Published January 13th 2014 by Entangled: Brazen
He’ll fight for her life. She’ll fight for his love.
Former MMA fighter Aiden “Irish” O’Brien hasn’t stepped into the ring since he accidentally took someone’s life in the heat of rage. When his friend calls in a favor that sends him south to check on family, Irish figures he’s got nothing to lose. His life is on the ropes. The least he can do is make sure the sexy redhead is safe.
Kat MacGregor has forty-eight hours to settle the twenty thousand dollar debt her deadbeat ex-boyfriend owes a crime boss. If she doesn’t, she’ll pay for it—with her life. Kat’s halfway out the door when a sexy new guy walks into the bar and insists he’s there to help.
Irish is forced to fight in the underground MMA circuit to win the money she needs. But he’s been lying to Kat. About who he is, about knowing her sister, about why he comes home bruised every night. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him, but breaking her trust will cost him the most important fight of his life: the one for her heart.
Aiden dropped his hands to her hips and stepped closer. “Will you stay tonight?” he asked softly.
One night. He could do that, couldn’t he? Then he could get this need for her out of his system and focus on winning the tournament to free her from any danger. His job would be done, his debt paid to Jax, and he could move back home to continue his daily penance and meaningless existence.
But right now he wanted to feel alive again, if only for a night in the arms of the woman who’d had his balls on lockdown for months. She was the reason no one else even appealed to him anymore. He needed her, just this once. But he wouldn’t do it without an understanding between them.
“Kat, can I be honest with you?” Aiden was aware of the fine line he was walking. Now he just had to do it without sounding crude or disrespectful, which would be a challenge. He was no smooth-talking Romeo.
Meeting her expectant gaze, he took a deep breath and prepared himself for the possibility of getting slapped. “I wanna be with you tonight.”
“As in, with me with me?”
“Yeah,” he said, amusement lifting a corner of his mouth. “With you with you. It’s been a really long time since I wanted someone as much I want you.”
“Really?” she asked breathlessly.
“You sound surprised.”
She offered a weak shrug and suddenly found interest in the floorboards. “You seem like you’d be more into exciting, exotic looking women. Like one of those sexy, new-age pin-up girls with the flawless skin and beautiful tattoos.”
He almost laughed until he realized she was serious. She had no idea what she did to him. Grabbing one of her hands still resting on his shoulder, he slowly dragged it over his chest and down his stomach until they finally reached his stiff erection straining against the restrictive boxer briefs under his shorts.
Aiden groaned as he molded her hand over his cock. The feel of her gripping him nearly redefined the word “premature.” She drew in a quick breath and raised her eyes to his. Her cheeks filling with a pretty shade of pink did crazy things to his insides. The more her innocence showed through the more he wanted her.
He couldn’t make sense of it. She was right. Typically he went for the larger-than-life women who treated every day like it was their own personal thrill ride. Kat was something else entirely. Worldly beyond her years, yet somehow more innocent than she should be.
“This is how into you I am, sweetheart. Believe me when I tell you I couldn’t fake this kind of interest,” he assured her. “I want you, Kat. Wicked bad. But I don’t have anything more to offer you than one night. That’s me being honest. So if you wanna give me the red light now I’ll understand, but you gotta let me know while I still have use of some of my brain.”
Aiden "Irish" O'Brien , I swear, just the name alone could melt my panties. Throw in the tats, piercings that Southie accent and I would knock Kat on her butt to get to this man. Alas, his heart was stolen from the moment he spied the lovely but troubled Kat waiting tables in a Louisiana dive.
When I first started this book, I got through maybe two pages and trepidation started to set in. I was all like "Oh, no! Angst attack!!" Now I know there's a trend now to see who can craft the most woebegone character, and don't get me wrong. I don't see myself reading about Mary Sunshine and her lover Charlie Goodmood, but sometimes the angst and damage just goes toooooooo dang far. I am most happy to report that my temporary angst alarm was silenced and I got down to enjoying a truly well written romance with great multi-dimensional characters. Oh, and the really, really, REALLY hot sex. Kat tried to slip over the angst line a time or two, and Irish battled with the "A" monster a bit. They both took turns pulling the other back into the "enjoy the moment" world.
The actual story had lots of twists and turns and was a great deal more than just boy meets girl, boy hides something from girl, girl storms out, reconciliation, annnnnnd HEA. The addition of some really great secondary characters, just a smidge of humor, some not too bright villains, a grumpy alligator and a kitten named Murphy rounded out Fighting For Irish into a truly memorable read. Now I have a dilemma. What part of my TBR gets shoved to the side to make room for the rest of Gina's MMA books, because I will absolutely be indulging in my newest addiction. Brava Ms. Maxwell, brava.
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, Gina L. Maxwell, is a shameless romance addict with no intentions of ever kicking the habit.
Growing up, she dreamed of helping people escape reality with her sublime acting abilities. It wasn’t until college when she realized she had none to speak of, thereby derailing her lifelong plans. Another ten years would pass before she discovered a different means to accomplishing the same dream: writing stories of love and passion for romance addicts just like her.
Thanks to the support of her amazing family, Gina is now the Boss of the world’s first organized romance mafia, the Maxwell Mob, and living her dream of bringing a little romantic fantasy to the world—one steamy novel at a time.