Brody Minton has loved Scarlett Harris for years. But she's his best friend's wife, so he's worked hard to keep his distance. Hearing the marriage is over shouldn't change anything. Only an ass would make a move on a friend's ex... Except Scarlett wants help getting back in the dating game, and Brody's torn. If he helps her out, he can keep an eye on her and guard her vulnerable heart. But having the woman he's longed for for years in arms' reach is hell on a man's restraint, no matter how iron strong his will.
But loving Scarlett is only half the fight.
All Scarlett Harris wants is to get away for a while and rethink her life after filing for divorce from her lying, cheating bastard of a husband. The gorgeous Bahamas sounds like the perfect escape, except she's booked in very resort Brody "The Iron" Minton is staying at for his sister's wedding. Now her ex's best friend is dogging her every move, and is a witness to her first pathetic attempts at flirting in years. If Brody isn't going to leave her alone, then she'll just recruit him to help get her reacquainted with her single self.
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Read an Excerpt
Knocked Out by Love
A Love to the Extreme Novel
By Abby Niles, Robin Haseltine, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Abby Niles
All rights reserved.
Brody "The Iron" Minton leaned one elbow against the polished wood of the outside bar and watched the beach performers dance to the unique beat of steel drums. This was the first time he'd been able to capture some peace and quiet since he'd arrived at the resort six hours ago. He was going to have to steal a lot more of these moments, or he wasn't going to make it through the next week.
"Impressive," his cousin Blake muttered as he motioned with his beer bottle toward the large flame erupting from a young man's mouth, brightening the humid summer air.
"Definitely." Hell, the whole damn place was impressive.
Too bad his youngest sister had about driven him batshit crazy with her fretting, and he hadn't been able to enjoy any of the perks the resort had to offer yet. He wasn't grasping her crazy right now.
It wasn't like her soon-to-be millionaire husband wasn't forking out the big bucks for the lavish destination wedding, including a top-of-the-line event planner to worry about all this shit so his sister wouldn't have to. But his sibling couldn't relax and just enjoy what was supposed to be one of the biggest days of her life. Nope, she had to have herself involved in every damn detail and, in the process, drive everyone else fucking nuts.
Oh well. He hadn't paid a dime for this trip, so she could be as psychotic as she wanted. As long as he stayed off her warpath, he'd enjoy himself. Fuck knew he needed some downtime.
Things with his coach had been going south for a while now. He needed to think about what his next move was going to be when he got back home.
Taking a swig of his beer, he eyed his cousin. Blake was the only other member of his family to join the MMA circuit. Their moms had been close sisters, so he and Blake had spent a lot of time together growing up, which included training as they got into their later teens. As they got older, they went their separate ways, but had always kept in touch. Blake had recently moved back to Atlanta to help his mom out after his father died, and had joined Mike's facility — one of the best MMA gyms in the industry.
"How are things over with Mike?"
Blake shrugged. "He's a moody son-of-a-bitch."
So he'd heard, but the man's reputation spoke for itself. His gym housed two title holders in the biggest MMA circuit around, Cage Match Championship — CMC. Dante "Inferno" Jones was the reigning welterweight champion and Tommy "Lightning" Sparks was the light heavyweight.
"What about you?" Blake asked.
As much as he'd love to share the shit he was dealing with, he wouldn't. The fighting industry was too small. Not that he thought his cousin would run off at the mouth, but one word in the locker room would spread like wildfire and take on a life of its own. He wasn't ready for all that. "Word has it Greg's got himself a new game changer on his roster."
Brody tightened his grip on the bottle. The new "game changer" was exactly why he was forced to contemplate his future with the industry. "Yeah. Randy Boss."
"Yep." Brody took a swig of his beer.
"That causing any friction for you, being heavyweight yourself?"
Of course it fucking was. "Not at all. The kid doesn't hold a goddamn candle to me."
Blake smiled and saluted him with his beer bottle. They turned their attention back to the performance. At least he could still talk a convincing game to his cousin. Two heavyweight fighters in the same house shouldn't be a big deal — in theory.
In reality, it was a huge pain in his ass. Since that cocky little prick had waltzed into the facility with Greg fawning over him like some kind of love-struck dolt, Brody's training had gone to complete shit.
Yeah, the kid had an impressive record. Sure, he seemed untouchable, the next Dante "Inferno" Jones of the heavyweight division. And Greg was over the moon at having him in his gym. At finally having a shot at a belt. Talk about a kick-in-the-balls moment — he'd nearly seen stars.
So he wasn't a spring chicken anymore. Thirty wasn't anything to sneeze at, especially in the heavyweight division. The reigning champ was thirty-four. But Randy's age was why he was such a hot commodity to Greg. A young heavyweight with a damn good record meant Greg would get a lot more wear out of him.
Blake turned to him. "Have you been slotted for your next fight?"
Brody's stomach clenched as he took a measured swig off his beer. Not a topic he really cared to discuss. "Yeah."
When he failed to elaborate, his cousin drawled, "And?"
Blake's head jerked back, and his eyebrows drew together in confusion. "Raster? Why?"
"Dude, I'd be pissed." His cousin cast him a long glance. "Aren't you pissed? That's a fucking downgrade, cuz."
"It's what they offered me."
Though it felt like having scraps tossed at him.
"But you just fought Mitch Colten four months ago and won, man. You shouldn't be wasting your time with fighters who have a mediocre record at best."
"I barely beat Mitch. Remember the headlines?"
Blake grimaced. "Those fucking reporters don't know a goddamn thing. None of them have faced off with another fighter in the cage. It's pure bullshit to call that win pure luck."
But it had been. Even Brody knew it.
Mitch had dominated him in the cage until Brody, bloody and barely keeping to his feet, had gotten lucky in the third round with strong jab on the sweet spot. Blake was being nice about the headlines, not mentioning the articles that had questioned if Brody was at the end of his career. They'd even gone as far as to say he was washed up. It wasn't long after that Greg had brought in Randy and started completely ignoring Brody.
It just added to his doubts about his career. His last two fights hadn't been easy by any means. Maybe it was time for him to retire. Better to do it on a high note instead of being one of those fighters who stayed in past their prime.
Or maybe he needed a change, a new coach. Someone who trained differently. Maybe it would get him out of this lull.
That was the big question he needed to mull over this week. Did he really want to stay in Atlanta, or get a fresh start somewhere else?
As he brought the bottle up to his lips, he scanned the outside patio and his eyes landed on a blonde wearing a blue and white tie-dyed dress that molded to her curves. A knock hit him in the chest as the lady smiled coyly up at a light-haired gentleman and then took a sip of her drink.
Scoffing at his reaction, he forced his eyes to move on. That hadn't been the first time he'd caught a glimpse of a woman who reminded him of Scarlett. Though it surprised him that this one caught his glance. The woman's hair was much lighter and shorter, and the dress was tighter and more revealing than she tended to wear.
Not even a fucking ocean between Scarlett and him made a difference — he was still always hoping to catch a glimpse of her. Pathetic. And yet another reason why he needed to leave Atlanta.
Coveting his best friend's wife was sick on so many levels.
Then a familiar titter reached his ears, and he stiffened. Slowly, he returned his gaze to the corner. The woman had shifted her position, giving him a clear frontal view of way too much tanned legs and cleavage. His hand tightened on the bottle. The reason the woman reminded him of Scarlett was because she was Scarlett — just a spruced up one.
And that Scarlett was not smiling flirtatiously at her husband.
Instinct said to bolt over and intervene. The example of his parents' thirty-seven years of marriage told him not to jump to conclusions. Right now, she wasn't doing anything wrong. Ryan could be in the bathroom, and she was enjoying having a guy show her some interest. That wasn't cheating.
Scarlett laughed at something the man said and laid her left hand on his forearm. Brody's gaze zeroed in on the third finger — the third ringless finger, missing its two-karat diamond encrusted gold wedding ring.
How would he notice that? He'd used that goddamn ring as a constant reminder to keep his hands off her. What the fuck was she doing? Where the hell was Ryan?
"Excuse me," he mumbled to his cousin as he stormed in her direction. She never once took her eyes off the man she was prowling.
That was the only way to interpret her actions. How could she do this to Ryan? The man lived and breathed for her.
As he sidled up beside her, he said, "Hello, Scarlett."
When she turned her head, he expected to see surprise and then instant panic and guilt. Surprise he got in the widening of her blue eyes, but panic and guilt were nowhere to be seen.
"Brody!" She grimaced, rubbed her forehead and muttered a curse under her breath. "So this is the resort where Tessa's getting married."
So she knew about the wedding, which meant Ryan had mentioned it to her. But she didn't seem happy about Brody's presence.
"Were you hoping it was a different one?" he asked flatly, with a scathing glare at the other man, who shuffled back a space. "I was, actually."
Because Ryan had made the plans and conveniently booked a romantic trip at the same resort where his best friend would be staying? That sounded like something Ryan would do, but the lack of a wedding band still didn't fit.
"Where's your husband?" He put emphasis on the last word to get the jerk-off beside her to back up. And it worked.
"Husband?" the other man asked and then held up his hands. "I'm not looking for drama. Sorry. Nice talking to you."
With that, he turned and walked away.
Scarlett whirled on him. "Mind your own damn business, Brody!" "Where's Ryan, Scarlett?"
She crossed her arms tight across her chest and leveled a defiant glare at him, lips pressed tight.
"He's not here, is he?"
An annoyed brow arched midway up her forehead as her mouth pursed even tighter. Who the hell was this woman? Certainly not the one he thought he knew.
"You picked the wrong resort, huh? Now I'm here, and you can't do what you planned, right?"
Again she said nothing, just continued to stare at him with the same angry expression. What the fuck?
"I'm not going to stand back and watch you cheat on my best friend. I don't work that way."
"Bros before hos, right?" Lowering her arms, she let a nasty snarl curl her lip, taking Brody aback. Everything about this was the opposite of the Scarlett he knew.
"Jesus. What's gotten into you?"
"Nothing yet, but I'm searching for it."
The crass innuendo stunned him speechless. Scarlett never acted like this. She was proper to the point of being a prude sometimes. Not that it had ever really bothered him. The way she would blush whenever someone said something risqué had always been so endearing to him.
"You took vows. I thought those meant something to you. You can't cheat on Ryan."
"I can't cheat on Ryan?" She stared at him for a long moment, hands on her hips, then she closed the distance between them until she was right under his nose, looking straight up into his eyes. "Watch me."CHAPTER 2
Scarlett shoved open the door to her room and felt a second of satisfaction as it banged against the wall. Her best friend Delaney charged in after her, slamming it closed with as much force as Scarlett had opened it.
"What the hell happened?" her friend demanded for the twentieth time since she'd been on her way back from the bathroom and seen Scarlett storm out of the themed beach party.
Scarlett loved Delaney, but talking was the last thing she wanted to do at the moment. She wanted to throw something, rage, and have a completely justifiable meltdown. Alone. No witnesses. Just her and her pent-up emotions.
Damn it, she was entitled to one after everything she'd been through, and Brody and his judgmental comments made the need all the more gripping.
You took vows.
Screw you, asshole.
"Hey," Delaney said in a soft voice as she laid a hand on Scarlett's shoulder. "Who's got you this upset?"
She shook off her friend's touch.
Why here? She'd known Brody's sister was getting married this weekend somewhere in the Bahamas, but this wasn't the only highly rated all-inclusive resort. There were many of them. So freaking many of them.
"I don't want to talk about it. I'd really like to be alone, if you don't mind."
A soft scoff sounded behind her. "Not happening. You weren't this angry when you found out that louse of a husband of yours was cheating on you. I'm not leaving you to destroy this room. Now spill it."
Because his cheating hadn't been the worst of his sins against her. There'd been so much more. Years of "more." The cheating had simply freed her from trying to save her marriage. That's what she'd been doing when she planned this romantic Caribbean trip. Instead, she'd found the irrefutable proof of his infidelity.
Scarlett stared out the sliding glass doors at nothing, and laid her palm to her lower belly.
A positive pregnancy test. The bitch had been in her home. Had taken the test in her bathroom. Ryan had been too stupid to cover his tracks.
Who the hell did Brody think he was? He wasn't her keeper. He wasn't the guardian of her marriage. He had no right to interfere with her healing. She itched to grab something, hurl it. She fisted her hands to resist the urge.
Delaney was right. She needed to talk before she did something stupid. Inhaling deeply, she turned around. "Brody's here."
Six feet four inches, two-hundred and forty some odd pounds of disapproving man. Just what she needed.
A slight widening of her eyes was the only indication Delaney was surprised. "And he saw you talking to a guy."
Scarlett gave a sardonic laugh. Well, Delaney had put two and two together pretty fast. Not surprising. Her friend had always been rather intuitive. "You know what Brody had the nerve to say to me after he ran the guy off?"
"I can only imagine."
"He wanted to know how I could do this to Ryan. Said that I couldn't cheat on his best friend."
Delaney grimaced. "Ouch."
"It infuriated me so badly I told him to watch me."
A spurt of laughter came from her friend. "Well that's one way to put him in his place." A serious expression stole over her face as she crossed her arms. "You have to see this from his perspective, though, hon. From his side, I'm sure it didn't look good."
Deep down, she knew she would've jumped to the same conclusion Brody had. Deep down, she knew his reaction wasn't uncalled for. But that was deep down.
Raging on the surface was the insult of him questioning her fidelity to her husband when he had been the one who'd gotten a piece of ass on the side.
"I really don't care how it looked. In fact, I hope he calls Ryan and tells him I'm down here sleeping with men left and right." Her voice cracked, and she clamped her mouth closed because she couldn't voice the rest. It was too humiliating.
I hope that sorry piece of shit understands that other men find me attractive and exciting in bed.
What kind of karma had she put out in the universe to be rewarded with Brody's presence in a time she needed to be away from everything back home?
She deserved this time to herself. She'd done everything right. She'd fought for her marriage, even at her unhappiest, because that was what a married couple was supposed to do. Fight for each other.
Now she was feeling like she had to explain herself? To hell with that. She was here to take back some of the happiness Ryan had stolen from her over the last couple of years.
The first thing she and Delaney had done after checking in was hit the salon. Scarlett needed to update her appearance. It wasn't that she'd let herself go, really, but she hadn't tried very hard, either. The more bad news they'd received, the more distant Ryan had become. Or worse, the more he criticized her in a way she worried she'd never truly bounce back from.
Excerpted from Knocked Out by Love by Abby Niles, Robin Haseltine, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2016 Abby Niles. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The story is well written and so sweet and heart warming. The loving relationship develop between Brody and Scarlett and how they navigate their way through the obstacles that befall them. It just makes for one sweet heart stopping read.
Knocked Out By Love is not typically MMA story. It is more about the fighter who is struggling with his fighting and his relationship with his best friend ex-wife. The story is interesting but I must say all this lets be friends with the benefits it’s getting a little bit old. Because it always happens that someone creates feelings that are deeper than physical attraction. The characters were interesting well develop. I liked Brody his way of thinking and acting and how he didn’t let someone to speak bad about Scarlet especially her ex-husband. Scarlet was full of self-doubt but is not wonder because her ex-husband had her down. Love story with HEA. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
Friends to Lovers? After finding out her husband had not only been cheating on her, but got the other woman pregnant, Scarlett took a trip to the Bahamas with her best friend Delaney. While flirting with a guy at the bar, who is she confronted by? None other than her husbands best friend Brody, who probably knew and covered for him; "bros before hoes". After laying into him and telling him to leave her alone, she and Delaney go to more bars. Brody “The Iron” Minton a heavyweight MMA fighter is in the Bahamas for his little sister's wedding. When he sees Scarlett flirting with a guy at the bar without her wedding ring on, he steps in and makes the guy leave. Which gets him on the hot end of Scarlett, but he doesn't care, she's married to his best friend. Brody has loved but had to fight his feelings for Scarlett because she's been married to his best friend. Later that night, she's clearly drunk at another bar with her best friend who tries to stop her from leaving with some random guy. Brody steps in to stop her from doing something she'll regret later. He ends up carrying her to his room and dumps her into a cold shower. After he gets her settled on the couch Brody calls her husband Ryan to tell him something is off with his wife, only he's totally shocked when he hears another woman in the background and hangs up. He's figured out what Scarlett's issue is, her husband has been cheating on her; what a stupid man! Scarlett only wants to feel desired again and asks Brody if he'll help her learn to flirt again. How can he have the woman he's wanted for so long within his grasp and not succumb? But if he doesn't help her, she'll go it alone and he can't have her doing that either. Is he strong enough to help her and still honor 'bro code'~ not getting together with his best friends ex? You'll have to read KNOCKED OUT BY LOVE to find out. Although this is the 5th book of the Love to the Extremes series, it's the first one I've read and I totally fell in love with it! (How could you not love Brody?) I will be going back to read the others to see what I've missed, however this is also a standalone HEA, but be ready for an emotional roller coaster ride you'll take while reading; it's definitely worth it! Received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and blog tour. Due to sexual content this novel is recommended for readers 18 and older!
After finding out about her cheating husband, Scarlett Harris has gone on the dream holiday she'd planned to surprise him with but with her best friend instead of him. She's filed for divorce and is now determined to get back onto the dating scene if only to help restore her own self esteem and confidence. Well that was her plan. What she hadn't planned was for her husband's best friend, Brody Minton, to be on the holiday island, too. He used to be her friend, too, but he's been keeping his distance for a year or so - maybe he knew about her ex husband's extra marital affair? Brody Minton is on the holiday island for his sister's wedding. He's secretly loved Scarlett Harris for years but she was forbidden fruit, the wife of his best friend. When he sees her flirting with another holiday maker, he can't believe his eyes and can't resist intervening! When she confesses to wanting to start dating again he volunteers to help her but can he resist the temptation to be more than a helpful friend? This is a story of families, dreams and the pressures that fertility problems can cause. It explores the issues, from different points of view and is a sweet friends to lovers romance, too. With the beautiful setting, complex characters and some well meaning but potentially heartbreaking family interference, this is a great book to escape into for anyone who enjoys friends to lovers contemporary romance with plenty of twists before there is any possibility of attaining the sought happily ever after ending. Thanks to the publishers, via NetGalley, for providing an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
I absolutely adored Brody. Absolutely. Adored. He's amazingly loyal--to his best friend Ryan, and to his other best friend, Ryan's wife Scarlett. Unfortunately, his feelings for Scarlett have long stretched beyond the friendship zone, so he's quietly removed himself from her presence for the past year or so...which is part of the reason why he missed the fact that Ryan and Scarlett's marriage isn't just on the rocks; it has imploded. So when Brody encounters a drunk and flirting Scarlett down in the Bahamas, he steps in to save her from herself and from the handsy guy she almost leaves the bar with. And when he calls Ryan--at 2 AM--and hears another woman's voice in the background? Suddenly Scarlett's--and Ryan's--actions are cast in a whole new light. And Scarlett has her champion back. Brody starts out giving Scarlett some much-needed get-her-groove-back assistance, which when they're both back stateside turns into friends-with-major-benefits action, because Scarlett is clear on one thing: no more relationships. Except it's blindingly clear to everyone that a relationship is exactly what they both need and want, so they (thank goodness!) give in. All serious deliciousness. There's geeky fandom fun! Cuddling on the couch while watching movies! White Persian kittens named Princess! Seriously hot sexytimes! Except... The relationship black moment is coming, thanks to an untruth that Scarlett tells, prompted by some over-the top "advice" given to her by one of Brody's (many) sisters. That's where the story goes a bit off the rails for a little while--there was major drama involved, and it felt heavy handed and more than a little over the top at times--it didn't seem to jive with the first part of the book at all. Fortunately they did manage to get beyond it (albeit in a somewhat clumsy and overhanded manner) and went on to a super adorable ending, but in between? Some definite head-shaking moments. But still...Brody. :) Knocked Out By Love is fifth in the series but would absolutely work as a standalone. It does set up who (I hope) will be the hero and heroine of the next book--Brody's cousin Blake and Scarlett's BFF Delaney--and I can't wait to see what's in store for those two! Rating: 4 stars / B I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
This novel addresses the heartaches of breaking up and the way continuous demeaning can destroy confidence. Brody is an MMA fighter. He has been in love with his best friend’s wife for a long time and out of loyalty he has decided to keep away from her. Not that it has dampened his love for her. He is also at a point in his career where he has to make a tough decision. Scarlett is a schoolteacher married to Ryan for eight years. Their marriage has been declining even when she has tried everything to keep it together. Ryan wants something that she can't give him! The final crunch comes when she finds out that he has been cheating on her. What a way to find out though! Scarlett books herself on a get away to the Bahamas with her best friend. She intends to start over by getting back in the dating world. She is shy and is easily embarrassed. Flirting doesn't come easy to her. Brody is attending his sister's wedding at the same resort and when he sees Scarlett acting totally out of character, he is none too happy. Brody and Scarlett have been good friends who are comfortable with each other. She doesn’t need "Dutch Courage" when she is around him. She seeks his help only to discover that their feelings goes beyond friendship. Brody runs as he doesn't want to be her "rebound", besides she might decide to return to her husband once she has cooled off. Once they return home, Brody discovers some of the real reasons why Scarlett left. He decides to stop fighting his attraction, especially after the way Scarlett responded to him in the Bahamas. Scarlett doesn't want to have a relationship but is willing to be friends with benefits. As they spend more time together, Scarlett realises that she too is falling. Her lack of confidence and what she experienced in her marriage holds her back. They have great sex but she doesn't want to get emotionally involved. Brody is very much a family man and the secret that she is keeping might well damage any possible relationship. Will she be brave enough to tell him her secret? If she does, will Brody just walk away? This is a long and difficult journey for both of them. They are both madly in love with each other. Scarlett is so devastated by the reason of her breakup that she is worried that history will repeat itself. I like the way they both support each other. The main issue of this novel is a very touchy subject and the compromise that Brody offers is very inspiring. It's a well developed storyline with strong characters. I received an eARC of this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
An emotional story about finding true love. I was intrigued by this book because the synopsis is one that isn't very common; a "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife" kind of thing. Brody suffered from this, and was certainly tortured by it. Does he stay loyal to his best friend or follow his heart, which was leading to the wife? Needless to say, some pretty heavy events involving Scarlett made this decision much easier for Brody. Reading how the events played out definitely made this book a page-turner! While I, personally, felt the characters weren't really being realistic in some areas (eg when Scarlett kept some VERY HUGE secrets from her best and dearest friend of decades), I really enjoyed reading how the convoluted situations Scarlett and Brody created got worked out. All in all, this was a very good read, and I'd be interested in reading more books by Abby! ***I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
Three and a half, my best friend's ex-wife stars. I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Brody "The Iron" Minton is an MMA fighter. He is in the Bahamas for his little sister's extravagant destination wedding to her millionaire boyfriend when he spots his best friend's wife Scarlett Harris getting a little too friendly at the bar with a random man. Brody has always been jealous of his friend for having such a wonderful wife and has been a little in love with Scarlett for years. Incensed by what he thinks is her infidelity he marches over and creates a scene. It turns out Scarlett's husband has been unfaithful to her, and his girlfriend is pregnant. Scarlett had booked a romantic holiday in the Bahamas for the two of them but has brought her best friend instead. Scarlett's husband's infidelity is particularly hurtful because Scarlett is unable to have children. Feeling unloved and inadequate Scarlett makes a mess of trying to flirt with men, in desperation she asks Brody for some help. As a friend of the couple, she finds him easy to talk to and thinks he could coach her. And pow! I'm hooked. I love the 'Ask a Friend for Dating/ Sex/ Appearance Advice' trope, especially if one party has always been in love with the other. Of course there are troubles to overcome. Brody's career appears to be on the slide, Scarlett hasn't told him she can't have children, Brody doesn't know why they split up or whether Scarlett will go back to her husband - it's delicious. My only gripe is that around the middle it suddenly started to morph into an entirely different book. From being a sweet romance in which a school teacher who likes scrabble seeks lessons in flirting from one of her best friends it suddenly took a detour into FSoG territory. Luckily, it was a short detour and the book got back into its groove. I see that this is the fifth in a series. I did not know that and you can definitely read this as a stand-alone book.
3.5 stars--KNOCKED OUT BY LOVE is the fifth installment in Abby Niles’s contemporary, adult LOVE TO THE EXTREME erotic, romance, MMA story line. This is MMA fighter Brody Minton, and elementary school teacher Scarlett Harris’s story line. KNOCKED OUT BY LOVE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Told from dual third person perspectives (Brody and Scarlett) KNOCKED OUT BY LOVE looks at the forbidden romance/ unrequited love between an MMA fighter and his best friend’s soon to be ex-wife. While in the Bahamas for his sister’s ‘almost’ wedding, Brody Minton’s spies his best friend’s wife attempting to flirt and pick up a man who isn’t her husband. When Brody confronts Scarlett about her actions, our heroine pushes Brody away without revealing the truth about that her husband had been having an affair and they were currently in the process of seeking a divorce. What ensues is the building relationship between a woman whose self-esteem has been destroyed by the man she once thought she loved, and a man who has been in love with his best friend’s wife for as long as he can remember. KNOCKED OUT BY LOVE is a story line that looks at four different relationships all either at the beginning or near the end but the focus of the story looks at Brody’s love for a woman whose husband wasn’t faithful, and the emotional back and forth about one man’s duty to friendship or seeking out the woman he loves. To complicate matters, our heroine isn’t willing to put her heart on the line and offers up a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship that Brody hopes will turn into something more. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive. The world building focuses on romance, relationships, friendships and love. The MMA action is limited although Brody is in for the fight of his career. As to the family and friends, there are a number of questionable circumstances where meddling becomes heartbreaking and painful when Scarlett’s self-esteem takes another hit for the final knock down. There is plenty of personal drama for all concerned but the maturity level of some of the actions are questionable and disconcerting-Scarlett’s naivete is hampered by her inability to let go. Scarlett’s best friend Delaney, and Brody’s cousin Blake are about to face an unexpected future. KNOCKED OUT BY LOVE is a passionate story. The premise is engaging; the characters are energetic; the romance is fated. The melodrama and conflict made for some uneasy moments especially when one’s future happiness is determined by a mindset not so easily bent.
Brody has been in love with Scarlett for years but she was married to his best friend. He's in the Bahamas for his little sister's wedding when he sees Scarlett flirting with a man! Furious, he breaks it up and gets in her face about cheating on her husband. When Brody calls Scarlett's husband, he hears a female voice in the background. Realizing that it wasn't Scarlett that was cheating, he agrees to help Scarlett learn to flirt with men. Of course, they fall in love but the trip there is well worth the read! I love Abby Niles and this was another great read by her! *I received this product from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
There are stories that you enjoy but are difficult to get into and then there are stories that suck you in. This is definitely the latter - I was absolutely stunned to look up and realize I was over halfway thru the book and had no intention of putting it down any time soon! I totally see where Brody is coming from with his attraction to Scarlett. He’s spent months avoiding her because she was his best friend’s wife but just because she’s divorcing him it doesn’t make it any easier to turn off those feelings of guilt. I like him as a man even more for it. He’s got things he feels strongly about – family, friends, loyalty. It is hard for him to ignore them … until he finds out exactly what happened. I love the way he’s there to support Scarlett, both before and after the Bahamas vacation. She needs someone to be there for her and he does it so well. And so sexily :) Scarlett finds herself single, beaten down and unsure of herself. Trying to get her single girl mojo back isn’t working and even more so once Brody is in the picture again. Until she finds herself attracted to her old friend … and figures out that it could be mutual. I totally get where she’s coming from too – her insecurities and fears. I’m going to give a minor spoiler in saying that I loved how she was able to resolve things with her ex at a time when they both needed it most. There is something freeing in that interaction that could color so much for her and Brody, while it also helps her figure things out on what she needs to do to have a happy future. There are some serious issues at play here but Niles handles them very well. I also appreciate how she gives the two of them a supportive relationship – both of them are there for each other in ways that matters, understanding what is needed and providing the support that the other needs. The last few chapters are just fantastic and I think the ending is just too darn adorable. I read the first couple of stories in this series, but then I skipped a couple. This one can definitely stand on its own, although it looks like there’s some set up here for future stories. And I'm definitely gonna keep my eye out for what she brings next. (complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)
This was my first MMA romance and I have to say I quite liked it. I've never been one to watch MMA or boxing or even much wrestling (aside from my guy friends in high school who loved the WWF) but I enjoy a good alpha male and Brody more than fit the bill. It was interesting to learn more about his MMA career and see him figure out the dynamics between him and his coach, as well as how this affected him in the cage. But more interesting than all that was to see Brody navigate his relationship from Scarlett after so many years of pining away for a woman he couldn't have. I loved seeing these two friends explore what they meant to each other, although I do wish Scarlett's split from her husband hadn't been so fresh. Even if their marriage was long over, she needs a chance to breathe and figure out why she stayed with such a douchecanoe for so long before getting together with someone else. On the other hand, it was nice to see her become more empowered and aware of her awesomeness, thanks to Brody. I really liked those two! Another interesting angle was how infertility played a role in the story, which isn't something I've encountered in other romance novels before. Several friends have walked that road and Niles approached it deftly and with care. Disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
i've never met a sports romance that i didn't like, and certainly knocked out by love by abby niles proves that i am a sucker for the genre. usually boxing/mma isn't my go-to sport, like scarlett (our heroine) i'm a football girl through and through. but lord knows these sexy, strong, bad boy athletes with the soft gooey cores are my jam. brody totally fits the stereotype. and oh, it makes him so easy to love. knocked out by love is clearly the latest in the love to the extreme series, though it is the first one i've read. being a newcomer didn't affect my ability to enjoy the story or these characters. and, in fact, there are hints of future stories i am interested in seeing and i totally want to catch up on the previous four books in the series. anyway, even though this is a sports romance, it deals with some heavy relationship issues. infidelity, wanting kids versus not wanting them, infertility, and i love the different perspectives the novel presented. the characters have real problems, but they aren't hopeless. and things aren't magically resolved by the end of the novel, these characters have to work for their happy ending. and i believe that they get there, but allowing us to see the characters struggle with their feelings and their beliefs makes the romance at the heart of the story more realistic. scarlett and brody don't always make the right choice, but they do try to protect each other, and they do their best to build the other person up. the chemistry between them is palpable, and when they finally give into their feelings it is oh so hot. while i call this a sports romance, it actually isn't too heavy on the sports because it is more focused on the characters and these heavier relationship issues. but brody is also facing some tough questions about the future of his mma career, and we do get to see him work through them. it would have been nice if scarlett had been more integrated into this part of his life, though it does make sense that she isn't given the way things unfold. anyway, if you are a sucker for a sports romance, this book is worth checking out. i'm thinking it's probably worth checking out the whole series. **knocked out by love will publish on august 15, 2016. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Tough subject matter handled remarkably sensitively in an environment of hard men and even harder knocks. The author tackled subjects that affect everyone differently but she didn’t shy away from showing that no matter who you are, everyday life will always play its part in your story. Plans are made to be broken and journeys are never as easy as they should be when others are involved. Brody and Scarlett are complicated; she’s married to his best friend although he didn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to discover that their marriage was over when he clocked her flirting one day. Watching her flirt with another guy is almost too much for him, he has had a secret longing for her, for far longer than he would openly admit but she isn’t in a relationship anymore, so he has a decision to make…make his move or stand by the “bro code” and steer clear of his mates ex. Well let’s just say he doesn’t take long to make his mind up. Living with the knowledge that he has loved her without a chance of ever knowing what it was like to really love her has him stepping straight up to the plate when she asks him to help her get back into the dating game…yep, like that is going to happen! One little peeve there thought I understood that Scarlett was hurt and ready to move on but I think I might have liked a little more time to have elapsed before she made that decision. I thought the inclusion of infidelity in the storyline was a brave move, a lot of readers struggle with a story that contains cheating in any way but I thought this author was creative with the necessity and conclusion of that aspect of the story. But what I really enjoyed was the fact that Ms Niles included a storyline that brought to the fore the emotional torment felt when faced by infertility. The external pressure unwittingly placed by family and friends, the all too common misconceptions and the reality of having to be selfish, shutting the world out and taking stock of the fact that no-one other than the two people involved have to face a future that may or may not have them experiencing the joy of parenthood. infertility is an intensely sensitive and painful situation and I think this was handled beautifully.
3.5 stars!! Scarlett and Brody scorch the pages of this entertaining, romantic second chance story. Scarlett's marriage is over and to help her move on, she takes a girls' trip with her friends to the Bahamas. She decides she is going to get back on the horse and flirt with someone. Only, Brody, her ex-husband's best friend, steps in. The thing is, he has loved her from afar for some time. He knows he has no business messing around with her, but agrees to help her learn the art of flirting. I bet you can figure out what happens next. I enjoyed the book. It is sexy and romantic and Scarlett and Brody are great together!
Brody has been in love with his best friend's wife, Scarlett, for a long time. Over the past year, he's done his best to distance himself from her in hopes that his feelings will go away. When in the Bahamas for his sister's wedding, he sees Scarlett living it up with her best friend and no husband in sight. He decides that he will keep in an eye on her to make sure that she doesn't make any mistakes. Scarlett goes on a girls' weekend after she finds out that her husband is a cheater. When she sees Brody, she's convinced that Brody was helping Ryan hide his affair and is determined to have a good time despite his presence. After Brody finds out about Ryan's infidelity, it becomes increasingly difficult to deny his attraction to Scarlett. This book is the fifth in the series but the first that I have read. I didn't feel lost at all so it can be read as a standalone. There is a lot of angst in the book and author did a great job connecting you to the emotions of the main characters. *I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
This book is amazing. I loved Scarlett's character. She is hilarious, and Brody is not bad himself. Together they're perfect. It's one of those books which suck you in right from the beginning and once you start reading you have a hard time putting it down. Scarlett is trying to get over her cheating husband. Brody is trying very hard not to fall for her. After all she is his friend's soon to be ex-wife. But it won't be easy because he has feelings for her. And these feelings have nothing to do with their current situation. He likes her a lot. Scarlett also likes him. And in the end they both decide to give each other a chance. May be they'll be able to make their relationship work or it might end in tears. Either way they can have fun as long as it lasts.... It is an enjoyable read. Story flows perfectly, characters are amazing, there is drama, romance, and some fighting, all in all a pretty good read.
Scarlett Harris's life has just fallen down around her, and the only thing she wants to do is get away from it all, and clear her head, so she decides a girls weekend in the Bahamas is in order. For the last eight years her life has revolved around a man she thought she'd be married to forever, but after failed attempts to have the future they wanted, he wandered into the arms of another woman. Now everything she thought she knew about her life is a lie and it hurts so damn bad, but she knows she needs to find a way to move on without him, and rediscover the woman she once was and rewrite her future, a future without him. So, first thing on the agenda is finding the courage to flirt with another man... which doesn't quite go how she planned when it's intervened by her soon-to-be ex husband's best friend. He has no intention of letting her move on with someone on the island, so she convinces him to help her re-learn the art of flirting, but they soon learn there's far more then friendship between them... From the moment Brody Minton met Scarlett he felt things for her that went far beyond friendship and no matter how much he wanted to be with her he knew there was no way he'd ever be able to act on them because she belonged to someone else... his best friend. So he tried his best to keep his feelings for her in check and treat her just as a friend, but it became increasingly hard the more time he spent around her, so he decided to put some space between them for the sanctity of his friendship with her husband. But when he runs into her at a resort in the Bahamas and she is flirting with a man that is not her husband, it instantly sets him off, and he intervenes thinking he is doing her a favor, and being true to his best friend, but he soon learns things are quite what they appear to be, and she is the one who has been duped, and now she wants his help... finding another man! So he agree's to help her, but he soon learns there's no way he can watch her move on with someone other than him! This sexy little story drew me in and held my undivided attention from start to finish, I got so wrapped up in it that I ended up devouring it in one sitting, it was SO addictive!! This is my first experience with Ms. Niles work and I have to say she totally won me over with this one, between the captivating story line and her endearing characters, she has managed to turn me into a lifelong fan!! I have a serious thing for fighters and I have to say Brody has earned himself a spot amongst my list of favorites, the minute he appeared on the page he had me hook, line, and sinker!! He was everything you'd want in a book boyfriend and SO much more, he was domineering when he needed to be, soft and caring when the moment called for it, and completely dedicated to making sure the heroine happy, and it my book in doesn't get much better than that! Highly recommend you meet these two, their beautiful story is sure to leave you with a happy heart and a smile on your face!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
This was an awesome read. Fifth in a series but very easily read standalone. This was my first in the series and I had no problems. I will definitely be going back and reading the others! The characters were fun and interesting and the storyline was nice and fresh with a great writing style. Brody Minton has always had a thing for Scarlett but she is his best friends wife so obviously hands off! When he sees her in a club hitting on another guy he can't believe his eyes. Even more shocking is when he calls his friend to find out what the heck is going on and hears another woman in the background. Knowing that Scarlett's marriage is over shouldn't make any difference, bro code and all, but it does. When Scarlett proclaims she needs help getting back into the dating game, Brody knows he can't let anyone else get that close to her and he'll do whatever it takes to make her his. This is one I highly recommend!
3.5 - "Why can't love be simple..?" Stars! The fifth book in the Love to the Extreme series, offers up Brody Minton’s Story, and I absolutely adored him as a secondary character in Fighting Love so it was great to see him finally get his happily ever after, especially as it is with a woman he has loved from afar for a long, long time. This was so nearly a five star read for me, and then the story went the meddling family, and couple not communicating verbally like adults route and it pretty much knocked out a lot of the enjoyment I had experienced in the first 75% or so of the book. "Don’t let haters get into your head. Once you do, it’s hard to get them out. Trust me, I know. You have to believe in yourself. No one else’s opinion matters." I think this couple had enough going for them already and the addition of the above rather than adding more depth to their relationship in general was a wrong move for their story-line. Scarlett was coming along nicely in renewing her confidence after her marital woes, and Brody was being the absolute sweetheart that I expected him to be, in helping her re-discover herself, and in pushing her boundaries in a good way when it came to sex and relationships. I just wish the story had stayed focused on them as a pair working through those aspects and the issue that caused Scarlett’s marriage in part to fail, rather than adding in drama from secondary sources, that really wasn’t needed. On the positive, their best friends Blake and Delaney have had their story set up nicely by the author in the latter stages of this book, and I am interested to see how it will go considering the situation Delaney finds herself in. Knocked Out by Love was still well written, and for the most part and enjoyably easy read, and I look forward to seeing what the author has up her sleeve for the next book. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
Will they or won't they... The lure of the story is the electricity that fizzles between Scarlett and Brody. She's the scorned ex of his best friend, he's the man that may just ruin her plans. Abby Niles is a new find for me. Knocked Out By Love takes a somewhat taboo subject and gives it a charming spin. A beautiful location, wicked temptation and a little fun in the sun. Abby Niles made all the right moves in this sensational second chance romance.