Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Tour for Love Hurts by Mandi Beck (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of steamy romances set in the testosterone world of MMA I was immediately drawn to Love Hurts by Mandi Beck and its sexy battle of wills between two strong-willed people.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this book along with my impressions of it.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 2-$10 Amazon GCs and a signed print copy of this book too!

Even when she won’t fight for us, I’ll go to war for her…
Inside the Octagon, I have no fear. I’m at home, in my element, inflicting pain onto men trained to hurt me just as badly. Making them submit, knocking them out, maiming them, because it’s them or me. And I choose them.
Outside the Octagon, my only weakness is a five-foot-two, classy as fuck woman that I’ve loved for most of my life. She’s the one that brings me to my knees, fills my arms, my heart, and one day soon, my bed. She makes me reckless. Volatile. I drink too much and try too hard to fuck my way out of feeling—all because of her.
Frankie De Rosa is my girl, my best friend. I haven’t earned her yet, but I won’t stand by and let anyone take her from me. She will be the greatest fight of my life, but she’s worth the battle.
Love hurts, but anything worth having does, right?
I’m Deacon “The Hitman” Love — Welcome to the Cage.


I pull my phone out and see a picture of Indie flipping me off on my screen. Why do these chicks insist on fucking with my phone?
“Now’s not the time, Jones. I’m not in the mood for any of your shit today,” I say in way of greeting.
“Well, hello to you too, Deacon. I see you’re doing fanfuckingtastic so I won’t bother asking. Listen, asshat, you need to step up your game with Frankie. I mean, now that Cristiano is hanging around so much, all of this giving her space BS is going to blow up in your face. Don’t get me wrong, I really like him. Seriously, what’s not to like? He’s a little too refined for me, but he’s still sweet and sexy, and then there’s that fucking accent. Mmm…did I men-”
“INDIANA! Do you have a fucking point besides trying to make me lose my shit?” I yell, pulling the phone away from my ear and talking into it like a walkietalkie just in case she’s still going on about the asshole. “Plus I thought you were into chicks.” Smirking even though I’m frustrated, I wait for her to blast me. I know damn well she swings both ways, I just like to give her hell.
“Shut up! You know I play for both teams, asshole. Don’t be jealous that Frankie is sleeping in my bed and not yours,” she teases mockingly.
“I’m hanging up,” I snap.
“God, you’re touchy today,” she huffs. “Deac, I’ve known you forever and I’ve tolerated your man-whoring and your all around douchebaggery because of Frankie. She has always seen the good in you, though I don’t know why, and I know that you would never hurt her on purpose…so I’ve decided to try and help you.”
“Help me? Help me what?”
“With Frankie dumbass!” she scolds.
“Indie, as touching as your words are,” I roll my eyes at that, “I don’t need your help. I’m giving her space for now, but if you think for one fucking minute that I am gonna let Rico Suave have my girl, you’re even crazier than I thought. Frankie is mine. I’m just giving her some time to get used to the fact that there will be no more pretty boys for her,” I say with way more confidence than I feel at the moment.
“Do you feel better now? Do you need to beat your chest a little like the caveman that you clearly are? Just do me a favor and try not to piss all over my friend while you’re marking your territory, ass,” she grumbles right before she hangs up on me.





As a debut book there's a bit of roughness around the edges and a bit of predictability when it comes to this storyline, but there's also a lot of talent on display with its unforgettable hero and gutwrenchingly compelling storytelling.  Told mostly from the POV of MMA fighter Deacon Love we're taken on a journey of his unrequited love that takes a dramatic turn when the woman of his dreams almost dies.  From then on it's a steamy and endearing tale of one man's battle to win the girl who's always felt like the sister instead of the lover she longs to be.  Throw in some suspense, lots of dirty talk, and a group of brothers who are all sexy and protective, and you have the makings of an exhilarating story that leaves you screaming with its cliffhanger ending.

Francesca lost her mother at an early age and was quickly taken under the protective wings of the the Love brothers.  They were a protective lot, always finding the boys who came calling not good enough.  For oldest bother Deacon though it was much more.  His feelings were of jealousy, but it was hard for him to accept her as anything other than a sister early on.  As she grew up and experienced many special moments with Deacon, their connection grew stronger and left her wanting more.  It's not until he almost loses her though that Deacon admits the truth, but by then it may be too late.  As a possessive man makes a claim on her and puts her life in danger, Deacon finally steps up to the plate to claim her for his own in a sensual battle of wills teeming with sexual tension.

Deacon is the highlight of the story as he heartwarmingly balances sweet-natured with strong.  He's a tough guy, an angry guy at times, who wears his heart on his sleeve, a man not afraid to cry when the girl who owns his heart is found broken.  He's sexy too and unashamed of saying every sexual thought in his head.  He's protective of Francesca but is willing to let her be who she wants to be, he accepts her wholeheartedly throughout all the story's twists and turns.  Francesca is a likable heroine who's the center of attention for the Love men.  She always knows they're there for her if she needs them and they've taught her how to protect herself when they are far away.  Ever since she was young it was clear that she and Deacon had a special connection that would be revealed when the time was right and when that time comes it's an intensely dramatic moment.  While I admired Francesca for all that she lived through I was still exasperated by her at times.  From her poor choice in men, namely Andrew, to her fear in opening her heart to Deacon who's made it clear how he feels about her I was left frustrated.  It might have helped had we spent more time in her head and learning more of her inner thoughts.  Of course that would've taken time away from the delectable Deacon, who I'm still dreaming about.

This is a compelling friends to lovers story full to the top with angst.  It's a steamy story too that doesn't hold back when it comes to lighting a sensual fire.  There are lots of emotional ups and downs along with off the charts hot sexual interludes to keep me turning the pages at a rapid pace.  Though I was left frustrated by the cliffhanger ending I'll definitely be back as Ms. Beck has laid a groundwork of compelling characters and edge of your seat action to entice me to return to see how the connection between Deacon and Francesca progresses.  There's also the enticement of the remaining Love brothers, and their playful yet supportive interactions with each other, calling for me to return too.

My rating for this is a B+/A-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Mandi Beck has been an avid reader all of her life. A deep love for books always had her jotting down little stories on napkins, notebooks, and her hand. As an adult she was further submerged into the book world through book clubs and the epicness of social media. It was then that she graduated to writing her stories on her phone and then finally on a proper computer.
A nursing student, mother to two rambunctious and somewhat rotten boys, and stepmom to two great girls away at college, she shares her time with her husband in Chicago where she was born and raised. Mandi is a diehard hockey fan and blames the Blackhawks when her deadlines are not met.
Love Hurts is her debut novel and she is currently working on the next in the series along with whatever other voices are clamoring for attention in her mind.


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