Soooooo SWEET!! I loved this book, and once I hit the halfway point, I couldn’t put it down. At first I kept comparing the beginning (this couple’s initial connection) to book #1 (Defying the Odds), and I wasn’t sure this second installment would live up to the romantic intensity of the first.
That initial introduction in book #1, the slow, apprehensive and even shy interaction was irresistible to me. It was sweet and tentative. The hero in book #1 was a hulking, famous unbeatable UFC fighter that every girl wanted, but the whole “player” thing just wasn’t him. He was reserved, introverted, and seemingly uninterested in anyone and everything. And then the sweet, gentle, big-hearted (and not star-struck) heroine came into play and his whole world changed, and I was HOOKED!
The feel of book #2 is completely different in that respect (and that respect only). Both main characters in this one are go-getters, gorgeous, flashy, strong-willed and confident. Big, hot-headed (but sweet!!) egos (well, at least in respect to the first couple).
“You got to admit, it’s like the Jersey Shore just landed in Las Vegas.”
Jules turned around, seeing Romeo and part of his team.
They saw each other and from the start wanted each other, and the book literally started off with a bang! It did!! *blush* No hesitation, with these two, no taking it slow, getting to know each other first, no wondering if they attraction was mutual.
As crazy as it was, she missed him, and she’d just met him. She wanted to think this couldn’t be real, not this fast, not with this level of yearning.
But hadn’t she just been crying over her loneliness? Romeo was every bright color in her life that’d been nothing but dull and organized until he fell into it. It was terrifying and dangerous, and she felt alive because of it.
No big dramatic romantic-tension delay. None of that, and THAT is where I hesitated, at first. Simply because, I wasn’t getting my usual push-pull “tease” that I normally crave in romance.I wondered if there’d be any of that wonderful angsty heat wrenching tension.
And boy was I in for some! This one does not disappoint. While the pacing and feel of the romantic connection is a bit different in this installment, their passion for each other is in full force and just keeps getting better with each chapter.
The writing was fantastic, the characters were wonderfully “fleshed out”, the supporting characters were equally real and the “feel” was perfectly consistent with the beginning of the series, which is important to me as a reader. The group dynamic is perfect right from the start. The sibling interactions, the “friends”, everything. I could absolutely see them perfectly in my head, each scene, each funny (or infuriating moment), no character awkwardness whatsoever.
“Look” – Tino pointed out the window – “we made it.”
Romeo tilted his head, looking past the windshield to the green-and-white sign on the side of the road.
GARNET CITY LIMIT
“There’s bullet holes in that sign,” Tino observed drily.
“There are,” Romeo agreed, staring at the dents and holes in the green metal. “Those are bullet holes, no question.”
“They shot their own friggin’ sign.” Tino turned to arch an eyebrow at Romeo. “What the hell are they gonna do to us?”
Tee hee!!!! See what I mean? So many moments like that one… “city” colliding with “small town”, and really. I just loved it. Them. ALL of them! Conversations flowed, I giggled, and I especially swooned over the Italian UFC fighter in this one, right from the start.
So what’s this one about?
Okay so remember Wyatt’s sister from the last book, Jules (or…real name Juliet)? Well, sparks fly between her and the famous UFC fighter “Romeo” (tee hee!!! I know right?!), Clay’s opponent for the latest title fight. Remember in the last book, when Romeo jumped in and saved the day, and everyone turned from seriously disliking him to seeing him in a new light? ‘Cept for Wyatt, he still has his reservations:
“He’s got an entourage.” Wyatt grabbed the last bag and handed it to skycap waiting for them to finish unloading. “How city is that? He thinks he’s a f&*king rock star.”
“Leave it alone.” Jules turned to Wyatt rather than stand there gawking at Romeo, who still hadn’t noticed them. “Romeo did save Melody. Please don’t forget that.”
“You’re calling him Romeo now? Like we’re buddies with him or something? What the hell kind of name is Romeo anyway?”
Yep. Jules really saw him differently after that, and this book is about them. A modern day Romeo and Juliet, and they, too, struggle with similar circumstances. ‘Cause you see, half Italian and NY born and raised “Romeo” is connected to the Mafia. Pretty much directly connected, having two younger half-brothers (Valentino and Casanova… *giggle* that is explained too ;)) that were groomed for such a lifestyle by their own Mob boss father.
And umm… well. Wyatt and Jules are cops, in a small southern town, as well as martial arts enthusiasts and UFC trainers, running their own UFC training center.
“What’s your Juliet gonna think when she finds out you got a record, eh, Romeo?”
Both Jules and Romeo are from opposite sides of the track, and their respective families don’t want them having anything to do with each other… *sigh* What are a couple in love supposed to do? Sneak around!! But as things start getting serious, secrets and revelations (from both parties) come to light, and things get hectic.
And Romeo… oh Romeo. He is just sooooooooo amazing. There is no game playing with him. No head-games, no hesitation. He leaves his “player” persona behind when he finds the one he can’t get enough of, but don’t be fooled. This is not a perfect romance.
The moments are very realistic, from the passion-filled personal moments (ohhh he’s quite the alpha!), the heated arguments brought on by miscommunication, the couple’s own entourage and the secrets they have to keep, from them… and from each other.
He couldn’t promise her. Jules heard it in his voice, but she also heard the heartache. He might not be able to promise her forever, but he wanted to and that felt like something.
Fantastic read!! ‘Cause once secrets start coming out, and once “family and friends” get involved, all hell breaks loose. Oh yes… this one made me want to cry.
I received my copy directly from the author for an honest review, and this one was an easy, EASY book to love. Right up my alley!