All I can say is...Yes Please!
I stumbled on this book while I was perusing the Goodreads romance book lists. Hmmm, I wonder what caught my attention? Haha, I do find it funny how new contemporary romance covers are all about the abs. But I'm definitely not complaining. Anyway, I may have picked this book up based on the eye-candy cover, but I was quickly swept up in the lives of Irish boxer O'Connell and shy waitress Emily. They are such likeable characters and you instantly feel for them, and root for their love story. The poor kids have so much standing in their way that you can't help but cross your fingers and pray for the best.
Emily is a waitress working her way through school. She's smart but fragile - she's on the run from her abusive step-father and her past haunts her. She doesn't trust or let people in easily, and with good reason. O'Connell hasn't had it easy either. He basically had to raise himself because of his alcoholic mother. The one thing that saved him was getting into boxing. But he never really believed in himself enough that he thought of actually working towards a professional career. When he meets Emily, that all changes. She makes him want to better himself and he soon starts taking his training seriously. O'Connell knows that he wants Emily, but he really has to work to get past her defences. When he finally does, they still have so many issues to get past but as a reader, I kept flipping the pages with bated breath - I really wanted to see what happened.
Another thing that makes this book great are the fun secondary characters - O'Connell's ragtag team of friends, and his trainer, Danny. They all embrace Emily and welcome her into the family. I think it will be fun to continue the series and read about what happens to them. I've already started The Aftermath, which is the sequel, and I can't wait to get back to it. In fact, I'm going to do that now, but before I do, I'll encourage you to go read this book. O'Connell and Emily will fight their way into your heart and you won't want to let them leave.