I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster
Published by Harlequin HQN on March 1, 2016
Source: the library
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Getting Rowdy, Dash of Peril, No Limits
Fourth in the cozy Ultimate romance series (and a spin-off from Foster’s Love Undercover series) set in Warfield, Ohio, revolves around Cannon Colter and his “family” of MMA fighters. The couple focus is on Armie Jacobson and Merissa Colter.
Technically, I suppose I should give it a “3” for all the tropes, but I did enjoy this one, and I do appreciate upstanding, supportive characters.
It’s a cozy, supportive “family” of characters who believe in each other and rally to support their friends. Stand-up guys with good values who don’t back down.
It is cute how Cannon knows what’s going on. The center is earning a rep. Yes!! As for Rissy, she has a strength that more women could use. She is not afraid of saying it like it is, lol.
It’s another case of nature vs nurture as we meet Armie’s dad. Oh. Boy. Mac fits right in with Steve with his morals.
Hah. Foster is setting us up for another spin-off series. I just know it!
Yeah, it’s tropey with the misunderstood interactions; Merissa determined to “show him”; Armie having a dangerous secret to hide; super, super nice guys; the stupid bad guys; the kid in trouble; the contrite ex — and you’ll enjoy reading it all the same.
With the life he’s led and the muscles he’s gained, Armie Jacobson isn’t afraid of anything. Except maybe Merissa Colter’s effect on him. It’s not just that she’s his best friend’s little sister. Fact is, she deserves better. Women pursue him for one night of pleasure, and that’s all he wants to offer. Until rescuing Merissa from a robbery leads to the most erotic encounter of his life.
Good girl meets bad boy. It’s a story that rarely ends well. But Merissa is taking matters into her own hands. No matter how he views himself, the Armie she knows is brave, honorable, and completely loyal. And as past demons and present-day danger collide, they’re both about to learn what’s truly worth fighting for…
Merissa “Stretch” Colter is Cannon’s younger sister. Cannon “Saint” Colter is her brother and an SBC fighter. He’s married to Yvette (No Limits, 1). Muggles is his and Yvette’s mutt.
Armie “Quick” Jacobson has been running Cannon’s rec center and gaining a rep as a fighter to go with his existing rep for sexual excess. He also has a horrible secret to hide. His mother left when he was 14. Mac Jacobson is his lousy excuse for a father.
The rec center is…
…Cannon’s plan to help kids have options. Bray Huggins is fifteen and in a bad situation. Russell is his stupid mother’s boyfriend. Sally and Bill are the loving foster parents. Justice, Miles “The “Legend” Dartman, Brand, and Leese are still single. The girls adore Leese for particular skills.
The very protective Denver Lewis, an accountant, (married Cherry in Holding Strong, 2), the laidback Stack “The Wolf” Hannigan (married Vanity Baker, Yvette’s best friend, a month ago in Tough Love, 3), and Gage “Savage” Ringer (married to Harper Gates who works full-time at the center, in “Hard Knocks“, 0.5) are the married fighters.
The SBC is…
…the most widely known MMA organization, and Drew Black is its president. Jude Jamison had been a champion fighter, an actor, and holds a lot of stock in the company. He’s married to Dakota, who could’a been a contender. Instead she plays in a band and works with abused women. Simon Evans, who wants to be Armie’s manager, and Dean Connors are fight legends. Havoc wants to coach Armie. Harley “Hard to Handle” Handleman is a lot like Armie with a dislike for promo and that chip on his shoulder. Denny Zip had been Jude’s coach.
Carter “Chaos” Fletcher is the man Armie is scheduled to fight.
Steve is Merissa’s ex and CEO of a marketing firm. Keno and Boyd are thugs. Lea Baley was a rich girl with an itch to walk on the wild side some years ago. Her father is a clueless jerk in major denial.
Some of Armie’s ex-girlfriends include Cass and Kizzie. Detectives Logan and Reese Barden and Rowdy Yates who owns Getting Rowdy make cameos. Dirk is the clerk at the porn shop. Gary and Frank are customers. Fred is a TV reporter with his own secrets.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a deep green and black background with a ripped and sleeved Armie, distracting with that bare chest, front and center on the cover. The author’s name is in white while the title is in a bright green beneath. The series information is in white below that.
The title may be referring to Steve, but I suspect it’s really Rissa who is Fighting Dirty for the man she wants.