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Brawler’s Baby by Holly Hart (Book Review)

4 of 5

Adult Romance

ARC provided through Red Cape Romance for an honest review.

Conor is the undefeated “Irishman” MMA fighter who fell in love with a beautiful woman, Rachel, years ago. They had incredible chemistry and he thought that they would get married until Rachel disappears without a trace. She leaves without a reason or goodbye and Conor is left heartbroken. He ends up turning to alcohol and women as a way to cover up his loss.  As he wins each fight he spirals more and more out of control. When he moves onto his next fight he is blindsided by a broken yet still beautiful Rachel, except her name is Maya and she is the daughter of the Russian Mob Boss. Maya has kept a secret from Conor; she has a son…his son, Eamon, who is 4 years old. Under her father’s sadistic control, Maya is forced to deal with constant mental and physical abuse to ensure her son has a decent life. Maya’s father sees Eamon as his successor, Maya as a weak and disposable woman and Conor as someone who can make him a lot of money.  Ultimately Maya knows the only way for her and her son to survive is to run away and Conor might be the man to help. Can Conor forgive Maya?

I could not put this book down! The story, characters (especially Conor) and overall setting had me hooked. The MMA fighter aspect with the Mob being involved added a lot of danger and excitement. This had me on the edge of my seat and flipping through the pages because I had to know how everything would play out.

I really enjoyed Conor’s character but at first I had mixed emotions for him. He is crude, aggressive, protective, and overall caring. His determination to win his fights is clear to see yet he uses alcohol and sex to cover up his real feelings/dealing with the loss of Rachael/Maya. My heart broke for him yet I felt he deserved whatever he got because he made some questionable choices. In the beginning he tended to do stupid things and makes horrible choices. I really enjoyed seeing him progress as a person throughout this story.

Maya appears to be a strong, independent, loving and caring woman. She clearly cares about her son, which I would have loved to see more interactions between them. She also cares for Conor (which was questionable at first – how do you keep your son away from his father and vice versa!? I wish there would have been more information pertaining to this…like seeing her father’s threats or something.)  I didn’t like how Eamon’s reveal to Conor went. I wanted more! More inner dialogue, thoughts and actions from Conor (and Maya). It would have also been helpful (although not fun) for Conor to see the abuse Maya had to endure first hand from her father. It would have made him even more understanding of the whole situation and added the “damsel in distress” aspect to the story.

Conor and Maya have hot chemistry together! His rough and tough attitude and her sweet personality balance out nicely. Both of them have extreme situations to overcome which allows them to connect (again).

Overall this book is thrilling and captivating! I am excited to check out more books from Holly Hart, especially if there are more in the “Mob City” series.

Amazon link – http://amzn.com/1533443734

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