So, this was my second Cindi Madsen book that I’ve read. I have to say that I was a bit skeptical beforehand and I didn’t really know what to expect of this one, since the first book that I read by this author, a book of another series- getting lucky number 7 – got a 3-star rating – which is good though, but it didn’t blow my mind back then.
But since Cindi is one of the RARE London 19 authors and she’s published by Entangled which is a favorite publisher of mine, I wanted to read more books by her and then I got the opportunity to read an e-arc in exchange for me leaving an honest review, so I didn’t want to pass up on it and here we go.
Chelsea is smart, funny, gorgeous, and the best friend I’ve ever had. Ever since she left, I’ve been a wreck. I’ve been focused on keeping my family’s MMA gym afloat while I train and coach fighters, anything to not miss her more. But now she’s finally back, along with her grumpy, possessive cat, and things are weird between us.
By weird, I mean I can’t stop thinking about her in that way. She’s in the room next door, and it takes all my control not to storm in there, sweep her up, and bring her back to my bed. Even stranger, I’m pretty sure she’d be into it.
And this time, I’m not going to stop fighting until we’re more.
Let me start by saying; This book was so incredibly sweet, funny, romantic, heart-warming – don’t forget SEXY AF – and ADDICTIVE. The friends-to-lovers trope is so well written and developed and combined with these amazing main characters, minor characters and the awesome writing this was just a really fantastic read! I didn’t really know what to expect though, but right from that very first page I just had this feeling you know? That feeling that means that this book is going to be a huge HIT. And that feeling turned out to be right.
Chelsea was such a recognizable character to me and I loved her character development so incredibly much in this book! It was truly amazing! I loved how she was struggling about being more assertive at the beginning of the book on different levels – it’s definitely something I connected over about this character – and then seeing how she progressed during the book, was just a really beautiful development I think.
I love her cat, George, and especially his relationship with Liam, because that was sooo much fun to read about haha!! Liam felt like he had a competitor in George when it comes to Chelsea’s love and attention and that made for the best scenes I think!
When I called out to see if Chelsea was ready for breakfast yet, she came down the hall. She stopped to wish George a good morning, sticking her face in his. He bumped his forehead against hers as she scratched her fingers down his spine and cooed at him about what a good boy he was. Then I swear the fur ball shot me a smug look over his shoulder that seemed to say, she’s mine now, bitch.
And Liam; where to start? Be still, my beating heart, sigh. He is a-ma-zing, just a-maaaaa-zing. It’s so frigging obvious that he has loved Chelsea for quite a while now and when she gets back into his life after being away for a while, the truth of it hits him so hard and he’s struggling because he doesn’t want her to get involved in his intense lifestyle. He doesn’t want to end up like his mom and dad who made each other miserable because they couldn’t handle the MMA-fighter life-style. But boy, did I love seeing this MMA-fighter with this beautiful loving heart, getting riled up when it came to him fighting his attraction and trying to not act upon it.
I just loved how obvious his love was for Chelsea. It showed in EVERYTHING he said and did and those are the kinds of love that last forever and make my heart explode with feels. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t screw up though because just as Chelsea, he can be a stubborn mule and it doesn’t always work in their favor.
But really, this friends-to-lovers-romance was such a joy to read. It felt so palpable and real. These characters are just amazing and I loved how realistic they felt and their relationship and developments. This romance is going to make you swoon, struggle, laugh, cry and fall in love. You’re hooked before you know it and the emotion-train won’t stop anymore once you become part of it.
“Liam, I don’t need you taking care of me all the time. Like I said, I’ve changed.”
“I’m always going to take care of you. That’s never going to change, so get used to it.”
I only felt, at the first 40% or so in, that the story and relationship progress dragged on a bit though. These two, despite their efforts of being assertive in real life, remained so closed off to one another about their feels and I just wanted them to be open about it and ACT a bit sooner haha. Maybe it’s something more readers will experience or maybe it was just me being greedy, lol, because the pent-up chemistry and sexual attraction were slowly killing me – in a good way of course ;).
I had such a wonderful time reading this book, experiencing ALL THE FEELS from beginning till end. It made me laugh so many times, it made me swoon, it made me tear up, it made me achy and needy and I was just addicted to this story right from the very first page and I’m really sad it had to end. I loooved reading about this sexy MMA-fighter and his best friend the booknerd a.k.a Chelsea. I can’t wait to go back and read the first book in the series and to also read the books that are yet to come! This is definitely a series I’ll be purchasing in printed editions so I can get them signed next year!!
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily left a review. All opinions are my own*
Thank you so much for reading my review and I do hope I have you excited about this book! If you’ve already read it I also really love to hear what you thought of it!