Breaking a Legend
by Sarah Robinson
BLOG TOUR Giveaway and Review
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/144608-kavanagh-legends
Releasing September 29, 2015
As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.
Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.
The crowd roared around him as the bell sounded, vibrating through his entire body. Rory Kavanagh immediately moved into position, his head low and his fists in front of his face. His arms were tucked in, shielding his body as he advanced on his opponent. This was it. A lifetime of practice, sparring, training: It was all for this moment.
It was all for this fight.
He was bigger than his opponent; this would be a simple win. He had the strength, he had the power. He towered over him by several inches, his shoulders broader, and his muscles thicker. This fight was in the bag. Punch, block, jab, shield, kick, sidestep. His opponent was moving fast, but Rory practically danced around his attack. He rained down jab after jab, his opponent staggering backward with a bloody lip. The bell sounded and both men retreated to their respective corners.
“Water,” Rory grunted, leaning against the cage side as his father handed him a water bottle, his brothers eagerly watching from outside the cage. He dumped a mouthful of water onto his tongue before swirling it around and spitting it out into a nearby bucket.
“You’re doing great, Rory, but remember technique. You’re too heavy-handed on power, and you’re not focusing on skills. That’s how fighters get hurt.”
“I’m fine. This is in the bag.” Rory tossed the bottle at him, strutting back toward the center of the ring as the ref began announcing the start of the second round.
“Fight!” The ref backed up quickly as the men converged on each other. Rory landed the first hook, blocking the return. Breathe, focus.
And that’s when it happened.
He blinked in surprise as blinding pain coursed through him. He looked down for a second, just a second, and it was over. Rory hadn’t even seen it happen; his opponent had been too fast. He looked down at his leg, but it was entirely twisted at the knee and bent the wrong direction. Bones were protruding and blood trickled morbidly down his calf. Searing pain inexplicably mixed with tingling numbness shot through his body in pulsing currents as he wavered.
Then all he saw was black. He felt the cage floor hit the back of his head as he went down hard. He heard the screaming from audience members, his family included. The ref’s whistle was blaring and medics were asking if he was okay.
Rory said nothing, and gave in to the black.
After losing his last fight due to his stubbornness ( and a seriously broken leg), Rory Kavanaugh is a vessel without a rudder. Ten months of rehab after his leg was put back together, he is still in pain and hooked on pills and liquor. There is no purpose to his life anymore. His purpose in life was the cage and maintaining his status as one of the top 10 MMA fighters. Now, he has no idea what to do with his life. Even his once close ties with his family has taken a hit. He feels guilty because he knows he has not lived up to their expectations. In addition, he has no idea or will to turn his life around.
Meeting Claire is the first thing that makes Rory think twice about his life. The attraction is immediate. As she meets him for the first time while he is thoroughly drunk at the bar where she works, they cannot help but notice the easy banter and the electricity between them.
Claire comes with her own baggage. She is running away from her past and fearing for her life. She needs to prove to herself she is strong and able to defend herself. Living in terror and barely making ends meet, she is still resilient and willing to pick herself up again and again in order to succeed.
All the emotions of falling in love, loving someone deeply, yet feeling inadequate are shared by our characters. Their struggle to improve themselves goes beyond the expected, as our main characters try, fail and continue to fight toward shedding the baggage from the past and to forge ahead with hope.
I should also mention, the love scenes are HOT! They are not over explicit, in fact they are very tasteful but still HOT.
Sensitive, emotional with undercurrents that will grip your heart, all is not drama. This is an Irish family with a heart of gold ( although Kavanaugh Sr. was once part of the Irish Mafia). They are boisterous, caring and involved with each other. They cannot help but draw us into their family dynamics where they all care and fight for each other. Sometimes they even fight each other! Too many alpha boys trying to grow up into men.
I found myself immersed in this story completely. I could feel the emotions the characters were feeling because, at some point or another, we have all struggled to succeed. We have all succumbed to pressures and obstacles and it is through our inner fortitude that we are able to overcome.
A special mention is needed here. This story makes a strong statement regarding the use of dogs to train fighting dogs. The inhumanity of such a practice has to be noted. These dogs are victims to the greed of humans that will stop at nothing to get what they want. We are the keepers of the Earth and all the animals and lives on this planet. Whether we like animals or not, being decent and not abusing them comes with the territory. Our story shows us how, with care, we can help these victimized dogs to find a new life with a hopeful future. Ace's character is based on a real-life dog who survived this inhumane treatment and found a loving home to nurture and love him. Art imitates life.
Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of The Photographer Trilogy and the Sand & Clay rock star series. A native of Washington, D.C., Robinson has both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal psychology. She is married to a local police officer who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiast as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescue and foster animals.
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