by M. Leighton (Goodreads Author)
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the second book in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.
He’s a fighter who never loses, but is he tough enough to win her heart?
There was a time when I had everything–a wonderful family, a bright future. Love. But all that was taken away in a single night, torn from me like flesh from bone. Since then, I’ve hidden away in my second-choice job as a makeup artist. But I prefer it that way, actually. I’m comfortable in the shadows, where no one can see my scars.
Kiefer Rogan literally took my breath away the moment I met him. MMA champion-turned-actor, notorious playboy, charming to a fault—he’s everything I vowed to avoid.
But he just wouldn’t stop until I opened up and let him in. Maybe I should’ve tried harder to resist him. Maybe I shouldn’t have fallen in love with him. Because I, of all people, know that everyone has secrets. Scars. And that they’re usually ugly and painful and destructive to the people we love most.
I just never guessed that they could be deadly, too.
Source: eARC for Honest Review Courtesy of Berkley | Penguin Group
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Part 2 in an ongoing series but could be read as a standalone
My Tough Enough Review . . .
Unfortunately this was another meh for me. It didn't not like it, but it also didn't wow me as well. As I was starting to read the book, I couldn't even recollect what this series was about nor what the first book was about. After refreshing my memory via Goodreads I tried to dive in to this story, but it never fully caught me.
This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone. Kiefer Rogan is one of three who worked in Special Forces, along with Tag and Jasper. We meet all of these boys in Strong Enough, which was Jasper's book and the basis of this series. Even though there was a previous base it didn't feel like it was a super strong part of this book.
Rogan is ex-special forces, current MMA fighter, an actor and a 'player'. Katie is an ex-actor, and now a current make up artist with a chip on her shoulder which comes from her past.
Both of pasts and scars to remind them of them every day.
Katie didn't want any man in her life but Rogan got under her skin and weaseled his way into her heart. For Rogan, the moment he met Katie, he knew something was different about her that made him want her even more.
The more Rogan works to gain her trust and her heart the more Katie's walls come done. However, the more the walls come down the more her insecurities come out. Don't get me wrong I totally understand why she's plagued with them, as most in her situation would be. However, constantly reading about them can sometimes be a more negative feature of a book instead of a plus.
I think I finally figured out why insecurities are bothering me as of late when I'm reading. When a story is just one person's POV, it's easier to relate to them and their insecurities. When the story is from dual POV's, we get to see the other person's perspective, which gives us the whole picture. For example, in this story we read about Katie's insecurities and the why, but we also read about Rogan adoring her and not seeing her scars. He only saw her and loved her. So as a reader we see what she doesn't see. This is great for adding elements of depth to a story but it can also ruin some aspects because we can frustrated with a character for not seeing what is right in front of them.
Katie finally lets Rogan in and things are going decently then the dreaded insecure induced assumptions make an appearance causing Katie to run and for Rogan to be stubborn. Sure, it gives more angst to the story, but its been done too much which makes it too repetitive within this genre.
I gave my heart away and this is what it's come to. (What comes is a small pile of horseshit of assumptions, which weren't needed and would have made me less frustrated with the story)
As Rogan and Katie find themselves apart because Katie won't listen, and Rogan is stuck between a rock and a hard place, which was made on his own by not communicating to his brother nor Katie. During this part we finally get back to the premise of the series and it ties it in with Jasper and Tag.
As these elements come to the surface, Katie finds herself.
I'm simply a girl who's tired of hiding, who's tired of being hurt. Who's tired of only surviving. (About time!)
In the end all they can do is fight. Fight to be tough. Fight for each other. Fight to love
Fight to survive. Fight to live.
This book, was one of those books that was decent but unimpressionable. Even while writing this review I had to refresh my memory who the character's names were, which only reiterates the point that it was a bit unforgettable. When I come across these books I find them harder to review because they aren't great, but they also aren't bad. They're just the middle of the road. This saddens me this time around because I liked the idea of the story and I freakin' adore M. Leighton, but in the end it didn't wow me. Will I continue with this series? I think so, as I vaguely remember liking Strong Enough, which makes Brave Enough have potential.
2.5 Another Meh thumbs up!