Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Breaking a Legend by Sarah Robinson

Breaking a Legend 
by Sarah Robinson
Series:  Kavanagh Legends #1
Pub. Date:  Sept. 29, 2015
Publisher:  Loveswept
Pages:  273
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Perfect for fans of Katy Evans and Monica Murphy, Sarah Robinson’s blistering-hot series debut introduces the Kavanagh brothers—mixed martial arts fighters who work hard, play hard, and love with all their hearts. 

As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.

Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title. 

This series revolves around a huge Irish family out of Brooklyn, five brothers consisting of MMA fighters, bad boys and cops... oh and their pop who dabbled in the Irish Mafia. Can you smell the yummy testosterone? I really liked this huge close-knit Irish family, their relationship dynamics were great and what you hope to see in any large family.

The eldest brother, Rory, has been suffering from substance abuse and depression since a career-ending injury (a grisly injury which you will get to experience at the outset of the story). Continuously popping pills and smelling of whiskey, Rory is not the fun-loving brother that the Kavanagh family grew up with. He has checked out and become somewhat of a loner. Obviously this is a difficult and tense situation, but I think a little more angst could have been added to create empathy and a stronger emotional connection to Rory's character. I liked his gruff personality and brooding alpha maleness, but its not hard to get me going in that regard. My favorite aspect of Rory's character was him working to rehabilitate fight/bait dogs at the animal rescue center. I also loved loved loved Rory's sidekick, Ace. The author did a good job with Ace's backstory so I actually had a stronger connection with this rescue dog than I did our main characters.

Clare has come to New York on the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend. She is trying to start over and keep everyone at a distance, but she also yearns for a family after losing her parents. Clare has this tortured past... but I never really felt it. She just didn't come off as a battered woman to me - but everyone responds differently to these situations so I tried to take that with a grain of salt. I just wanted a stronger connection with her character.

I started to disconnect with the story around 70% and I just could not renew my interest for some reason. I don't think it had anything to do with the writing, I think I was just headed into a reading slump. For the safe sex army, you may be up in arms about the lack of condoms and an oddly placed one sentence sex talk after some of the unprotected sexytimes has already happened a couple times. Usually this does not bother me and I just let it roll... but in this case, Rory was somewhat of a manwhore and they just dove right in and then after the second time there was that "are you on the pill?" and quickly changing the subject. So that highlighted the issue more for me than if the issue would have been ignored altogether.

I loved the Irishness of the story. (Is Irishness a thing?) However sometimes the random Gaelic phrases seemed oddly placed. Do Irish American families actually speak Gaelic? I didn't think people in Ireland actually speak much Gaelic anymore, so I don't think it was necessary to the story. That being said, it didn't take anything away from it either so kudos to the author for either knowing Gaelic or looking it up!

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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