Hi there! Today I’m sharing a new release from Amity Cross. BEAT is a new-adult fighter romance that doesn’t pull any punches.
About the book:
Renee “Ren” Miller was five when her Dad left to go to the shops and never came back. Left to grow up with a cancer riddled mother, things have never been easy for a teenager who had to be wise beyond her years. Then one day they lose the battle and she’s all alone.
Now twenty-two, Ren reluctantly goes to find her estranged father. He owns the down and out boxing studio, Beat, and Ren finds herself drawn to the ring. She thrives on learning a new way of fighting a life that kept kicking her down…instead of struggling against the current, she kicks it right between the legs.
Then one day, Ash Fuller, her Dad’s star fighter comes back to town. Mysterious, handsome… Dangerous… Everything Ren doesn’t need.
But he’s got other ideas… …and so does she.
My fist slammed into the heavy leather bag, the impact jolting up my arm and absorbing into my torso.
The only light was from the back row of fluorescents I’d switched on over the ring. It was dark, murky and helped me pretend I was someplace else. The drama from the daylight hours was gone and it was just me and the darkness. Exactly the way I liked it.
I began another set of punches, hair sticking to the sweat beading across the back of my neck. Structure. This was the only thing that was predictable in my life and I needed predictable.
Stance. Guard. Punch. Guard. Repeat.
There was a loud cough behind me and I spun on my heel, heart thumping in my chest, and my gaze collided with Ash’s.
“Fuck,” I exclaimed, holding a hand over my heart. “Don’t fucking do that, Ash.” Typical. The creeper was being all creeper again.
“What are you doing?” He stared at me, his gaze hovering a little too long on my bare midriff.
I steadied the bag with one hand, taking deep breaths. “What does it look like?”
“I’ve never seen…” He trailed off and I wondered if I’d finally made the Golden Boy lost for words.
I turned my back so I didn’t have to look at him. “What? A woman in a sports bra? Highly doubt it.” I rolled my eyes and wiped my forehead with the back of my arm. Even though I couldn’t see, I felt his gaze burning into my skin and I suppressed the urge to squeeze my thighs together. Infuriating, self-absorbed, arrogant…
Renee’s had a tough life–abandoned as a child by a two-timing father, she helped to care for her ill mother until the struggle was lost. Now, she’s reconnected to her dad–fulfilling her mum’s dying wish, only to find she’s still the black stain on his life. He’d found himself a prettier wife and had a prettier daughter long before he walked out on them.
He’s not heartless, however. Knowing Ren is destitute her dad offers up the spare bedroom at his trianing club. It’s little more than a storage closet with a bed, but (literally) beggars can’t be choosers and Ren accepts. Of course it puts Ren in daily contact not only with her father, but with her preening half-sister, just a year younger than Ren. And, also with some serious beefcake fighters training for the Australian Ultimate Fighter circuit.
Ren has a lot of wounds. She’s heartsick with loss and feels unwanted in general–so she takes up training in the gym as it’s the only outlet she has available. She attends the beginner’s fighting courses, and excels, keeping her strength training for the evenings when she’s alone. One night she’s startled by an intruder int he gym, but it’s just a former trainee–Ash, the “golden boy” of her father’s career. He’d been banned from the league four years ago and disappeared, but now he’s back and inserting himself into the scene.
And Ren’s fantasies.
These two have quite the awkward dance. Ash doesn’t want to mess around with his coach’s daughter, but he’s lonely, and attracted. Ren, always unwanted, hates the attention Ash gives Monica. She trains harder and harder, never realizing that she’s only endearing herself more tot he taciturn man who comes in for his midnight sparring sessions looking like he just got beat up.
It does get hot and heavy, but it also gets bloody, and illegal once Ren discovers where Ash earns his cash–an illegal fighting club. But does, this beat Ren off? Nope. Suit the gal up, coach. She’s ready to play.
The book moves along very nicely. Ren is a good character. For all that she’s had to endure, she bears her crosses without self-pity or angst. Even with all the hoopla, it’s easy to see how her father becomes interested, and even makes overtures to help–more than he had at the beginning, any how. Ren makes friends–for pretty much the first time in her life. And she finds attraction and affection based on her own merit. I really liked her story. Ash begins as a mystery, but we learn a lot about him–not how he got banned for professional boxing, per se, but what he was doing while everyone thought he was training in Thailand.
The story is told in Australian English, which was a small learning curve for this American Anglophile, but fun. I’m always game for a new dialect. The smexytimes were well-written and not too sloppy, with a good build-up; no instalove here. BEAT ends with a (small) cliffhanger, but it’s not enough to detract from the story.
About the Author:
Amity Cross isn’t my real name. That’s no secret. I didn’t want my Mum and my workplace to find out I wrote about doodles and tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendo.I live in a leafy suburb of Melbourne writing about screwed up relationships and kick ass female leads that don’t take s**t lying down.
Insert more pretentious c**p here.
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