Title: Grappling for Position
Author: Melynda Price
Series: Against the Cage
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: 03-02-2017
Genre(s): Sports Romance, Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 321
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This battle of wills is about to go below the belt…
Willow Scott is sweet, innocent, and 100% untouchable. She’s the epitome of everything MMA fighter Regan “Rapscallion” Matthews has always wanted, but will never have. A woman like her deserves more than a scrapper from the wrong side of the tracks—the Scott’s charity case.
Unfortunately for Regan, his best friend’s little sister is all grown up and she’s tired of playing by the rules. When Willow sees something she wants, she goes after it—damn the consequences—and her sights are set on him. With a shot at the Welterweight title finally within his grasp, Willow Scott is a distraction Regan can’t afford. But this willful woman is determined to make him tap-out.
Willow has been in love with Regan Matthews since she was in pigtails and braces. Over the years, she’s all but given up hope of her brother’s friend returning her affection, but a part of her never stopped praying that someday he would see her as more than Kyle Scott’s annoying little sister. If Willow has her way that’s all about to change, and Regan must decide if he’s willing to risk losing his best friend and the Welterweight title for a woman he doesn’t deserve but cannot live without.
“The gloves are coming off, Matthews, and I’m not quitting. Not until one of us taps.”
I’m always game for an MMA romance, and this one fits the bill. Packed with emotion and mystery, it kept me glued to the pages.
Willow Scott has been in love with her brother’s best friend, Regan, since forever. Unfortunately, Regan only sees Willow as a little sister, but even if he didn’t, there’s still the matter of her brother, MMA fighter Kyle “The Killer” Scott. Kyle would kill Regan. But when Willow decides to make a play for his heart, maybe all she’s ever wanted is in reach.
Regan “The Rapscallion” Matthews has a reputation for “rapping” it up with cage-bangers. It’s only one of the reasons his best friend, Kyle, would kick his ass if Regan were to make a move on the man’s sister. But Willow’s all grown up and Regan knows he can’t resist her when she confesses how she feels. As they meet behind his friend’s back, their secrets bring doubt and guilt, but that’s the least of their problems.
So, where does that leave them?
She knew she wasn’t playing fair, but Willow was past fair; she was playing for keeps.
Willow is a great heroine, and I so enjoyed her. She’s tough. Not only does Willow lose her parents in a car accident, she narrowly misses death herself. Add to that two larger-than-life and overprotective MMA fighters? Willow’s sheltered to the max! This poor girl doesn’t get attention as a woman. Although granted, all the attention she wants is from Regan himself. I liked this aspect, and I didn’t. Some moments felt a little too over the top, and there’s a lot of back and forth in the beginning. But when Willow makes up her mind, I like how she becomes a one-woman war general slowing battering Regan’s guards down. It’s a long siege, but so worth it! And because Kyle is always around (he’s a father figure to Willow), these two have to sneak around like little kids to get a little nookie. It made for some laugh-out-loud moments.
Regan has a reason for not wanting to betray Kyle’s friendship by seeing Willow. An absolutely devastating reason. Kyle and Willow are all he has. But dang, does this make Regan such a wonderful guy. He is genuine and honest and oh, how romantic he could be! His intensity and focus are just what Willow needs, and it was hot, hot, hot!
Now, “I love yous” are exchanged fast. I’m not a fan of insta-love because I appreciate a good push and pull. In this story, however, I understood the necessity of it. And I’m pleased to say it in no way detracts from their connection. These two are combustible!
But boy, are there a lot of plotlines going on! All of these characters are damaged in some way. They fight their own demons while also trying to tackle everyone else’s. I found myself tearing up more than a few times. There are so much heart and emotion packed into each storyline–a beauty and rawness to it–that takes this MMA romance to another level. I also really enjoyed this group of fighters. The male camaraderie aspect is so well done and rounds out this thrilling story.
This MMA romance delivers, and I’m still reeling from all the action—both inside and outside the cage. I recommend this one for those who like their MMA with a soul-wrenching agony that enhances all the romantic feels.