From New York Times bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the first standalone title in her brand, new Warrior Fight Club series, FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING.
Get your copy of FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING, and join the Warrior Fight Club world today!
About FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING:
Loving her is the biggest fight of his life…
Home from the Marines, Noah Cortez has a secret he doesn’t want his oldest friend, Kristina Moore, to know. It kills him to push her away, especially when he’s noticing just how sexy and confident she’s become in his absence. But, angry and full of fight, he’s not the same man anymore either. Which is why Warrior Fight Club sounds so good.
Kristina loves teaching, but she wants more out of life. She wants Noah—the boy she’s crushed on and waited for. Except Noah is all man now—in ways both oh so good and troubling, too. Still, she wants who he’s become—every war-hardened inch. And when they finally stop fighting their attraction, it’s everything Kristina never dared hope for.
But Noah is secretly spiraling, and when he lashes out, it threatens what he and Kristina have found. The brotherhood of the fight club helps him confront his demons, but only Noah can convince the woman he loves that he’s finally ready to fight for everything.
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“The always amazing Kaye is kicking off a terrific new contemporary romance series that centers around a wounded warrior’s fight club. Kaye does a beautiful job exploring the fallout from war and PTSD as various characters struggle to cope in their own ways. The love story between Noah Cortez and his childhood friend Kristina Moore is both compelling and touching, for the obstacles in their way loom large. A truly memorable read!”
~ RT Book Reviews
Laura Kaye seems to have the patent for tortured alpha males – ones who have earned their scars fighting for their country but, one way or another, have not gotten the help they so desperately need, which leaves them finding outlets on their own terms, which either heal their wounds or send them spiraling even further.
Kaye’s newest hero, Noah Cortez, valiantly fought for his country, but now he has an even bigger fight on his hands – his own demons, and unless he admits his issues and seeks help for what’s sending him over the edge, he won’t be able to move forward with his life and have the chance to see where these newfound feelings for Kristina could take them both.
Kristina Moore is her own kind of fighter, so the fact that she feels helpless when it comes to her best friend and her inability to heal his emotional wounds, she’s devastated and that fact is compounded by the fact that Noah pushes her away because he feels it’s the only way to protect her from his issues. But Kristina isn’t willing to give up on the man she loves, which means that like it or not, Noah has someone fighting in his corner, willing to risk everything.
Fighting For Everything is an apt name for the battle that Noah and Kristina find themselves in throughout their friends-to-lovers story line; there are a significant amount of obstacles that have the potential to crush them, which means that their journey is an emotional one, full of angst fueled by Noah’s PTSD and brain injury and Kristina’s determination to not allow Noah to shut her out because their feelings for one another are worth the risks that come with fighting what seems to be an ‘unwinnalbe’ situation.
Because Noah and Kristina’s story is the first book in Kaye’s new Warriors Fight Club series, insights into the MMA gym where Noah finds an outlet for his frustrations and potential future heroes is necessary, and it definitely adds to the intrigue of what Laura Kaye has in store for her readers.
Despite the depth of Noah’s issue, Fighting Everything is a hopeful second chance romance story – one that realistically portrays the struggles that wounded heroes go through and what’s at stake if they remain untreated for all that they’ve endured. There were many times throughout the story that Noah’s actions frustrated me, but that was more because I saw what it was doing to Kristina and hated that for both of them, and it’s also because I was so invested in their relationship and quietly cheering for them to figure things out together instead of fighting separately while wanting the same thing.
I can’t wait for more stories in this series; I can’t get enough of Laura Kaye’s wounded heroes and the women who find a way to heal them!
4.5 Poison Apples
“Noah, are you down here?” Kristina called from the top of the basement steps.
Despite the lack of response, she continued down and crossed the room to the mostly closed door in the back corner–Noah’s bedroom since he’d returned just before last Christmas. God, Kristina had thought she’d received the best Christmas present ever–Noah, home from Iraq, safe and sound.
Well, mostly sound, anyway. An IED blast had taken the hearing and most of his vision on his left side, and he’d struggled with bad migraines and equilibrium problems when he’d first returned. But he was home and he was alive, and having him back again had made it feel like she could finally breathe after years of knowing he was in danger every second of every day.
She knocked softly. “Hey Noah, it’s me.”
All she heard was a long exhale of breath, but it was enough.
Why hadn’t he answered her? Her stomach clenched as she pushed open the door far enough to see Noah standing in the dark doorway to his bathroom, his back against the door jamb, his arms crossed, and his head hanging on his big shoulders.
She didn’t need to ask if he was okay, because he was radiating not okay loud and clear. Kristina walked right up to him. “What’s going on?” she asked. Dim light from the rec room filtered over him, allowing her to just make out the tight clench of his square jaw, the narrowed cast of his dark brown eyes, the harsh set of his beautiful mouth.
Wait. What? Where had that little observation come from?
Noah shook his head, forcing Kristina to drop the ridiculous line of thought.
She stepped closer so that she could look more directly into his eyes. “Come on, Noah. It’s me.” She ached for him to open up, but what she noticed even more was the low buzz rushing through her body. From how close she stood to all his taut hardness. It wasn’t like she was just noticing that Noah was hot, like, dayum hot, but nearly five years in the Marines had matured him and built hard muscle that hadn’t been there before. And clearly her body was just noticing, probably because they hadn’t had the chance to spend much time together since he’d gotten back.
“Kristina,” he said, his voice so low it was nearly a whisper, or a plea. He leaned his forehead against hers. It was such a sweet, needful gesture that Kristina’s chest seized.
“First, I’m hugging you. Then we’re talking, buddy,” she said, wrapping her arms around his big shoulders and planting her cheek against his chest. The embrace wasn’t unusual-they’d always been affectionate with each other. She’d lay against him while they watched a movie or he’d sling an arm over her shoulders while they were out together. When things were bad with her dad, he’d hold her when she finally gave into her grief about it and cried. That’s how they’d always been.
He embraced her right back and leaned his face against her hair.
After a long moment, Kristina pulled away–
Noah wouldn’t let her go. His grip on her tightened, and he held her fast against him. Was he breathing faster? Was he trembling?
Against her belly, he hardened.
Kristina’s breath caught in her throat. Noah was aroused…by her? Or just, like, in her general vicinity? Or…? She swallowed hard as her thoughts flew.
As they stood there, suspended in the dark, stolen moment, the air around them flashed hot and closed in, narrowing the world to all the places their bodies touched. His erection grew, pressing against her with more insistence. Heat bloomed over her skin everywhere and she held herself perfectly still. Because this was different. This was not friendly. This was more.
A strange tension wrapped around them, and it scared and attracted Kristina in equal measure. She shuddered out a breath as her body came to life against his. Her breathing quickened, her nipples peaked, her core clenched.
Noah made a noise in the back of his throat like a moan, and his arms tightened around her, pulling their bodies totally flush.
Kristina’s breath caught at the hard press of his body and at the shocking arousal it unleashed in her.
This is Noah. This is Noah. This is Noah.
But it didn’t seem to matter to her body. The soft cotton of her dress became heavy and irritating against her skin, and all she wanted was for it to be off. So he could be all over her. This sudden, intoxicating need was brand new to her-in general and certainly with Noah. She wasn’t a virgin, but she’d never felt with another man the kind of desire rocketing through her just then. And all they’d done was touch.
Why was this happening?
Her hips shifted without her meaning to do it, and it made her belly grind against all that hardness.
Noah hissed in her ear. His fingertips dug into her back…and then wandered, one hand pressing low against her hip, one skimming up her neck into her hair. Holding her tight. Bringing her closer.
She was half sure she was imagining that they were locked inside this raging bubble of attraction, except that his heart thundered beneath where her head rested, his breathing had gone rough, and his skin felt every bit as feverish as hers.
She had to stop this…whatever this was.
Tilting her head back, the words were on the tip of her tongue. Her eyes locked with his, and even in the dimness she could see that they were blazing hot and almost predatory in their directness. It stole her capacity to speak, because she was unequivocally sure he’d never looked at her like that. Need roared off of him and through her, making her heart beat like a bass drum.
Kristina swallowed hard. What would she do if he kissed her? One kissing experiment aside, she’d never had to ask that in regard to him. Another question followed close behind: what would she do if he didn’t?
And don’t miss the second standalone romance in the Warrior Fight Club series coming August 7, 2018, FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS
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“Nobody’s tortured alphas destroy me quite so utterly as Laura Kaye’s. Her heroes face heart-wrenching struggles. They have flaws. Kaye presents all of it with unflinching honesty, and I love them—and her!—all the more for it!”
~ USA Today Bestselling Author Samanthe Beck
Now that’s how you start a series! Kaye is at her absolute best, and Fighting For Everything is the perfect combination of steamy romance and the struggle of our wounded warriors.”
~ Scarlett Cole, author of the Love Over Duty Series
About Laura Kaye
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.