Series: Kavanagh Legends #1
Published by Loveswept Source: Netgalley
Genres: Alpha Guy, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance, Sports
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As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.
Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.
If I have said it once, I’ve said it a million times, I love a good sports romance. Plus there is something about MMA just in general, it just comes across as more raw, more rough around the edges, and 9 times out of 10 this is true for books about MMA fighters. And I don’t know about you, but I love me a hero who is more rough around the edges then most, I find them to be way more interesting then I do other characters. So needless to say this book was right up my alley.
So in the prologue we find out right away, that our hero, Rory, had a horrible accident while he was fighting. It seemed to me that he got a little too big for his britches, and his overconfidence led him to this horrible injury to his leg. So when the book starts, he still isn’t back in the gym and its years later, and oh did I mention he seems to be popping pills and likes alcohol just a little bit more than he should. The thing about Rory is that he has a big family, and they all want what is best for him, he just has to want it too, and I think anyone who knows anything about addiction will probably be able to identify with how Rory is just going down the wrong path, even when he has all these good people around him, because he isn’t ready not to be so lost yet. Of course, this is a romance novel, so enter a girl, and all bets are off. I liked the evolution of Rory throughout the novel.
So Clare, well there is more to Clare then meets the eye. Sure she comes off as a sweet girl, and she totally is. But she is also a little bit broken, she has a past that haunts her, and her past has really broken down her spirit when the book starts. Honestly, I didn’t recognize how much she was missing from her personality in the beginning, I just thought he was a sweet girl who maybe didn’t have a big personality, but as the story progresses and Clare grows and becomes more self-assured, her personality really starts to shine.
I liked that this was two kind of broken people who needed to move past some hard times in there lives, and when you put the two of them together they really helped each other along the journey. I also liked that the author used some of the secondary characters to bring in some much needed humor to the book, it kept it from feeling too heady in my opinion. There is great chemistry between out leads, and they have a great way of just being with each other and talking, they are so much fun to read. All in all, if you like MMA romance, then you should pick up this book.
The crowd roared around him as the bell sounded, vibrating through his entire body. Rory Kavanagh immediately moved into position, his head low and his fists in front of his face. His arms were tucked in, shielding his body as he advanced on his opponent. This was it. A lifetime of practice, sparring, training: It was all for this moment.
It was all for this fight.
He was bigger than his opponent; this would be a simple win. He had the strength, he had the power. He towered over him by several inches, his shoulders broader, and his muscles thicker. This fight was in the bag. His opponent was moving fast, but Rory practically danced around his attack. He rained down jab after jab, his opponent staggering backward with a bloody lip. The bell sounded and both men retreated to their respective corners.
“Water,” Rory grunted, leaning against the cage side as his father handed him a water bottle, his brothers eagerly watching from outside the cage. He dumped a mouthful of water onto his tongue before swirling it around and spitting it out into a nearby bucket.
“You’re doing great, Rory, but remember technique. You’re too heavy-handed on power, and you’re not focusing on skills. That’s how fighters get hurt.”
“I’m fine. This is in the bag.” Rory tossed the bottle at him, strutting back toward the center of the ring as the ref began announcing the start of the second round.
“Fight!” The ref backed up quickly as the men converged on each other. Rory landed the first hook, blocking the return.
And that’s when it happened.
He blinked in surprise as blinding pain coursed through him. He looked down for a second, just a second, and it was over. Rory hadn’t even seen it happen; his opponent had been too fast. He looked down at his leg, but it was entirely twisted at the knee and bent the wrong direction. Bones were protruding and blood trickled morbidly down his calf. Searing pain inexplicably mixed with tingling numbness shot through his body in pulsing currents as he wavered.
Then all he saw was black. He felt the cage floor hit the back of his head as he went down hard. He heard the screaming from audience members, his family included. The ref’s whistle was blaring and medics were asking if he was okay.
Rory said nothing, and gave in to the black.