Sophie Caldwell might not like asking for help, but help is what she needs if she’s going to save her family business from her uncle. Her grandma left one rule for Sophie if she wants to gain sole ownership before she’s thirty—get married. Yeah, fat chance of that happening since she hasn’t had a boyfriend in years, and now she can’t get her uncle off her ass.
British-born MMA fighter Xander James has never lost a fight, and he’s not about to start now. He’s on the brink of a comeback that could make him a UFC champion, but his landlord wants to take away his last chance by shutting down his gym. Hell, no. Fortunately, his landlord’s niece has a problem of her own. Time for a proposal she can’t refuse.
Each book in the Fighting for Love series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Seducing Cinderella
Book #2 Rules of Entanglement
Book #3 Fighting For Irish
Book #4 Sweet Victory
About the Author
Gina L. Maxwell is a full-time writer, wife, and mother living in the upper Midwest, despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. An avid romance novel addict, she began writing as an alternate way of enjoying the romance stories she loves to read. Her debut novel, Seducing Cinderella, hit both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists in less than four weeks, and she's been living her newfound dream ever since.
When she's not reading or writing steamy romance novels, she spends her time losing at Scrabble (and every other game) to her high school sweetheart, doing her best to hang out with their teenagers before they fly the coop, and dreaming about her move to sunny Florida once they do.
Visit and chat with Gina on all her social media homes: www.ginalmaxwell.com
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, Gina L. Maxwell, is a shameless romance addict with no intentions of ever kicking the habit.
Growing up, she dreamed of helping people escape reality with her sublime acting abilities. It wasn’t until college when she realized she had none to speak of, thereby derailing her lifelong plans. Another ten years would pass before she discovered a different means of accomplishing the same dream: writing stories of love and passion for romance addicts just like her.
Thanks to the support of her amazing family, Gina is now the Boss of the world’s first organized romance mafia, the Maxwell Mob, and living her dream of bringing a little romantic fantasy to the world—one steamy novel at a time.
Visit and chat with Gina on all her social media homes: www.ginalmaxwell.com
Read an Excerpt
The Fighting for Love Series
By Gina L. Maxwell, Heather Howland
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Gina L. Maxwell
All rights reserved.
Xander James wedged his fingers under the rubber tread of the six-hundred-pound tractor tire. Drips of sweat stung his eyes. Teeth clenched, he straightened his legs and lifted until he flipped it over, roaring through his exhale.
"Let's go, man, you're halfway there. Once you're done with this set you have five minutes of jumping rope and then you get a five-minute break."
Xan glared at Reid Andrews, his friend and the man he hired to be his coach to get him ready for his next semi-pro MMA fight. "A whole five minutes? You're a cruel bastard, Andrews, you know that?"
"That's why you pay me the big bucks, British."
Yeah, he was paying for this hell all right, only the currency was his sore muscles and aching joints. But it was well worth it. There was nothing more serious to him than earning his spot back in the UFC, the professional MMA fighting organization. If he lost his upcoming fight, he could kiss his hopes of having a UFC career good-bye. He'd take Reid's ass-kicking over that outcome any day.
Swiping his forearm across his forehead, Xan said, "Big bucks, my arse. If you let me pay you at all, I'd at least be within my rights to demand a little mercy. But as you insist on torturing me pro bono, it seems I'm well and truly fucked."
Reid folded his tattooed arms across his chest and shot Xan a devilish smirk. "What are friends for, British? Now, less talking. More flipping."
"Aye-aye, Coach." He flipped his friend the bird and reached for the tire again.
Reid's nickname for him wasn't all that original considering Xander was from England, but he supposed it was better than some of the other names the fighters bandied about in his gym.
Facing the front entrance as he was, Xan couldn't help but notice the older businessman who strutted into the lobby. The fancy trousers and tie looked completely out of place among the shirtless men grunting through their workouts at various stations throughout the open floor plan of the gym. The starched expression on his face was rivaled only by that of the starch in his lily-white shirt.
"Bollocks," Xan muttered between deep breaths after completing the set. The last man he wanted to deal with right now was Richard Caldwell. He owned the building here in Rose Valley — a suburb of Vegas — that Xan leased for his MMA gym, TLP2. It was the second location of TLP, the gym his friends Irish and Jax had opened on the island of Oahu. Caldwell's office had sent him several letters about coming in for a meeting, but Xan had been putting it off. He was busy as hell between running the place, training clients, and getting in his own training with Reid. The last of his priorities was meeting with the pompous prick who more than likely wanted to raise his rent.
Reid handed him the jump rope and clicked his stopwatch as Xan started his rope routine. Caldwell was making his way toward him until one of the guys stopped him, indicating he couldn't wear his shoes on the mats. Xan laughed under his breath and kept right on jumping.
"Mr. James," he called out to Xander. "I need a minute of your time, please."
"I'm afraid you'll have to wait another ..." Xan looked at Reid.
Reid glanced at the stopwatch. "Three and a half minutes."
Xan repeated it for Caldwell, adjusting it accordingly. "Three and a quarter minutes." Then he nodded to the man who was still standing sentry at the edge of the mats. "Be a good lad and show Mr. Caldwell to my office, would you, Marcus?"
The man didn't appear happy at being put off, but Xander didn't particularly give a rat's arse. He never cared much for Caldwell. Now, his niece on the other hand ... She was a different story entirely. Sophie Caldwell owned the little pink bakery, Sophie's Sweet Spot, nestled on the opposite corner of the block.
The first time he'd stopped in for a tea, he'd expected to see an older grandmotherly type behind the counter. Instead, there'd been a gorgeous, tattooed pinup girl who looked straight out of a comic book. Since then, the favorite part of his week was Sunday mornings when he popped in before his early morning runs. He also got a kick out of flirting with her through the windows as he walked past the bakery on his way to or from the gym. Not that she ever took him seriously, but they had a fun rapport that always brightened his day. And if she happened to star in a few of his late-night fantasies, who could blame him? The woman was sexier than she had a right to be, and he was merely a red-blooded male.
"Time," Reid said, clicking the stopwatch. "You need more than five minutes?"
"Not if I can help it, mate."
Xan dropped the rope to the floor and grabbed his water bottle, shooting a long stream into his mouth as he made his way toward the front. Caldwell stood in the sparsely furnished office looking decidedly uncomfortable. Closing the door behind him, Xander grabbed a T-shirt from the top of his gym bag and pulled it on as he rounded the utilitarian metal desk.
"Have a seat," he said, gesturing to the metal folding chairs.
The man glanced down at the seats and didn't bother to mask his disgust. "I'll stand, thank you."
"Suit yourself." Xander shrugged and lowered himself into his chair. After checking to make sure all the new membership applications were neatly stacked and out of the way, he propped his feet up on the edge of the desk hoping it would further bother the pretentious wanker. By the curl of his upper lip, it appeared to do just that. Xan smirked. "What can I do for you, Mr. Caldwell?"
Reaching into the front pocket of his portfolio case, he pulled out a stapled stack of papers and set it on the desk. "Since you've ignored my previous attempts to meet, I've come to tell you that you have ninety days to vacate the premises."
Xander shot upright, his feet slamming to the ground. He scanned the papers in his hands. A legal eviction notice based on the sale of the property. "What the fuck are you going on about? You're selling? What's the offer? I'll counter."
"That's not possible, Mr. James. I own the entire square block and I've decided to sell it to a developer who wants to build a large-scale shopping mall. All I needed was seventy-five percent of tenants to agree to relocate, and I have that since you're the only one who has been difficult."
Xander mentally pictured the properties on the block. His gym was an old warehouse and probably took up 20 percent of the square footage, which meant he would only need one more person on his side who wanted to stay for Caldwell's deal to fall through.
"What about Sophie?" From their chats over the last several months, he'd learned her grandma had started the cupcake business when Sophie was a baby and she'd inherited it. Anyone could see it wasn't just a way to make a living; it was a way of life for her, her life's passion. "I have a hard time believing she'd so willingly give up her bakery."
Caldwell's lips pulled to the sides, forming a poor semblance of a smile. "True enough, but unfortunately for my niece, the bakery — along with the other properties on this block — is held in a trust that I control until she turns thirty or marries. Since men would just as soon cuddle up to a cactus than marry my niece, the soonest she'd get her bakery is in five years, and I say we're selling."
Red bathed Xander's vision. He slowly rose from his chair and braced his fists on the desk to lean toward the heartless fucker with deliberate malice painting his expression. "I don't know what kind of man insults his own flesh and blood, much less a woman as amazing as your niece," he said in a low voice, "but I guarantee if you utter anything like that again in my presence, you will regret it."
Clearing his throat, Caldwell nervously adjusted the knot of his tie. "I just meant that —"
Xan slapped the surface of his desk and raised his voice. "I don't give a shite what you meant. We're done here. Get the fuck out before I have Marcus toss you out."
He held himself in check long enough to watch the man spin on his heel and make a line straight for the exit. Fucking perfect. Like he had time for this bullshit. As if he didn't have enough going on, he apparently had to find a new space for the gym, orchestrate a remodel, and move. He loved this location. The area had the perfect demographic; a good neighborhood without being too snooty or pretentious. Plus, his flat was only a block away, directly across the street from the bakery. Convenience like that was downright kismet, not to be taken lightly.
Fuck me. Taking a few deep breaths, Xander tried to clear his head. He wanted to march over to the bakery and confront Sophie, see what she had to say about all this. But he had a training session to finish and then client appointments that went well into the evening. Tomorrow was Sunday. He'd take the night to work on a plan of attack and talk to her about it in the morning. Then they'd get all this sorted.CHAPTER 2
"George, I swear to God, if you even think about dying on me right now, I'm going to pull the plug myself. Do you hear me?" Sophie Caldwell glared at the commercial mixer as its normal whirring sound alternately slowed and sputtered, hoping her version of a Jedi mind trick would somehow magically spark the appliance back to life. She held her breath and mentally started counting off the seconds. Experience told her that if it didn't die within thirty seconds, it usually perked up and lived to mix another day. It was currently running on its fourth life. If there was a God, cats weren't the only things blessed with nine lives.
Twenty-two ... twenty-three ... twenty —
All movement stopped.
"Son of a bitch." Sophie gripped the edge of the counter and dropped her head back in defeat. "KP," she called to the front of the bakery where her best friend and only employee was setting out fresh cupcakes in the display cases. "George died!" She clenched her jaw in frustration and cut a look at the recently deceased.
"Again?" Kristin rounded the corner, pulling off her pink apron. As always, Sophie couldn't help but admire her friend's knack for disguising her true nature. At the bakery, she looked like a wholesome late-twenty-something with hair pulled back into a bun or French twist and dressed in tasteful, casual attire.
But as Sophie discovered at a night club early in their friendship, "daytime Kristin" was merely a facade for the real Kristin who was a lot less conservative. Midway down, her platinum blond hair bled into gradient shades of pink, from pale blush to dusky rose at the tips. Business casual changed to midriff tops and skinny pants, or if she was going out at night, corsets and leather.
Kristin hid her wilder side easily, unlike Sophie, who was the mascot for the Wild Child Movement. Her right arm sported a sleeve of brightly colored tattoos, she had more piercings in her face and body than in her ears, and her hair was always one color or another, as long as it wasn't a natural one. Her current choice was a vibrant jade green. She fell in love with the pinup look when she discovered it as a teen, and the body mods were just another way to accessorize, albeit permanently.
"Billy can get fix it." Kristin grabbed her purse and kissed Sophie's cheek. "I'll be right back."
"It's six o'clock on a Sunday morning. He's gonna hate me," Sophie said with an exaggerated pout.
Her friend snorted. "As if that would ever happen. Some days I think my husband likes you more than he does me."
"Says the woman who's worshipped like she's freaking Aphrodite."
Kristin giggled. "He is pretty great. I guess I'll keep him."
Sophie laughed and shook her head. She couldn't imagine anyone or anything prying her friends apart. After ten years of marriage, they still acted like they were on their honeymoon; playful, affectionate, considerate ... Sophie would be lying if she said she wasn't the teensiest bit jealous. But she'd put those childish dreams of finding Mr. Right to bed a long time ago. She had so many failed relationships in her past, she could write a book about her love life. It'd be called something catchy like Heartbreak Hotel. Or more aptly named Relationships for Dummies: The How- Not-To Guide.
Or better yet, If He Says You Can Trust Him, Don't Trust Him: A Memoir.
Kristin paused on her way to the back door. "Damn, this means I'm going to miss my weekly dose of eye candy. Tell him to stop back in after his run. I'll be your wingman."
The term "eye candy" didn't even do him justice. Eye crack, maybe? Was that a thing? When it came to Xander, it was definitely a thing. One taste and boom. Instant addiction, and all you wanted was another look. Sophie rolled her eyes at her friend. "Will you quit trying to play matchmaker? In a million years, I would never date that man."
"Who said anything about dating? I'm just saying you should take the gorgeous specimen for a test drive. There's nothing wrong with getting your kicks and leaving it at that."
Sophie scoffed. "He does that enough for the both of us. The man's like the village bicycle." At Kristin's confused look, she added, "Everyone's had a ride."
"Sophie Marjorie Caldwell, have you been spying on him?"
"No!" Okay, she probably said that a little too quickly. "It's not spying if I'm looking out my window and I happen to see him taking a different woman back to his place every day of the week." That was a bit of an exaggeration. It was really only once or twice on the weekends, and not even every weekend. Although that didn't mean it didn't happen. It's not like she was constantly keeping watch of his comings and goings for Christ's sake.
"Well that just tells you the man has highly desired skills."
"Or maybe he's so bad in bed that the women don't want a repeat performance, which is why he has a different one every time," Sophie argued.
"No fucking way. Men who look like that don't suck in bed. It's an impossibility. Kind of like you coming out of Saks OFF 5TH without a new pair of Jimmy Choos." The bell on the front door jingled, letting them know a customer had entered up front. Kristin gasped, her face a mask of dramatic surprise. "Just after six on a Sunday morning? I wonder who that could be."
Sophie picked up an undipped red velvet cake truffle and chucked it at the woman, but she managed to duck out and slam the door just before the mini-cake went splat. Through the thick metal door she heard a muffled "Love you!" followed by fading laughter.
"Yeah, yeah," she muttered, exchanging her stained white utilitarian apron for her clean uniform one. Sophie could admit she looked forward to Xander's regular Sunday morning visits and occasional random ones, but it wasn't because of some adolescent crush she had on the guy. Sure, she appreciated how hot he was — she wasn't blind — but his seeming player lifestyle acted like a suppressor on any lust she might have had otherwise.
It was a cruel twist of fate that his third-floor corner apartment faced her tiny second-floor apartment above her bakery. Considering the man kept his drapes perpetually open, she had to wonder if the good people of England used them purely for decorative purposes, or if exhibitionism was merely a way of life for him.
Grams had always covered every window in the house before dusk, warning, "Nighttime turns your house into a giant fishbowl, and I sure as heck don't want any Peeping Toms staring into mine."
The number of times Sophie had stared into Xander's fishbowl over the last few months wasn't something she'd admit even under threat of torture. It's not like she intentionally spied on him, but she didn't own a TV, so whenever her eyes needed a break from reading or surfing the web on her laptop, the natural thing to do was look out the window next to her. It wasn't her fault if, when she happened to glance out, she noticed him moving around his place. And if she watched him for a while, it was only out of bored curiosity. It had nothing to do with his affinity for walking around shirtless with unbuttoned jeans slung so low that the only things holding them up were the curves of his ass and a prayer.
"Oh good, there you are," Xander said, his British accent affecting her the tiniest bit. She couldn't be blamed for that, though. There wasn't an American woman alive who didn't get a little swoony over foreign accents.
Sophie smiled and folded her arms on the chest-high glass display case. "Where else would I be at this hour on a Sunday? Wait," she said, noticing the clear water bottle he held. "You filled up your water bottle?" "What?" He glanced down at it almost like he'd forgotten it was there. "Oh yeah, I guess I did. Listen —"
Excerpted from Sweet Victory by Gina L. Maxwell, Heather Howland. Copyright © 2017 Gina L. Maxwell. 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
Fantastic story line and characters you can bond with.
Xander was great. These two had a lot of heart and sizzle all in one book. Made you go thru all the feelings. Happy, sad times, anxious for Xander to win his fights, lots of great dialog between Sophie and Xander. Can't go wrong with a Gina Maxwell book. Oh, and lots of steamy love scenes too.
Sweet Victory (Fighting for Love #4) By: Gina L. Maxwell 5 Star Review by Kristie K A master of sin and seduction, Gina L. Maxwell delivers another knockout punch with this deliciously sweet, and decadently sexy read. Sweet Victory indeed… There’s just something about a rough and rugged MMA fighter that jump starts my heart. Xander James is as dreamy as they come, and a definite front runner for my all-time favorite book boyfriend. He is everything you expect a fighter to be…ripped beyond belief, dedicated to his dream, total health-nut, and definitely cocky. The best part about him, though, is the stuff you don’t expect. Sure, he has a swoon-worthy accent, and a super healthy libido, but it’s his big heart, wicked sense of humor, and love, loyalty and dedication to those he considers family that takes the cake. Sophie Caldwell has one true love…her grandmother, and the family business her grandmother built. When it is threatened, she only has one chance to save it. She has to get married. The problem is, she doesn’t have any prospects in that department, and hasn’t for quite some time. Sophie’s been burned, bad, more than once, and the wall she’s built around her soft heart is shrouded in concertina wire and explosives. When Xander proposes a solution to her problem, she’s intrigued, but leery as well. Sophie is an amazing heroine. She wears her clothes, makeup, and hair like armor. It isn’t just something that expresses her funky and fun attitude, or her devilish sense of humor, it’s also a way to protect herself from the outside world. She is a remarkable woman, with a deep inner strength, but a soft heart. Like an M&M…hard candy shell, soft and sweet chocolate middle. This story had it all for me. Two amazing characters with explosive chemistry, and hearts of gold; lots of humor and blistering hot sexy times; a villain with questionable morals and very little conscience; amazing family and friends; “awwww” inspiring storylines; and incredible writing. Even the cover is drool worthy. I am sad to see this series come to an end, but I will revisit it often, and look forward to whatever Ms. Maxwell brings us next. Kristie K
4.5 “The only man who will ever possess you again” stars Holy smokin’ cake balls, Batman! I think Ms. Maxwell must have a fire department on speed dial because her books are just too freaking hot! Let me say this right out, Sweet Victory is a fantastic book. It has romance, a little intrigue and lots and lots of scorching hot sextivities. I loved Sophie. A tattooed, pierced, green-haired pin-up-styled sexy baker. Sassy and fun, she was also incredibly sweet and dedicated to running her grandmother’s bakery the way they had always talked about it. After some hardships in her life, she used her clothes, make-up and tough attitude to hide her tender heart. Xander… I’m not sure I can do justice to his epicness with my words. So I’ll just leave this quote here: “He was funny and animated and charming… She sighed inwardly… and thoughtful and a great cook and sweet and ripped and sex on a stick…” But I’ll try my own anyway. A British MMA fighter trying to get back into the pro circuit after an injury, he had that hot accent that made every female in his presence regardless of age, religion or species brain’s short-circuit. We’re talking a massively muscled, tattooed, charming, witty, very bossy alpha male fighter here. I was in heaven. Now, on top of all Xander’s awesomeness, we have to add sweet and considerate, because when he learned of Sophie’s difficulties at her uncle’s hand, he jumps to the rescue almost selflessly. I mean, he does offer to marry her, but it’s not like he doesn’t get something out of living with the sexy baker that has been invading his every thought. Everything in Sweet Victory worked for me. The side characters, Sophie’s Grandma and their relationship, Xander and Sophie both. I adored them separately and together they were fabulous. I just freaking loved this book. And it’s the last in the series. WHY? WHY??!! (Devastated crying going on here) I guess I’ll just have to make due with re-reads while Ms. Maxwell comes up with some other series I’ll love. *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
First read by Gina Maxwell,but certainly not the last! Reading Sweet Victory was a really enjoyable book journey, Xander & Sophie - so different, but perfect for each other! :) And now I want to read the previous books from this series, and I will :D :) Gina Maxwell has a great writing style, and Sweet Victory is really wonderful sexy romance! :)
I have been wanting Xander's story since he first appeared in this series. And now that I have read it, all I can say is, "Noooooo!". I am not ready for this series to be done. After falling for Reid and Lucie in Seducing Cinderella and doing numerous "Re-Reid's," I have loved this series. And Xander and Sophie's story is the perfect ending. He is so deliciously dirty, compassionate, protective, loving, and encouraging. I loved him throughout this story. He took such care of Sophie and the scenes with Marjorie - major swooning. Sophie was a great strong woman, confident in herself, eager to succeed, and a great flirt with Xander. Her temptations of him were hilarious. I thoroughly enjoyed their banter. And seeing the rest of the gang was the cherry on top. The epilogue was beyond loving. But Gina Maxwell, if you ever read this, I am going to need a future book on how all these couples are doing. I would love to see how the rest of their lives unfolded. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
I love this series and I'm so glad we got one more book in it. I so enjoyed this one. It's a book that was hard to put down. It had two of my favorite things MMA fighter and bakery owner. I just adored Xander. He has true character that runs deep. Plus add in his yummy British accent. Then add in what he does for Sophie and the way he treats her, swoon! What starts out as pretend takes on a whole new meaning when the attraction between these two ignites. Their relationship has a time frame, but what happens when they want to extend it to forever? It's not all smooth sailing for these two, but you root for them the whole way because the connection they create can't be broken. Fans of this series will absolutely love the epilogue. One of my favorite parts.
Gina Maxwell does it again and cease to amaze me with her books!!! Sweet Victory is book 4 in her Fighting for Love series! Xander's story is here! I have been a fan of Gina's and am never disappointed. We know that both Sophie and Xander have always had that attraction with each other. But Xander just kept moving along and brought a lot of unnecessary drama with it. As we know from the blurb, Sophie has to be married like yesterday to keep the bakery. Otherwise it is all gone. Xander proposes and guess what happens! They respect each other and finally....well I need to stop there. I would give too much away. I was not happy at times with the characters, but the ending did the book justice. And WOW the hot sexy scenes brought it out of this world!!! What a great book that is a MUST READ!
sweet lil ole love story This is Xander and Sophie’s story. Sophie is determined to carry on her grandmother's legacy and in order to carry on said legacy, she needs to marry or her uncle will pull the rug out from under her and take the family bakery away from her. This is one she and her grandmother did together, ran together until she got very sick and now her uncle is trying to be a miser and steal the business away from her. But what her uncle may not know may be her saving grace to stop him from stealing out from under her the business-- Taking over the bakery came with a very important stipulation, her grandmother insisted in order for her to maintain ownership she must be married by the age of thirty. If she cant find a husband, then she is doomed and she loses her bakery, the one thing that has given her peace and joy in her life where everything of late has gone wrong. Xander James comes ready to help so he jumped in and tried to save the day-- a marriage proposal and a partnership which will give them both what they want. Sophie isn’t sure because Xander has a rep for being a womanizer but he is an awesome MMA fighter. What’s a girl to do? She ends up putting her faith in Xander. What they thought was just a business deal ends up being more than either expected or wanted. I did like the pacing of this story and the contemporary feel of a modern forced marriage deal. It was flavored with the angst of how both MC felt –doing it for the good yet not sure why when they sort of felt trapped. What I didn’t like knowing was that Xander was still sleeping around on Sophie during the beginning of their marriage. Yes, it was a marriage of convenience but still, there was a chemistry between them and I didn’t get the feeling he was going to be faithful. This is only my opinion but I felt like this detracted from a little of the story. The overall tones and the emotions more than eased on the way and the ending was sweet. Xander and Sophie definitely belonged together. My rating: 4.5 stars **** "I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
: 3.75 stars--SWEET VICTORY is the fourth installment in Gina L Maxwell’s contemporary, adult FIGHTING FOR LOVE erotic, romance series focusing on the men of the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and the women they love. This is British-born MMA fighter and gym owner Xander James, and bakery owner Sophie Caldwell’s story line. SWEET VICTORY can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. Told from dual third person perspectives (Xander and Sophie) SWEET VICTORY follows the building relationship and marriage of convenience between MMA fighter Alexander ‘Xander’ James, and baker Sophie Caldwell. When Sophie’s uncle, a real estate developer makes plans to tear down and rebuild the city block upon which Sophie’s bakery sits, our heroine realizes that her life long dream is about to implode. Taking over her grandmother’s bakery has always been her desire but she doesn’t gain total control until she turns thirty or marries in the meantime. Enter MMA fighter Xander James whose own business is threatened by the real estate mogul, and the man who offers Sophie deal of a lifetime. What ensues is the marriage of convenience between Sophie and Xander, and the growing love between two people who have 180 days to make things work. The relationship between Xander and Sophie is of mutual benefit between acquaintances who have lusted after one another for a number of years. Sophie’s uncle suspects their marriage is nothing more than a business arrangement and is determined to destroy his niece in the process. Xander is a former MMA fighter who is determined to make a come back following a career ending injury; Sophie is a woman determined to protect the business her grandmother had always loved. The $ex scenes are intimate, seductive and compelling without the use of over the top graphic, sexual text and language. We are introduced to Sophie’s grandmother, her uncle Richard Caldwell, and her co-worker Kristin, as well as the cameo appearances of several of the MMA fighters previously introduced in Gina’s FIGHTING FOR LOVE series. The world building continues to look at the MMA fighters and their struggle to win. Sophie and Xander are determined to protect their businesses any way they can, and a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution-as long as no one falls in love. SWEET VICTORY is a sweet, sexy and spicy story line where family is everything including the family of your heart. The premise is heartwarming; the romance is intoxicating and fated; the characters are passionate and fun. SWEET VICTORY’s release comes a number of years after the last installment so if you are a fan of Gina’s Fighting For Love series, you may have to do a re-read to catch up on your favorite MMA fighters.
i love a good fake marriage story, and xander and sophie really deliver in sweet victory. sophie's uncle holds the key to the trust that owns the commercial development where sophia's bakery and xander's gym are based. until she turns thirty or she gets married she has no say in what happens to the trust, and her uncle is unscrupulous enough to use that to his advantage. when he makes a real estate development deal that will force all the tenants in the development to relocate, xander is furious and when he goes to talk to sophie about the situation he overhears the possible solution straight from mr. caldwell's mouth. so he barges in and pretends that they're engaged to be married. sophie's been intrigued by xander for a long time, and his kiss is so hot and so surprising that she simply follows his lead. and when he proved that he is willing to do anything that is needed to preserve her bakery she decides to take him at his word. she has every intention of things remaining platonic for the 180 days demanded by the court to prove the validity of their marriage. but there is so much explosive chemistry between them that when an outing to a carnival results in a bet where the payout is three orgasms, it's not really a surprise. and from there we get to see sophie and xander build a real marriage, a real relationship, a real friendship. even though they don't actually talk about what happens once their 180 days are up. there's this wonderful scene with sophie's grandmother, who suffers from alzheimer's disease, where you see how deeply they are both in this relationship. the undeniable sweetness of their feelings, the incredible chemistry of these two characters--it all gets to develop so realistically. so often in romance novels you go from chemistry to love with nothing in between, and then there's some ridiculous blow up and then everything is magically solved. and yes, there is a moment where xander and sophie's wires get crossed, but even this is understandable. and i don't want to give anything more away, but to say that everything gets sorted out in exactly the right way. sweet victory closes out the fighting for love series with a deeply emotional, satisfying love story. xander and sophie are perfect for each other from page 1 and seeing their love grow as the days count down in their pretend marriage is an absolute delight. **sweet victory will publish on february 27, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (brazen) in exchange for my honest review.
4 Stars! I love Gina L. Maxwell! I haven’t read a book of hers I didn’t like. Sweet Victory was great! Xander and Sophie were a wonderful couple once they finally got together. Before that…well, Xander was a bit hard to take. He was constantly sleeping with other women but then thought about Sophie as he had sex with them. Why not just man up there, fighter boy, and ask the real deal out? It took longer than I thought it might, but when he finally did, it was almost worth it to have to endure his manwhore ways. However, once they were truly together, these two were a wonderful couple and they got the sweetest HEA…one they deserved!
4 1/2 STARS! HOT!! You won't want to miss this sexy, tearing up the sheets read from Gina L Maxwell. If you've been following this series you'll recognize several characters, and you'll share in the disappointment that it's the end of the road with the last book in the series. Sophie Caldwell is a strong independent gal that doesn't take crap from anybody, but all of a sudden she finds herself in quite the pickle and needing some help. Her uncle is trying to sell her inheritance right out from under her! There is only one stipulation in her grandmother's trust that can save the family business ... she has to get married! With no man in sight, Sophie is at a loss of what to do when help comes from the most unexpected place. MMA fighter and gym owner, Xander James has been lusting after Sophie from afar ever since he moved in across the street from her shop. He's in the middle of a hard push to make it back to his former UFC championship level when he finds out his landlord, Sophie's uncle, is trying to play this game with her which would also force his gym and other businesses to close. Dire straights call for quick thinking ... and offering up a proposal he never expected to make!
Sophie is determined to carry on her grandmother's legacy and keep the family bakery thriving, but her uncle has other plans, he's out to make a buck and wants to sell the building that houses the family bakery. Taking over the bakery came with a very important stipulation, her grandmother insisted in order for her to maintain ownership she must be married by the age of thirty, but for some reason her uncle is jumping the gun a little and forces her into a very sticky situation, now she needs a husband and fast or her dreams of keeping the bakery open will be dashed... As if knowing Sophie needed a knight and shining armor to save her beloved bakery, Xander James jumps in armed with a plan to save the day... a marriage proposal and a partnership which will give them both what they want. Sophie is hesitant to make a deal with the womanizing fighter, but with her uncle pushing for a sale she feels as though she has no other choice, so she takes the deal, and they both get far more than they bargained for!! Once again Ms. Maxwell has knocked my socks off with one of her sultry and OH SO naughty reads, the minute I started this one I was pulled into Sophie and Xander's steamy little world, and completely dazzled by every printed word. These two came together under unique circumstances, but it didn't take them long to find a common bond, and start creating some serious heat! Sophie entered the partnership with the plan to not fall prey to the charming fighter, but she soon learned her defenses against him were useless, he was just too damn tempting, and once she had a little taste she knew she'd never get enough of him!! Xander was seriously something else, I mean what is not to love about an alpha with a sexy fighter physique, panty melting British accent, and a fierce dedication to give his woman every little thing she wants and desires!! I have to say this is by far my favorite read from Ms. Maxwell yet, she completely outdid herself with the character development on this one!!! If you are looking for a naughty little fairy tale that is sure to leave you completely satisfied then I highly recommend you get your hands on this book, you will not be disappointed!! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.
I haven't read anything else in this series, but I saw this book was by Gina and I knew I needed to read it. I've read her other series, Playboys in Love and loved those so I knew I had to pick this one up. Xander is English (swoon accent) and trying to get back into the UFC after an injury. He loves what he does and where he does it. Sophie is a baker, loves what she does and where she does it. Enter the evil Uncle who wants to kick them out of their homes, unless Sophie is married things won't go her way. Xander has appreciated her from afar for a long time now, but if she needs his help he's willing to step in. I love the whole friends to lovers. The little bit of heartbreak and watching them fall in love when they don't realize it. It's a quick read, kind of super sweet, but to the point.
An excellent steamy read that is perfect for a relaxing afternoon read. It's very well written, has great characters, and the steam will make your ereader sizzle. Xander and Sophie were great together and it was fun to watch their relationship develop. The story has just the right amount of angst to keep things interesting but warning there is a bit of OW drama. Overall a very enjoyable book and one I would definitely recommend to everyone.
AIR CONDITIONER REQUIRED. Ms. Maxwell knows the meaning of spicy romance. Two types of heat: the sexy attraction and irritating drama made for a complicated but addictive story. Sweet Victory shows how a situation of convenience can quickly turn to anything but. Sophie was a smart woman with a dilemma. The jury's still out on Xander. Love him or hate him, his star power is evident. Perhaps that was the draw of the story, because I have yet to make up my mind about Xander. Despite the hero and his at times egotistical behavior, Sweet Victory was a knockout in my opinion.