Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Breaking a Legend by Sarah Robinson Blog Tour

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.

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Book 1
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Well, if it isn’t our long-lost brother,” a familiar voice said a few minutes later, as he meandered into the neighborhood bar that everyone he knew frequented. A hand clasped his shoulder. “Shit, Rory, where the hell have you been?”

Rory inwardly groaned as he turned to face his younger brother, Quinn Kavanagh. Rory wanted to wipe Quinn’s smug smirk off with his fist. He had been sporting that same cocky attitude since the moment he popped into this world, a trait that Rory found uniquely irritating.

Now I remember why I’ve been avoiding this bar, Rory thought as he forced a smile at his brother.

“Just stopping in for a quick drink, Quinn,” Rory said, attempting to make clear that he wasn’t interested in socializing.

He headed over to the long wooden bar that wrapped around two sides of the small pub and stood before walls of liquor bottles and televisions. Several bartenders moved around swiftly, filling drink orders and talking with the full crowd that O’Leary’s always attracted on weekend nights. Rory found an empty stool down at one end, far away from the door, and quickly staked his claim.

He saw Cian, who had worked at O’Leary’s for as long as he could remember, and nodded his head to him. Cian nodded back and put up his hand, indicating he would be over in a minute, as he finished serving the group of college-aged kids at that end of the bar. The door to the kitchen swung open and a short, petite blonde ambled through carrying a large bucket of ice that seemed much too heavy for her small frame to manage.

Rory smiled slightly as he lifted one eyebrow, watching her with interest while she carefully poured the ice over the liquor bottles that sat in a metal bin below the bar’s surface. She huffed and her face was slightly red at the task, but she still managed to completely empty the bucket’s contents evenly around each of the glass bottles.

He took advantage of her being distracted by her task to stare at her shapely legs, which disappeared under a short skirt barely longer than her small apron. Her skin was delicately pale and smooth, and he wondered what it would feel like to slide his fingers up the length of those legs. His eyes traveled up her body, disappointed that the thick, blond ringlets dangling halfway down her back were also hiding most of her face as she leaned over the bar. He wanted to see her perfectly sloped nose, catch her eyes with his, and see what her small pink lips would look like when they smiled.

Something about this woman was intriguing him, although he couldn’t pinpoint what.

Her work completed, she exhaled loudly and plopped the empty bucket at her feet, taking a breather. Rory chuckled lightly, finally grabbing her attention.

“You laughing at me?” She put her hands on her hips, daring him to make fun of her.

Her eyes narrowed as she spoke, but he was still able to catch a glimpse of the dazzling emerald color that contrasted against her light skin and golden hair so perfectly.

“Wouldn’t dream of it, mhuirnín.” A smile spread across his face as he watched her saunter over to him, her full, pink lips tightly pressed together in irritation.

“What’s that mean?” she asked when she reached him, standing across the bar with her arms folded across her chest and one hip tilted higher than the other. Her tone was defiant and he loved the feisty spirit she exuded.

Mhuirnín? You’re all questions today. I’ll answer your question, if you answer mine.” Rory concentrated on keeping his speech normal and not slurring his words. He might have had a bit more to drink tonight than he had intended.

She turned away from him, looking back down the length of the bar and drumming her fingers on its surface.

Rory could sense her nervousness. He already missed her green gaze and silently begged her to turn back to him. There was something about her that stirred a protective instinct in him, a feeling entirely foreign toward anyone who wasn’t family. She was smiling, but there was an undercurrent of pain breaking through her friendliness.

He didn’t like it.

“I guess that’s fair,” she relented, turning back to him and leaning against the wall.

“I haven’t seen you here before. What’s your name?” His question was simple, but the desire in his eyes was not as he licked his bottom lip and admired how perfectly her uniform hugged her curves, even on her small figure.

“Clare Ivers. I’m new in town. Needed a job.” She shrugged, not divulging much, but he felt a sliver of hope when he saw that the smile on her face had yet to disappear.

He knew that she could feel his attraction toward her when he saw the blush creep up her cheeks. The smile she couldn’t push away told him she was enjoying their banter as much as he was.

Despite her clear interest, there was a hint of disapproval as he watched her eyes roam over his torso. It was a look he was way too familiar with from the last year. Rory worried he might be slurring his words or sounding more drunk than he felt.

Wouldn’t be the first time, he thought.

“Your turn.” She pointed at him, biting the corner of her lip in an attempt to hide her smile.

Mhuirnín means sweetheart. If you’re going to work in Woodlawn, Clare, you gotta learn some Irish.”

“Is that right? I guess I’ll have to find a good tutor then,” she taunted, before turning on her heels and sauntering off.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Rory Kavanagh is a retired MMA fighter, he was forced to retire after a really bad accident during a match. A year later the only thing helping with the pain in his leg is booze and pills. That is until he meets Clare Ivers. While Clare is in New York trying to escape a bad relationship and her ex-boyfriend, she doesn't want a relationship with anyone. So when Rory keeps showing up to walk her home after work, she sees it as him trying to take care of her and yes she is beginning to like that idea. Rory can always be seen with Ace, a dog he rescued from the shelter who was used as a bait dog in a dog fighting ring. Ace is a very good judge of character because he doesn't like bad or mean people to be around Rory. Will Rory change his ways to be with Clare? Will he help train his brother Kane for his first match? Can Clare trust Rory with more than her safety? What will happen when her ex shows up? I love MMA fighters and when this one came up on the review list, I knew I had to read it and I am so glad I did. I loved the story and loved Rory too. Can't wait for more from this series. This is a first for me to read from Sarah Robinson and I will be reading more from her.

Well, first off, I have to say I think it really sets a book up to HUGE standards to list some huge authors in the blurb.... and this book didn't meet those standards at all for me. Would I have thought the book was better without going in with such high expectations? Maybe... Maybe not.

Now on to the story. The blurb was fantastic and made me so excited to read this story. However, finding out within the first few chapters that it was basically insta-love was a huge let down especially from two people who had been through so much. I wanted to love the fighter overcoming an injury along with two addictions and a domestic abuse victim getting her happy ending, but I couldn't. Neither character reached the mark.

Clare doesn't act like a domestic abuse victim in anyway. Yes, I know they are all different and all act differently, but one consistency would have to be the fact that they would not want to get close as a friend or otherwise to a man that punches in the face of their boss the first time they meet them or one that acts quite overpowering and overprotective from day one. At least not in my opinion.

Rory's addiction and his getting over it was... yeah... didn't work. Not if you've known a real addict before.

A lot of the book felt like it was all shallow. No deep feelings, nothing deep to really shift through and struggle with.

Now, after all that, I will say that the action that takes place later in the book helped me connect with the characters and made the storyline work a bit more. I did love the family and their conversations and input. And the overall writing style was actually quite good.

I really felt like a lot of what I didn't like was a personal thing for me.

Rory Kavanagh knows what it's like to be a star. He was once called one of the top five MMA fighters, until he got hurt. One bad injury has ruined the only thing he's ever known. The pain that reminds him daily has pushed him to drink and pop pills to combat the ache in his leg. Rory has been living in this cycle for some time. Coming from a fighter family his need to put on a good face for them but always ending up in bottom of a bottle. It seems to be the only way to escape the pain of the past.

Clare Ivers has a past, one she hopes will never catch up to her. She moved from California to escape her life and start over. Meeting Rory and his family was never on the list of things to do. Can the Kavanaghs be the family she longs for? Can Rory become a one woman man?

I was really drawn into this story. I love the broken bad boy aspect. I'm a sucker for those reads. The characters were believable, emotional and well worth the read. I would love to see more about the Kavanagh brothers!

The first in a new series, this holds out a lot of promise.

With a very gritty prologue, MMA-wise, the set-up is clear from the beginning. And sadly its impact on Rory's life is permanent, and painful. So we meet him struggling to come to terms with the pain; he's already recognised that his career is in the past. A lack of financial worries from his previous successes makes him a surly character, until someone finally brightens up his day (or night) at Leary's bar – Clare.

As we follow this pair through a delightful courtship and romance, we get to know his family and her reasons for leaving her past behind. In spite of his addictions, and her fears, they seem to have found a reason to fight on – even if not in a cage. It is sweet and sexy and a really easy on the eyes read. And a start to what is going to be a good series – as the rest of the brothers will soon prove I am sure. Ace is also an important part of the team!

Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of The Photographer Trilogy and the Sand & Clay rock star series. A native of Washington, D.C., Robinson has both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal psychology. She is married to a local police officer who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiast as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescue and foster animals.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Breaking a Legend (Kavanagh Legends #1) by Sarah Robinson to read and review for this tour.

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