Romance Reviews

KNOCK OUT By Michele Mannon — Hot Jersey Author

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Next in this series of hot romance authors from New Jersey is Michele Mannon whose sports romance, KNOCK OUT, will do just that–knock you off your feet!

Kean O’Shea is an ex-marine mixed martial arts fighter with a dark past who the reader can’t help but want to heal.  Throw in a smoking-hot body, drive to seduce the heroine, tortured interior monologue, and–Oh.  My.  God!   Kean is a dark hero you won’t forget.

At first, the headstrong heroine, Logan Rettino, seems like the worst possible match for Kean.  A renowned ballerina, she was at the height of her career when she literally fell from grace, breaking her ankle in the process.  Now, she’s determined to earn enough money for a lawyer so she can crush her thieving, ballerina-dropping ex and win back her life.  When Logan’s new job as an MMA octagon girl is in jeopardy, she strikes a deal with her sleazy boss to convince Kean to fight in the championship.  She won’t debase herself by offering her body in the bargain, but little else will standing the way of Logan getting Kean to detox from his excessive drinking and train to for the matches.  That is, except Kean himself.

First off in a long list of reasons why I loved this book is that the hero and heroine are both larger-than-life characters with Type A personalities.  Logan and Kean’s POV were both strong and their voices unique.  Kean in particular has such a brutal exterior and tortured past that it was incredibly entertaining watching Logan (and other men ogling Logan) push him to the breaking point.  I also liked how Logan could keep up with Kean both mentally and physically, literally running around the city with him as he trained for his bouts.  Both are athletes, their mutual appreciation of each other’s toned physiques and skills adding an incredible amount of heat to the romance.

The subject matter itself made the book interesting for me since I normally don’t touch sports-themed anything with a ten-foot pole.  I knew nothing about MMA fighting, but Mannon sprinkled definitions of fighting terms through her book at the beginnings of chapters in a way I found fun and which set the tone for each chapter.  My husband was laughing at me because I started looking up clips of MMA fighting and octagon girl competitions.

Finally, as an author, I really enjoyed Mannon’s clean writing style and well-crafted scenes, each ending fabulously in an explosive climax.  If you want to read a book for an example of good craft, pick this one up.  But seriously, just pick it up anyway, because it’s an incredible, steamy romance that will keep you hooked until the end.  I couldn’t get anything done until I finished this book.  I couldn’t write.  I just had to sit on the couch until it was finished.  And what a good ending it was. 🙂

Here’s a link to Michele Mannon’s website:

Michelle Joyce Bond


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