Fighting for Irish, by Gina L. Maxwell is a 318-page contemporary romance novel and is the third book out of a 4-book series. I will be reading all 4 so expect to see lots of back to back from this author. It is written from a third-person POV, two-sided.
Spoilers Ahead ***
This story is almost a continuation of the second book, but can be read as a standalone. I’m going to warn you now that this is a book I would classify as a “trigger” book, the trigger being rape. There is no rape in the book, but the heroine talks about how she was raped when she was a teenager, repeatedly.
Kat is the sister of Vanessa from the second book in this series. In the second book the reader is left hanging on what happened to Kat. Vanessa had gotten a call from Kat asking for 20K to pay off some bookie that her boyfriend, at the time, owed. The book starts with Kat being in some podunk town in the south, hiding out from the mob. When she was young she got involved with an absolute loser from her town. She got involved with him because he guaranteed her passage out of her house, away from her mom and her step-father. You may be wondering why she didn’t reach out to her older sister, Vanessa, for help and the reason is because she didn’t want to bring her sister down. Vanessa had escaped and got a full-ride to a college out of their northeast town and Kat knew Vanessa would give it up to save her. What Kat didn’t know is that her idiot ex-boyfriend got involved in dealing drugs for the mob and he stiffed them. And instead of paying them back he grabbed Kat and ran. So, now Kat is in a random town and little does she know that her sister has managed to look out for her afterall by sending Aiden.
Aiden tracked Kat down and has been looking out for her, per request of Jax and Vanessa (you can read their story in the book, Rules of Entanglement) and true to instalust he stayed to watch over her. Aiden has a dark past, he feels responsible for getting his best friend’s younger sister (since they were best friends, the young woman was like a younger sister to him) as his anger got her killed. When you learn the actual story, it wasn’t his fault. He didn’t push her into the street, her boyfriend at the time did while Aiden was trying to break up the altercation. Either way, her death haunts him so he doesn’t feel like he deserves love, but he sure as hell can’t help lusting after and wanting Kat. He also quit MMA after the death of his best friend’s little sister, but to save Kat and make sure the mob boss is paid he enters an underground fighting rink that will have a high payout.
Overall, I found the characters likeable.
Generally, here are my thoughts
- She did a pretty good job wrapping up the story. After all the crazy turmoil the reader is left wondering, “How the hell is the author going to resolve this?” And she does it. It’s magic.
- I really like the author’s pacing and flow in this book. The scenes flow together naturally, I don’t recall experiencing any awkward moments with the writing, even when the characters were weird with each other
- The author’s style of writing sucks you in, especially in the romantic scenes so their attraction to each other is palpable
- I really, really like this author. The more I read her, the more I want her to write something else on other characters in the book. She has a way of writing side characters in a way where you’re just thinking, “YES give them a love story!”
- The ending was nicely wrapped up. The book does read as a standalone, so you don’t have to read the others
In summary, I give this a 3 out of 5. The only reason it is low is because this book is a little hard to stomach if you’re sensitive to the topic of rape. I struggled with understanding the character arc because I have no prior knowledge to how rape victims gets past their trauma, especially if they were raped by someone that should have been trusted for a number of years. I can’t tell if the way Kat got over her rape was healthy or detrimental to her, I’m a computer scientist, not a psychologist.
Review of other books in this series: