Series: Worth The Fight #3
Author: Michele Mannon
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Page Count: 240
Published: Carina Press, December 8, 2014
Bracken Kelly is a hardass. An undercover narcotics detective who’s gotten in too deep with a biker crew and landed himself in big trouble with Internal Affairs. Posing as a boxer and uncovering the meth being run out of Reno’s toughest underground MMA fight club is the only way to clear his name, but he’ll need to convince a female featherweight with a smart mouth and a hotter body to let him train her, first.
Huntley Wittaker left a lot behind when she moved to Reno—her family business, her overprotective brothers, her psychopathic ex-boyfriend and her Southern Belle persona. In Nevada, she can be whatever she wants to be. And what Huntley wants to be is a fighter. All she needs is the right trainer. The domineering brute of a biker who answers her ad isn’t it, but he’s all she’s got.
Bracken has a job to do and this time, he plans on succeeding, even if that means getting sweaty with Huntley outside of the ring. But as he and Huntley grow closer and Bracken’s lies turn into truths, they’ll be faced with a different kind of fight—the one for each other.
I admit, I seem to have a turbulent relationship with Michele Mannon’s Worth The Fight series. In the first book, I simply couldn’t click with the premise, in the second, though I stumbled at the beginning, I caught up and loved it, and this one, I find it hard to explain how I felt. Which is why I’m going smack in the middle in my rating.
Bracken Kelly is an undercover cop. We met him in the previous book as the brother of the hero, MMA fighter turned model, Caden Kelly. Since he was still undercover and going through some tough stuff, we never got a chance to know him.
We’ve watched all the cop shows, we know what we’re dealing with when it comes to undercover cops who get involved with gangs who fight and deal drugs and god knows what else. So, by the time we meet him again, Bracken is not in a good place psychologically.
He left behind a job that went wrong, and now is trying to finish off another one to clear his name. I liked the fact that no matter he was the hero, because of his past with his previous gang, he was no gentleman. He wasn’t a beastly caveman, mind you, but he didn’t do sweet either. And I do admit, at first it bothered me a little that he was so cold-even though I like the cold ones. But the way he respected Huntley and her determination at wanting to win an MMA title for herself was admirable. He could’ve treated her just like any other male fighter and underestimated her, but he chose to take her and her efforts seriously and gave her the respect she-and all the female fighters- deserved. Wise man.
In a world where women can still be undermined in certain aspects of life, Huntley was a woman on a mission. Having suffered her own trauma years before, she left her hometown to reinvent herself to be able to fight her own battles, both physically and emotionally. Being a female MMA fighter must be a challenge, I gather. Especially in such a male dominated sport. But Huntley, being the fighter that she was, handled herself pretty good. She was determined and strong, never letting anyone walk over her, and she most definitely earned her respect from her male counterparts. There will always be those who’ll only see her in her tiny outfit exposing skin, sweating and wrestling with another woman, but a good chunk of the spectators in the book looked past that. I liked it. And I liked the parts where her fights and her technique was described also-sometimes in books of this genre the sports they talk about can be overlooked a bit but it wasn’t much the case here.
Aside from Huntley’s quest for title in MMA, and Bracken’s struggle to solve his case, there was also a somewhat of a mystery involving Huntley’s family. I wished that mystery was explored a bit more, I like a good mystery as much as the next gal after all. I felt like some of it was told in a hurry, the main focus being Huntley and Bracken’s romance. The same I felt with Bracken’s case. Maybe that’s why I’m going for the middle rating. It was a good story, but it lacked something. Perhaps, since they were thrown in, the mysteries could’ve been more challenging to me as a reader, more attractive, or perhaps it’s because in certain scenes, I thought Huntley was being overly offended-even though I could understand that. Or maybe, it was because the romance-though fitting in both chemistry and motivation- simply didn’t touch me all too well. I liked that the two had their pain and determination in common, and their desire of course, and they did spend a lot of time what with Bracken signing up as her instructor and all, but it felt as if a collage in a movie, complete with inspirational background music. I couldn’t help but think we missed some quality bonding time between Huntley and Bracken.
I’m adding three spoonfuls of this exciting book into my hodgepodge and off to turn on my tv. Maybe there’s an MMA match I can sit back and enjoy?
Worth The Fight series by Michele Mannon:
- Knock out
- Tap Out
- Out For The Count