Title: Relentless Liberation
Being stalked from town to town by an unstable ex-boyfriend means demure bookworm Mina Roper is used to keeping a low profile. But after a coworker brings her to an underground boxing competition, shy Mina falls deeply in lust with gorgeous fighter Tyler Serano.
The problem? She’s convinced he’s hopelessly out of her league. Tyler knows his matches are brutally violent, so why does this sweet, subdued beauty keep showing up to watch them week after week? Despite his overwhelming fear of commitment, Tyler’s innocent curiosity evolves into a hot, all-consuming attraction. Just when it looks like happily ever after might be possible, Mina’s past catches up to her and she’s forced to make a tough choice. Follow her usual escape strategy—or risk it all for a new kind of life with Tyler.
Inside Scoop: Mina’s past includes a nonconsensual sexual encounter and brief violence, which could be triggering for some readers.
Author: L. J. Fine
Published: March 5 2014
Genres: Erotic Contemporary Romance
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Mina is shy and insecure. After a lifetime of being in the shadows and being constantly berated by her ‘friends’ and family, she has moved to a small town to make a new life for herself. There she meets quality people that show her that she is important and worthy of a great life. One of those people is Tyler, an underground fighter that she watches from a distance until he decides to make a move on her. Initially they are just friends but as they spend more time together their feelings for each other grow until Tyler moves to make her his.
I really enjoyed this story. I will say that if the synopsis didn’t share the bit about her background, as a reader, we wouldn’t know until close to the end of the book exactly why she was always moving. It is easy to guess from the internal monologue but she never comes right out and talks about it until the end with Tyler. When she does I was surprised that, while it really bothers him what she went through, they don’t spend too long on her background and focus on their relationship and where they want it to go.
I liked Tyler and Mina as a couple. I loved how Tyler was secure in himself and didn’t look to others to make his decisions for him. When he sees Mina he is instantly drawn to her and he doesn’t care that she is more comfortable being demure and a bit of a wallflower. He just grabs her hand and doesn’t try to change her, just introduces her to things she hasn’t experienced so that she can judge for herself if she wants to indulge or not. And Mina, while she is insecure and unsure about many things, is extremely strong when push comes to shove. I felt that once she got more confidence she would be a force to be reckoned with.
One of my favorite aspects of this story was the slow build of Mina and Tyler’s relationship. At the beginning of the book Mina has been going to see Tyler fight for a few months and has been fanaticizing about him just as long so she is already attracted. Within a few pages Tyler strikes up a conversation and their friendship is off. They chat and meet up over the course of a few weeks as friends until they finally take things to the next level. I loved that. They were still hot and Tyler was a big fan of dirty talk so there is plenty of that but I loved how I could see there were emotions also at work between them that weren’t all lust.
There were some great side characters in Tyler and Mina’s best friends. I liked that the focus of this book was on Mina and Tyler but the snippets about their friends were fun to read and make me want to see more from this group of people.