Love is not for the faint-hearted...
Since the age of fifteen, Michael “Knox” Anderson has been avoiding the demons that chase him. Estranged from his brothers and scorned by society, twenty-five-year-old Michael replaces his feelings of abandonment with the dangerous world of illegal underground cage fighting.
Michael meets the mysterious Alexis Richards, a tattoo artist by day and computer hacker by night, whose small, selfless gesture has caught his interest. But he’s unsure if she’s worth pursuing when she has access to his darkest secrets at her fingertips.
Michael musters the courage to give Lexi a chance and to give love a second round. But the information he uncovers about her connection with a secret organization forces him to rethink his dangerous life choices.
Michael doesn’t know if Lexi will be in his corner when it all goes down. But he’s willing to gamble on his feelings for her till the last round. With her help, he must find a way to make amends with his past and bring the final knockout to those demons once and for all.
THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS
I've been with this series from the beginning and I have to say the characters tend to get better with each story. This wasn't my favorite but I did enjoy the story.
Let's talk about what worked: African American male MC: Besides the obvious. I love seeing a man of color as a main character, that's always going to be a win for me.
Hacker Extraordinaire: I love the internet, computers, technology--and I love a hacker, especially a female one. There's just something I really like about hackers, maybe it's their computer savvy or their ability to be everywhere. I don't know but I love it.
Fixing families: At the core of this novel, is some deep-rooted family issues. There's a wall up between members of this family, but throughout it all there was some mending and I enjoyed that. I love the idea of family--so I loved that they attempted to fix things.
Romance: I'm a sucker for love, even tumultuous love can keep me reading.
The girl: I admired that she had a punk rock style, complete with all the tattoos and piercings--despite that our MC fell in love with her. She wasn't all soft curves, and curly hair and he loved her still. I dig that.
What didn't work:
Our MC's attitude towards his mother's "smothering". This rubbed me the wrong way, for someone who has been basically estranged from his Mother--you'd think he'd be more warm towards her. Instead he complained of how much "mothering" she was doing. Didn't care for that, not one bit.
Lexi: She was a bit off putting--in that she seemed to constantly be combating with Michael in ways I didn't understand. She was more rude than she was nice and I have to say it didn't sit well with me.
The romance: I'm going to sound highly contradictory here--because I know that I said I don't mind a tumultuous relationship and I don't. BUT these two seemed to be on the outs more than in, and it was troubling. I know couples fight but I felt like they fought more than they needed to--and that had a lot to do with Lexi's character. She definitely could have been warmer--although part of me understands why she wasn't.
Conclusion: Reads well, has intriguing characters, an entertaining plot. Not sure if it's my favorite NA but it certainly wasn't the worse. Recommended to readers who love a series of novels with related characters. Romance a little on the speedy side but resolutions are HEA's.