Title: Breaking a Legend
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.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
For 18+ years of age.
Author: Sarah Robinson
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Saving a Legend, Becoming a Legend
Series: Kavanagh Legends #1
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: Saving a Legend, Becoming a Legend
Published by LoveSwept Source: Author
Published: September 29th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
A lot of folks I know are chomping at the bit to get their hands on Breaking a Legend. It’s caused quite the rave among reviewers and I consider myself very lucky that I was given the opportunity to review it. This is my first book by Sarah Robinson and I’m fairly sure it won’t be the last.
Occasionally I like to read a MMA romance book. I’m not really into the whole MMA world but once in a while I will indulge in a story that is out of my preferred genre. And as much as MMA is in this book, it’s not the main focal point. The story is actual about all the Kavanagh’s brothers (And one lone cousin!) and their HEA with the ones the fall in love with. First up is Rory and Clare. Rory was at the top of his game and then WHAM! everything changed after a horrific accident. A year later and he’s on a path to self-destruction until one night he stumbles into a local bar and meets a woman who changes his life. Clare has fled her home in California where she left a bad situation behind and is trying to start her life over again. She doesn’t have time for love nor does she want any complications.
It was easy to see how there was going to be a insta-connection with these two. Rory was on a very destructive ‘poor me my career is over’ kick with his bad leg. Clare was on the run and alone. Two broken souls drawn to each other helping each other heal. She gives him a reason to straighten out his life while he gives her security and love. Rory’s family is the bomb! From his folks to this siblings, there was great family dynamics and it was easy to see the bonds they have for one another. I loved all of Rory’s siblings and can’t wait to read each one of their stories.
There were a few issues I did have with the story line. First, Rory. Don’t get me wrong, I adored his character. Anybody who isn’t animal rescues is a winner in my book. It’s just for someone how had a few addictions going on, he cleaned up way too quickly without too many withdrawals or issues to be very believable. As for Clare, she’s a strong character for all that she has had to endure in her life. However, she was in a fairly controlling abusive situation before she left Cali and she’s not really showing very signs of it. I get that this is fiction, a romance and we need a HEA, I just think a bit more realism to what Rory and Clare had previously gone through would have made this a really awesome ugly cry book, instead of just a great romance. Still, it is worth reading and yes I would recommend it.
Vanessa: Would you please start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Hi Vanessa! Sure, I’d love to. My name is Sarah Robinson and I write contemporary romance as a hybrid author, meaning I’ve self-published 6 books but also write traditionally for Penguin Random House. My first book with my publisher is BREAKING A LEGEND (http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/251446/breaking-a-legend-by-sarah-robinson/) and is coming out on 9/29/15, so I’m absolutely dying with excitement right now.
I live in Northern Virginia, not too far from Washington, DC, and am newly married to a local police officer. In fact, we’ll be celebrating our official one year wedding anniversary a few days before my upcoming book release, which also happens to be our 3 year anniversary of when we met. We don’t have any kids yet, but we do have a menagerie of animals who live with us and seem confused on who actually is in charge. My husband and I both work for several animal rescue organizations and are heavily involved in the community.
Jacque: What books or authors have inspired your writing?
To be honest, I started writing long before I knew the book world existed or was exposed to such a wide variety of works. Mainly I read women’s fiction and memoirs, and my only experience with romance was when I sneaked a peek in my grandmother’s Harlequin novels. I was eight, so that was a bit shocking, but now when I look back on it, I can understand why she needed a cigarette each time she read.
My novels are often inspired just by my own imagination, or hearing/seeing something that sparks a stream of consciousness that leads me to a novel idea. Occasionally, I’ve written stories more true to my life with real life characters in them, like The Photographer Trilogy, but often it’s just characters I make up in my head who become very, very real to me that they’re like family.
Deb: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure that I have a specific quirk from when I write, more so that I have routines I follow to try and be most productive. I need everything clean and tidy around me to be productive, or to write out of my home so I can’t focus on how disorderly my house is. I always need something to drink by me when I write- water, wine, or coffee depending on the time of day. Normally I need silence to write, but sometimes I need music to inspire me as well. Wi-fi definitely needs to be shut off, or Facebook lures me back in! I basically just try to set up my work station (which is often my couch) to be a distraction free area where I can focus.
Christina: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m usually thinking about writing, or feeling guilty for not writing, or wondering what I should be writing next. On the rare occasion that I’m actually able to get out of my own mind for a few moments, I usually try to spend time with my husband, since as a police officer he works long hours and I get a very limited amount of time with him. We often play with our dogs or cats, go on walks or hikes together, try to explore new areas or any type of local free attraction. We watch television, probably more than we should, and have our few favorite shows that we record and watch together. I’m obsessed with the entire Bachelor franchise and there’s usually one on most weeks for me to blather on about. I’m a pretty simple yet happy person, honestly, but probably not all that exciting to a outsider looking in.
Pansy: If you could visit any time period and location (past or future) when and where would you go?
Definitely the past, because the future is terrifying! Probably the Victorian era in England, since everything I’ve read about it (mostly in historical romances) makes it seem so simple and beautiful. Something about royalties and fancy balls with Disney-like princesses, sounds so magical. I love contemporary romances and today’s world so much though, that I really don’t think much about another time and place. There’s so much going on here and now that’s amazing and excited, and we’re so lucky to be around for it!
Gaele: Where do your ideas come from? Do you set out to ‘outline’ a plot and situations, or do you let the characters take you along for the ride, and clean it up later?
I outline the skeleton of the book, then flesh it out as I go. Sometimes this changes the course of the book, and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s impossible to really say until the book is over, because each one goes entirely different. Most of my ideas come from random sparks of inspiration, like something I hear or see that makes me think of something else and then a short steam of consciousness later, I’ve got a book idea! I definitely have to go back later and polish it, make it pretty, because generally I drink wine while I write so there are the occasional parts that I get to and I’m like…. whoa, I was clearly not thinking straight when I wrote this. Although it always seems different each time, I’m a creature of habit and somehow this has worked for me!
Pansy: Can you tell us about your current work in progress, perhaps you could share a favorite fact or piece of fascinating information about it?
Well, I just finished writing the second book in the KAVANAGH LEGENDS series, so it was about Kieran. Kieran is Rory’s younger brother, and the twin to Kane, from BREAKING A LEGEND (the first book in the series which comes out 9/29/15). Kieran is in jail all through out Rory’s book, so none of you guys have met him yet, but I can’t wait! He’s a sweet alpha, if such a thing exists, but will make your heart just melt. After him, I’m working on a super secret book that’s actually not romance, but in the vein of women’s fiction instead. Then once I finish that this month, I’ll be back writing the third book in the Kavanagh’s series, all about Kane!
My most exciting favorite fact about all of these books is that each book has a not-so-hidden philanthropic undertone to it. Rory’s book deals with dog rescue for dogs who’ve been severely abused and used in fighting rings. Kieran’s book will deal with children with special needs. My super secret book deals with fundamental human rights and what those actually are. That’s my favorite thing about writing because although the main thread is romance between the hero and heroine, you also walk away with something else that I call “a nugget of good.” Every book I write has a nugget of good in it that I hope will burrow into every reader’s heart and encourage them to be kinder and more tolerant to those around them. Love and be loved, because romance can change our world if we let it.
Gaele: With all the characters you have created – are there any that you feel need to have another book or series to get their “story told”?
BREAKING A LEGEND is character rich. In fact that’s the number one comment from reviewers, that they love the entire Kavanagh family and want to know all of their stories. So yes, in circumstances like that, when you have so many unique and crazy side characters, they really need their own book to do them justice. Thankfully, I can announce that Penguin Random House has acquired the rest of the series and there are currently six books slated to publish, each one about a different sibling in the Kavanagh clan. Two or three will come out each year until the end, and I’m so in love with this family so I can’t wait to bring them all to you.
Christina: If you could speak to any one type of animal, what would it be, and what would you ask it?
Cats, definitely cats. My husband and I currently have 5 cats, 3 dogs, 2 turtles, and a marsupial, but out of all of those, I’d want to be able to speak cat. Not necessarily to be able to talk to the cats, but to be warned ahead of time when they’re plotting to murder me. Dogs are simple, you don’t need to speak dog to know that they’re thinking of food, how their butt smells, and more food. I write about dogs, and dog rescue in BREAKING A LEGEND, and love it because dogs are just loving and pure hearted. Cats, however, are more conniving than that with secretive glances and looks always, and I’m certain they’re plotting ways to take over the world.
Vanessa: I’m a bit of an author stalker and I love going to signings and conventions. Do you have any upcoming appearances?
I do! I’m not signed up for a ton because finances don’t really make that possible, but I’ve tried to book at least one this year and one in 2016, with maybe more to come later. I also am trying to make it to RWA and RT every year if finances allow, but I won’t necessarily be signing there. People can meet with my anytime though, I love meeting with readers!
All events, both in person and virtual, are listed on my website calendar so that people can keep up with me: http://booksbysarahrobinson.net/calendar/
For the Love of Romance Writing Miniconference by Loudon Country Library: October 3rd, 10am-12pm, Rust Library, 380 Old Waterford Road Northwest, Leesburg, VA 20176, United States
Authors in the City Book Signing by Stephanie’s Book Reports: March 12th, 12pm – 4pm, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, 6000 West Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34746, United States
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/144608-kavanagh-legends
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.
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.