Overview

From the wrong side of the tracks...

Alyson Blake had learned early on that the only one she could depend on was herself. The only light in her life was a boy whom everyone agreed was destined for prison; but with his first kiss, he had set her soul on fire. Since the day the police dragged him away in ...
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Knockout

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Overview

From the wrong side of the tracks...

Alyson Blake had learned early on that the only one she could depend on was herself. The only light in her life was a boy whom everyone agreed was destined for prison; but with his first kiss, he had set her soul on fire. Since the day the police dragged him away in handcuffs, she had managed to lead a quiet life, but when she attends an event fraught with mayhem, trouble resurfaces.

The one person she can’t forget...

Jamison Weston is the kind of guy dads load their shotguns for; endowed with a hot temper and a rap sheet as long as both tattooed arms. Known as “The Judge,” Jami’s hot temper, lethal fists, and cocky attitude have earned him respect and admiration both in and out of the ring. But just when he thinks he’s pummeled his past to death, Alyson Blake reenters his life.

Two paths collide…

After years of separation, Alyson is eager to reexplore the man who’s never left her thoughts, but for Jamison, she’s both the distraction he wants, but doesn’t need. As the two embark on a relationship that neither of them expected or bargained for, an outside threat closes in. When Alyson crosses the line of professionalism and takes her work home with her, her life is put in danger, leaving Jamison with no choice but to once again step in and become her protector.

WARNING **Book One in a two part story.** This book contains a mild cliffhanger ending that will be resolved in book two. The release date for book two has been moved up to July 2014. If you do not like cliffhangers, you might consider checking out my Night Calls series instead.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940149602988
  • Publisher: J.C. Valentine
  • Publication date: 4/7/2014
  • Series: Wayward Fighters , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 420
  • Sales rank: 5,312
  • File size: 650 KB

Meet the Author

J.C. Valentine is the alter-ego of Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of tales of romance spurred her to branch out and create her own.

Brandi Salazar lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. As a university student, she studies literature, which goes well with her dream of becoming an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 13, 2014

    I was recently in the mood for a fighter romance and this one fi

    I was recently in the mood for a fighter romance and this one fit the bill perfectly.
    Alyson Blake came from an violent home life, Jamison Weston was her protector until he gets arrested for beating up her abusive father.  
    She never thought she would see him again fate brings them together and she finds that her childhood crush is now an adult love.  
    Jamison is shocked to have Alyson back in his life he never thought he would have the chance to be around her again.  He denies his attraction to
     her playing at as wanting to protect her but he doesn't want a serious relationship his career is number one priority.  Alyson and Jamison develop
     really solid friendship.  She loves him but keeps that to herself for awhile.  I really thought the way the author let us get to know the characters
     kept me interested in the book.  It did drag a few times and there were a few holes like why does the coach dislike Alyson so much that was not
     really addressed fully.  I assume a few reason. Also the background characters were good but not great.  I am interested in Spencer's story and
    what he's up to I have a feeling but I think Liv is being kind of dumb putting up with this disappearing acts.  The only negative about Ally I found was
     that she is very naive for someone who came from a violent family life she keeps thinking she can handle everything on her own and falls into a trap
     that puts her and the ones she loves in danger because she trusts a stranger.  Considering her job and background I thought that was a bit silly of her.
     All in all I like the book and look forward to reading the next one.  There is a cliffhanger it not a big powerful I have to grab the next book now cliffhanger though.  
    I have Tapout and I plan on reading it shortly to see how the author gives this sweet couple an HEA. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Definitely a book I would recommend. Second book I've read by J.

    Definitely a book I would recommend. Second book I've read by J.C. Valentine & I wasn't disappointed. Storyline was well written and intriguing to where I sat up late reading it until the end. Loved how Jami and Alyson reconnected years after being childhood friends. Loved the chemistry between Jami and Alyson. Usually don't like cliffhangers but can't wait to read the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Sexy MMA Fighter With A Sketchy Past Falls For the Childhood Fri

    Sexy MMA Fighter With A Sketchy Past Falls For the Childhood Friend He Left Behind! Bring On The Angst! 

    4 Knockout Stars!

    The Review: 
    I really enjoyed this steamy, intense and angsty read. Our two main characters have history as childhood friends which is one of my favorite type of reads and this author did a great job connecting past and present. And of course the hero is a smokin’ hot MMA fighter who wants nothing to do with commitment and the heroine is a sweet temptation who slowly breaks down his walls. Yeah! Loved this read.

    Story/Characters... 
    Alyson Blake works as a social worker, helping abused and battered women and their children leave the domestic hell that’s shredding them of their independence and self-worth. She does this because her past is darkened with the same things these women and children are going through. Her father tormented her youth, leaving bruises on both her and her mother more times than she could count. Her only saving grace was the wayward boy next door who crawled in through her bedroom window to protect her when he could and to keep her company while a nightmare played out on the other side of her bedroom door. 

    That is until one fateful night drove him away.

    Jamison Weston’s childhood was filled with criminal activity and a home life he rather forget. Putting all his anger and fear into MMA fighting saved his life and he wants nothing but to rise to the top and prove to everyone he really is worth something. That is until the girl who stole his heart so long ago comes waltzing back into his life.

    It’s been five years since Ally last saw Jami but Ally is determined to get the second chance she’s wanted since the night he left. But as Jami works his magic in the ring, Ally is reminded of the violence in her past and sometimes the man she’s falling in love with all over again, scares her. I really enjoyed Ally’s character. She was brave and strong and she didn’t wallow or complain. Yes, she hated the violence but she pushed forward so she could stand strong for Jami. I loved that. And she took in strangers because she wanted them to have a better life, a chance at a future and an escape. I loved her noble cause and the lengths she went to in order to help.

    Distractions are the last thing Jami needs but he is having a hard time staying away from Ally and together, these two steam up the pages with their intense chemistry! Jami was definitely an alpha male. He knows what he wants and he goes after it full force but he also has a vulnerable side. He’s sweet but he’s also focused and sometimes that gets in the way of other things.

    This story explodes with fun and sexy moments, some scary stalker action and friendships that will have you grinning from ear to ear. And the fight scenes! Oh my! This book had some intense fight sequences, which felt realistic and the nail biting suspense on who was going to come out the victor literally had me on the edge of my seat. I felt like I was watching a Rocky movie where just when you think the hero can’t take any more of a beating, he rises back up and comes out of his huddle swinging. It was exciting, exhilarating and very well written. 

    Wishlist... 
    All along we get a few snippets of Jami and Ally’s past , but I really wanted to know more about Jami. We know that his home life was bad, that he had to commit crimes to survive and that his father tried to keep him down by stealing his money. But I wanted to know more about how he spent his days, the things he had to do and more about where his head was at after the “incident” that caused him to leave and not look back. His friendship with Ally seemed to be the one constant in his life but he left it all behind after that night and I wanted more on the why’s. Maybe in the next book.

    And for Ally’s character, after the “incident”, it’s hinted that the abuse stopped but what happened to Ally’s father and mother? So many questions unanswered. Maybe it was intentional so that there’s more flashbacks in the second book. I hope there’s more to come on their pasts.

    The Wrap Up: 
    Open ended questions aside, this book rocked! I love this author and her writing style and with the cliffy this book ends on, I can’t wait for the second book in this series to see how Jami and Ally’s story continues.

    NOTE: *Written for Craves the Angst Book Reviews*  I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2014

    Hooked on this new series

    I think that I should have paid more attention to the warning about the cliffhanger. Now, I'm seriously screaming at my Nook HD because I needto know what happens.

    Alyson Blake had a rough childhood, things are looking up - she helps abused children and women. Jamison Weston had a rough childhood also and now he's a MMA fighter. These two have known each other for years but after a devastating event, it has been years since they've seen each other. One night, after agreeing to go to a fight with her best friend Olivia, she runs into her childhood friend.

    This is such an amazing book that I just can't wait for Tapout to be released. I'm curious about so many things that were left unanswered and I'm really hoping to find out all the details.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2014

    Ally has impressed me. She grew up in an abusive household where

    Ally has impressed me. She grew up in an abusive household where the only anchor she had was her neighbor Jami who would crawl in her window and comfort her during her father's rages. As an adult she chose to be a social worker so she could help women and children in similar situations. I marvel at her strength and determination knowing that working in this field has to dredge up memories of her own past. Her commitment to her clients is incredible as she works to give them hope for a different life. Of course, this leads to Ally literally taking her work home with her as she takes in one her clients, Victoria, and her son. Jami disappeared from her life 5 years ago, who knew when her friend dragged her to an MMA fight she would run smack into him. Jami is complex, his home life wasn't much better when they were kids, he doesn't know what it feels like to be loved, he has found purpose in fighting and working to be the best at it. Fighting is his constant until Ally reappears in his life. Can Jami find a way to let Ally into his life? Will she be a distraction? Can Ally keep Victoria and her son safe? A great intertwining of these lives as they all look for ways to move forward. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2014

    I love a good fighter romance and this wonderful story was no ex

    I love a good fighter romance and this wonderful story was no exception! Jami and Ally grew up in troubled homes, but always had eachother to help them push through. Then one day that all changed and they both beleived they would never see each other again. When fate puts them in eachothers paths again, there is no going back.

    I fell in love with them. I can not wait to see the end of their journey.. Mild cliffhanger, but it is not too bad. It felt right.

    I can't wait to read #2 TAPOUT

    XOXO

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    This book is in a series, and even though I usually try to wait

    This book is in a series, and even though I usually try to wait till all the books are out or the next book is about to release before I start a seies, I didn't wait this time. Boy am I glad I didn't wait. There is a cliffhanger ending though so be prepaired when you read it.

    For some reason I am a sucker for books where they were childhood friends, whether they split up and reunited or they stayed close the whole time. I LOVE those couples. They just seem a bit more realistic to me. I don't think this book will disappoint you so what are you waiting for? Start reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2014

    Alyson "Ally" Blake grew up with domestic violence eve

    Alyson "Ally" Blake grew up with domestic violence every day of her life. Now as an adult Ally stands for those like her mother and helps them stand up for themselves and their children. Ally will never forgot Jami the boy that knew her secrets and tried to protect her from the horrors of her own house. Jamison  (Jami)"The Judge" Weston is MMA fighter that hasn't forgotten his roots and is thankful for his coach and mentor Don for turning his life around. Jami is riding the high of his win with party in his hotel room with guests and hopeful bed partners brought by Spencer. Ally's best friend Olivia (Liv) is complete fan of MMA bringing Ally along but it reminds her too much of the past. They get invited to party and Ally wants to make sure her suspicions are correct. Ally is stunned to meet the man the boy grew up into and she's isn't the only one stunned. Jami gets the surprise of his life upon meeting Ally again after all of these years. Jami wants to know the woman the girl became.  Sparks fly between Ally and Jami even though they both claim to be just friends.  Ally helps Victoria and Miles Michaels out by letting them live with her which is against the rules. Can Ally accept that Jami is a fighter? Can they both keep claiming just friends? Will Ally get into trouble for helping the Michaels out? Your answers await you in Knockout.




    Childhood friends find each other again in the most unlikely of situations in the World of MMA Fighting. Ally and Jami were the best of friends but can that occur again as adults. Ally is unsure of her place in Jami's world because of her past. Ally is distraction that Jami really doesn't need yet can't seem to stay away either. I definitely want to read the next book in this series today instead of waiting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2014

    J.C. Valentine is one of my favorite authors. I loved all her wo

    J.C. Valentine is one of my favorite authors. I loved all her work. This book just continues to prove how great she is. This is the first book in her Wayward series. Jami is a MMA fighter. Him and Ally have issues from their past. Can these two make it with their past and other things standing in their way. I was hooked from page 1. Jami is hot, sexy. I loved him from the start. The story flows smoothly and I could not put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    5 stars = I freaking LOVED this book In Knockout, we meet Ally

    5 stars = I freaking LOVED this book

    In Knockout, we meet Ally and Jami as they reconnect after years of separation. As children, they were the only person in the other's life they each felt they could trust and depend upon. Despite the years that have passed, they both still feel that connection that bonded them as teens and find themselves spending more and more time together as they establish their friendship ... and possibly more.

    I must state that I absolutely loved that the author did not make Jami the stereotypical player that I tend to find with MMA characters. No, he's not a virgin, but he's not the manwhore his buddy Spence is and not once did he appear to be tempted by the blatant offers he got from other women. As a result, Ally wasn't forced to be the stereotypical insecure woman always wondering if she was pretty enough to keep her man. In fact, she's almost too independent and secure, which is what allows Tony to get too close and led to the only part of the storyline that bothered me; seriously, has she never heard of Google? It made absolutely no sense to me that she didn't look Tony up when she moved Tori and Miles in with her. And except for that small plot point, Knockout was fabulous.

    Ms. Valentine has created great cast of characters and the chemistry between Ally and Jami is palpable. The sexual tension between the two is so intense that I was surprised that I was so far into the book before they finally hooked up, and I must say that I will never look at a boxing ring the same way again. Knockout is a great start to the series and I'm looking forward to reading Tapout as I cannot wait to see what happens next.

    I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 
    Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    Knockout

    Took me awhile to get in butenjoyed the story once i did
    Looking forward to the ending story for jamie and ally but also victoria and miles

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  • Posted May 3, 2014

    Book received in exchange for review. The first third of the bo

    Book received in exchange for review.

    The first third of the book was really good and moved at a good pace; we got information provided through flashbacks about Alyson's
    childhood and Jamison, the young man who was always there for her when they were growing up. Both grew up in was less than
    ideal conditions, and it's through the flashbacks that we learn how both of them used those circumstances in their current careers.

    Thanks to Alyson's best friend Olivia, Alyson and Jami are reunited and have rekindled their childhood friendship that could possibly
    turn into something more. For me, the story began to drag on when Alyson took it upon herself to have the mother/child duo move
    in with her after the safe house burns down. It's fairly obvious who the culprit is, but for some reason Alyson is just dumb enough to
    not put two and two together and realize that she's in danger. But this didn't have the ending like you'd expect, and it's going to be
    interesting to see how the story continues to play out in the next book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    Good story

    Enjoyed jami and allys story thus far...hate to wait for more but loved all the characters

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2014

    Awesome story

    Luv the story...different than other mma stories ive read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    Love it

    Loved it

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  • Posted April 13, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Cliffhanger...... One word...CLIFFHANGER! I read probably 2 boo

    Cliffhanger......
    One word...CLIFFHANGER! I read probably 2 books a week and I am just not into serials...ones that focus on the original main characters throughout many books. I like a happy ending and any epilogue as a bonus. I am just I would have never started reading this one if I had known that it was just going to end with a continuation coming. The book was good not great, but it kept me interested and I will read the next one to see how it ends with Jami and Ally...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Intersting enough

    Seemed okay, lil drawn out. Liked the characters, however book needed more dialogue, less reflection as it became a bit repetative. I'll read second one tho. 340 pages approx with several wasted on beg and end

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Really great read! A little cliffy at the end. Can't wait for bo

    Really great read! A little cliffy at the end. Can't wait for book 2 to see how it all plays out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Serial story

    Warning: this is a serial story. No ending. It just stops

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Review

    Great read.

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