Tuesday, February 23, 2016

review || HEALING LOVE { blog tour } by Abby Niles

Entangled | February 15, 2016 | Sport Romance
Love to the Extreme, book 4


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.

As long as she never learns his secrets.

{ about abby niles } .

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.

{ guest post : typical writing day of abby niles' } .

Have you wondered what a typical day is like for a writer? I can guarantee every writer’s day is different. Some write better in the morning. Some write better at night. Some have to write during naptime. Some have to do it during lunch break. As for me, I write during the day while my boyfriend and kids are out of the house.

I’ll be honest, I have three different kinds of writing days.
  1. The I-love-my-job days (no deadline)
  2. The My-characters-sucks-and-this-plot-is-stupid days (deadline is approaching, muse isn’t cooperating)
  3. The Don’t-look-at-the-deranged-author days (deadline is imminent)
Writing Day Type 1:
I get up around 6:30. First things first, coffee. While I’m sipping on my first cup, I play Clash of Clans and Farm Hero Saga.  Yes. I’m addicted to both. Once I’m good and awake, I usually play on Facebook, respond to emails, look at my to-do list, start a load of laundry, putter around the house, straighten up, get groceries and maybe get a work out in. Around 10 or 11, I’ll sit down and knock out 2 to 3k words, maybe even more if it’s a great writing day. Then I’m done for the day. After that, I’m back on house duty and I make dinner. If it’s a day I have my kids, we do homework and catch up from them being with their dad.  When my boyfriend gets home from work, we all eat dinner, watch some TV and then we call it a day.
Writing Day Type 2:
Get up 6:30. Coffee. Play my games. Facebook. Email. Open my laptop. Open my WIP. Scowl at it. Put down my laptop. Pace the house. Clean because at least then I’m being productive. Pick my laptop back up. Scowl again. Cuss at my characters for being jerks. Put my computer back down. Pace the house. Start calculating in my head how many words I need to write the rest of the week to make up for not writing anything that day. Get seriously grouchy. Not write a single word that day. Heaven forbid this happens a few days in a row. I start biting my nails. I spend a lot of time staring off into space. I’m not, I’m thinking. But to the outside world, I’ve got the grumpy face on and I’m not interacting with anyone. I mutter to myself. (This drives my boyfriend insane, rofl) What I’m actually doing is going through scenarios in my head then I’m verbally discarding them. He’ll say, “Who you talking to, Abby?” This goes on well past my usual “clock out time.” I’m typically distracted until I have the break-through.
Writing Day Type 3:
Get up at 5 after not really sleeping the night before. I’ve consumed so much coffee that there’s a constant hum inside my body. Games? Who the hell has time for games? Laundry? You think I care if you have clean underwear? Dinner? There’s a jug of milk in the fridge and a box of cereal in the pantry…have at it. My hair is standing on end from fisting my hand in it. My body aches from the insane amount of hours I’ve sat in front of the computer. My day starts in front of the computer and it ends in front of the computer.
Thankfully, 85% of my days are Writing Day Type 1. I would say the other 10% are Type 2. Writer’s block does happen from time-to-time and it’s frustrating, which leads to a frustrating writing day, but those break-through moments are always awesome. I love that excitement I get when I’ve been frustrated for days then I figure it out and I can’t wait to get back to the story.
Type 3 is rare. They do happen. I just came off a double whammy. I had edits come in just as I had a book due. All I can say is I have the most patient family ever. Luckily, we have a lot of Type 1 days to make up for the Type 3 days.
Does anyone feel me on this kind of schedule or am I alone?

{ excerpt } .

“What’s she looking for?” Lance asked, refocusing on the present. She had impressed him yesterday with her chokehold, but that didn’t mean she knew squat about MMA. That could have simply been adrenaline spurring her on.

“She was pretty specific in what she wants.” A weird expression crossed Mac’s face, a mixture of consternation and intrigue. “She’s not looking for a pussy workout—her words not mine. She wants a trainer who knows a lot about ground work, but can also help her build the strength and speed of her stand-up. She wants to be treated just like any of the male fighters in this building and the most interesting thing is she wanted a light-heavyweight build. That’s you.”

Lance stared at his friend for a second, digesting the information. That was a tall order from someone just coming in for a workout. “Does she fight?”

That was the only explanation for her requests he could think of. In recent years, women fighters had surfaced in the industry and they kicked some serious ass.

“Nope. Just does this as a hobby.”

Kind of an intense hobby for someone who had no interest in making it a career.

“She’s good,” Mac continued. “Watch her.”

Lance crossed his arms over his chest and studied her inside the ring, still circling with Billy, dodging his attempt at a takedown. She was a beauty. Even with everything that had been happening, he’d noticed that yesterday. Hell, he’d have to be blind to miss it. After she’d sent Ralph to the ground, she stood there with confidence oozing off her. No fear or intimidation had even flicked in her eyes as the man towered over her. Other than the birth of his daughter, it was the most awe-filled sight he’d ever seen. When Ralph had started to rise, Lance had been uncertain of what the man was capable of, so he’d stepped forward, daring him to try anything. And still, she hadn’t wavered in her confident stance.

Today she was the same. Except she wasn’t wearing jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. No, today she was in a tight teal workout top and matching spandex shorts. The outfit showed off the softs swells of her toned, athletic body.

Suddenly, she went down on both knees and flipped Billy over her back onto his. The canvas thudded under the impact of his body. Impressive.

“I’ve watched her all morning,” Mac said. “She’s fucking something and has been training for a while.”

“Is this all you’ve seen her do?”

“Nah. Billy warmed her up on the bag. Dude, let me tell you, that woman has a fierce right hook. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of it.”

The woman, while still shapely and soft, had a steel quality about her—a don’t-even-think-to fuck-with-me aura. He liked that.

She would be fun to train. As much as he needed to keep his distance from her, a thrill encased him now. Maybe they could leave whatever happened yesterday outside the door.

{ review } .

This fighting book had it's moments of drama, but for the most part, was a light read. From the get-go, the reader gets a sense of all that Kelsey/Ella is hiding. She has spunk and fight, isn't afraid to show her fists to someone... but in the next instance, will flinch away.

It's the flinching that has Lance wanting to know her story.

Lance, too, has his own secrets -- secrets that have pulled his family away from him and have the ability to pull Kelsey/Ella away from him as well.

The fighting battles and the heavy relationship emotion were all well-written. I loved watching Lance with his daughter and I loved watching him pull Kelsey/Ella's walls down. The read itself simply wasn't as exciting as it could have been. It all played out in a straight, monotonous way. I found myself wanting to push through scenes just to get to the next exciting one. I also found myself a little disappointed in Ella's 'big moment' toward the end, in all honesty.

Reflecting back on the story, there were a number of key moments in Lance and Ella's story that were immensely enjoyable. Their journey to get to a HEA wasn't an easy one, and there's a lot of trust and battle of wills for them to go through. The story itself was good; the storyline was thought out and the characters were painted in a way that the reader gets to know them. It was just the execution that didn't pull me as far in as I wanted.

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1 comment:

  1. Lovely review. Thank you for hosting LOVE ON THE LEVEL today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours