Tomorrow is officially National Punch Day. What does that mean exactly? Well, I’m glad you asked. According to HolidayInsights.com it could be one of three things: 1) the juice drink 2) things done with your fists or 3) a tool. Since no one wants to read about a punch tool and Caprisuns aren’t incredibly romantic or sexy, let’s go with the pugnacious lane and throw it back to books with hot boxers or fighters! Man, I love being able to express my creative license in these #TBT lists!
The Will by Kristen Ashley
First up, The Will by Kristen Ashley. If you follow her on Instagram, you’ve undoubtedly seen her pictures on set for this movie. So exciting! The Will ticks off so many boxes for me, first and foremost, the main characters are on the older end of the scale; you know I love mature characters. Secondly, these mature characters have a smoking hot sexual encounter in the locker room after our heroine Jo watches Jake fight for the first time. Boy howdy, I have re-read that scene more than I should probably admit to! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Josephine Malone has trust issues. She’s lived her life quite successfully from a business standpoint. Her personal life has been a bit more crash and burn, so she tends to keep herself distant from relationships. The only person she trusts is her grandmother, Lydia. Jake Spear is a retired boxer, divorced, father and an all-around good guy with terrible taste in women. The only woman in his life he’s gotten right is Lydia Malone. They live in the same small town, and he has taken it upon himself to look after the old lady and her huge beautiful house. She, in turn, gives him and his kids, the kind of unconditional love and support only a seasoned grandmother can provide. Lydia is a crafty old bird. She knows Jo and Jake are perfect for each other, so she makes it her dying wish to get them together. It’s a great story, and I love Ashley’s entire Magdalene series, you should read it if you haven’t already.
Fighting for Everything by Laura Kaye
The first book in her Warrior Fight Club sets up a series that’s near and dear to my heart. A group of soldiers that have returned home with various instances of PTSD form a group, the Warrior Fight Club that helps them develop coping mechanisms. Kaye touches on everything from talk therapy, to art therapy to, well, fighting. It’s a fantastic story Kaye has clearly researched. In book one, Kristina and Noah give us a long time in the making, friends to lovers story that is so raw and emotional it’ll break your heart. Noah’s demons will not stay silent, and he has to find a way to cope, or he will not just lose the woman he’s always loved, he could possibly lose his life. Kaye has suffered a traumatic brain injury, and you can feel her genuine sincerity and passion on the topic. As a person that has lived with a brain tumor for over thirteen years, I will admit the idea of punching or getting punched in the head made me cringe, but, I understand where the research is coming from. My situation is an apples to oranges comparison, but I fully understand the changes brain trauma can inflict on your life. Great book, fabulous series!
Real by Katy Evans
Love it or hate it, there really seems to be little middle ground, but Real is definitely a book that delivers a punch. Remington Tate is a retired boxer that now breaks bones on the regular in the underground MMA circuit. Brooke is the physical therapist hired to keep his precious body in shape and fight-ready. The attraction is instant, and the sex is incredibly hot. There are obvious issues, especially the way his mental illness is handled. This book was released in 2013, and I’d imagine the mental illness aspect would be treated differently today.
Nonetheless, it’s a compelling story, filled to the brim with angst. Remy is the quintessential broken bad boy hero, and Brooke is the balm for his soul. And did I mention the sex? It’s crazy, there’s a lot of sniffing and licking!
I’d be remiss if I did a #TBT post about fighters and failed to mention the likes of JB Salsbury, Gina L. Maxwell, RJ Prescott, Vi Keeland, LA Fiore or Aly Martinez. The books that pack a punch make along and all-inclusive list of fabulous reader possibilities!