Series: Warrior Fight Club #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Ride Rough, Her Forbidden Hero, Theirs to Take, Ride Wild, Ride Dirty
Loving her is the biggest fight of his life…
Home from the Marines, Noah Cortez has a secret he doesn’t want his oldest friend, Kristina Moore, to know. It kills him to push her away, especially when he’s noticing just how sexy and confident she’s become in his absence. But, angry and full of fight, he’s not the same man anymore either. Which is why Warrior Fight Club sounds so good.
Kristina loves teaching, but she wants more out of life. She wants Noah—the boy she’s crushed on and waited for. Except Noah is all man now—in ways both oh so good and troubling, too. Still, she wants who he’s become—every war-hardened inch. And when they finally stop fighting their attraction, it’s everything Kristina never dared hope for.
But Noah is secretly spiraling, and when he lashes out, it threatens what he and Kristina have found. The brotherhood of the fight club helps him confront his demons, but only Noah can convince the woman he loves that he’s finally ready to fight for everything.
Fighting for Everything is part friends to lovers, part military recovery story! Noah has returned from the Marine Corp a different person-physically and mentally. He has severe physical injuries, extreme PTSD, and on top of that a big case of survivor’s guilt. He feels so broken and worthless. Kristina has been his best friend for years, and she is the last person he wants to see him like this. Kristina is a teacher and totally in love with Noah. She is NOT going to let him push her away.
Noah’s struggles are the central plot of the story really. His PTSD and injuries are the reason he pushes Kristina away, the reason he is angry, and the reason he feels worthless. While you get a friends to lovers romance, you also get to see a man fight his demons. The veterans fight club he creates is the outlet he needed, but also the outlet other vets needed. It was great to see Noah climb his way out of his depression and carve a new life. Kaye does a beautiful job writing the pain and guilt Noah feels, and also the determination Kristina has to get Noah through this tough time. Kaye’s writing is great; my biggest struggle was that I just didn’t feel wowed. I think when you read as many books as I do, it gets difficult to really wow me.
Fighting for Everything sets up the Warrior Fight Club series and I am thrilled to see where Kaye takes it! She writes deep, complex characters with profound emotions.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: veteran, friends to lovers
- Triggers: View Spoiler »Noah has PTSD and his flashbacks and struggles are detailed but not overly exploited. « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler
FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING – No Good Right Now Excerpt
“I’m no good right now, Kristina,” Noah said in a low voice.
She shook her head. “That’s not true. You’ve been through something horrible. And you’re still recovering. Still hurting. That’s all understandable—”
“I am fucked in the head. You saw it yourself. Twice,” he said, his voice suddenly loud, bitter. Under her hands, his muscles tensed.
“You are not fucked in the head,” she said, anger and determination gathering deep in her belly. Not anger at Noah, but irrational anger for him. She hated that things had happened to him that left him feeling this way. So out of control, so sad, so unlike himself. “Sure, you have things you’re dealing with. And you willget a handle on them—”
“No,” he said, shaking her off and pacing in the narrow space behind the door. “You don’t understand. I’m…” Noah’s hands squeezed into fists at his sides. “…so goddamned angry. All the time. It feels like I could tear the world to pieces. And I want to.” He whirled on her. “Because the perfection of everything around me makes me feel so much more wrecked inside that I can barely breathe.”
Tears pricked at the backs of her eyes, but she wouldn’t let them fall. She wouldn’t let herselffall apart. Not now. Not in front of him. Not when Noah needed to lean on her so damn badly. “The world around you is not perfect, Noah. It’s an illusion. And you are not wrecked—”
“I am.” He got right up in her face.
Kristina held her ground. “You’re not—”
He grabbed her by the arms, not so much that it hurt, but with enough force that it surprised her. “Here’s your proof. I want to fuck you, Kristina. I want to bury myself in you and stay there forever. Just lose myself in you until I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve been fantasizing about it, dreaming about it, imagining it. Having you is all I can fucking think about. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Noah’s words unleashed a flash fire in Kristina’s blood. Her heart tripped into a sprint. Her breathing shallowed out. Heat roared across her skin. One heartbeat. Two. And Kristina knew what she had to do.
Acting on instinct, she pulled out of Noah’s grip and stepped backward. Away from his confession. Away from him.