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Posted January 3, 2013
Battered not Broken by Ranae Rose was a sizzling contemporary romance about two incredibly different people who have been battered by life’s traumas, feeling discouraged and alone, yet throughout the story, endeavoured to rediscover hope, meaning, purpose and love.
Worldly wise, heartrending Ally Rivera, was a passionate, self contained young woman. From a sickening incident in her teens, her family core had been shattered beyond repair. Ally was crippled by guilt. Survivor’s guilt. Carrying her burdens instinctually, she justified their permanence with ‘what ifs’, believing that she was responsible for the chain of events that the crime created. Ally’s life was repetitive and predictable. Her only visible passion was as a fighter in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in her city of Baltimore. That is until Ryan literally bumps into her at the gym at which she trains.
Seriously gorgeous with a mix of mischief, reserved Ryan Moore was a former Marine turned MMA fighter, having recently returned from Afghanistan. Having ‘survived’ an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blast, like Ally, he suffers from re-curing nightmares as well as debilitating migraines. Ryan was stubborn, trustworthy, gallant and scarred, both internally and externally. Yet, Ryan seemed contradictory to Ally. On one hand, his meticulous attention to detail especially toward his spotless car, yet on the other hand, his total disregard for his health; fighting in the ring, which could literally kill him. His decision to start afresh in Baltimore, forging his own path, defying his unsupportive, wealthy family, proves to be a fated move. Ostensibly, he is trying to rebuild his life. In reality, he was trying to find a reason to live.
As their relationship progressed, it was a poignant and momentous moment when Ally believed she could be ‘someone who healed instead of hindered’. In many ways, this woke her up out of her quiet, derailed existence. Ryan made her feel. Ally loved selflessly, was mature beyond her years, and was gutsy; especially evidenced when she tackled Ryan’s rejection, while common sense urged retreat. In Ally, Ryan found purpose, direction, joy, and saw the chance to heal.
The story was told from Ally’s POV, although, at times, I would have loved to have been inside Ryan’s head. Occasional repetitive phrasing proved distracting as I read. (How many times do we need to read how blue Ryan’s eyes were?) Despite this, Battered not Broken was an engaging and engrossing book. There was mystery, tension, pain, joy and danger all vying for and receiving thorough attention.
Renae Rose has a wonderfully descriptive prose. “Their bodies were so close that the sound of his pleasure seemed to physically permeate her, making her every nerve ending in her body hum with the thrill of his gratification.”
The title was apt (and I have to say, I loved the cover – so realistic!). Her comprehensive research into all things related to sufferers from, and carers of those afflicted by TBI’s must be applauded. In addition, she skilfully enabled the reader to have a terrific grasp on the angst and sorrow of those who return from war. This was not a light read, but one that is sad yet hopeful, ascetic yet sensual, sorrowful yet jubilant. If this is an example of Ranae Rose’s writing, I can fervently say that I’ll be back for more.
Thank you Renae for giving me this ARC for an honest review
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Posted September 17, 2013
Good long read, loved Ryan and Ally. I thought Ally came on too strong badgering and nagging Ryan about continuing to fight when they had not been dating very long. The sex scenes were good but too many I started skimming thru them. Overall the storyline was good and it had an ending and an HEA.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 6, 2013
Ryan is a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter who was discharged from the Marines after taking damage from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED)in Afghanistan. He suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that is known for causing sudden and extreme migraines.
Ally is also a MMA fighter that lives with her mother and works in her aunts nail salon. Her brother is the #2 in a local gang and her dad is in prison. She does really well in trying to understand what Ryan is going through and tries to support his wishes.
I really like how the story plays out and it's well written through the entire book. I loved both characters. And there are some really spicy sex scenes that don't overpower the rest of the story. Even if you know nothing about MMA, Ranae does a wonderful job explaining what is going on and it's a part of the book not the whole story. She did a great job telling this story!!!
Posted December 27, 2012
A sizzling contemporary romance featuring a former Marine turned MMA fighter and an equally kick butt heroine – literally. While I have read three other stories by this author (and I have yet to post my reviews for two of them #fail), this is by far the most sensual and probably her best work.
What I loved about this story was that the author not only chose a hero and heroine from different backgrounds – one rich, one poor - but also a different heritage and family dynamics. While Ryan decided against joining the family company in favor of becoming a Marine, that decision put a deep rift between himself and his family. They never proclaimed to have been proud of him or his choices. Then we have Ally Rivera. Her father is in jail for murder, her estranged brother has joined her uncle's gang, she lives with her mother and is utterly devoted to her, and Ally enters MMA fights for the prize money. The contrast between the two families couldn't be more different on the surface. But beneath it all are misunderstandings and secrets.
The story flowed really easily, and I got completely caught up in Ryan and Ally's instant attraction and the sparks flying off of them whenever they locked eyes. We get hints as to why she's very cautious to the point of being paranoid about him, but it didn't make sens until much later. In the mean time, the build up of sexual tension had me thinking back to my first serious boyfriend. It was kind of cute to see these two adults take baby steps. When they finally came together it made the wait so worth while. I think I swooned a lot up until then. Heck, Ms Rose even made putting on a condom sound ridiculously sexy!
As the full story about Ally and her family unfolded, I got a much better understanding of her character. Her turmoil over her brother's actions made me a little emotional, as well as Ryan coming to her defense the only way he knew how. This story is so much more than the allure of MMA fighters or military heroes. This story had heart and conflict, and two people from the opposite sides of the spectrum coming together and finding their own brand of happiness.
My favorite line from the story had to be the part from which this book gets its title. Ally couldn't have been any sweeter.
4.5 rounded up to 5 Stars
Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Full FTC disclaimer can be found on my blog.
Posted December 22, 2012
First off....I LOVE this cover!! The book starts off with a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the characters. I wasn't really sure what Ally or Ryan's story was~especially Ryan. Then there was Ally's father that was in prison and the mention of her estranged brother. As the story progressed these questions were answered and an interesting and entertaining story unfolded with a hero and heroine that I wanted so desperately to get their HEA.
I loved the concept of this story with both Ryan and Ally being MMA fighters. But it was so much more than MMA fighting. It was a story about a heroes struggle to adapt and maintain some sort of "normal" life after returning from war with mental and physical injuries. And a heroine who was struggling to hold her family together while still living her own life. Both the hero and heroine were battered by life in different ways but found peace and love and safety in each other.
I have a soft spot for stories featuring soldiers, especially wounded soldiers. I also have a soft spot for heroines that stick by their heroes and offer support and comfort when their heroes need it the most but don't make it easy. I just loved these two together. Ally was such a great character and I loved how she was with Ryan. And...Ryan *sigh*. They were another couple that I just wanted to wrap in a hug. Ryan and Ally both had their demons but remained loving and strong. Just perfect for each other. I loved how Ally didn't hide her feelings for Ryan or what had happened to her in the past from him. I also love how she tried to protect him and worried about him and genuinely cared for him and wanted to take care of him, even though it was hard for him at first. I thought that it was sad to read Ryan struggling with his injuries and being so alone before meeting Ally. I just love when Ally told Ryan that he was not broken but battered. *sigh*
Just a wonderful book that hooked me from the start. The story was told strictly from Ally's POV and I wish there was just a little of Ryan's POV. Oh...and the sex...on the kitchen counter, on the couch, on the bathroom sink and in the bed. *shivers* I was so happy with the ending but wished the epilogue was a few years later to see the progression of their relationship and find out about what happened with Ally's dad.
I think that this is my favorite book from Ranae so far and I definitely continue to be a fan. Definitely a keeper to be reread. 4 out of 5 rating!!
***ARC provided by Ranae Rose~Thanks!! Mariann at Belle's Book Bag
Posted December 19, 2012
Ally Rivera’s father is in jail. She works with her mother at a salon as a nail technician and avoids her brother who is number 2 in in a local gang. She also does amateur female fights every other Saturday. It is while working out at the local MMA gym she meets hunky Ryan Moore. The former marine is trying to rebuild his life after being processed out of the Marines after an injury from an IED makes him unfit for duty. He has come back physically enough to fight competitively but still suffers migraines. Can these two so battered by life be complete together?
I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. I asked to review it because it involved a military man and I do love a military man. I am not however enamored of MMA. I just don’t get how people can enjoy beating each other up. I understand wanting to challenge yourself physically but I just don’t get fighting. But Ranae Rose makes it work. The MMA might as well be a metaphor for these characters struggles in life. The love scenes between these two smolder without being crass or gratuitous. I was pulling for Ryan and Ally both in the ring and out.
Posted May 4, 2013
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Posted January 17, 2013
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Posted May 18, 2013
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