Max Payton lives by two rules: Size and strength win any fight, and never show weakness.
When a rash of assaults sends Bowler University into a tailspin, Max volunteers to help teach a self-defense class. One of the other instructors is the beautiful, pixie-faced girl he keeps butting heads with ... and who challenges everything he thought he knew.
Lea Travers avoids guys like Max--cocky jocks who assume she's fragile because of a disability caused by a childhood accident. She likes to be in control, and something about being with Max makes her feel anything but. During the moments he lets his guard down, Lea sees a soul as broken inside as she is outside. Trusting him is a whole other problem ...
When the attacks ramp up and hit close to home, Lea and Max must learn, before it's too late, that true strength can come from vulnerability ... and giving in to trust is sometimes the only way to make things right.
I read this series out of order. I read and LOVED book one, Make It Count. Then somehow I missed reading this one but then I was part of the book tour for Make it Last. It was time to fix that.
I adore this author. She does a great job of creating characters that feel real and have real issues. No perfect people here - it mirrors real life very well. I like that.
Lea has a limp. An accident when she was thirteen haunts her still but it doesn't defeat her. She's determined to do everything she can and pay the piper for things she shouldn't. And that piper is always pain. But some things are worth the pain...like time with Max.
She's attracted to Max and him to her but they aren't right for each other - or so they think. Max has made some mistakes. Been a guy he doesn't like. And his family has him being another guy that he doesn't much like, either. But he shows Lea the real him. And I so love the real him. He's kind to stray cats and helps girls when their life falls apart. He plans perfect dates. And he volunteers to be the attacker a certain black belt gets to demonstrate on. Yeah, there were bruises.
Trust is a big theme in this one. Everyone who has been hurt gets the idea that trusting can be dangerous. Lea's bad at trust. Max is bad at being who he is and and wants to be. It's an opportunity for them be vulnerable with each other and hope.
I was reading and suddenly realized where the train wreck would happen. It made me sad to see it coming and I wanted to read faster to get to the make-up. But while I was sure I saw where it was going, it wasn't exactly what I thought. And there was some pain in there that I just was teary about. But I loved the shirt...yeah you have to read it to know. I loved the adviser appointment. I loved the pulling to the side of road moment. There will be rose petals!
Another great New Adult read from this author. If you've missed this series, fix that.
She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.
She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.