Title: Take Me On
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Published: May 27, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Synopsis: Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.
**We received a copy of this book from the publisher,
but that did not influence the review**
Celeste 4.5 stars Oh Ms. McGarry, how I heart you so. You write romance like no one else and it is divine. West and Haley’s story was all that I wanted it to be and more. This is the story of two people from two totally different backgrounds…but that didn’t matter because the way they connected was so real, all about the person within, the person’s heart and soul. It showed how money doesn’t make life easier, but love certainly does. *wipes tear*
This story started out with an altercation that brought West and Haley together. Neither one realized it would be a turning point for both of them. They walked away from one another that night, but luckily for us it didn’t end there, and we got to enjoy watching them find their way both as individuals and together.
Now that I’ve mentioned West, let’s talk more about him. West was one cocky, impulsive, hot headed and smexy mofo and his attitude was super hot. Yeah, I said it! While his attitude got him places, it also was what made his life not so great. But he wouldn’t be himself without it so I wouldn’t want him any other way.
Haley had some massive insecurity issues and she truly wanted to get over them, but that was easier said than done. It made my heart sing to see her go through the process of becoming stronger. It wasn’t an overnight process, and it wasn’t without mistakes, and it most certainly wasn’t without West. Le sigh.
Maybe I should have been more sympathetic towards Haley’s dad, but I just had zero respect for him. I know he was depressed, but for a man to let anyone treat his own daughter the way she was treated by his half-brother was shameful. It was bad. Did that make me dislike the book? No, just that I didn’t like the character at all.
The ending was a bit of a nail biter. I knew I would get my HEA, but getting there was stomach churning. I wasn’t crazy when West gave up Haley because it was in her best interest, but you had better believe I was burning through the pages so I could find out what happened. And yes, true love always wins out, and the way Ms. McGarry writes makes it a journey that enriches your life when you read it. She has some serious talent, my friends. I heart this book big time.
Would I rec this? YES YES YES YES YES!
Christina: 4.5 stars! I won’t rehash everything that Celeste said (because the repetition is unnecessary and would probably be boring), but I will tell you I agree with practically everything she stated above. However, what I will tell you about in my portion of this review is my utter adoration for this author and this series, and how I’m always affected by her work.
One you thing you can always count on for Ms. McGarry to deliver in her books is an emotional journey of two characters brimming with depth and personality whose paths inevitably collide, letting them learn to love someone else and themselves as they grow throughout the book. I’m always left scrambling for the right words in a review that perfectly summarize the impact her storytelling and prose have on me after each book in this series. It’s not elegant or flowery or over-the-top, but much like West and Haley, it has heart and her words always manage to stir up a crazy amount of feelings in me. That’s the power of her craft, she will make you feel a whole bucketload of feelings that run the full spectrum of emotions, and that makes it easier to connect to her characters and their situations. Against all the odds usually stacked against them, especially in this novel, you’ll root for her characters time and time again, wishing you could step between the pages and embrace them, let them know that you may not can empathize, but you absolutely sympathize with their plights and you have their back regardless. This novel and the growth Haley and West show throughout it are no different. This book seemed more intense and dealt with heavier issues than her previous novels, but I always feel like McGarry’s writing gets better with each new edition to the Pushing the Limits series.
As for this particular book, it seemed to start off with a bang and steamrolled on from there, and you just had to buckle your seatbelt and prepare for one hell of a ride. I appreciated the journey I was taken on with these two characters and seeing them battle all their demons. Haley was probably my favorite of McGarry’s heroines thus far. I liked her passion and fire, but also how she was so vulnerable, flawed in her stubbornness and inability ask for help even when she was suffocated by fear. Honestly, West truly surprised me. He definitely piqued my interest with his attitude and behavior in Crash Into You, but he had me fully engaged in this novel. All the facets of his personality really tugged at my heartstrings and he seemed so completely genuine. His presence was felt on every page, regardless if it was his POV or Haley’s, and I enjoyed how real he seemed. I loved his drive and his loyalty and how quick he was to make Haley laugh when she really wanted to break down. Oh, and another thing you can also count on from this author is the chemistry between the MC’s. It never fails to be electric, and, man, does she know how to write some of the sexiest kisses I’ve ever read. Lastly, I was also grateful for the appearances of old characters and the ones that made their debut. Katie is never lacking in the department of characters that leap off the pages, and I can’t wait to be introduced to more.
I’ll always look forward to new words from this author. So, really, I only have one question left. When does Abby get her book? I’m eager to hear her story and to see the cards she keeps so close.