Sexy ex-fighter Simon Evans has the perfect life-until he catches his girlfriend cheating. To work off his rage, he goes back into the ring full-force. But a gutsy and gorgeous P.I. is about to send him reeling with a secret about his family-and one about her heart.
Dakota Dream's step father, Barnaby, wants her to find someone, his son. He hasn't seen nor talked to his son in 30 years but he is now desperate to find him. Dakota wants nothing to do with Barnaby, or his search for his son, but she truly feels that she owes him for something that he did for her while her mother was dying. So she agrees to find his son, none other than SBC fighter turned trainer turned fighter, Simon Evans.
Dakota loves the SBC and despite that fact that she doesn't really want to deal with the whole Barnaby/Simon thing she's pretty excited to be in a gym where a bunch of the SBC fighters are training.
From the first moment that Simon Evans sees Dakota he's bowled over. He can't get his mind off of her and wants nothing more than to get her in his bed. But when Dakota finally comes clean about why she's in town Simon's pissed. He has a step father and that's the man he calls Dad. He wants nothing to do with Barnaby.
Dakota tells Barnaby that Simon said no but Barnaby is persistant - even going as far as blackmailing her with letters that her mother wrote before her death. Since Dakota and her mother weren't on good terms when she died, Dakota is hoping that the letters will calm the turmoil she's felt since that time. So Dakota goes back to the gym to try and get Simon to change his mind about seeing his biological father. Simon still says no, but Dakota is determined to get those letters.
Someone else is determined though and that's Dakota's ex-husband. He wants Dakota back but he's a big slime bucket and Dakota wants nothing to do with him. Strange things start happening and Simon ends up taking care of Dakota. Keeping her at his house, teaching her fighting techniques and in the end, loving her.
I read this book when it first came out a couple of years ago - it was an impulse buy at the bookstore. I didn't know at the time that it was book 2 in the SBC Fighter series but it really didn't matter. I think this book is a good stand alone and it's not really necessary to read book 1 in order to know what's going on although if you like this one I'm sure you'll want to go back and read it. :)
So I have to say that I enjoyed this book every bit as much this time around as I did the first time - in fact I liked it a little bit more this time around. The first time I read the book I really liked Simon and Dakota, separate and apart and that held true for this reading as well. Dakota is independent and could be stubborn, but she wasn't stupid. Even though she has been blackmailed with the letters I don't think she normally was someone who based her decisions on emotions. She really was one tough cookie. And Simon, for as deadly as he could be in and out of the ring, he really had a kind heart. He wasn't a sucker but he knew when to be firm and when to be gentle. He's just the kind of contemp hero I love to read about...but that goes for most of the men in this series.
Rating 2 years ago: 4 out of 5
Rating now: 4.25 out of 5
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