Knock Out by Michele Mannon (Worth the Fight #1)
Released: December 2, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
The blurb sets-up this story well so I’ll include that here:
Logan Rettino never imagined she’d fall so far. Dropped by her ex on national TV, she’s gone from prima ballerina to ring card girl, reduced to revving up the crowds before MMA bouts. However distasteful she finds her new job, it pays well…and she needs the money if she’s ever going to rebuild her life. Promised a huge bonus if she can convince a brooding, gifted welterweight to keep fighting, she’ll do whatever it takes to earn his trust.
Keane O’Shea is unbeatable in the octagon. A former marine, he fights with a ruthlessness no gym jockey can match. He knows his brutal strength is too much for the delicate ex-ballerina, regardless of how fascinating he finds Logan’s tight dancer’s body. But one private performance and he’s drawn to her in a way he can’t—or won’t—resist.
As Logan discovers the heartbreaking truth that lies beneath this handsome warrior’s rage, she’ll need to forfeit everything she thought mattered for the one thing that matters the most: saving Keane from himself.
First of all, I’d love a MMA hero who wasn’t suffering from some horrible, tragic past or PTSD or any other ailment. There must be well-adjusted MMA fighters out there, right?
Anyway, Keane is suffering from PTSD after returning from Afghanistan. He starts the book silent and broody (which I admit intrigued me) but as you read he mostly just likes to drink too much and talk about how he isn’t good enough for Logan.
Our heroine Logan (not a fan of a heroine being named Logan) has lots of drama. She was a very successful ballerina who was persuaded to go onto a reality television dancing show with her fiancé who dropped her on air (he blamed her huge boobies) and she broke her ankle and can’t dance anymore. He also stole all her money and did a lot of other skeevy things and now she is forced to work as an ‘Octagon Girl’ at MMA fights to make money. She gets fired during Keane’s fight but makes a deal with her boss that if she can convince Keane to keep fighting (he is good, so the boss dude wants him to keep fighting) than she can have her job back.
This whole set-up just didn’t do it for me. Logan’s ex-fiance was way too over the top of a caricature. I kept asking myself, WHY was Logan ever in love with this guy? He didn’t seem like a real person and I never believed she actually cared for him, so I never felt pity for her and all the problems this guy caused. It seemed just like a plot device to make Logan’s woes more dramatic.
Keane and Logan move into together because she has to keep an eye on him so he will train and fight etc. And they act so familiar with each other it didn’t seem realistic. They go from strangers to knowing each other so quick. The physical romance builds decently, but you just don’t automatically get to know someone either.
I never bought into Logan’s dancing career or the paparazzi hounding her – I just wish this had focused more on the fighting aspect and a courtship. Too much other stuff cluttered the story.
And I almost forgot – Logan constantly uses exclamations like “bleeding leotards!” or “crinkling camisoles!” throughout the entire story. Not a fan.