As a favor to a friend Aiden “Irish” O’Brien leaves Boston and heads down to a small, backwoods town in Louisiana to check on his friend’s soon to be wife’s little sister, one Kat MacGregor. When he finds her he is stunned to realize that she’s absolutely gorgeous, obviously hiding out from something and he is crazy attracted to her. So he stays. He makes the move from Boston, gets a job as a “cooler” at the bar where she works and talks his best friend into joining him. Then he makes it his mission to protect her and put himself between her and anything that might cause her harm, which includes drunks and bad tippers. He has no idea how much trouble she’s actually in.
Kat MacGregor has had one hell of a shitty life. Trouble always seems to find her no matter what she does. She’s been hiding out in Alabaster, Louisiana and working in a crappy bar under an assumed name, but the mobsters after her ex-boyfriend have found her anyway and now she has just 48 hours to come up with a crap ton of money. Her plan is to head out of town and disappear again, instead she gets rescued by a real life tattooed, Harley driving, MMA fighting hero.
Fighting For Irish is the third book in the Fighting for Love series by Gina L. Maxwell. Book one, Seducing Cinderella, featured Reid and Lucy and introduced us to this group of MMA fighters. Book two, Rules of Entanglement, was about Lucy’s brother Jackson and her best friend Vanessa. In the third installment we meet Vanessa’s little sister Kat and Jackson’s friend Aiden. When I started this book I was thinking this would be another light romance, with a bit of action and suspense. Boy was I wrong. What started out as a sexy, light hearted romance quickly turned dark with some pretty heavy undertones. When I said above that Kat has had a shitty life, I meant it. As soon as Aiden comes to her rescue and Kat’s backstory starts to unfold it becomes apparent that she has lived through horrific childhood abuse.
Aiden is a classic hero. He’s protective, gentle, kind and pretty freaking awesome. I loved Aiden, or Irish as he likes to be called, from page one. I mean seriously, he moves all the way to Louisiana and starts a completely new life after his first meeting with Kat. Then he doesn’t make a move on her for months. Just watches over her from the sidelines and takes care of her in whatever way he can. Aiden is an ex-MMA fighter who walked away from his career after a bad accident caused the death of a childhood friend. Now he doesn’t drink, doesn’t fight and has virtually no contact with the people he loves out of fear that he might hurt them. But he can’t help but fall for Kat, and when she needs help he readily agrees to go back in the ring in order to save her.
I won’t even go into Kat’s background, but suffice it to say that she is very damaged and has many, many trust issues. I thought the author did a good job of taking this couple’s relationship from acquaintances to lovers, and having Aiden take it slow with Kat and get her to trust him. Although, I would have actually liked for them to take it a little slower. This IS a sexy romance, with Ms. Maxwell’s classic sensual love scenes, but because of Kat’s trauma those love scenes are tentative at first and slowly build to the intensity we’ve seen previously in the series. I wasn’t a big fan of Aiden keeping the truth from her of who he really was, because holy crap if anyone needs honesty it’s this woman. Regardless of her background, Kat is a fighter and she isn’t a whiny, hard to like heroine. She’s got a great energy and is not weak in any way. Her ability to keep going after getting knocked down so many times should be admired. I liked Kat. I liked Aiden for Kat. He is just the kind of hero she deserved after the life she’s endured.
The suspense was well done, and I did enjoy the fight scenes. After this couple got together it was the suspense plot that kept me reading. I just had to know how Aiden would save the day. While this wasn’t my favorite of the series, it was a good read. If you haven’t read the others in the series I do think you can pick it up and read as a stand-a-lone. I would recommend this book to any contemporary romance addict looking for a heartfelt story about healing and finding true love. Especially if you like sexy MMA fighting heroes. Final Grade- B-
She wasn’t classically beautiful. She didn’t bring to mind formal dresses, stiff up-dos, and dry champagne. More like sundresses, hair blowing in the summer breeze, and the sugary bite of a refreshing lemon–
Fuck. Aiden rubbed his fingers over his forehead. He must have heat stroke from the last few hours of his ride. Yeah, heat stroke sounded good. He’d go with that. The alternative— comparing a woman to something like lemonade— would mean the demise of his virility, and he could kiss his Man card good-bye.