Thursday, July 16, 2015

review || PREPARED TO FIGHT { blog tour } by E.J. Shortall

Release day cover

E.J. Shortall | June 25, 2015 | Sport Romance


Live each day as if it were your last. Worry only about yourself. Work hard and never, ever fall in love. That’s Olivia Buchanan’s motto and she stands by it every day.

Feisty, headstrong and confident, recent graduate Liv is fighting to succeed in the male dominated field she has chosen as her career. As an architect for her best friend's father's respected London based company, her chance to shine and become recognised comes when she lands the prestigious account for GO Sports and Leisure.

Armed with her plans and determination, Liv is ready to deliver the presentation of her life. That is, until he walks in. The mysterious personal trainer from the gym. The only man to have ever made her heart flutter. But he isn't all he seems.

When MMA fighter, Nathan Oakes offers Liv a business proposition to join him in Southern France, she’s left questioning his motives and wonders if she should refuse. She’s also equally intrigued by the prospect of what the trip could do for her career.

Liv has no time for a relationship. Nate doesn’t want one. When forced to live side by side, feelings are stretched and emotions are battled. Can they keep their professional and personal lives separate, preventing them from falling into something they both need to avoid?

{ about e.j. shortall } .

EJ Shortall was born and raised in a suburb of London, England where she currently still resides.

Having worked in education for the better part of 12 years, EJ decided a change was needed. Following a moment of inspiration, she decided to put pen to paper not expecting anything to come from the few words she had. Soon those few words turned into her first novel, Silver Lining. Not content with just writing the one, she continued with book two and then three, and has many, many more ideas just waiting to be written.

She has always enjoyed reading, but found it was mostly just a holiday extravagance. Then she discovered a certain worldwide best seller, and her passion was reignited. Reading quickly became an obsession and she couldn’t devour books fast enough. The books on her shelves and reading devices range from sweet, Young Adult romances, to smouldering erotic encounters. If pushed for an answer she would say that sexy rock star romances are her favourite.

Aside from reading and writing, EJ also enjoys amateur photography, playing around with graphics and cake decorating.

“I am on one amazing roller coaster ride at the moment. I have met so many new and wonderful people, discovered new music gems to integrate into my stories, and learned so many new skills. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me.”

If you would like to join E.J. on her journey, please follow or contact her. She would love to hear from you!



{ excerpt } .

“I thought you were going to show me some fancy flying kicks or something,” I said petulantly, watching him closely with my hands raised in the same defensive pose he carried. I began moving with him as he slowly started to circle me. 

“Not my thing.”

“No? What is your thing then?” My arm instinctively moved away when his twitched. 

“My first discipline is Ju-jitsu. I’m more dangerous on the ground grappling and holding.” 

“Ha, so you do enjoy a good fumble and roll around on the floor then.” He shot me a look of heat before he quickly refocused. 

“There is only one time I enjoy rolling around, and it isn’t in a fighting arena.” I jumped back when he lunged forward. 

His eyes got a mischievous glint to them, and he stepped back, dropping his arms. 

“What are you doing?” I asked with a frown, disappointed. Surely we weren’t done already? I hadn’t even managed to sneak in a slap of my own. I dropped my arms to my side, waiting for his next move. 

Suddenly his left hand flashed in my peripheral vision and my arm instinctively came up to block it. At the same time he swept his leg out, catching my calf and knocking me off balance. With a screech and a thud, I landed on my back on the thick, deep red rug. 

“Ooof!” Air jolted from my lungs, leaving me winded and fighting hard for a deep breath. 

“Shit! Fuck! Liv, I’m sorry.” Nate was on his knees straddling my prone form before I could blink. His eyes were wide and fearful staring down into mine. “Are you okay?” 

All I could do was nod and swallow hard when he looked at me with such regret. My eyes closed at the feel of his hands smoothing my hair back and then trailing a hot path down my cheek. It was such a gentle, almost reverent touch. 

“God, do you know how beautiful you are?” he asked tenderly, his body lowering towards mine. 

I sucked in a deep breath, my heart pounding a frantic beat in my chest. He was so close, our lips only inches apart. His words and his slow, precise movements had my head spinning, but in this moment I knew I wanted him to kiss me. I was desperate for it.

{ review } .

I love my books that don't take place in the States...

I love the added 'u's and the words and phrases we don't use here, things like 'favourite' and 'buggie' (or, you know... shopping cart). I have a couple books/series that I enjoy that take place in other countries, and I have go-to authors who themselves reside in other countries. So while I don't actually get to visit these places, it's fun to get a little piece of them while reading.

PREPARED TO FIGHT takes place in the UK; Olivia, our lead lady, is from London and she works with an architect firm belonging to her best friend's father. First, let's talk Olivia and her best friend -- a man, just so you know.

Olivia and Adam have been best friends forever. And quite honestly, even though people mumble and whisper? Olivia is happy with that. Adam is her rock; Adam is the one person who can pull her out of a funk and the very last thing she'd ever want to do is ruin that relationship by trying out something more.

When a mean comment is said to Olivia about her weight, she tries to brush it off. When Adam realizes something is wrong, he eventually gets it out of her and offers to bring her to the gym with him --

...and so her life will forever change.

No, no, I don't mean that she'll lose all this weight and be the beautiful swan. Some mean mouthed witch was mean to her, her button popped off on her pants, and she ends up at a gym that turns out to be the very one she's doing a drawing for. She makes a bit of a fool of herself, a cute trainer checks on her and she ends up with a lifetime membership (sheesh, sign me up) with other perks, such as the spa -- where she makes a new great friend named Cassie. Said cute trainer turns out to be the owner of the gym, a former MMA star, and he likes her designs. Additionally, he likes her and wants her to come to France with him to put together ideas for a new facility as well as be his calm spot, because this girl with a weakness for jelly beans, well her smile brings him back to the surface.

I truly enjoyed this story. I loved how Liv was a stand-up girl and she didn't take shit. Sure, Barbie wannabe got in her head but c'mon -- not only was she rude to her in a public restaurant, but again at an athletic outfitters store. SERIOUSLY!? Grow up, Barbie wannabe. I loved that Liv put Nate in his spot -- kinda sorta.

Why kinda sorta? Because the man ran hot and cold. And yes, Liv called him out on in multiple times -- but then she'd threaten to do this or that and she always went back. Nate knew he was being hot and cold, and he blames it on his training (there may or may not be a ton of other factors as well, ranging from family to the sport...) but I swear to you, at one point I was ready to throw my phone (with my lovely Kindle app on it) out the window because he






I don't know how Liv did it -- but in the end, it all worked out.
Altogether, a super enjoyable read. I love a strong, feisty heroine and I love the strong men who love those ladies -- even if they piss me off a little bit on the journey.

{ giveaway } .

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