23 Feb '13
A Nix Contemporary Review – Making him Sweat by Meg Maguire (3 Stars)
She’s hitting below the belt…
In this corner is admittedly romantic Jenna Wilinski, who’s inherited a rather seedy boxing gym from her estranged father. With it, she can realize her dream of launching an upscale matchmaking business…provided she can take on the very intimidating—and wickedly hot—boxer who stands in her way!
In the far corner is former pro boxer Mercer Rowley. He’s the only one who can protect his “home”—even if it is a little run-down— from his determined and feisty little opponent. But man, once the gloves come off, his hands just want to touch her everywhere…
This matchup is too close to call. But no matter which contender comes out on top, the other is sure to enjoy every minute of it….
OK, I started reading this one as it was about MMA…. it really wasn’t about MMA. Yes the lead character is a MMA fighter but there is no scenes where he fights or trains in any capacity. Really, all you need to know is this set in a gym and the hero is a MMA fighter but you need to know absolutely zip about the sport. For a fighter romance there is remarkably no violence or violent scenes; it is a nice easy romance.
This was not at all what I expected. Mercer is a remarkably nice hero. In walks this woman and tells him that she is shutting down the gym that he has worked hard to help run, kicking him out of his apartment and bad-mouths the man he thinks of as a father figure. Does he get mad? No he is nice about it. I think this is was where I lost a little bit of interest with the book. I wanted angst and anger but what I got was a fighter who took it all in his stride. Because of the lack of emotion with this particular plot thread, I struggled with him as a Romance hero in general. He was just so blazè about everything that I ended up being the same with him as he didn’t give me what I wanted from a Romance hero. He gave me all of the nice emotions well but he was a bit flat when it came to any real depth of emotion. I liked him but he was never going to make any of my top boyfriend lists.
Surprisingly, I liked Jenna a lot more than the Hero. She walked into that gym with a plan but that plan became more difficult to implement as she grew closer to the members of the gym. She gave me everything that I wanted from a heroine. I also felt that she gave me the emotions that I needed to keep me engaged with the plot. She struggled with her decisions, struggled with her emotions towards Mercer and gave the plot a depth that I feel it needed. There were genuinely difficult decisions to be made, men about to become jobless and heritages about to be destroyed. She should have struggled with it and I loved her for giving me the angst that I needed to take this book seriously. She was a genuinely good person and she nearly broke her heart when she realised the full implications of what she was about to do. Jenna and Mercer together were pretty sweet too…. I loved the scene where he found her in his bed, when he came back unexpectedly, just because she needed some comfort.
The side characters were really really good in this one. I will read the next one because I want to see Rich the womaniser fall… that looks like it may be a good book to read!
Overall, this is a very easy read. As I really struggled with the Hero I cannot give it more than 3 Stars BUT I know reviewers that have adored him. Give it a shot… the plot was strong enough to keep me engaged and the next one looks very promising.