Winning is good. Succumbing is even better…
Recently retired pro MMA fighter Steph Healy is through having rough-and-tumble romps with sexy blue-collar dudes. Unfortunately, Wilinski’s Fight Academy has hired an electrician with a body built to make a gal weep. And avoiding some full-body contact is taking all of Steph’s self-control.
Carpenter-turned-electrician Patrick Doherty is damn good with his hands. Sure, he’s not what Steph is looking for—yet. But he’s about to prove that she has seriously underestimated her opponent….
The moment Patrick has her deliciously pinned, Steph knows she’s in deep, deep trouble. Because this seemingly mild carpenter has the mastery to give her exactly what she needs…and this is one takedown she’s willing to take lying down!
Dear Ms. Maguire,
Somehow I missed this third book in this Boston set series about MMA fighters. A pitiful email to our fearless DA leader later and I was all set to discover who was going to be a perfect match for the new female trainer at the Wilinski Fight Academy.
Let me just say I love Patrick. He’s a guy to take home to mother. He’s strong enough to be vulnerable and admit that he doesn’t have this dating thing figured out and that his failed marriage hurt him deeply. He’s got the guy mentality of needing to feel as if he’s supporting the people in his life. If that makes him seem too proud then so be it, it’s the way he was raised and he can’t help it. But he’s honest about it. He’s also honest and direct that he’s interested in Steph instead of acting all skittish or standoffish. He wants a relationship, he wants a woman to “do” for, he misses a woman in his life and it’s not just for sex. He wants a partnership.
Steph is also straightforward about what she wants. Yes, she wants financial stability but then, who doesn’t? She’s lived on the road for her fight career long enough and had to make due with the pittances women get paid in sports. She grew up watching her parents juggle which bills they’d be able to pay that month. For a change, she doesn’t want to have to worry about money all the time.
And the two of them together are so great that I’m surprised they didn’t combust Wilinksi’s or Steph’s apartment, or Patrick’s house or anywhere else they were together. I have to admit that I was proud of Steph for initially sticking to her guns about how Patrick’s lack of financial prospects ruled him out of any long term consideration and that she was upfront and honest with him. No “moment of weakness” sex fling to feel bad about in the morning or no risk of leading him on with false ideas. Or at least no hot sex until Steph was clear about what she was willing to involve herself in and still not give Patrick any false impressions.
The Big Change doesn’t arrive until a few friends and relatives open Steph’s eyes to new ways of looking at and thinking of things. Then she screws her courage to the sticking point and is finally totally honest with herself. I do feel she takes some big steps forward and matures into a woman who is worthy of all Patrick is and has to offer the woman he loves. When the book ends, they’re on the same page, side by side and ready to see what comes of it.
The world of Wilinski’s is immediate, as usual. I can’t quite smell the sweat and hear the grunts of the fighters but it’s not far while being far enough to avoid being icky. Sorry if that sounds bad. I would have enjoyed seeing a bit of Steph in the ring or in training but since she’s retired, maybe that will have to wait until perhaps Lindsey’s kid sister starts training – hint, hint. B