Full Contact by Sidney Halston
Series: Worth the Fight #2
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: October 28th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Sidney Halston returns to steamy Tarpon Springs, Florida, where a hell-raising bad boy prepares to get down and dirty for the woman he loves.
How could she have been so stupid? When Jessica Cross decides to give her violently jealous boyfriend—the otherwise influential and charming Dennis Stavros—a second chance, she very nearly becomes a statistic. After weeks of healing from a broken rib and collapsed lung, and with Dennis behind bars, Jessica finally feels ready to come out of hiding. But will she ever be able to take a chance on love again with someone new?
Mixed martial arts fighter Slade Martin knows he has a bad reputation. Hell, he’s probably earned it. So it won’t be easy to convince beautiful, vulnerable Jessica that she can trust him—that from the moment she walked into his life, she’s been the only one he’s wanted. Powerful and confident, Slade knows he can honor his vow to protect Jessica body and soul. Winning her heart will be another matter . . . but a woman like Jessica is worth the fight.
Slade hadn’t moved from the hallway by the front door. He looked at Jessica as he gripped the back of his neck, seemingly concerned and apologetic. When their eyes locked, something bubbled up inside and suddenly she found herself trying to hold back a fit of laughter.
“What’s so funny?” he smiled at her.
She held her stomach as she began to cackle. “You know in school when kids trace their hands to draw a turkey?” He shrugged uncertainly and she continued. “You have five fingers perfectly imprinted in bright red on each cheek. It looks like one of those hand turkeys. They slapped you good, playboy.”
“I can’t believe they were ready to fight like that over you. I mean, really, you’re great to look at and all, but seriously? I mean, have some self-respect. And that smile. Oh, please. How could they fall for the world’s cheesiest, most insincere smile? You need better-quality women, Slade.”
“Don’t laugh, sweetheart. First, it was completely sincere. Second, I think you got a little jealous there and you’re using humor to deflect.”
“I am not jealous. You just got bitch-slapped and it was funny as hell.”
He rolled his eyes, ignoring her comment. “And third, if you’d had me, you’d fight for me too.” He cocked his scarred eyebrow.
Then he gave her the smile. The corners of his full lips tilted and curved up; his perfect white teeth sparkled. The amusement lit his face all the way to his blue eyes, which crinkled at the corners.
And . . . she went all gooey inside. He’s right. I’d totally slap a bitch right now. Damn him.
In an attempt to come out of her smile-induced trance, she shoved his shoulders. “I don’t know about that. No offense, but I couldn’t date someone who had a harem.”
“I don’t have a harem.”
“I beg to differ.”
“Well, I bet if you finally gave into what we both know you want, and went on a date with me, you’d be falling all over yourself if you thought another woman was sniffing around.”
Jessica Cross and Slade Martin have had a flirtation going on, but Jessica won’t date Slade because she is in a relationship. When she gives her abusive boyfriend a second chance, she ends up in the hospital with injuries, a victim of domestic abuse. Slade steps in to take care of her while she recuperates from her injuries.
Slade is very much a player and as much as Jessica is attracted to him, she is not willing to be another notch on his belt. It doesn’t take long for their relationship to intensify and Slade has his work cut out for him, trying to convince Jessica that he wants more than a brief fling with her. And he did. In a sweet, sweet, sweet way. Slade’s past conquests and Jessica’s abusive ex-boyfriend make for a bumpy ride.
I have to say that Ms. Halston delivered on the humor. The dialogue between Slade and Jessica and also between all the secondary characters was fun to read and I laughed so hard several times. I loved the secondary characters and look forward to their stories.
*ARC provided by the publisher*