Customer Reviews for

Against the Ropes (Redemption Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 63 )
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(37)

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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Against The Ropes by Sarah Castille: I was struggling to decide

Against The Ropes by Sarah Castille: I was struggling to decide if I would give this 3 stars or 5 stars. There are parts of this book that I didn't really like (the characters kind of drove me nuts - and not in the good way). But there are other parts of the book that w...
Against The Ropes by Sarah Castille: I was struggling to decide if I would give this 3 stars or 5 stars. There are parts of this book that I didn't really like (the characters kind of drove me nuts - and not in the good way). But there are other parts of the book that were totally awesome! I mean, it's really unique because it combines two genres (1: MMA fighting and 2: kinky billionaire) and blends them together in surprising and enjoyable way.

Makayla is the heroine in this novel and for the most part, I liked her. She works in the Admissions department of a hospital and is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life, such as continue on with medical school to become a doctor or just go to EMT/Paramedic school. But right now, she's drowning in debt and trying to make ends meet. To make a little extra cash, she agrees to help her best friend by selling tickets at the door of an underground MMA fighting club. And that's where things get interesting. First, though, I really identified with Makayla because she's pretty broke and I've definitely been there! Man, does that suck! She's also a healer and she cares about people. There really isn't anything to DISlike about her. She's not perfect though. She's pre-med and sorta kinda an EMT but she gets sick at the sight of blood and can't handle violence? I understand that it links back to the trauma in her childhood but maybe this was not such a great career choice for her?? Then there was the debt collector issue. I won't get into all the crazy details but it seemed like the debt collector was stalking her but then he wasn't and it devolved into a whole different plot line. I didn't understand it and it especially made no sense to me when it clearly illustrated what an idiot Makayla was about not letting people help her. "Oh my mom did it all by herself and that's how I want to do it." Ugh, save me from martyrs.

Torment/Max was pretty hot. It could be argued that he's a carbon copy of a lot of other billionaire, alpha males but I still liked him. I've only read one other MMA story and I liked it. I liked it here again too. I guess I just don't know a lot about MMA so its fun for me to read about it. Plus, I love to imagine how sexy the men are!!! So Torment is sexy as hell and rich to boot. But his wealth isn't revealed until later in the book so it was cool to find that out later. Torment is an alpha male, for sure, but he was also slightly into some light BDSM. Nothing major, just a little tying up, a little spanking here and there. I like BDSM stories but sometimes, Torment's BDSM activities with Makayla pissed me off. I can't say for sure why though. I think I felt like Makayla didn't fully give her consent since she didn't really know what was coming. It was hot too though so I found myself kind of at odds over it. What I wasn't confused about what how much I loved Torment's badasssery! He's a force to be reckoned with in and out of the ring! I loved his fight scenes and I'm ashamed to admit that I really enjoyed the scenes where Torment went head-to-head with anyone messing around with Makayla!

The Sexy Time scenes were awesome! Torment and Makayla have great chemistry. I'm not sure they're such a great match though with Torment's love of fighting and Makayla aversion to violence and blood. The fight scenes were pretty great and, believe it or not, not too gruesome! LOL! The secondary characters were a lot of fun. I had several laugh out loud moments when Makayla was interacting with some of the guys from the gym. So other than Makayla's tendency toward monumental stupidity and immaturity, I enjoyed all of the characters. As I said earlier, this is a blending of two genres and I found it to be absolutely original. I went in thinking I was going to get a hot and steamy MMA story and then it started morphing into a BDSM billionaire tale. For me, it was having the best of both worlds because I felt like both sides of the story were well done.

Overall, I think I would recommend this book. The characters had some serious flaws, especially the heroine. But I loved the story and how surprised I was by it. Yes, I realize that I've ruined that surprise for you but there are other fun things about the story too. Much of it was funny and had me laughing a lot. The Sexy Time was fairly plentiful and well written. The story goes places that you might not think its going so there may be some surprises in store for you! This book would be for anyone who likes a tough alpha male and a heroine who is just discovering the joys of a kinkier lifestyle!

posted by HarlequinJunkie_ on September 4, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Makayla is a licensed EMT who works admissions at a hospital (fu

Makayla is a licensed EMT who works admissions at a hospital (future undecided) and gets physically ill when she witnesses violence and see’s blood. She is smart, sexy and sometimes naïve with a tortured past.

Torment (aka Max) is a super studley MMA fighter on the und...
Makayla is a licensed EMT who works admissions at a hospital (future undecided) and gets physically ill when she witnesses violence and see’s blood. She is smart, sexy and sometimes naïve with a tortured past.

Torment (aka Max) is a super studley MMA fighter on the underground circuit. He is smart, sexy, has a few demons in his closet and is completely alpha. YUMM! Torment meets Makayla at an MMA match and they are immediately attracted to each other.

My first MMA fighter book... I am so giddy with excitement about reading this!! Now throw me down and mount me into submission. 

I thought the humor was great and the story flowed pretty well. I did finish this in one sitting. However, there are just some things that really irked me. *Que eye rolling* The major one for me was Torments character. He has a serious case of multiple personality disorder. He has 3 different people in him. You have the MMA fighter, the millionaire and the wanna-be BDSM guy. Makayla also had identity problems, such as; being a pushover, naive, strong but has a tortured past. I got a headache from rolling my eyes so much in certain parts of the book.

One of the things about the story that irritated me the most was; where did the BDSM come from? You take a beautiful girl on a date and do uber sweet things with her, start a steamy make out secession and then BAMM!! BDSM. You sir Max do not know anything about BDSM and are acting like a jerk! Its like ADHD for BDSM. “Im going to tie you up and make you pick a safe word then leave you alone for 5 minutes without explaining anything to you.” Its like he saw something shiny off in the corner and went to play with it for a bit. If that was me I would have broke out a level of crazy you have never seen and gone straight street rules on your rear.

For me this is when the book started to deflate like a left over party balloon. 

Later on in the book Makayla gets the crap beat out of her and here comes Max and his friends to the rescue. *bats eyes* My hero… 

Then when he rescues her, he just yanks her into the nearest shed (while police sirens are in the background) and yells at her to take off all her clothes while pulling his belt off. Are you kidding me? I know your tuff stuff Barney Badass but have a little compassion. This girl just went through hell and now you’re acting like you're going to beat her yourself. And why take off the belt? That made absolutely no since to me.

Another thing that I thought was completely unbelievable and confusing was the collection person. That is the most ridiculous things Ive ever heard. Collection agency’s do not act like that. Then all of the sudden the collection agency is the Mafia? Because that is what Max is acting like. Its so inconsistent. Then there’s a school yard rumble and pissing contest between Max and Dr. Drake. Oh PLEASE! 

Some of the things I loved are the growling and sometimes cave manish (in a hot way) behavior, being hunted down by a tattooed fighter *grrrr* , then *deep sexy voice* “hi, I know we just met, but Im going to throw you down and pin you to the mat and use my sexy stare on you” , licking ice-cream off my finger and then… masturbating in his office so he can see and driving him crazy enough to run out of a meeting and drag you down to the parking garage and bang you up against the wall. Now… that was finger licking good. *waggles eyebrows*

Overall? In my opinion, the book cover is fantastic, the story has great potential and started off really strong. But It almost felt like when Castille got to 50% she threw it all together in a hurry and added a bunch of unnecessary junk in there and didn’t think the plot through. The sex was just ok for me… with the exception of the garage banging. That was awesome! I will read more from this author because I have faith that things can only get better from here. 

posted by NaughtyBookSnitch on September 8, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014

    4.5 stars

    For me this book started off a little iffy. Once the story started rolling about 15% into it... I loved it! I was drawn to the characters both main and supporting. I loved watching the development of the characters and seeing Makayla grow into herself. Max was just awesome! He was confident and strong yet gentle and kind. The supporting characters were well developed as well. The dialog and text conversations were hilarious. "...most importantly when will I get my stuffing!" Makayla's internal dialog had me laughing over and over.

    I cant wait to read Amanda and Jake's story.

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  • Posted June 21, 2014

    Against the Ropes is a great book. Max and Makayla are also a re

    Against the Ropes is a great book. Max and Makayla are also a really amazing couple that fight the odds to make their relationship work.
    There are plenty of fight scenes and twist and turns to the story to keep the pages turning quickly.  I couldn't finish the book fast enough
    and highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    I want this book

    The sample just kept me hanging

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Super hot alpha male alert!

    Torment is the ultimate alpha male - strong, sexy, and rich with a soft spot for the right woman. Loved this story - full of action and romance - with plenty of intimate scenes to spice it up. Will definitely be looking for the next story based in the fighting arena.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    .

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Awsome

    Great book. Can not wait for Amanda and Jake's book

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  • Posted January 12, 2014

    I really, really liked this book! It was another one of those bo

    I really, really liked this book! It was another one of those books where I didn’t want to put it down to work.

    Quick FYI: If the label of “BDSM” turn you off, this is not a full BDSM novel. Yes, there is tying up, some spanking and a safe word, but it’s more kinky vanilla than full BDSM. Torment/Max is a very dominant man. But there is no masochism or sadism. Just lots of really hot, consensual sex.

    That being said, I loved how complex these characters were built to be. Makayla and Torment both have… well… tormented pasts. Part of their difficulty being fully together stems from those pasts. And there were moments when I honestly thought they were not going to make it (even though I hoped that they would).  She abhors violence, and it makes her physically ill… he’s an underground MMA fighter — think Fight Club.

    You have love triangles, and dominant sex and fast cars and tattoos and an underlying sense of mystery and who’s doing what. There’s definitely an HEA and it’s worth reading to get to it.

    Definitely go out and buy this. It’s worth the money, it’s 368 pages and you will be drawn in to the lives of two people who are absolutely opposite on the surface, yet underneath so very similar.

    I hope there are more books within this series — if it becomes a series. I would love to read more about Amanda, Makayla’s friend. She got herself into trouble but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for an HEA for her as well.  I’d also like to play doctor with Torment.

    4.5 out of 5 for this! I would like some more, please!

    Great Quote #1:
    “What is it?” There is almost nothing I could refuse him at this very moment. Sex on the picnic bench? Check. Strip off and do the Macarena on the grass? Check. Crawl under the table and do naughty things? Not much experience in that department but… check. Ride off into the sunset? Double check.

    Final Quote #2:
    The rest of the examination proceeds uneventfully. I poke. I twist. I prod. I am the epitome of a clinical, detached, very horny professional.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Swoon

    Loved this book! Max is def my new book boyfriend;) great story highly recimmend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Loved it! My only problem was I couldn't put it down to go to b

    Loved it! My only problem was I couldn't put it down to go to bed! :)

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  • Posted November 7, 2013

    Words can not explain the ways that I loved this book. Makayla i

    Words can not explain the ways that I loved this book. Makayla is like every woman out there. or at least me to the T! confused on what she wants do with her life when walks in every woman's dream man. he has mystery, danger, and sex appeal with a capital A. It was fun, It was sexy, with a couple of dysfunctional relationships to give you the drama appeal. If you couldn't guess that I loved it, you should know it now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    Well written

    Loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Great Story

    Great story but the writing style left the reader hanging at times. Ubrupt chapter endings and mid chapter segways aside I was rooting for this couple and the fresh take on this romance novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    great book

    alpha hero who gets bookish heroine out of the office and into life even though he himself carries a lot of guilt over something he could never have controlled

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  • Posted October 9, 2013

    There are going to be a lot of people who won¿t like this story.

    There are going to be a lot of people who won’t like this story. Torment is very much an Alpha male – dominant, over-protective, aggressive, and violent (although never toward Makayla). He’s one of those who thinks that he’s always right and that his “woman” needs to do whatever he says. But if you are ok with that, then Against the Ropes is likely to keep you glued to the pages. I fall into this category and I felt that Makayla does a great job of forging a relationship with him that works for them both. - Full review can be found on BookTrib's website or RomanticReadsandSuch on wordpress

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Must read great story could not put done love it

    What a great read highly recommend love it a must read really good story!!!!! *****

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2013

    Love laugh and hold you breath

    Wow! If u likr alpha males with big hearts and a little brooding.You will love Mac and Torments story.Great book cant wait for the nnext one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2013

    Sarah Castille is definitely going on my auto-buy authors list!

    Sarah Castille is definitely going on my auto-buy authors list! Loved this. Sizzling hot alpha AND our-loud giggles made for a story I will read again and again. Can't wait for Jake/Amand's story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    This is such a great book. Underground MMA fighting, humor, secr

    This is such a great book. Underground MMA fighting, humor, secret identities (for a short time), suspense, romance and more. I also loved the fact that each chapter had its own title (taken from a sentence in that chapter). I was already hooked and those little titles just hooked me more. Another thing I loved was the text conversations between Makayla and Torment. Those were awesome and so funny. :D From the very beginning I couldn't put this book down. I absolutely loved it and very highly recommend it. I can't wait until the next book comes out. :D

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  • Posted September 4, 2013

     Makayla does not like violence, can not stand it.  So what is s

     Makayla does not like violence, can not stand it.  So what is she doing helping her friend sell tickets at an underground fight event?
     Then she sees him, Torment - fighter, man, and owner of the underground club.  What will happen next when these two collide.  
    Sarah Castille does a fantastic job of bringing this story to life.  Her words bring out the emotions of the story and the characters to life.
     I was completely engrossed in the book and could not put it down.  A must read!!!  I give it 5 stars.

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  • Posted September 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    3.5 out of 5 I thought this was a great story! I loved both of

    3.5 out of 5

    I thought this was a great story! I loved both of the main characters. Makayla was sassy, determined, and compassionate, and really stayed true to herself. Torment was sexy, caring and domineering (I love a good alpha-male!). They had a strong connection with one another and great chemistry. 

    There’s a nice build up to their back stories and they were filled with emotion, I thought the stories unfolded well. I found Makayla’s internal dialogue amusing at times and found it refreshing during the more intense scenes. The really liked the fighters and other characters in the book, they were interesting and entertaining. I liked Jake and Amanda's connection and wonder if there will be a book 2 with them. 

    There was a lot sexual tension in the first half of the book but I thought it had a nice build. Once the sexy times started they were super steamy with some light BDSM mixed in. I thought they were well written and not overdone.

    All and all a really good story. I like how Makayla never gave up, how she always stood up to Torment, and was so much stronger by the end. Finding out Torments true identity kind of through me a bit. I felt like he was trying to mesh his two worlds, in the end I felt like he finally got there and we saw who he truly was. Makayla and Torments both grew a lot, learned to open up and trust… getting there was intense and hot! 

    ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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