I received this book for free from Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Strong Hold by Sarah Castille
Also in this series: Full Contact, Fighting Attraction
Series: Redemption #5
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on July 3, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance, BDSM, MMA Fighters
Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca
"Shayla?" For the longest moment Zack's brain couldn't process the sight in front of him. Seven years, ten months and twenty-seven days. That was how long it had been since he'd seen her. That was how long it had been since he'd lived a life without regret.
Fight promoter Zack Grayson is on the prowl for a rising star. As the top recruiter of a prestigious MMA promotion company, he wants to take someone where he was never able to go: the top of the professional league. He didn't expect that someone to be the woman he loved...and left.
Top-ranked MMA amateur fighter Shayla "Shilla the Killa" Tyler built walls around her heart when Zack left her seven years ago--and again when her husband turned violent. Now, seeing Zack is nearly enough to send those walls crumbling. But she can't risk the exposure of the limelight, and she definitely can't risk another heartbreak.
As Shayla and Zack grow closer, though, business turns personal. And once their passion unleashes, there's no going back...
Redemption Series: Against the Ropes (Book 1) In Your Corner (Book 2) Full Contact (Book 3) Fighting Attraction (Book 4)Strong Hold (Book 5)
Strong Hold is the fifth in the Redemption series, and I had a fun time with this story. I have really enjoyed this series, although I will warn you that the sex scenes are pretty HOT and spicy. They do have some BDSM elements, but I would consider them light and not full on BDSM. So most readers would enjoy the scenes. This was a story that I found very bittersweet at times. It had some strong emotional and drama elements that really suck you into the story and into the relationship and its complexity.
Our story starts off when Zack, is a MMA promoter and ex fighter. Zack is still feeling what he lost that one night during a fight when his opponent died in the ring and Zack has blamed himself ever since and that night has haunted him including losing the one woman he never stopped loving. Shayla or also known as “Shilla the Killer”, knew Zack and they were high school sweethearts but right when she was ready to follow him to California for his dreams he broke up with her brutally and she has never fogotten. Shayla was once a dancer, and was married until she showed up on Redemption door brutalized by her husband and her knee so damaged that she could no longer pursue her dream of being a professional dancer. She now is fierce and a fighter and used the techniques she has used to beat her fear of her ex and heal from the past until her past comes riding back in when Zack enters her life again. But both Zack and Shayla will need to resolve past issues and face them in the ring….but will they rise on the top or be defeated?
I really enjoyed seeing this story evolve, and yeah any of my friends and followers on here know how much I LOVE the Second Chance Trope and this one rocked for sure. It was interesting to see Shayla’s story since I have really enjoyed her sassy character throughout the series and boy the depth of her character is the bomb. I loved seeing her past and that there is so much more to her than meets the eye. I found it interesting the way the relationship reconnects, and its not an easy one.
We all have a past. It’s what you do with it that determines your future. Don’t let it limit you, Shay. Don’t let it hold you back from going after what your heart really wants.
We learn that Zack only broke up with her so she wouldn’t give up on dreams of being a dancer, but we also see that Shayla isn’t just pissed about that but also that he wouldn’t talk to her. Shayla was aware of what she wanted even years ago when they were together and that he didn’t have the right to make life altering decisions that caused her so much pain. I found that these two deserve one another. They are both fighters, and want to go the professional route. But they also have some issues they need to face and I enjoyed seeing them push each other into realizing the truths that they hide from each other.
Love is sacrifice. Love is giving. Love is taking the long, hard road back when it’s easier to walk away. Love fils all the cracks in your heart and give syou strength in the darkest of times. It is there when the lights go out and in the depth of despair.
The love story is so beautifully written, seeing these two characters suffer all that they have and to find each other again and become stronger together was breathtaking and worth the read in every way!! IRRESISTIBLY SEXY