*I received a free copy of Fighting Dirty from Harlequin HQN via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series: Ultimate #4
Published by Harlequin HQN on 23 February 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Winter COYER
He's the hottest MMA fighter in the game, but one woman is ready to try out a few steamy moves of her own in an unforgettable new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster...
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…
Fighting Dirty is as close to perfection as a story can be! Armie and Rissy *sighs*
Fighting Dirty is among my most anticipated books for 2016, and Lori Foster outdid herself! I have been longing for Armie and Merissa’s story ever since I met them in the first Ultimate book. The tension between the two of them kept increasing and in their own book, it was palpable. I loved getting to now both of them better, especially how they reacted when they were under pressure. Merissa is a very strong heroine, she was truly put through a lot in Fighting Dirty, but she took most of it in stride, and that made her very dear to me.
There is even more suspense in Fighting Dirty than in the prior Ultimate stories, and because Armie thought everything that was going on had to do with him, he did what every alpha male did in his kind of situation… to protect Rissy, he pushed her away, thinking she would be safer if they weren’t together at all. And Rissy, instead of being weepy and pushy just let him do it – mostly to show him that she would never pressure him, but also to lick her wounds in private.
As always, the interactions between the characters show how loyal they are to each other, and the fighters are so protective of each other and the ladies they are all swoon-worthy. There are quite a few very hot scenes, and I loved that Merissa was able to surprise Armie more than once. On top of that, there’s also plenty of funny banters, a little bit of jealousy, and so much tension it would be possible to cut through it with a sword. And on top of all the up close and personal scenes, there are quite a lot of fighting scenes as well, both training sessions and an actual fight.
Written in third person point of view, past tense with a narrator that is practically omniscient, Fighting Dirty was so well done I have already found one of my favorite 2016 reads! It has everything I love in a romance, friends to lovers, suspense, humor, character development and a lot of hotness. This could definitely be read as a stand-alone, but I really think it would be most enjoyable if you already know Merissa and Armie’s back stories, because the build-up for their story has happened over the past three books, slowly, very slowly.
But this insane ogling shit, as if he was a damned sideshow, bugged him big-time.
“Probably lonely, too, poor guy.” Very. Groupies, orgies and random one-night stands could only take a guy so far. He had a rep for sexual excess, and that’s what the ladies wanted from him. That, and nothing more.
“With heels,” Yvette enthused, since Merissa almost always wore flats. “I approve.”
“It’s just that I’m so blasted tall – “
“Like a model.”
“I don’t know.” More often than not, she felt gangly, not model-worthy.