By Katy Evans
Series: Real, Book 1
My Rating: 4 Stars
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I know, if you now anything about my recent reading habits you know I currently have a weakness for books with fighters. And I mean any kind of fighters: boxing, MMA, undergound fighting, just your typical bad boy who likes to pick a fight, or the strong, bad boy protector. If you know that about me then you know I would absolutely go for this book and I’d probably love it. So why am I going to recommend it to you? Well because, even though it fit into this category, it was actually a really good story.
Here is the basic plot: Brooke, newly graduated from college is looking for a job. Her dreams of becoming an olympic athlete are dead and she’s doing the best she can to move on. Since she couldn’t compete anymore she turned to sports therapy. One night she’s persuaded to attend an underground boxing match. There she sees Remington Tate for the first time. From that point on, she knows her life will never be the same. But what Brooke doesn’t know is that Remington Tate is so much more than the “Riptide” that his fans call him.
Remington Tate, has had his share of bad luck in life. He found something he was good at in boxing, but dreams can come crumbling down at the drop of a hat. Remy knows this and is fighting everyday to just keep doing what he loves but now he must do it in the underground fighting scene. One night, at a fight in Seattle, Remy sees Brooke and he knows he must have her anyway he can. By offering her a job, he knows she’ll have to be around. But Remy and Brooke don’t realize how entwined their lives are about to become and how hard it’s going to be for them to get through.
Brooke knows he’s strong and independent. She knows he’s a fighter in every sense of the word and she knows she has no choice but to be with him. No matter what the risk or the damage he could cause to her. She can’t not be with him. Remy, for the first time ever, feels drawn to someone like never before. Brooke is different from everyone who came before her. He wants to her to know him. Know the real him with all his demons and skeletons revealed. But he’s not sure if she can handle it and stay with him.
So that’s the basic plot. But I just can’t seem to do it justice. There is so much more to it, but revealing anything more would be giving everything away. And well, where is the fun in that. There are twists and turns in this book that I wasn’t prepared for and since Evans was able to surprise me, I had a greater fondness for this story and it’s characters. If you’ve read my other reviews, you’ll know that I like great characters. I like them to have depth and breadth. I want them to be complicated and real. They need to be conflicted and troubled and scary and weak and strong and be totally contradictory. Why? Because that’s just how people are. We are walking double standards. Not by choice but because life is complicated and we’ll allow things to be done to us by some and not by others. Why? Because those people matter to us for better or worse, they make us who we are and we are always willing to give them more of ourselves no matter what. That’s what I truly loved about this book. I connected with Remy wanting Brooke to know him first. To really know him with all his cracks, bruises and blemishes. And then there was Brooke, the devoted, the supporter, the potential strength for two, trying to fill the almost unattainable standard that Remy holds her too. And that is what I loved about her. Brooke, like so many women, take on that challenge head on. She is strong but broken, weak but fierce, independent but needful.
So what else is there to love about this book? Well, there is the alpha-male of Remington Tate. The sexy, hot boxing, fighter of “Riptide”. The loving, giving, troubled, deeply damaged psyche of Remy. And when you put all that together you get an uber-sexy male lead character. Remy and Brooke are amazing together. They laugh and love and hate and hurt eachother which keeps you grounded in the story. But their lives are not lived in a bubble. They must interact and deal with the world around them adding a complication to their world. In general, I felt that Katy Evans “Real” was simply real. I loved it. If you like new adult literature then check out this book. I think you’ll be happily surprised with this one. I’m eagerly moving on to the next books in the series. Maybe you’ll like this one enough to move on as well. Stay tuned for reviews of “Mine” and “Remy” coming soon.