Lori Foster’s new Ultimate series is essentially a spin off of her Love Undercover series. The main characters in No Limits, Cannon and Yvette, were introduced in book 4 of the last series (Dash of Peril, reviewed here). I don’t think you absolutely must read that book to understand No Limits, but it does help set up the characters and their history.
To recap that back story, Cannon was a local MMA fighter/gym owner/neighborhood defender/all around amazing guy. He helped the hero and heroine from Dash of Peril stop a group of guys kidnapping women and making snuff films. In particular, he helped rescue almost-twenty year old Yvette when the criminals captured and tortured her and her grandfather. Yvette was threatened and generally brutalized, and as you can imagine she was a bit of a wreck in that book. She was openly and intensely infatuated with Cannon, and they even shared a hot kiss, but despite his attraction to her, 23 year old Cannon felt she was too young and vulnerable to pursue. In the end, Yvette leaves to go to California and Cannon goes off to start a career as a professional fighter.
Fast forward three years. Yvette rarely returns home, and Cannon spends most of his time away fighting and training. When Yvette’s grandfather dies and leaves his home and business to both Yvette and Cannon, the two have to return home and reconnect. Cannon immediately decides he wants Yvette for real this time, but this time it’s Yvette who resists. She’s clearly damaged by her traumatic ordeal, but she works hard to put up a strong face to the world. When unsettling things start happening to her once again, Cannon has to help her face the new challenges as well as try to overcome the past.
I liked the sexy chemistry between Cannon and Yvette. They take things a bit slowly physically for reasons explained in the book, but that just gives time for the delicious tension to build. Cannon is a sexy, ripped, and confident athlete, and it’s easy to see why Yvette and every other woman in the book drool over him. He’s also a tender, kind, and caring lover, and his interactions with Yvette were really sweet. I’m a sucker for catching up with previous characters, so it was fun to see Margaret and Dash from Dash of Peril. Margaret was still as awesome as ever! I also really enjoyed meeting Cannon’s fighter friends. We get some tantalizing peeks at his friend Armie and sister Rissy, who I presume will be starring in a book somewhere down the line. Let’s just say it will be very interesting to see how Armie, who is portrayed as one of the manwhoriest manwhores to ever manwhore, meets his match.
I like sweet, but things did get a little too saccharine at times. Cannon’s nickname is Saint, and that is definitely accurate. He is always patient, always a good listener, always has time to help everyone. He mentors all the troubled kids in the neighborhood, protects local businesses from thugs, comes to the defense of everyone who needs it, etc. And of course, he’s one of the best MMA fighters out there and has time to do his intense training in between acts of saintliness. I also didn’t love that he is basically Yvette’s savior in every way–I can’t say much without spoiling anything, but let’s just say there is nothing at all Cannon can’t do! Yvette is stunningly gorgeous but wholly unaware that anyone thinks she’s hot, which is not my favorite trope. I would have liked a little more growth and agency from her, too. At the very least, I wanted to see Cannon’s love give her confidence, but instead she doubts his feelings and herself until almost the very end.
I think if you like MMA fighters and alpha guys who are still gentlemen, No Limits (and likely the future books in this series) would probably appeal. While I would have appreciated a bit more complexity, this was still an enjoyable read.
Grade: 3.75 out of 5