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Against the Ropes (Redemption Series #1)

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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 October 10, 2013

    SO BAD! COUL What a What a huge was SO BA Horrible!!!

    Where do I even begin? The writing is incredibly bad, the storyline and characters are bootleg knock-offs of 50 Shades, I just stopped reading half way in. Can I please get back those two hours of my life i just wasted reading this drivel?!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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