Holding Strong by Lori Foster
Series: Ultimate series #2
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: April 1st 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
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Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn't share. That's why he's been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry's about to need more than she knows…
Denver's combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she's been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can't hide behind a carefree facade. Because the man by her side is one who'll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she'll trust him enough to let him…
Almost from the first time Denver Lewis met Cherry Peyton he knew that she would be his. However he thinks she’s an incurable flirt and he hates how she is with other men. This causes him to back off and just watch her as he thinks she’s one who gets around and maybe even cheats.
Cherry is a social butterfly and likes to have fun and dance. She loves having conversations with the fighters she’s gotten to know, and their women, but that’s as far as it goes. She too knew that Denver would be hers when she met him and has been in love with him but he won’t give her the time of day. Finally after one fight she makes her move and he surprises the hell out of her by actually taking her up on it.
Once they’re together Denver knows that it won’t be enough and he’s not letting her go any time soon. Unfortunately Cherry has some foster brothers from her youth that are complete bastards and one of them wants Cherry for himself. He’ll stop at nothing to make her his.
The thing I like about Foster’s stories is that her heroes are always big tough guys with soft hearts who love taking care of their women and others. It’s a heady combination and that’s what I was looking forward to in this book. Unfortunately Denver, even when he was being thoughtful, wasn’t all that soft. He was possessive, which is not that unusual in an alpha male, but Denver went over that line and became angry and jealous when Cherry was with his friends – even though he knew full well that nothing was going on. It seemed that he was either having sex with Cherry or arguing with her about something throughout most of the book and that really rubbed me the wrong way. This was worded in a way that it seemed like it was because Cherry was holing back info and it was a trust issue but it just came off as him being a bit of an ass.
Cherry had had an incredibly bad childhood and then when her parents died it went from bad to worse with her foster family. She had gotten away from them, gotten her GED and had a good job. She was independent and stubborn because she’d had to take care of herself for so long. I could fully understand her desire to do things for herself and Denver was incredibly controlling so they were constantly butting heads. It was hard for her to give up complete control and frankly I really didn’t want her to – I wanted a compromise, that’s what she should have pushed for but she didn’t. sigh She was a good person, though and I liked her personality.
The story had its ups and downs and there was one part that described a molesting/almost rape that was a bit disturbing. The beginning of the book started off well and it ended on a good note but the middle lagged at points and it was a bit frustrating. A good story but obviously I had some issues with it.
Rating: 3 out of 5