Saturday, March 21, 2015

Book Review for Holding Strong by Lori Foster

As a fan of MMA-themed books and the sexy men who inhabit that world, I'm excited to introduce you to Holding Strong by Lori Foster.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this next installment in the Ultimate series, along with my impressions of it, then add it to your bookshelf when it releases on March 31st.....

An up-and-coming MMA fighter wants more than just one night from a woman fleeing her past in Lori’s irresistible new novel.
Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn’t share. That’s why he’s been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry’s about to need more than she knows…
Denver’s combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she’s been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can’t hide behind a carefree façade. Because the man by her side is one who’ll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she’ll trust him enough to let him…



This book is part of the Ultimate series and includes the following stories:
-Hard Knocks
-No Limits
-Holding Strong
-Tough Love
-Fighting Dirty


Lori Foster is an author that has always left me conflicted as I adored her early works for their heartwarming familial interactions, but her more recent titles have run hot and cold with me.  With this latest release I'm once again conflicted as I'm a fan of sports-themed romances and love the gritty and testosterone-fueled world of MMA, but was often frustrated by the actions of the main characters.  Cherry was a sweet girl full of life who was enamored of fighter Denver but was consistently ignored by him.  Their few early interactions were full of his sarcasm and jealousy which she laughed off and forgave in a way that made her look weak and needy.  Denver's early thoughts regarding Cherry were very superficial, focused mostly on her well-built body.  His reasons for turning her away were equally hurtful as he saw her as a tease, unworthy of him in a way that felt like slut-shaming.  Needless to say this didn't make for a good first impression and was compounded by the other fighters who were charming one moment and in the next were a bit misogynistic in their dealings with women.

As the story progressed, and with Cherry's past putting her in jeopardy, the fighters turned more human and less abrasive.  Denver's caring side came through, his protective side that would see her safe despite herself.  The other fighters, especially Armie and Stack, were right beside him in an immensely appealing brotherly bond.  Now that things turned serious they put away their bad boy attitudes and showed some real charm, though their playboy natures didn't completely vanish.  Amidst the danger and suspense were lots of steamy encounters between Denver and Cherry, almost too many which led to them becoming blasé.  While Cherry's familial issues quickly become clear and left me aching for her, Denver too had his own issues to deal with that I wish we could've seen more of as it all made for a complex man.

All in all this wasn't a bad read, just another of Ms. Foster's books that left me frustrated.  Some of the actions early on rubbed me very wrong but then there were some very charming moments from characters that previously displayed bad behavior.  Despite everything I'm still drawn to these sexy men and hope to get a more in-depth look into their psyches in the future, particularly Armie as I think there's a lot of pain behind his playboy facade.  Those looking for a quick read with lots of steam and sexy men will be pleased with Ms. Foster's latest book, but I'm left missing the feel of her early books that had me coming back for more.

My rating for this is a C+

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


Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. Lori has published through a variety of houses, including Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin, Silhouette, Samhain, and Berkley/Jove. She is currently published with HQN.
Lori hosts a very special annual “Reader & Author” event in West Chester, Ohio. Proceeds from the event have benefited many worthy causes, including the Hamilton County YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter, the Animal Adoption Foundation,The Conductive Learning Center for children with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and The One Way Farm, Children’s Home.
Each year Lori donates all proceeds from one book to charity. You can see the benefit romance books here:

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