Tough Enough

Tough Enough

4.6 20
by M. Leighton
     
 

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From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the second book in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.

He’s a fighter who never loses, but is he tough enough to win her heart?

There was a time when I had everything–a wonderful family, a bright future. Love. But all that was taken away in a single night, torn from

Overview

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the second book in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.

He’s a fighter who never loses, but is he tough enough to win her heart?

There was a time when I had everything–a wonderful family, a bright future. Love. But all that was taken away in a single night, torn from me like flesh from bone. Since then, I’ve hidden away in my second-choice job as a makeup artist. But I prefer it that way, actually. I’m comfortable in the shadows, where no one can see my scars.

Kiefer Rogan literally took my breath away the moment I met him. MMA champion-turned-actor, notorious playboy, charming to a fault—he’s everything I vowed to avoid.

But he just wouldn’t stop until I opened up and let him in. Maybe I should’ve tried harder to resist him. Maybe I shouldn’t have fallen in love with him. Because I, of all people, know that everyone has secrets. Scars. And that they’re usually ugly and painful and destructive to the people we love most.

I just never guessed that they could be deadly, too.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
M. LEIGHTON IS...

“A PHENOMENAL WRITER.”—Bookish Temptations

“QUICKLY BECOMING ONE OF MY FAVORITE CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE WRITERS.”—Reading Angel

“INSANELY INTENSE.”—The Bookish Babe

“FREAKIN’ HOT!”—Nette’s Bookshelf

AND “SERIOUSLY SCANDALICIOUS.”—Scandalicious Book Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425279472
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/03/2015
Series:
"Tall, Dark, and Dangerous" Series , #2
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
189,986
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Prologue


Katie, five years ago

Something is prodding me to wake up. Like an insistent finger poking my shoulder and someone whispering, “Wake up, wake up, wake up.”

But I don’t want to. I only want to hide. Hide from the light, hide from the world, hide from reality. I turn deeper into unconsciousness, but there’s no rest for me there.

Wake up, wake up, wake up.

A dull pain begins to spread down my left side and sounds that were a distant backdrop only moments before come closer, closer, closer. One by one, I can make them out.

Sirens.

Metallic clattering.

Strange voices.

Screaming. Awful screaming.

It sounds so familiar, that scream. That voice, although I can’t figure out why. The answer is fuzzy, like the face that swirls behind my eyes.

Distorted. Mocking. Cruel.

The face belongs to Calvin.

Panic swells within me, forcing me toward wakefulness. I don’t want to go, don’t want to wake. I claw and scratch. I dig in with my heels, with my hands, but nothing can stop my ascent.

Agony rushes in. It steals my breath and sweeps over me like flames, licking at my skin, turning the air to napalm.

More screaming, only this time I recognize the voice. I know it. I’ve listened to it my whole life.

It’s mine.

And then I remember.

Just before the blackness welcomes me back.

I rouse again, despite a gut instinct that tells me not to.

I wake to harsh voices, shouted commands and muffled road noise.

The face is still there, still there behind my eyes. Taunting me, haunting me. Smug and satisfied.

Horrific pain radiates from the left side of my body. It sears its way across my nerves, gaining strength, gaining momentum until I can’t fight the blackness.

So I don’t.

My eyelids flutter open. I see white metal above me, the dark head of a man beside me. I’m lying on my back. He’s sitting to my right. I don’t know who he is or what he’s doing. I don’t even know where I am. All I know is that something is wrong. Terribly wrong. I know it. I can feel it, like frantic fingers picking at my consciousness, picking away the scab. Tearing away the blindfold. Luring me into awareness.

But I can’t go back yet. Not yet. So I turn away. I retreat into the nothingness.

Seconds, minutes, hours pass. Time has no real meaning. It’s only a series of disjointed sights, sounds and feelings. Fear. Dread. Pain.

Excruciating pain.

And aloneness, even though I know I’m not alone; I’m far from alone.

I hear dozens of different voices now. Sounds, too. Beeps. Thumps. Scrambling. And I can smell. Something awful, putrid even, mixed with the chemical scent of a hospital.

I can’t focus on it, though. The pain is what overwhelms it all. It’s nearly unbearable, like my left side is trying to secede from the rest of my body. Nerves tearing away from skin, muscle ripping away from tendon. Flesh falling away from bone.

So I run.

I run into the deepest part of my mind, the part that refuses to participate with the outside world. I hide there until the pain stops.

Only it never stops. It never stops stalking me from the shadows.

Chapter One

Katie

“You’re not the least bit excited to be putting makeup on the Kiefer Rogan?”

Mona and I slow our walk as we approach my office. I use the term office loosely since mine is really just four thin walls that house a makeup chair, a bank of lighted mirrors and a wraparound counter. Two of the four walls are covered with shelves that hold the supplies of my trade—a wide array of everything from pancake makeup to prosthetic noses. It’s not fancy, but it feels as much like home as any place does.

I turn my eyes to Mona’s cornflower blue ones. She is the only person who might even come close to being called my best friend. “Am I excited to be putting makeup on Kiefer Rogan?” I repeat. Am I oddly nervous? Yes. Am I extremely uneasy? Yes. But am I excited? “Not even a little bit,” I reply sincerely.

Her full lips fall into a disbelieving O. “Wow! I can’t even imagine not getting excited over a guy like him.”

“He’s just a guy,” I declare with a shrug. I wish I felt as casual as the gesture indicates. Kiefer Rogan is just a guy, but guys like him spell trouble. For that reason alone, I can’t really be as nonchalant as I pretend to be. There’s no point in dwelling on it, though, so I try to redirect her. “Besides, why should you care anyway? You’ve got a boyfriend.”

She grins, which makes her look even more innocent than her platinum hair and eyes that are too big for her face. Physically, Mona is the perfect split between a Barbie Doll and a Precious Moments figurine, all with a touch of clueless porn star thrown in for good measure. She can work her assets like nobody’s business, but she does it in such a way that doesn’t make her detestable. That alone is quite a feat. She’s very genuine, too, which is one of the things I like most about her. That and the fact that we are polar opposites in practically every way.

Mona is tall and fair and beautiful with a sweet, outgoing personality. I am none of those things, which is probably why we get along so well.

“White’s great, but he doesn’t look like that.” White Bristow, Mona’s boyfriend, is the executive producer of the show. He’s fairly good looking, but nothing like the man I’m about to meet, Kiefer Rogan. White’s as much of a player as Kiefer is alleged to be, but Mona loves him enough to overlook it. No matter what else he’s doing (or who else he’s doing), he always comes back to Mona. I guess maybe he loves her in his own way and that seems to be enough for her. “God, I wish he did, though.”

“Looks aren’t everything,” I remind her softly.

Her expression falls into one of regret and sadness. She reaches out and smoothes the hair that I always keep swept over my left shoulder. It can always be found draped around my neck to hide my scars. She’s one of the few people who know what lies beneath the swath of hair. And how sensitive I am about it. “No, looks aren’t everything, but if they were, you’d still be one of the most wanted.”

I smile. That’s Mona—always seeing the best in me, whether it’s accurate or not. “That’s sweet, but you and I both know that’s not true.”

“Oh, but it is. Look at you, Katie. All this thick, wavy auburn hair, those big dark blue eyes and you’re so tiny! I’d give anything to be petite like you.”

“Mona, you’re like a living, breathing Barbie Doll. If I were you, I wouldn’t want to change a thing, not even your Amazonian height,” I tease. She’s not the least bit insecure about her five-eleven frame. In fact, she’d be the first to tell you that it’s her unusual stature, replete with legs that go for miles, that helped her get the attention of White. And White is the person responsible for bringing her into the Hollywood world.

I stop in front of my “office” door and turn to face her. Mona leans up against the jamb, her eyes going all dreamy. “I wonder if Rogan likes tall women,” she muses.

Back to Kiefer Rogan, I think with a deflated sigh. I won’t be able to avoid him much longer, so why do we have to talk about him now?

My bitterness surfaces. A guy like him—beautiful, wealthy, had the world in the palm of his hand—showed me just how destructive men like these could be, and he left me with scars to prove it. Scars that won’t ever let me forget it.

In an uncharacteristic show of emotion, I let that bitterness flow, secretly hoping it’ll stop her from bringing the conversation back to him. “From what I’ve read in the tabloids, he likes anything with boobs. But I think he’s into the divas mostly, which would count you out. Thank God!” I, for one, am glad that Mona isn’t conceited about her looks or her position here at the studio. She’s utterly guileless, happily clueless and I like her just the way she is—diva not included.

“I could be a diva,” she says, straightening, her expression turning enthusiastic. “I could totally be a diva. If it meant having those flirty green eyes and that drop-dead gorgeous smile turned on me, I’d be whatever he wanted me to be.”

Her little-girl giggle belies her words. She could never be a diva. “You don’t have a diva bone in your body. Besides, why would you want a guy like that? He dates the most horrible women and he goes through them like water. I mean, look at Victoria,” I say, lowering my voice as I scan the hall left and right to ensure we aren’t being overheard. “What kind of decent person would date her? She’s awful!” I go on cynically, finding some strange comfort in pigeonholing him, calling a spade a spade. Hoping that maybe if I build up my armor against him, I won’t be swayed by his pretty face. “I bet he’s a conceited jerk who only cares about what his arm candy looks like.”

“Guys who look like him can be annnything they want, as long as they stay hot.”

“Well, he’s all yours, then. I don’t have room for cocky, obnoxious, self-involved sleazeballs in my life.” I glance at my watch. Six fifteen a.m. Mr. Rogan should be here by six thirty, but I won’t be holding my breath. “I bet he doesn’t even show up on time. Jerk!”

Mona sighs, tilting her head, a faraway look in her eyes. “I’d wait all day for a guy like that. He makes my special places shiver.”

“Well, you and your special places are welcome to him. I don’t see what the big deal is,” I reply, turning into my office. “He’s not even that good-looking.”

I take two steps through the door and come to an abrupt halt. There, settled in my makeup chair with one ankle resting on his other knee, looking highly amused and as though he’s been here for a while, is none other Kiefer Rogan.

More gorgeous than words.

A rising star.

My first client of the day.

And the guy I just insulted.


Chapter Two

Rogan

I sit in the makeup chair listening to the conversation happening out in the hall. I don’t feel guilty. I’m not trying to eavesdrop. They brought that shit to my door. Literally. So of course I’m going to listen.

I’m curious to see what the two women who are talking look like. One is obviously very complimentary, while the other is anything but. I’m more used to flattery than dismissiveness, so I’m already working on a mental picture of the skeptic. I mean, yeah, I have an ass-ton of flaws, but I was lucky enough to be born with a decent face and a strong body, a combination that never leaves me without plenty of female attention. I’m not arrogant about it. It is what it is. I don’t try to be handsome. I guess I just am. I mean, hell, I make a living getting punched in the face. Well, not anymore really. There aren’t many who are good enough to land one on me these days. That’s the beauty of rising to the top in the mixed martial arts arena.

I’m surprised when the two women walk through the door into the room where I’ve been waiting. I’m even more surprised by the way they look. One is a tall, blond goddess, the kind of woman I love to spend my nights with. The other is shorter and darker, but no less appealing. In fact, something about her immediately snags my attention. Holds it pretty damn tight, too.

She’s staring at me with wide, midnight eyes, her deliciously lush mouth hanging open in shock. A long, thick rope of reddish hair is swept over one shoulder in a sexy wave and she’s wearing a prim little dress that’s the color of an apricot. What’s inside that dress is just as appealing as the rest of her—two plump, more-than-a-handful tits pressing rhythmically against that soft cotton. They make my palm tingle to touch them, to see if they’re as firm as they look.

When I make my way back to her face, I realize quickly enough that she was the one running me down. She doesn’t have to say a word. It’s all right there in her expression. The blonde looks dazzled. This one just looks . . . shocked.

Of course, me being the healthy guy that I am, she’s the one I want.

The one who doesn’t want me.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
M. LEIGHTON IS...

“A PHENOMENAL WRITER.”—Bookish Temptations

“QUICKLY BECOMING ONE OF MY FAVORITE CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE WRITERS.”—Reading Angel

“INSANELY INTENSE.”—The Bookish Babe

“FREAKIN’ HOT!”—Nette’s Bookshelf

AND “SERIOUSLY SCANDALICIOUS.”—Scandalicious Book Reviews

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author M. Leighton is a native of Ohio. She relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she can be near the water all summer and miss the snow all winter. Possessed of an overactive imagination from early in her childhood, Michelle finally found an acceptable outlet for her fantastical visions: literary fiction. Having written over a dozen novels, Michelle enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books: The Wild OnesSome Like it Wild, There's Wild, Then There's You, and her Bad Boys novels, Down to You, Up to Me, and Everything for Us. When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding wild horses, skiing the slopes of Aspen or scuba diving with a hot rock star, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.

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Tough Enough 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
RoxyKade More than 1 year ago
This book was a thrilling rollercoaster ride of love and courage, that saw two very different, but very similar characters battle their demons as they fought to hold onto each other. There was a lot of mystery behind Katie's past and the reason she had built a fortress around her emotions, and I really wanted to know what had happened because I liked and cared for her so much. She was sweet but with a little bit of feistiness that simmered just under the surface. Rogan didn't quite strike me as the player he was, at first, made out to be, and I found myself instantly liking him, too - and not just because he has a killer smile and smoking hot body. He seemed like a really genuine guy and my heart kinda broke for him for the way he was treated by Kurt. As the story developed, and as each of their pasts came to light, the more my heart broke for these two amazing people. I was completely shocked by what Katie had been through, and then when she revealed the extra devastation that touched her life at such a horrible time, I was close to bursting into tears. Rogan's life was anything but a bed of roses and he fought so hard to survive, and so hard to protect his brother, that I just wanted to reach into the book and give him a hug. With all their past hurts I was so happy that they found each other and were able to slowly piece together the parts that were broken. This book tore into my soul and left me feeling with a beautiful sense of hope that no matter how terrible life seems, there may just be something good waiting at the end - and, to give others a chance, they may just surprise you. It was a fantastic read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved everything about this story...Katie and Rogan were really well written and I couldn't read it fast enough. I'm looking forward to Brave Enough, and hoping for books for Mona and Kurt.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Couldn't put it down!!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Six dollars? Not without an overview! No way, no how.
book-loverTX 11 months ago
This book about Katie and Rogan kept me reading late into the night. It really held my interest. I love books by this author and this one is no exception. M. Leighton's characters intrigue me, and her plots have unusual twists and turns. Now on to the next book-Brave Enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Sees the book* Me: Okay... heh... *Reads "contains mature themes"* Me: You don't say?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this story a lot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this cant wait for more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good ! !!
micharch More than 1 year ago
Keifer and Katie meet when he appears on set for her to do her makeup and she unknowingly insults him. Keifer is intrigued by Katie and know she is hiding something and can barely contain himself to find out what it is. Katie is used to living in the shadows and not making herself known. Keifer causes her to feel things she hasn't felt in 5 years and it puts her in an uncomfortable situation. Keifer wants to get to know Katie but she holds herself back from him and he is really patient waiting for her to let him in. When Katie finally does, she is rewarded with Keifer showing her what love is supposed to be like. Katie is easily traumatized and when she attends Rogan's fight in New York, she is left a shell of her former self when she easily allows the situation to get out of hand and realizes that Rogan is not perfect. Rogan tries to fight for Katie but his hands are tied and he is forced to let her go. Katie's life is again altered with a blast from her past tries to force her into doing something with the threat of Rogan's future on her shoulders. Katie realizes that she needs Rogan's help and finally lets him know what is going on. Both of them have been hurt by their separation and try to let each other know where they stand. It was well done and I enjoyed the ending. Michelle Leighton did a great job making this a standalone while she also let the story from book 1 continue on in this one.
ReadingInPajamas More than 1 year ago
✦Spotlight & Review: Tough Enough (Tall, Dark and Dangerous, Book 2) by M. Leighton http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-3hm Publication Date: November 3, 2015 Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Cori Rated: 5 Stars REVIEW: I loved this book! Tough Enough is the second book in M. Leighton's "Tall, Dark and Deadly" series and can be read as a standalone. I loved Strong Enough, the first book in this series though and it started my obsession with the men in this group of ex special ops guys. Rogan is a sexy combo of charming, protective and he's just perfect hero material. He's definitely the hero Katie needs. I loved their story. It was emotional and smoking hot. The story takes twists and turns you won't seem coming. I can't say enough good things about this series. Like I said I'm obsessed with the men in this group and I can't wait for Tag's story next. Go grab both books in the series. I'm not sure which one I loved more, but they're both books I'll read again. *Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG!!! This book was amazing. Loved it.
Iowa_Gal More than 1 year ago
Tough Enough by M. Leighton is absolutely fantastic. I was so very ready to meet Rogan. After reading the first book in the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous series, I was addicted. In Tough Enough, we get to meet and learn more about Kiefer Rogan. Rogan is a MMA champion turned actor. He is known to be a playboy, with his sexy looks and the ladies falling at his feet. Rogan usually gets what he wants and he has his eyes set on one make up artist. Katie Rydale has had an extremely heartbreaking situation happen to her. She doesn't trust any man and has walls built around her heart. I will not go into any details. But holy cow, this book grabs you from the very beginning. I am talking about getting SUCKED IN, unable to let go kind of way. I couldn't put this book down. M. Leighton gets the reader so involved with this book series, that I am on the edge of my seat wanting more!!! These characters, wow.... I can not seriously wait for more. I highly recommend the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous Series by M. Leighton. Fantastic!!
CoffeeGoddessTK More than 1 year ago
My gut told me he would be trouble. I just never expected him to be this kind of trouble. Katie Rydale likes her life the way that it is. Having survived a horrific past, she's content to live a simple life under the radar. But then along comes Kiefer Rogan. MMA champion, actor, member of an elite Special Ops unit. He is nothing if not larger than life. And once he rolls into Enchantment, GA, life as Katie knows it will never be the same. Okay, so firstly, Michelle Leighton cannot write a book that I will not absolutely love. I mean, it just is not possible. Lighthearted or darker and filled with intrigue, it's going to find a place on my list of favorite reads. I read (and loved, of course!) STRONG ENOUGH, the first book in Michelle's Tall, Dark, and Dangerous series. But, where Jasper is dark and mysterious, intense and, okay, somewhat scary, Rogan is another story altogether. While not a completely open book, Rogan is completely transparent about what he wants. And that is, surprise, Katie. "But why? Why me?...Look at me! I'm scarred. Ugly. Men like you don't do ugly." "This doesn't make you less," I tell her softly. "It makes you more. More beautiful, more desirable. It makes you a survivor. A winner. Someone worth having." I drop my voice into a whisper. "Someone worth loving." Rogan definitely tops my list of favorite book boyfriends. This man, choosing to live a life of empowerment rather than succumbing to past darknesses that would keep others down, is so full of life, so passionate, so determined, that it is impossible not to love him. And his utter devotion to Katie, his commitment to a brother that gives nothing but contempt in return, his loyalty to his brothers in arms. Oh, my goodness, this man. I love the plot that Michelle has woven between the books in this series. And, while some questions first introduced in STRONG ENOUGH have been answered in this second book, I am confident that more will be revealed in BRAVE ENOUGH, the third book. And, no small thing, Tag Barton, the third member of this special group of men, will be front and center. So, if you haven't yet read STRONG ENOUGH, do it. These books can be read as standalones, but I do recommend that you read them in order to get a good handle on the action as it unfolds. And, then, get ready, because Rogan will rock your world. 5+ uplifting, sexy, romantic stars for TOUGH ENOUGH. This is one that you will not want to miss. ***ARC generously supplied by the publisher for an honest review.***
ReneeEntress More than 1 year ago
4.5 star I was pulled right into this story. The story has laughs, secrets, betrayal, pain, abuse, murder, and heartbreak. If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books(s) first Strong Enough (Tall, Dark, and Dangerous, #1) This is Katie and Rogan’s story. Katie spends her time hiding and sticking to herself. She has scars she does not want to show anyone. Rogan finds Katie taking up all his thoughts. He is trying everything to get her to open up and at least be friends with him. When she opens up and reveals her secrets will he want her? What happens when you thought you were falling in love and you think the other person has betrayed you? Can you work thought the misunderstandings to find out the truth? Can Rogan and Katie get a happily ever after? Or will one night’s actions ruin everything? I felt I was able to connect with the characters and the story was a great read. I highly recommend this book.
kgagnon More than 1 year ago
4.5 Sweet, Sexy, Exciting Stars! This book captured me from the beginning with a prologue filled with mystery, intrigue, and anguish and wouldn't let go. The book begins 5 yrs later with makeup artist Katie berating a client to her best friend Mona. She thinks that because he is a famous sexy MMA fighter and actor, that he will be shallow, and a conceited jerk. That client, Kiefer Rogan, overhears her and is determined to prove her wrong. He is tired of manipulative, clingy people who use him for his fame and wealth and wants something more. He meets Katie and is immediately attracted to her. Katie is different, she is shy but playful. He wants to discover why someone so wildly sexy tries so hard to hide and be invisible. Katie is attracted to Rogan as well but firms up her walls because she feels how dangerous he could be to her and her heart. But Rogan is patient, observant, and determined to slowly break through those walls. They find that they both have had to fight to live and are survivors with the scars to prove it. They both have secrets that remain and are too painful to reveal. Will they be tough enough to expose themselves to each other and really live again? Rogan is arrogant in a sweet and sexy way. He is also loyal, and very protective of those he cares about. Katie is caring, bold and fiery. I really loved them together. They felt genuine and honest and their chemistry is off the charts. The story was so sweet and alluring while they were building their relationship that I almost forgot that this was also a suspense story. But Ms. Leighton soon reminds us of that and the twists and turns were exciting and infuriating. If you like a romantic alpha hero, a shy but strong heroine, great secondary characters all wrapped in an exciting storyline then you will love this book! I received an Arc from the author that did not influence my honest review.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
4.5 - "Impressed yet?" Stars! Another absolutely outstanding read from Michelle Leighton, the Tall, Dark and Dangerous series is certainly exceeding my expectations on every front so far. This book is a little different in pace to it's predecessor. Whereas the romance was carried out against a back-drop of action and suspense before, we have pretty much the reverse for most of Tough Enough in that the main bulk of the book is the building of a relationship between two extremely different people. One confident and full of charm, the other looking to live under the radar, and not looking to draw any attention to themselves. "I want to know all your secrets. To strip you down. Lay you bare." And that is where the charm and absolute beauty of this book lies. Rogan epitomizes the kind of guy I absolutely adore reading about. The cheeky smile, topping of a body to drool over and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make Katie happy, the little things he did for her to earn her trust, and give him a chance at more than friendship with her. "I look forward to changing your mind about me." This book doesn't rush into the bedroom as the author took the time to build the trust and emotions between them as their story developed. It gave them a real depth, and I loved the way Rogan dealt with each new revelation from Katie as her confidence in him and herself grew, his absolute determination to ensure that she felt safe and protected going forward, kept me reading eagerly too see what sweet thoughtful thing he would do for her next. Somewhere deep down, there's still a girl in me who wants to love, who wants to trust, but she's afraid. The suspense, and the tying up to the first book, doesn't really get going until the last 30% of this story, and it felt a little rushed to me, everything happened and then all of a sudden it was all resolved in the space of a couple of paragraphs. I don't have an issue with it per se, but it kind of felt off-kilter in respect to the balance bearing in mind that the first book was very much focused on the betrayal of the guys in the Delta Five team, and the resulting deaths that had and were occurring. "Everyone has flaws." I still loved this book hard though, and I loved this couple. Michelle gave her readers a guy to fall for and a girl to feel for, and it worked on every level in that respect. The drama was perfectly balanced in the story and I enjoyed it from beginning to end. "You are the closest I've come to living in a long time..." "Then let me bring you back to life." ARC generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley, and it was my pleasure to provide the above honest review.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
4.25 stars---TOUGH ENOUGH is the second installment in M.Leighton’s contemporary, adult Tall, Dark and Dangerous erotic, romantic suspense series. This is actor/MMA fighter/ former Special Ops soldier Kiefer “The Rain” Rogan, and make-up artist to the stars Katie Rydale’s storyline. TOUGH ENOUGH can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous storyline is revealed where necessary. Told from alternating first person points of view (Kiefer and Katie) TOUGH ENOUGH follows the building relationship between Kiefer and Katie. Katie is the make-up artist for Kiefer’s latest movie, and with it comes the attraction towards a man she wants to avoid-Kiefer’s reputation with the ladies precedes their introduction. Katie is a young woman who is merely existing on a day to day basis, and Kiefer is the man who will push Katie to go for what she wants. What ensues is Kiefer’s seduction of Katie Rydale-a woman with secrets she wants kept hidden. Kiefer is a man who appears to have everything under control but his past is bout to catch up with him and the men from Delta Five. Kiefer and his fellow army buddies have been targeted for destruction and with it comes an investigation into the who, what and why. We are reintroduced to Muse Harper and Jasper King (Strong Enough #1), as well as Tag, and Kiefer’s brother Kurt. Kurt has been confined to a wheel chair following a devastating attack by someone close. Katie’s best friend Mona plays a pivotal role in setting up Kiefer and Katie; Mona needs her own storyline and a happily ever after. The relationship between Kiefer and Katie is one of immediate attraction but Katie keeps Kiefer at arm’s length. Katie’s secrets hide both emotional and physical scars that have control over her life; Kiefer’s own secrets are rooted deeply in Katie’s past. The $ex scenes are erotic, intimate and intense. The world building focuses on abuse, revenge, betrayal and love, but also on the hunt for the person(s) responsible for destroying the men of Delta Five. M. Leighton pulls the reader into a story of romance and love; retribution and deception; power and greed. The premise is entertaining; the characters are flawed but loveable ; the romance is inspiring, seductive and hot. There are a few twists and turns, and a conflict resolution that ends rather quickly. I was hoping for a few more details and backstory.