Author? …. Oh you know what!! I already had it in my wish list!! Woops! Guess I better get on it! …. Okay downloaded! YAY me. Time to read. Bye!

How could anyone resist that enthusiasm? And they were right! Small book, but big on feeling! Trepidation, excitement, passion, a little bit of fear, and most definitely… connection. BIG on connection. And you’d not really expect that, going into this because…

Flynn, a rough around the edges Boston/Irish underground boxer has specific needs. He needs to fight. And he needs his “love-life” on the rough side. No worries. He makes sure all of his girlfriends are well aware of his needs, and he makes sure that they want it, too… but as one of his girlfriends put it:

“It doesn’t make him a bad person,” Pam said, seeming to study Laurel’s expression. “He gets off on being rough and domineering and cruel, but it’s not who he is.”

And of course, Laurel’s curious to understand the “why’s” of it.

“I’m not real interested in being psychoanalyzed, kiddo. Dissect my rotten soul all you want but keep it to yourself.”"

Obviously, with how much we swooned for Flynn, he isn’t a bad guy. In his daily life, he keeps it on the straight and narrow, and keeps to himself (unless he sees a women in distress. Then his alpha-protector side comes out). That’s how we first meet Flynn. And that’s what attracts Laurel. His no-nonsense handling of a situation that, at first, had her real nervous. In walks Flynn. Problem solved.

And when she simply can’t let him walk away she asks him out… he gives her a fair warning… and then let’s her in.

“And  what… what do you need from me?” she asked.

He made a face then laughed. “Don’t think a woman’s ever asked me that before… I just need you to be here with good intentions, I guess.”

And I enjoyed the ride. Oh sure. I grimaced a few times… his “passionate” side is not so passionate and a little more *eeeeeeeeek*!! I crinkled my nose a few times and found myself thinking… really? Reeaally? Like THAT? But you know what? There are safe words. An understanding… everything is clearly laid out, so they both know what to expect. *shrug* It was good. She was good. He was good. I was good. We were all good. You know, the whole “whatever floats your boat” and all that…

And really, the reader quickly discovers, it’s not just “about that” anyway. There’s a whole other level to Flynn, and the fun is in discovering it. Surprises. I love surprises! ;)

Admittedly, this one isn’t gonna be for everyone. But I highly recommend it to those who are at ease with alternative romance novels. Not really BDSM per se, but again, his needs are… you know. Different.

4 stars!

P.S. The author has decided to write a follow-up (sequel)!! YAY!! Here it is: Brutal Game (Flynn and Laurel Book 2)

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Ivie January 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Damn. Christian has gotten me hooked on these types of books! Downloading now….

Maryse January 10, 2012 at 1:34 PM

hehehe… I need more, “bad-boy fighting champion books”. And of course…more like Christian, too.

Mary jo January 10, 2012 at 11:28 PM

Oooo….downloading now! Please keep us updated on more bad-boy fighting books! I finished Defying The Odds in one sitting and it’s still sneaking up on me sometimes!

Maryse January 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM

It got quiet in here all of the sudden… Did I freak y’all out, with this one? hehe. *eep*

Mary jo January 11, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Oh my….I can’t….just…WOW. I just gobbled him up! I loved the way they interacted. Flynn is definitely on the list!

Maryse January 11, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Yep, as I was mentionning to my friend,

“I mean for me… I loved his worry that he was going to go to far with her, or how quickly he’d stop when he’d think something was off. Or how this hardcore, “I’m not a cuddler” gruff kind of guy would call her to tell her he was at a donut shop and that sweet smell reminded him of her. Just all those little details of HIM… were endearing to me.”

For me it wasn’t so much about their *kink*, but his own subsequent changes, in the end… he was more then just… that. For a short story, I thought the author worked that in, really well.

Amy June 26, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Maryse,
Unless I’ve overlooked it, I don’t see the book Real by Katy Evans on your list. This is a fantastic alpha male fighter book. I fell in love with Remington right from the beginning and it only deepened as the story progressed and I learned more about him. He is definitely an alpha male with lots of issues that break your heart and make you cheer for the couple. He’s an undefeated underground fighter who was kicked out of then pros for anger issues. He’s obsessive, possessive, jealous, and madly in love with Brooke. He has some deep seated issues that get him in lots of trouble until he meets Brooke. The fighting scenes are great; the whole book is great. I have to say I passed up this book several times because of the cover. Its a very disappointing cover. Definitely dont judge this book by the cover. He’s tanned, tattooed, with “8″ pack abs and a bum to die for. He’s every girl’s dream. *sigh* There are quite a few editing issues but the story is so good you can overlook them. I can’t say enough good things about this book. Remington is Travis, Jason (Amazingly Broken), and Trace (Beautifully Damaged) all rolled into one. He has a past that will break your heart and a body that will put your it in overdrive. Definitely swoon worthy. There is a second book coming out July 2 but this book is in no way a cliffhanger. Read it….ASAP!!!!! You will love, love, love him. I sure do and cant wait for more Remy!

Maryse June 26, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Yep LOVED it! You can see my review for “Real” in my “Book Reviews” section. :)

Yvette October 18, 2013 at 11:49 AM

I read this one a while back and it’s always stuck with me. I always wished we could have an update on the characters or something because I just loved Flynn!

Moenah December 12, 2015 at 8:23 PM

Where did you find this book

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