Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review: Outside the Ropes by Ashley Claudy

Outside The Ropes by Ashley Claudy
Series: Outside The Ropes #1

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sultry Scale: 2 of 5 stars

In the ring, Regan has control. Outside the ropes, she fights to survive.

Regan Sommers spent her life fighting. Fighting foster parents, kids in the group home, and classmates. But the night she has to fight for her life changes everything.

Now, she's fighting for money in the ring, and from the first punch she's addicted. Every addiction has a price though, and this one is the gym's star boxer, Gage Lawson. He may come in an enticing tattooed package, but his demands are more than she can handle.

The responding officer from that night, Anthony Fields, comes with no demands. He want's whatever she's willing to give, and Regan can handle that. She can definitely handle him.

But no help comes string free, and Regan's not the only one with a hard past and scars to cover. The life she was trying to escape is nothing compared to the danger she's in the middle of now, and she can't fight her way out.

***Reader please be aware: Story contains mature content such as: Drugs, sex, abuse, and explicit language that may be upsetting for some.****

An exceptional debut novel from author Ashley Claudy. This girl has what it takes. I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I requested this book from NetGalley solely based on the cover. I skimmed the synopsis, but I didn't know anything about the author or that it was part of a series until I finished this book. And let me tell you, I would never have guessed this was the author's first book. Ms. Claudy has some talent.

This novel was a unique take on the fighter romance trope. Most fighter romances I have read and seen are all about the drool worthy male fighter, and I can usually take or leave the lead female (because, you know, I would be so much better than her anyway). But not this book, this book was all about Regan. I was concerned at first that I wouldn't like her. I mean, she is only 19 so I was a little worried that she would be another ridiculously naive and vapid character. But she wasnt.

Regan is a SURVIVOR. She is a fighter, literally and figuratively. Reading about a tortured heroine that could still kick ass was a refreshing change of pace. And I think she is gonna kick a lot more ass in the rest of the series, and maybe save Gage in the process (or at least get him to pull his head out of his ass).

This book was dramatic and a little gritty. It dealt with athletes and criminals, and the intersection of two walks of life. Our main characters were trying to break free from the darkness, but realizing that it was easier said than done. None of the characters were perfect, but several were perfectly flawed. I found myself cheering for some of them, and wishing others would be hit by a bus. I can't wait to see what twists and turns lay ahead for Regan and Gage. (Note - slight cliffhanger)

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Onside Danger
Series: Outside the Ropes #2

Pub Date:  March 26, 2015

Regan thought she had found a new life. 

        She thought she'd found something to love in the ring.

       She thought she'd found someone to love outside those ropes-- Someone who loved her.

But what she found was danger. And there's no easy way out.