Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog tour: Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille

Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille
New Adult contemporary romance
Paperback, 351 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more…

Makayla never thought she’d set foot in an underground mixed-martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it’s these guys. Trouble is, at her first sight of the club’s owner she’s the one feeling breathless.

All sleek muscle and restrained power, the man they call Torment plays to win at any cost. Whether it’s in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when to use a soft touch and when to launch a full-on assault. He always knows just how far he can push. And he’s about to tempt Makayla in ways she never imagined…

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About the author:

Recovering lawyer, karate practitioner, and caffeine addict, Sarah Castille worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. Her steamy, contemporary romantic tales feature blazingly hot alpha heroes tormented or tattooed for your reading pleasure.


Makayla is a trained EMT but isn't an active technician due to her fear of facing anything traumatic so she's working in hospital admissions during the da. Max ("Torment") seems to be a walking cliche in romance nowadays: tattooed, buff, anguished, MMA fighter, rides a motorcycle, is a billionaire and, of course, a Dom. Makayla is poor, alone, lives in small quarters, was abused as a child, and is inexperienced in the romantic area. Two wounded individuals, Mac and Max, meet and sparks fly. 

The opening of Against the Ropes held my interest even when I struggled to figure out what was going on.  As the story progressed, the storyline became melodramatic with the addition of what came across to me as doing/being too much. Continuing the poor young woman gets a break by working as a medic at a mixed-martial arts club enabling her to pay her educational loans while being attracted to Torment was ok. But then it seemed to change into a another story which has been popular in the New Adult genre and recently enjoyed a spike in attention with the publicizing of the movie version leads being chosen. 

There were occasions when the dialogue didn't sound realistic, the texting was immature, the BDSM elements didn't ring true and parts of the story seemed formulaic. The writing was decent but should have been focused more. When things became so convoluted for the sake of what--to compete against other popular titles in this genre--the story lost its initial appeal for me. Since I had already invested time in reading the story and wanted to see Mac and Max's story improve, I continued to read but never connected with any of the characters. So many things seemed implausible (the Geek Club's costumes, Mac's independent self letting Max support her and more was contradictory), and continued that way until the end.

An interesting premise with the promise of becoming something better instead became mired down in cliche and lost its focus. I wanted to like this one more than I did. Against the Ropes held promise but this reader had too many instances of eye rolling to really enjoy it.

Rating: 3

Cover comment:
Hot guy. Ok.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy from Book Sparks in return for my honest review.

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