Friday, February 21, 2014

Knock Out by Michele Mannon ~ Review

Source: Received an eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Logan Rettino never imagined she'd fall so far. Dropped by her ex on national TV, she's gone from prima ballerina to ring card girl, reduced to revving up the crowds before MMA bouts. However distasteful she finds her new job, it pays well…and she needs the money if she's ever going to rebuild her life. Promised a huge bonus if she can convince a brooding, gifted welterweight to keep fighting, she'll do whatever it takes to earn his trust.

Keane O'Shea is unbeatable in the octagon. A former marine, he fights with a ruthlessness no gym jockey can match. He knows his brutal strength is too much for the delicate ex-ballerina, regardless of how fascinating he finds Logan's tight dancer's body. But one private performance and he's drawn to her in a way he can't—or won't—resist.

As Logan discovers the heartbreaking truth that lies beneath this handsome warrior's rage, she'll need to forfeit everything she thought mattered for the one thing that matters the most: saving Keane from himself.

My Thoughts:


2 stars - not my taste

First Impression...

I was fascinated with the cover.  It drew me in and then I read the premise.  It sounds so good, a ballerina and a fighter.  I really wanted to read it. 

The Characters...

Logan.  I just don't like her.  Why?

"Twist my tutu"
"Crinkle my camisole"
"Bleeding leotards"

I could go on and on....

Her internal dialogue drove me crazy.  Who talks like that?  I get that she's a ballerina but I just couldn't take it.  

She's  too slow on the uptake for me.  She's asking a guy she hardly knows to fight without understanding how brutal they are.  She figures out that he has an issue with fighting but the money she will make keeps her encouraging him to do it.  Even her guilt over finally seeing first hand how brutal they are doesn't stop her.  She knows he's a formal marine but seems shocked when PTSD comes into the picture.  I don't think I could be friends with someone like that.

As for Keane, I really like his name.  I feel bad for him.  He's tortured and is trying to hid his pain with women and booze.  But even though I get him, he's pretty hard to take.  He's mean and grumpy.  He hardly ever talks.  The only way we learn about him is when the story is from his POV.  It's hard to believe that Logan developed feeling for him.  He does have a gentle side when he's intimate with her but that's the only time it's seen.

The Story...

The story felt scattered to me.  Pieces were thrown in as needed and not blended well.  It was jarring.  

Then there were the things I just wasn't buying, like the way Logan's ex acted.  He dropped her on a reality show during a dance, ending her career.  He claimed it was her too big boobs that threw him off.  Really?  It gets so out of hand with the press and the reality show plus some ballet he's doing - I was like, right sure.  There was even paparazzi following Logan around wanting comments about what her lying, cheating ex had said recently.  I actually think the press would be on Logan's side and not the jerk that dropped her.  Not buying it.

And speaking of Logan's boobs, I never want to hear about her t*ts again.  I dislike that word and it's used so much in this book.  I could understand it when it was Keane's POV but it was everywhere.  Just didn't like it.

The Writing...

This is a debut book and it shows.  I struggled many times with little inconsistencies.   All were just little things but that kind of thing bugs me.  I think this one needed some additional editing. 

In The End...

Unfortunately, I not only put this book down but had to force myself to pick it back up.  The only reason I did was because I wanted to know if I was right about a few things - I was.  I just can't recommend this to anyone.  I didn't even care for the swoons.  They were jarring and unsettling.  You may disagree and like this book.  This is only my experience with it.

Normally, I make these teaser graphics for books I really liked.  I had made the design for this one before I started the book.  It was only waiting for a teaser.  Like I said, I loved the cover and was itching to play with it.  Even though I didn't like the book, I still like my graphic so here ya go.

Not everyone agrees.  Here are some other reviews that had more praise.

About the author:

Author Michele Mannon is a huge fan of skinny cinnamon dolce lattes, a good book, and/or sports game on television. Michele can be found in her writer’s cave, tweeting, and spending time outdoors with her family.


  1. It's a shame this one was a let down, because the premise sounds promising. Thanks for the honest review!

  2. I didn't even finish this, mainly due to Logan's inner dialogue. I felt bad, bc I wanted to like it, but yeah, I agree on all accounts.