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Full Contact (Worth the Fight, #2) by Sidney…

Full Contact (Worth the Fight, #2)

by Sidney Halston

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Full Contact by Sidney Halston
Book #2: Worth the Fight Series
Source: Author and Purchase
My Rating: 5/5 stars
My Review:

Slade Martin is about as badass as they come. He is a super-simple guy with two total and complete desires. Desire one is mixed martial arts and the dream of one day owning his own gym. Slade is, quite literally willing to put his life on the line to make this dream come true. Desire two is Jessica Cross, the woman Slade has adored for quite some time yet hasn’t ever really been able to get close to. Like his dream of owning a gym, Slade is willing to put his life on the line and give up his freedom for Jessica.

Jessica Cross never intended to be a statistic. From a wealthy family who have high expectations for their daughter and her life, Jessica hasn’t told her family the real reason she broke things off with her boyfriend, Dennis. As far as Jessica’s parents are concerned, Dennis, with his charm, family connections, and political aspirations is the perfect match for Jessica. What they don’t know is that Dennis is bat-shit crazy and likes to beat Jessica. Slade Martin knows all these things and wants nothing more than to hurt Dennis, protect Jessica, and make her his own. Given her recent experiences, Jessica is beyond hesitant to jump into a new relationship but there is just something about Slade that is hard to resist. With nearly everyone else, Slade is big, bad, and scary but with Jessica, he is kind, caring, intensely sexual, and hugely protective.

Slade never imagined when he finally got Jessica into his life and into his home it would be because she is recuperating from a serious beating at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. Bringing Jessica deeper into his life is one of Slade’s greatest desires and while he is generally a fairly aggressive guy, Jessica needs something far different. With Jessica, Slade taps into the parts of his personality that don’t normally see the light of day. As an MMA fighter, Slade gets to let his anger and aggression out but with Jessica, he gets to be gentle and caring, and just aggressive enough in the bedroom to completely satisfy each other. More surprisingly, Slade quickly realizes he doesn’t just want a little bit of time and a lot of sex with Jessica but a whole hell of a lot of each.

Now let’s add some drama into the mix. Jessica has to deal with not just her recovery but the choices she made to get her to her current place in life. She has to deal with her family and her future and how disparate the two really are. Then, there is the fact that her ex is still causing some fairly serious problems for both she and Slade. From Jessica’s perspective, it is all just too much to bear and the easiest and most heartbreaking solution for all involved is simply to leave town. Jessica is only half of Slade’s drama. He wants her desperately but he also wants his own gym. With Jessica, he is facing jail time as a result of a confrontation with her crazy ex as well as facing her leaving town. With his dream of owning a gym, Slade is facing a lack of funds which can easily be remedied with just a few more unsanctioned, high risk fights. However, he has been fighting for a lot of years and the injuries are adding up to the point that one more serious blow and Slade is in the realm of long-term irreversible damage or even death. Like Jessica, some things are just worth the time, the effort, and the risk.

The Bottom Line: The title, Full Contact really does epitomize Slade Martin. From start to finish, Slade is full tilt and focused on his two goals, getting enough money to buy a gym and making Jessica his. Slade is so focused on these goals that he often disregards even his own well-being and while that may seem stupid (and it is on some levels) is also an expression of his confidence. Slade has confidence in spades and that is very much a part of his appeal. His foul mouth and absolute determination make him sexy as hell and when you throw in all the crap he has to go through and the opposition he faces, well, Slade is just about perfect. One of the awesome ironies of this read is how often Slade says he doesn’t do drama but there is a butt load of drama in his life and in this read. Every single bit of the drama makes sense to the read and particularly to Jessica and speaks to Slade’s character. That Slade is willing to endure the drama he so despises for the realization of his dream and an HEA is a delightful irony that I chuckled about many, many times throughout this read. ( )
  arthistorychick | Apr 2, 2016 |
Great read! This is my first book I've read from this author and I really like her writing style. Great pace, natural dialogue between the characters, fluid story makes this a really enjoyable read. I will definitely be going back to read book one in this series as well as some of this authors other books. I highly recommend this one. ( )
  Bette_Hansen | Nov 3, 2015 |

When bartender Jessica’s now ex-boyfriend puts her in the hospital, irresponsible womanizer Slade is more than ready to come to her rescue. After all, it was his interference that set the jerk off, even if there’s no excuse for what happened. Only now that he’s designated himself as Jessica’s savior, Slade’s got to clean up his act and show her what a good guy he can really be if he’s going to have any chance of getting her to see him as more than just another flirty customer at the bar.

The Verdict: I can’t say I liked Slade all that much in Against the Cage, but now that I’ve read his story, he doesn’t seem quite so selfish and irresponsible. Perhaps it simply took Jessica to give him focus.

Just as in the previous book, Full Contact started out with a hilarious bang. Instead of immediately showing Slade’s good side, the story gives us a good laugh at the Slade we remember, the one who doesn’t seem to know what a relationship is and is in everything for fun and personal gain. It’s in that moment that we get to see how lost he’s really been, not to mention how perfect Jessica just may be for him.

Jessica could easily have been a stereotypical victim, but even as she’s been caught in the standard role of an abused woman, complete with all the traps and sad facts that story brings, she knows she deserves — and wants — more. Unfortunately, her abuser has ties to power in the small town, making his threats to damage her life all the more frightening. This is where someone like Slade, someone who’s used to making up his own rules and living life for himself, is a perfect match for her.

Recovering from an assault at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Jessica’s been staying with Slade, irresponsible womanizer and former MMA fighter. Slade’s always been flirty, asking her out at least a hundred times, but Jessica was taken at the time — albeit by someone who didn’t deserve her. Even so, Jessica knows that Slade has earned every bit of his reputation, so no matter how good he’s been to her in the aftermath of her violent relationship with Dennis, falling for him might not be the best idea. Slade see’s both Jessica’s strength and wounds, and it brings out the protector in him. He’s never made any secret of his attraction to her, but he has a reputation to overcome if he’s going to be worthy of her. At the same time, her abusive ex Dennis lurking in the background means he’s got to keep an eye on her, even if she insists she can take care of herself.

The chemistry between Slade and Jessica is off the charts, and their banter keeps things light even as they heat up. Slade’s not the fastest on the uptake, but his heart more than makes up for it when he lets himself fall for Jessica, and the way he takes care of her is incredibly sweet. Of course, it’s also great to revisit the other best couple in Tarpon Springs, complete with their demon chihuahua, while Jessica and Slade work through to their happily ever after. Through it all, there are plenty of laughs, lots of good friendship, and one hell of a steamy romance. So far, this series is lighthearted without being complete fluff, romantic and fun, and incredibly entertaining, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!

***FicCentral received this book from Random House LLC (via NetGalley) for free in exchange for an honest review. Even so, we're far too opinionated to let a freebie influence our thoughts or the contents of the reviews we post here. ( )
  ysar | Jul 8, 2015 |
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When Jessica Cross decides to give her violently jealous boyfriend--the otherwise influential and charming Dennis Stavros--a second chance, she very nearly becomes a statistic. After weeks of healing from a broken rib and collapsed lung, and with Dennis behind bars, Jessica finally feels ready to come out of hiding. But will she ever be able to take a chance on love again with someone new? Mixed martial arts fighter Slade Martin knows he has a bad reputation. Hell, he's probably earned it. So it won't be easy to convince beautiful, vulnerable Jessica that she can trust him--that from the moment she walked into his life, she's been the only one he's wanted. Powerful and confident, Slade knows he can honor his vow to protect Jessica body and soul. Winning her heart will be another matter . . . but a woman like Jessica is worth the fight.… (more)

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