Series: Worth The Fight #1
Author: Michele Mannon
Page Count: 167
Published: Carina Press, December 2nd, 2013
Knock Out is the first book in Michele Mannon’s Worth The Fight series, and it tells the story of Keane, an ex-soldier who ignores his demons by fighting in an arena, and Logan, an ex-ballerina who’s going through a tough time and ends up on his turf.
I do admit, in addition to the plot being an interesting one, the cover itself caught my attention. Now, I’m not one to jump straight to business when seeing an attractive cover, but my eyes do linger. And this book had that ‘pick me up’ vibe and the plot then sealed the deal.
It’s a great idea to put two people who’re battling demons together and see how they do. And these two sure have a great deal going for them. For once, Keane is ex-military which means he has a lot of emotional baggage to carry around. Add to that Logan’s ballerina-turned-ring-girl situation when her whole life has been about ballet, and this story had potential to be a roller coaster of emotions. But, the beginning still felt a bit rushed, with the introduction and the attraction quickly out of the way. I would’ve preferred to spend more time with these characters before they became tangled with each other, that way I could’ve had the chance to click with them more. That doesn’t mean, of course, that I can’t read through who they are, but we don’t get many chances to delve into the depths of their personalities once they’re introduced to us, and that meant I was at an arm’s length away from them the whole time.
Ballet is a big part of who Logan is, even though she’s not doing it anymore it’s clear that she grew up with the art of dance. She keeps referring at how ballet is all she’s ever known so I wish it was integrated more into the story other than her cursing in her own way using ballet terms. There wasn’t much from her old life that was transferred into her current story and that was a shame. I know they have a hard life, so I would’ve loved to know more.
As for their romance, I can understand lust at first sight, hell, it makes the sexiest of stories, especially when an ex-army hero is concerned, but the jump from lust to the oh-boy-she’s-different-from-everyone-I-know thought was too quick and easy for my taste. The little tidbit that had them end up in Logan’s tight space of a home was a bit forced. It was probably an opportunity created solely for the purpose of the two having a setting to bond, and for Logan to use her ballet skills as a means to impress Keane which was nice and hot, but it also could’ve been better and sexier.
The reasons for their living arrangements didn’t exactly seem justified to me, nor their back and forth attraction, the way they tried to back out from their growing feelings. When I read two people falling in love against all odds, when they’re so opposite, I’d like to read the how. Maybe they have a heart to heart at some point, maybe they share something they haven’t shared with anyone else, or maybe they set aside everything that makes them so wrong for one another and realize there’s actually one thing deep in there somewhere that makes them right. But that never seemed to have happened by the time they fell for each other. As much as it pains me to say this, that took a big chunk off of their romance.
Speaking of romance and the two as a couple, it saddened me to see the issue of returning soldiers and their PTSD being handled poorly here. Unfortunately, Logan doesn’t seem to understand the majority of Keane’s problem as a retired soldier, and she measures their relationship with the rawness and intensity of their sex. For her, handling with Keane’s problems consists of declaring her love at the least convenient times, constantly and openly asking him about his PTSD and moving things over to the bedroom. Maybe it’s wrong for me to say this as I’ve never faced with an ex-soldier who’s been through what Keane’s been through, but I felt like more care should’ve been taken with him and what he was going through.
Since the author took the time to introduce us to two deep backstories, I would’ve expected more emotional from this book regarding Keane’s psychology and Logan’s lifestyle transition. It seemed like it was all thought out good and proper, and yet when it was finally time to tell it all, the book fell short on these issues.
I personally would’ve preferred more psyche centered content than the physicality we’ve been presented with. There was much promise in this story, from the ex-ballerina heroine and the ex-military hero, to the brutality of the war, the hardship that comes after and the excitement of fighting, but unfortunately the book failed in engaging us about all those issues.
I’m adding two and a half spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge and oh, oh, there’s a match on and it’s the cover-model-gorgeous whose story I’d like to read!
Worth The Fight series by Michele Mannon:
- Knock Out
- Tap Out