Series: Worth the Fight #6
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: Fighting Dirty
Also by this author: Laid Out (Worth the Fight, #4), Fighting Dirty, Pull Me Close, Kiss Marry Kill, Make Me Stay, Make Me Stay, What About Us
Opposites attract in this seductive novel from the author of Against the Cage (“Funny, steamy, scorching.”—Toni Aleo), with a chiseled MMA fighter falling for a single mom who could use a real man in her corner.
Working two jobs to support her infant daughter is harder than anything Penny Richards has ever done, but it sure beats living under the rules of her stepfather, a television preacher who demands a picture-perfect family. And if Penny hadn’t struck out on her own, she never would have met Travis Calhoun. The intensely physical heavyweight brawler has a way of drawing out her wild side. But Travis lives fast, with no responsibilities—and that just isn’t for Penny.
Most of the women in Travis’s circle wear tight clothes, high heels, and tons of makeup—not pearls or plaid headbands. But once he works past Penny’s inhibitions, Travis discovers a kindred spirit who longs to trust someone with her body, and her secrets. Still, Travis can’t help but wonder if this rich girl is just slumming it before she returns to her privileged life. Now it’s up to Penny to prove that she wants her hard-edged, hard-loving fighter just the way he is.
How can the Worth the Fight series be ending?!? Stacked up is the final book in the series and its bittersweet. I really feel that each of these books has been better than the last. Halston’s writing has really gripped me and she has made me care about these people in Tarpon Springs, FL.
Stacked up brings us the story of Penny, a single mom to 1 year old Belle, and Travis, the WtF Academy’s star. Penny is on the run from her stepfather (a TV evangelist who shipped his pregnant teen off to a place for ‘girls like her’). Penny has been laying low, working 2 jobs, and just trying to survive. She has a crush on Travis instantly and Travis feels the same. The issue? Well, there are 2 really. 1st, Travis is on TV (there is a reality show filming at the gym while he is preparing for his title match) and Penny can’t be seen on tv because then her stepfather will find her. Second, Travis hates kids. He doesn’t want them, doesn’t think they are cute or adorable, and feels that they will only hinder his lifestyle. Penny keeps Belle a secret for a long time (from everyone, not just Travis) and when the secret comes out, it causes some strife. But, what I enjoyed about the story was that Travis and Penny both make mistakes, but they talk about it. Can you believe it? A romance novel in which the characters *gasp* communicate?! With words?! Crazy right? So many romance novel plots could be solved if they talked to each other like adults. Needless to say, I was happy Stacked Up went that route! The drama comes from Penny’s stepfather and Belle’s father. Watching Travis slowly fall in love with Penny and Belle is really heartwarming and it made the book feel more realistic. There is no insta-love here. They like each other, and they both agree early on it could eventually be love, but they know its not love at first sight or anything which only further makes this book more mature and normal than a lot of romance novels. Kudos to Halston and I can’t wait to read your new, upcoming series!
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: single parent, MMA fighter
- Triggers: None
- Series/Standalone: Standalone within an interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: No
- HEA: View Spoiler »Yes! Travis adopts Belle and marries Penny. Its very nice! « Hide Spoiler
USA Today bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “Just Do It”–Nike. And that’s exactly what she did.
After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading and reading and reading. She’s a reader first and a writer second. When she’s not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way.
From Stacked Up:
If there was one thing Travis knew with absolute certainty, it was that there wasn’t a single female on God’s green earth that could look more out of place in a strip club than Penny Richards. Her curly brown hair was held back with a headband thing that reminded him of a private school girl, and not the sexy ones he fantasized about. More like the pretty, yet awkward and out of place stuffy ones. She had black straight-legged pants and flats that looked completely practical and not at all sexy.
Even Ruby’s suggestive t-shirt looked unassuming on her. Maybe it was those damn pearls she rubbed when she was nervous. He was used to showy women with tight clothes, high heels, heavy make-up and poofy hair. Women that valued their own self-worth by the reactions they received from men. Men such as himself.
And, if any man in the place knew that her mouth was as fucking unexpected as a typhoon in Ohio, they’d be all over her. He hadn’t been exaggerating when he’d said it was the best kiss of his life, her kiss had been slow and sweet and quickly erupted into maddening need and desire.
The problem was that since he’d first laid eyes on Penny, something had clicked. He wasn’t sure what it was, but something had shifted inside of him. Something he wasn’t sure could be put back together to its original state. Maybe it was those big brown doe-like eyes that said everything but nothing all at the same time. Her naiveté, her awkwardness, her big easy smile that hid something he couldn’t seem to figure out.
He’d always thought it was strange that his friends had fallen head over ass in love with their girlfriends and never again saw another woman. The way they wanted to possess and protect their women had been incomprehensible to him.
Until he’d met Penny.