By Melynda Price
Aiden “Disco Stick” Kruze walked away from it all—money, family, friends, and a successful career as a lawyer in Manhattan—to pursue his dream of being an MMA fighter. When a sexy private investigator shows up at Aiden’s gym, he mistakenly assumes she’s a cage-banging groupie.
Ryann is determined to haul Aiden back home. She’s desperate to claim the reward money that will pay off her father’s creditors before the man who killed her father comes to collect from her.
Aiden is done living his life under the microscope of being a senator’s son. He’s not going back to New York—ever—and there’s nothing this tenacious redhead can do about it. Or is there?
When the demons of Aiden’s past catch up with him, he realizes the lies, deception, and betrayal run deeper than he ever imagined. Aiden must put his career and his life on the line to save the woman who’s stolen his heart.
“I’ve never met a woman who can stir my anger one moment and my passion the next. All I know is that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since the day you walked into my gym.”
“He looked at her as if she were a circus oddity. Okay, sharing time was over. Embarrassment was an excellent mood killer.”
“‘Clam-jamming me. It’s the female version of cock-blocking,’ she snipped. ‘It’s a real thing. You can Google it.’”
I had never read a book with a MMA story line before, and as I am all about new challenges, I wanted to give it a try… but I was also concerned as I don’t relish violence or fighting. Thankfully, I picked a good one to start with, as Passing His Guard was more about the various relationships of the fighter rather than the actual fighting. The storyline was intriguing and interesting, and I enjoyed the dual POV between the two main characters of Aiden and Ryann, although I found the push-pull, back and forth, angsty see-saw between them more than a bit tedious and well into whiplash territory with the on again/off again, but I know many people enjoy that more than I do. The plot was action packed with secrets, lies, mixed signals, MMA fighting, an underground fight club, robberies, abductions, assaults, roofies, gambling additions, cage bangers, an arranged marriage, shootings, mobsters, corrupt police and politicians, and oh my – deliciously steamy sensuality. I like learning new words and phrases to add to my vocabulary and I found one in this story to glom onto, “clam-jamming,” I have gleefully added this one to my naughty list.
I received a free, advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.
Melynda Price is the author of several contemporary and paranormal romance titles, including Until Darkness Comes, Shades of Darkness, Courting Darkness, and Braving the Darkness, all in the Redemption Series. Price writes for ardent readers who want to fall in love over and over again. Her goal is to make the unbelievable believable while taking her characters to the limit with stories full of passion, heart, and unexpected twists. Salting stories with undertones of history whenever possible, Price adds immeasurable depth to her well-crafted books. Win by Submission is the first book of her upcoming mixed martial arts–themed Against the Cage series. She lives with her husband and two children in Northern Minnesota, where there are plenty of snow-filled days to curl up in front of the fireplace with a hot cup of coffee and write.