Thursday, December 15, 2016

In the Ring by Rie Warren Blog Tour

The biggest fight of his life isn’t... In the Ring.

The bright lights. The roaring crowd. The chance at a championship belt. The not-so-little secret Liam Shaughnessy—the Bonny Bruiser—is fighting to keep tucked far away.

Liam got the pussy pounded out of him on the mean streets of Cin-city—the other Sin City. The oldest in a Catholic clan where his da never pulled any punches, he went from geek boy to the golden boy of the boxing world care of his fists. Liam’s on the fast track to having it all... all except the one man he wants.

Michael Fairweather makes pretending to be hetero goddamn difficult for Liam. The man is blond and beautiful and just so happens to be Liam’s trainer. With a penchant for doing shirtless yoga, giving midnight massages to loosen Liam’s muscles, and sometimes even taking it out in the ring with him. To say Liam has porn-style fantasies about Michael is an understatement.

Michael’s out and proud. Liam’s only proud of what he can do in the ring. He can’t risk his career, least of all for someone unavailable. Michael has a lover. Liam has the lies he lives every day. And when his money-grubbing manager gets involved as the title win approaches, Liam doesn’t know what hit him.

Fight to win. Fight with honor. It won’t be easy, but that’s okay. Nothing worth fighting for ever is.

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Book 1
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“You boys ’bout done?” the ref called over.

I breathed long and deep, peering through damp hair at Michael.

He shook his head. “Nah.”

The total body torment went on and on. Neither of us cried mercy. If he was pissed off, so was I. I just wasn’t sure what I’d done to make him go all pow-pow-pow on me. I didn’t really much care. The scent of his clean perspiration was as much of an aphrodisiac as the visual of his sweating body.

I blocked a vicious jab to my face. “You’re being a dick.”

He spun away before my fist connected with his stomach. “Back ‘atcha.”

If he wanted me, he sure had a funny way of showing it. Killing someone via sheer bodily torture didn’t usually lead to love scenes or make-out sessions. Anya was way the fuck off the mark there.

“What’s your beef, bro?” I gasped after a particularly stinging punch.

“I think you should be more discreet.” He whipped his head out of the way just as my left hook whistled past.


“With Anya. And the other women. Or all the women, if you really like Anya.”

“Kidding me?”

He jogged in front of me on his feet. Left, right, left, right. “Nope.”

“This is about Anya?”


“Bull and shit.” I kicked his legs out from under him and followed him down to the mat.

I didn’t cock my fist to beat his face, but only because it was too pretty to injure.

I restrained his massive thighs with my knees. “You’re beginning to sound like Dev.”

“Call! That move is not allowed,” the ringside ref shouted.

“’S’okay. We’re not playing by the rules here, are we, Michael?”

“Nope.” His hips bucked up, and his crotch hit my growing hardness.

Holy shit.

I aligned my torso with his. Lowering myself another inch over him, I imagined Mikey bare and begging beneath me, our cocks thrusting together.

“Dev’s a slick Mick.” His chest pumped up and he tried to push me off him.

“He’s not even a true Mick and PS. that’s an insult to my Irish upbringing, preppy motherfucker.” I pushed down on his shoulders.

“Get up, you big bastard.” With no warning at all Michael spanked my ass hard.

A resounding smack rang through the air.

His eyes widened.

Mine almost rolled back in my head.

That was so hot. I’d never imagined him slapping my ass before.

I pumped against him once then reared back in horror.

Finally the pinched-sphincter expression he’d worn all day relaxed. He licked his lips in a slow motion move I wanted to repeat with my tongue on his mouth.

“Come on, man. Let’s hit the showers.” He bucked against me one more time, and I swear to fuck there was an extra, slow-grinding motion to his hips.

“What?” I croaked.

“You stink, you fucker. Get off me so we can get showered up.”

Oh yay. Because both of us getting naked with water and suds is a great idea. You’ll drop the bar of soap between my legs and stoop down to scoop it up...

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is my first m/m story by Rie Warren and I loved every word of it. Liam’s voice stayed with me long after I finished his story. The champion boxer represents far too many poor kids with talent for sport. His education is negligible. His words are few. He is his family’s only hope for a better future, but to support his mother and siblings, he must leave them for long stretches. And when he works and he wins, he finds himself managed and controlled by people who are more interested in how he can make them money than they are in caring for him or developing his career.

And then there is Liam’s Mikey, his trainer. The chemistry between these two is explosive. The beautiful scenes of Mikey and Liam training together early in the book might be the most innocent yet completely sensual scenes I’ve read in m/m. This is an incredibly sexy pairing, but the harm they do to each other as Liam follows his handlers’ advice and hides his sexuality is brutal.

Aside from the romance, this is also a boxing story. Rie Warren never sacrifices action for romance and this is no exception. Liam overcomes so many obstacles in his quest to be champion and readers are pulled into the minutiae of his training regimes and the excitement of his matches. I am definitely not a boxing fan, but I love an underdog and I thoroughly appreciated Liam’s discipline and tenacity.

This is my first book by Rie Warren and I'm happy to say it won't be my last.

Liam has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is on the road to the championship belt. He is the only 'man' supporting his family and has made it his job to make sure they are taken care of. And, he has more girls throwing themselves at him than he knows what to do with. What's the problem?

He doesn't want them. He wants his trainer Mikey. This is a problem because it has been drummed into him that coming out will ruin his career.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Liam and Michael. They were friends and colleagues before they was anything else.

The first half of the book where they ignored their feelings was beautifully written, we got to see them as individuals before they fell into a relationship.

Two guys all sweaty from boxing and other activities, what more could a girl want?

Another fantastic read from Rie Warren, she’s one of my favorite authors! 4.5 well earned stars!

Liam Shaughnessy is an MMA fighter at the height of his career and he’s had a crush on his long-time trainer, Michael Fairweather, forever. No one even knows Liam is gay except for his manager, who insists he keep things under a tight lid so that his career doesn’t suffer. Michael is out and as far as Liam knows, he’s in a committed relationship with his long time high school boyfriend. Liam’s fear of not being accepted as gay keeps him from coming out for many years, but the sexual tension between him in Michael during their training sessions gets more intense each day until the two can’t help but act on it, and once they do the sparks fly.

I love how raw and gritty this read is. I was sucked into Liam and Michael’s story from page one and just couldn’t put this book down! I really love that Michael isn’t willing to start anything with Liam until ending his relationship with his boyfriend, it added a level of class that a lot of reads just don’t have. I can’t wait to see where Rie Warren takes this series next!

I thought this was a really good book – which played out rather like a boxing match, with periods of fierce, fast-paced action interspersed with elements of tactic and thought as to how to overcome a particular opponent.

Liam's biggest opponents are in his head, his upbringing and his sport. Much as he desires his trainer, Michael, he cannot see a way of being openly gay in his world – and his weasel of a manager reminds him of the need to be closeted all too often. In the Ring, it may hurt, but it is simpler...

If you like a sports romance, then rest assured there is plenty of action in the training ring, reminders of just how hard these guys work to look as amazing as they do, and what they have to sacrifice along the way. But there is also a seriously good romance, some fierce loving, and some soft, but all scorchingly hot. There are a few side characters who add a lot to the story, with a particular shout out to Anya and Gideon. I hope we meet them again!

I am curious as to where the series will go next, and hope that Ms. Warren is busy tapping away on her keyboard so that we can find out very soon.

Rie is the badass, sassafras author of Sugar Daddy and the Don’t Tell series–a breakthrough trilogy that crosses traditional publishing boundaries beginning with In His Command. Her latest endeavor, the Carolina Bad Boys series, is fun, hot, and southern-sexy.

A Yankee transplant who has traveled the world, Rie started out a writer—causing her college professor to blush over her erotic poetry without one ounce of shame. Not much has changed. She swapped pen for paintbrushes and followed her other love during her twenties. From art school to marriage to children and many a wild and wonderful journey in between, Rie has come home to her calling. Her work has been called edgy, daring, and some of the sexiest smut around.

You can connect with Rie via the social media hangouts listed on her website. She is represented by Saritza Hernandez, Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Connect with Rie

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of In the Ring (Boxer #1) by Rie Warren to read and review for this tour.

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