Expected Release Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Loose Id.
Imprint: N/A
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Gift from the author
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Battered Hearts Series
Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone.
Steam Level: Hot

Official Blurb:

Heavyweight UFC fighter, Romeo Wellings comes from the hard streets of New York where his family ties to the mafia cause him nothing but pain. His life takes a surprising detour when he crosses paths with the twin sister of his long time enemy. After a steamy one-night stand, he faces the fight of his life, but it’s not in the cage. The secret relationship that blooms between Romeo and his real life Juliet has him battling his family and a dark past rather than let her go. 

The only lawyer in her hometown of Garnet, Jules Conner is also a volunteer Sheriff’s deputy and co-owner of a successful MMA training center. Strong and dependable, Jules is always there for those who need her. Until one forbidden night in Las Vegas with Romeo leaves her feeling so alive she can’t stop reaching out to the sexy, bad boy of MMA, even knowing the forbidden love affair could jeopardize everything.

As the tide rises against them and the people they love work at keeping them apart, Romeo and Jules hold onto a dream for a better life together and vow to go down fighting rather than accept a tragic ending.

What Worked For Me:

  • The chemistry and almost animal intensity between Romeo and Jules was delicious. Not only were the love scenes incredibly hot without ever getting vulgar, but even outside of the lovemaking, the sparks between Romeo and Jules practically leapt off the page.
  • Even though it was a little cheesy, I personally enjoyed all of the “Romeo and Juliet” comparisons in the story, with them having to hide their relationship, being from “warring families”, being in danger because of their relationship, and so forth.
  • One thing that Kele Moon never shies from is physically abusing her heroes, and I can’t help but enjoy watching her male leads get the crap beaten out of them. Maybe it’s a bit primitive of me, but there’s just something so sexy about a strong man who’s able to take major injuries and keep on functioning.
  • I also enjoyed the mob angle. Seeing Big City men clashing, and then even working with some Good Ol’ Boys was a lot of fun.
  • I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the side characters in this book. While I of course enjoyed seeing Clay and Melody again, I also really enjoyed Romeo’s brothers, so much so that I’m actually hoping that they’ll get their own stories after Wyatt’s book (which is up next). I also liked Chuito and Alaine and the possible beginnings of a romance on their end.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • This book got off (bad pun intended) on the wrong foot for me.  While I was lucky enough to have had the background of the first book under my belt when I picked this one up, I was still thrown for a loop when the opening scene of the book was an explicit phone-sex conversation between Romeo and Jules.  While it was certainly hot, I had expected a bit more story before the lovemaking began, and so I was a little off-kilter for much of the first part of the book.
  • There’s a part of the book where Wyatt knows something that Jules needs to know, and yet he chooses to withhold that information from her, to what could very likely be her detriment. I was so angry at not only him but the person who gave him the information to begin with that it took me a while to get past that element in the book.

While the opening pages of this book threw me for a definite loop, I still think that this book was even better than the first book in the series, Defying the Odds.  While the heat and chemistry between Romeo and Jules often took center stage, their actual romance was quite strong as well.  With the many side characters each having their own distinct histories and personalities, the small town charm of the main setting combined with the big city vibe from Romeo and his brothers was a fun combination.

I loved the forbidden romance aspect, as well as the mob elements, and with a few terrifying situations, intense chemistry, and a lot of heat, I was glued to the pages.

Recommended for fans of strong heroines, even stronger heroes, and forbidden romance smothered in chemistry.

A very solid 4/5 Stars.

An important note from Jess The Romanceaholic: This review is entirely my honest opinion, and is in no way affected by my participation in Kele’s Blog Tour.  I joined this tour because I was excited about this book, and am a fan of Kele’s work in general, and wanted to give my readers the opportunity to be introduced to this series as well as to possibly win a prize from Kele.  Please leave a comment on this review, and be sure to comment on all of the stops on the tour, as Kele will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour!


About the Author

A freckle-faced redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives on pushing the envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for romance, she adores the art of falling in love. The only rules she believes in is that, in love, there are no rules and true love knows no bounds.

So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it, she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who has infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven, he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children, who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts—they wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Don’t forget to comment on all of the stops on the tour, as Kele will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour!