It will come as a surprise to no one that I wanted to read Against the Ropes because of the cover. I've actually had this ARC for a while, and every time I saw it on my shelf, I gave it the side eye and I sighed. When it finally came time to get started, I snatched the beautiful covet off the shelf and cackled (yes, cackled) in complete giddiness.
Against the Ropes was not the book I anticipated. It had so much more than the synopsis indicated. In fact, I found myself re-reading the synopsis multiple times, trying to see if I missed anything. I thought I was getting a story about a MMA fighter and the woman who wins his heart. And yes, this is essentially what the book is about. But there was SO MUCH going on in addition to that.
Torment isn't exactly who he seems; he has a bit of a double life going on. While I didn't hate that, it was not what I was looking for from Against the Ropes. In addition, Torent has some heavy issues in and out of the bedroom. While I didn't mind the outside issues so much, and his double life, I think his story would've been stronger without it. I would've preferred him as the gritty, troubled, sexy fighter, less the polished and dominant businessman to go with it. Torment also has control issues in and out of the bedroom, and some of his actions didn't always sit well with me. Overall, I dealt with the extreme curveballs well enough. But I will say that the synopsis was more clear so that readers know what to expect and can be better informed about whether the book is a good fit for their preferences.
As far as Makayla goes, I liked her. She was an "Everywoman", someone easy to relate to. She was a funny chick, had a serious mouth in her, and was likeable in general. Makayla was up for just about anything, anytime, anywhere. I appreciated that while she was very much into Torment, she was resistant to his "other life". Like Torment, Makayla had serious issues from childhood, some that come into play when they're intimate, though I think these needed to be fleshed out more to really make a hard impact.
I know that I've already mentioned Against the Ropes had a lot going on, I think there may have been too much. There's the subplot with crazy debt collectors who threaten and harass Makayla. And I get it, because this causes her to make decisions that drive the story, but didn't make sense legally. Makayla's hospital co-workers also take up a good portion of the book, and some of that I could have done without as well. I felt that it detracted from Torment and Makayla's story.
Against the Ropes was often funny, sexy, and exciting. And when I say funny, I mean that there were times that I laughed out loud. I always appreciate that in a story. And though there were aspects that didn't work out as I'd hoped or expected, I did enjoy the overall story. I liked a lot of the secondary characters, the other fighters and one of Makayla's co-workers, but especially Amanda and Jake. Seeing as things were left very up in the air in regards to those two, I wonder if the author has more in store for them. If you're looking for a book that is way more than meets the eye, Against the Ropes may be worth a try.show more
by Andrea Thompson