Wednesday, September 23, 2015

review || PASSING HIS GUARD by Melynda Price

Montlake Romance | August 25, 2015 | Romantic Suspense
Against the Cage, book 2


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.

{ review } .

This series... I have enjoyed every moment thus far. I knew that I liked Aiden and his mysterious ways in the previous book, WIN BY SUBMISSION, but I was ill prepared for how much I was going to love the man when he was paired up with Ryann, a woman his mother hired to bring him home, so he could marry the woman his family set him up with. 

His family being a senator's family. He being a lawyer... But he didn't want that lifestyle, was over covering for things he didn't want a part of... Fighting was a passion he took up in school, so he ran from home, ended up in Vegas, erased all aspects of Bennett Kruze's son with tattoos and piercings, and made a name for himself on the MMA circuit.

Where Aiden was heat, Ryann was sass. Where Aiden put up a fight, Ryann gave it right back. Handcuffs, roofies, a cross-country trip... Every moment of this book had me turning the pages. I loved that Ryann didn't give him an inch, and she refused to allow him to clump her in the same group with the countless women before her. Ryann is spunk, sass, and has sarcasm to the nth degree, even tossing it in during some passive aggressive arguments.

That's not to say Aiden doesn't have his own sarcasm. I thought I liked Cole, but Aiden is pretty high up there on my book boyfriend chart.

Despite the truth staring him in the face, he still didn't want to believe it--didn't want to believe this sweet, innocent-looking woman would be capable of doing something so underhanded, so manipulative, so...effing illegal.
{ that pause... I love it. I read so much emotion and disbelief in that pause }

These two both have some pretty heavily guarded hearts and when they hurt, they jab at the other with cheap shots and hurtful words. But when it comes down to it, both Aiden and Ryann's biggest fear is that they're going to lose the other person.

What I'm enjoying most about this series (I know, I know, two books in isn't that far into a series...) is that while this core group of characters has fighting and their gym in common, everything else that makes up the book is different. Fighting only takes up a small chunk of the story. Where WBS dealt with Cole and his recovery, we have a pretty deep suspenseful story in PASSING HIS GUARD -- and the suspense was done well. Right from the prologue, I was gripped in the world Melynda brought us to.

While this book is part of a series, it is not necessary to read the previous book. However, I did enjoy the fact that the books do overlap -- this installment starts when Katie was back in Wisconsin, when Cole let her go (before that book's suspenseful nature took place). I'm curious, though, how the next book is going to happen with Ryann and Aiden's situation as it is. Both Ryann and Aiden grew close to Nikko, so I'd love to see more of them, but I just don't think that's going to happen. Regardless, scarred, ex-military Nikko? 

"...Not once has a woman ever looked at me the way Ryann looks at you--like her sun rises and sets on you--like you're her whole world..."--Nikko

My goodness, I can't wait for him to get his story.

{ previous reviews in series } .

WIN BY SUBMISSION 5{ review } .

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