Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Tour for Healing Love by Abby Niles (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a reader who loves bad boys with a heart of gold I'm excited to introduce you to this fourth installment in the Love to the Extreme series and its multi-faceted hero and strong-willed heroine running from her past.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Healing Love by Abby Niles, along with my impressions of it, and discover even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this book make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win e-copies of the first three installments in this series too!

Doctor Ella Watts wants her old life back. Desperately. But the past has returned for its rematch, and going back home—even telling anyone her real name—isn’t an option until she’s confident in her MMA abilities. Personal trainer Lance Black is the man to help her reach her goals. Not only is he toned, muscular, and gorgeous, he’s patient, a great teacher, and willing to treat her like a worthy opponent. Except his size makes her freeze whenever he gets too close. If Ella can’t learn how to overcome her fear of being attacked, she’ll never be able to move on with her life.
Underground fighter Lance Black knows there’s more to the mysterious blonde ninja than a beautiful woman determined to improve her fighting skills. She can best anyone close to her size – man or woman – but insists on working out with him, even though he’s got a good 70 pounds and several inches on her. Despite her reticence, he’s determined to get her to open up so he can help her get over her mental block. And if that means he can get to know her outside the gym, all the better.


Lance came at her in a burst of energy, his arms slapping down to meet the punches she frantically threw. She had no game plan, just swung. A light pop bopped her on the side of the head and paralyzed her into place. He instantly backed off. The second there was space between them, her ability to breathe returned and she ripped off the gloves, throwing them down. “Damn it."
Without a word, she climbed between the second and third rope, hopped to the floor, and slumped on a nearby bench, hanging her head. Why couldn’t she get past this mind block?
“Hey,” Lance said in a soothing tone that only annoyed her as he sat down beside her, but when he pressed his thigh against hers, she found the gesture oddly comforting. She wanted to lean into him, take his support, but she forced herself to stay where she was.
“I just need a few minutes alone."
He laced his fingers together and let them hang between his knees. “A few months ago, I had a huge fight slotted. Any spare moment I had, I was training my fucking ass off.” He inhaled deep. “The pressure of it got the best of me and I just froze. Biggest night of my fighting career over by knockout in less than a minute.” He turned a sympathetic smile on her. “Sometimes our mind just gets the best of us. I don’t know what’s cluttering yours, but you’re not alone. It happens to everyone."
His confession, that he would open up to her like that, meant more to her than he would ever know. Made her feel less alone. And she hadn’t felt like that in a long time.
“Thank you,” she whispered and leaned toward him. A simple kiss on his cheek to show her appreciation was her intent. But the moment her lips touched the stubbled skin, a floodgate of need crashed open. Instantly, her nipples puckered and the lower part of her body tingled in a very thrilling way. She wanted nothing more than for him to turn his head so she could feel the softness of his lips next. Stunned, she pulled back.
Their gazes locked, and the air seemed to still between them. His gray eyes held her captive. She couldn’t look away. She couldn’t break this magnetic hold Lance had had on her since that moment in the alley. And damn it—she didn’t want to. It’d been a long time—too long—since she’d been attracted to a man like him. Maybe she never had been. Lance was different.





With its backdrop of MMA fighting, Healing Love ends up being an intense read from start to finish with its two lead characters burdened by pride and haunted by their pasts.  Though they try to keep away from each other over fears of the other getting hurt it's a battle that quickly gives way to passion as their connection is obvious from their very first meeting.  With sexual tension that's off-the-charts their romance is at once combustible with surprising sweetness that comes from each trying to protect the other in a story that has both of them in danger in a storyline that's compelling and over far too soon.

Not having read the previous installments in the Love to the Extreme series I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but as a fan of MMA-themed stories I was immediately captivated by the premise and the larger than life couple fighting for their HEA.  With each turn of the page I became more fully immersed in their trying to find strength against the odds and hoping that they'd finally realize that accepting help isn't a weakness.  Ella seemed to be a woman in control at the start whose one moment of hesitation changed her life completely as her body and her trust was broken by her ex who vowed revenge once he got out of jail.  She was able to pick up the pieces but with his release fast approaching all her confidence is gone and she's on the run with fear shadowing her to a small town in Kansas where one man again changes her life completely.  Ella changed her name and set about trying to overcome her fear through fighting men much larger than her, but with the sexy temptation of Lance she quickly wanted to be a lover instead of a fighter.  Getting close to him though put her in danger from local gangsters who use her past against her to gain her medical help in their underground fighting which fans her fears with the bloodthirstiness she has to witness each night.  Not only are her fears growing but so is her heartbreak in seeing the man she's starting to love put his life in danger, growing more bruised and battered with each fight, and not being allowed to help which eventually leads to an ultimatum that's sad but empowering.  I liked Ella from the very start.  She's strong-willed and though she tries to keep herself separate she can't help being drawn to others and helping when the situation arises.  Because of what happened to her it's led to self-esteem issues where she doubts her ability to protect herself and be desirable as she's ignored that part of life.  Being with Lance gives her confidence in both areas and I enjoyed seeing her flourish in his presence. Being with him brought out a sex kitten side to her and gave her the mental fortitude she'd been lacking and that had her dealing with her past head-on and saving Lance despite his prideful decisions.

Lance was an interesting dichotomy as he was a bit rough around the edges but immensely sweet and caring.  He'd go out of his way to protect those he loves despite the danger to himself which had him selling his soul to the local gangsters to get money to save his daughter.  He's an honorable man though he's full of pride that puts his and Ella's HEA in doubt as the illegal fights he's participating in to pay off his debt put him one step closer to death.  He treats Ella as his equal but sensing her fear has his protective instincts kicking in and binding her to him even more tightly.  While I applaud his desire to clean up the messes he made on his own, it was frustrating that he didn't accept help when it was offered as he had so much to lose.  His romance with Ella was sweet and sensual with a connection that crackled.  His scenes with his daughter were cute and charming and endeared him to me, making him an admirable hero.

This was a compelling and fast-paced story from the first page to the last. Lance and Ella were likable and easy to relate to and, as the story was focused mainly on them, I felt as though we got to know them pretty well.  The small glimpses of secondary characters showed us a tight-knit family surrounding the world of MMA and bad guys making money off of a twisted version of it.  Each glimpse pulled me further into the story and has me excited for future installments.  The vivid depictions of the fight scenes were bloody, exhilarating, and a bit sad knowing the desperation of the fighters to win.  All in all this was an emotionally intense story with an engaging storyline and immensely satisfying conclusion that balanced romance and danger perfectly to pull me in and leave me cheering. This was my first taste of this series but won't be my last as the world Ms. Niles created is an exciting and romantic one!

My rating for this is an A-

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


Abby Niles is the author of the contemporary MMA series, Love to the Extreme, and the paranormal series, The Awakening. She is also the author to the geeky romantic comedy, Defying Convention, where Live Action Role Players (LARPers) set out to teach their favorite author a lesson, but end up playing matchmaker instead.
Abby lives in North Carolina with the love of her life and their combined gaggle of kids. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to catch up on an endless pile of laundry and find time to get some much needed reading in.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great review! Thank you for hosting HEALING LOVE today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours

  2. Thank you for taking the time to review HEALING LOVE! So glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by! What's up next in the Love to the Extreme series?

      The Scarf Princess