Category Archives: 2014 Reads

Down and Out (Knockout Love #1) by Kelley R. Martin

5 Star Review

Don’t read this book if you don’t like snarky, dominant, tattooed men who say things like “Open your mouth, and I will,” after you tell them to shove it. And don’t read this book if you don’t like sassy, strong-willed, fiercely independent heroines who use phrases like “bossy asshole” as a term of endearment. You have been warned.*

“Tattooed package of sin.”

That’s how Savannah Ryan would describe her new boss, Declan Whitmore, the deliciously tatted and pierced fighter who holds the top spot in Boston’s newest underground fighting organization. She’d also describe him as bossy, arrogant, and—depending on what he does to piss her off that particular day—an asshole.

It’s that aloof attitude, along with Savannah’s witty comebacks and tight little body that land her on his radar. Unfortunately for her, Declan is relentless when he sets his sights on someone, both in and out of the ring. Unfortunately for him, this recently reformed bad girl is trying to go straight after heading down a dangerous path. She’s not going to make this easy for him. In fact, she’s going to make it—and him—very, very hard.

Declan’s not worried, though. He’ll have Savannah come hell or high water, because if there’s one word he’d use to describe her, it’s “MINE.”

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This book was so much better than I could have even hoped for.  I read hundreds of these “alpha male, tattooed bad boy with a heart of gold” kindle books, usually with some insanely hot man on the cover.  After a while (and enough of them) they just kind of all seem alike, a decent ride but nothing I haven’t read before in one variation or another. This was NOT one of those books, this was one of those books on steroids, so much bigger and better than average that I almost can’t believe it.  There is just so much MORE here, so much depth and character development and reality.  So much more everything.

I want to make this short, because I know you’ll get bored and stop reading if it’s too long, so here it goes.

The female lead may be my favorite ever.  She’s got depth and personality and a back story.  She’s smart and witty and strong without being bitchy or crazy.  But she’s also scared and damaged and petrified to let anyone in.  Declan, the male lead, is amazing.  He’s the beautiful, tattooed, underground fighter who uses woman to fulfill his needs but has no other use for them.  But he’s also caring and expressive and so so in over his head.  Both of them are completely opposed to anything that even sounds like a relationship.

It’s wonderful to watch these two slowly come together, both scared to death of what they’re feeling but craving it too. The absolute best part of this book is the realism.  Most of these books have dialogue or situations that are so unrealistic you can’t possibly believe it. Not this book, the relationship, both during the highs and the lows, is beautifully and seamless narrated from both sides, giving you so much more insight into each character and adding to the believability.  The fights & misunderstandings make sense, the makeups make sense, the feelings make sense.  Mostly, the reactions make sense in light of the past experiences of both characters.

Also, this book is extremely well edited. I can’t think of the last book I read in which I did not find a single error.  This is it, I didn’t find a single mistake.

Read it.  That’s all I can say…just read it.  You will not regret it.

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