Prepared To Fight
by EJ Shortall
by EJ Shortall
Live each day as if it were your last. Worry only about yourself. Work hard and never, ever fall in love. That’s Olivia Buchanan’s motto and she stands by it every day.
Feisty, headstrong and confident, recent graduate Liv is fighting to succeed in the male dominated field she has chosen as her career. As an architect for her best friend's father's respected London based company, her chance to shine and become recognised comes when she lands the prestigious account for GO Sports and Leisure.
Armed with her plans and determination, Liv is ready to deliver the presentation of her life. That is, until he walks in. The mysterious personal trainer from the gym. The only man to have ever made her heart flutter. But he isn't all he seems.
When MMA fighter, Nathan Oakes offers Liv a business proposition to join him in Southern France, she’s left questioning his motives and wonders if she should refuse. She’s also equally intrigued by the prospect of what the trip could do for her career.
Liv has no time for a relationship. Nate doesn’t want one. When forced to live side by side, feelings are stretched and emotions are battled. Can they keep their professional and personal lives separate, preventing them from falling into something they both need to avoid?
“I thought you were going to show me some fancy flying kicks or something,” I said petulantly, watching him closely with my hands raised in the same defensive pose he carried. I began moving with him as he slowly started to circle me. “Not my thing.” “No? What is your thing then?” My arm instinctively moved away when his twitched. “My first discipline is Ju-jitsu. I’m more dangerous on the ground grappling and holding.” “Ha, so you do enjoy a good fumble and roll around on the floor then.” He shot me a look of heat before he quickly refocused. “There is only one time I enjoy rolling around, and it isn’t in a fighting arena.” I jumped back when he lunged forward. His eyes got a mischievous glint to them, and he stepped back, dropping his arms. “What are you doing?” I asked with a frown, disappointed. Surely we weren’t done already? I hadn’t even managed to sneak in a slap of my own. I dropped my arms to my side, waiting for his next move. Suddenly his left hand flashed in my peripheral vision and my arm instinctively came up to block it. At the same time he swept his leg out, catching my calf and knocking me off balance. With a screech and a thud, I landed on my back on the thick, deep red rug. “Ooof!” Air jolted from my lungs, leaving me winded and fighting hard for a deep breath. “Shit! Fuck! Liv, I’m sorry.” Nate was on his knees straddling my prone form before I could blink. His eyes were wide and fearful staring down into mine. “Are you okay?” All I could do was nod and swallow hard when he looked at me with such regret. My eyes closed at the feel of his hands smoothing my hair back and then trailing a hot path down my cheek. It was such a gentle, almost reverent touch. “God, do you know how beautiful you are?” he asked tenderly, his body lowering towards mine. I sucked in a deep breath, my heart pounding a frantic beat in my chest. He was so close, our lips only inches apart. His words and his slow, precise movements had my head spinning, but in this moment I knew I wanted him to kiss me. I was desperate for it.
★✩★✩★ 5 – Sexy & Frustrating, Hott & Cold – Stars ★✩★✩★
~this review may contain minor spoilers~
he'd reeled me in, seducing me with a look or a touch, taking what he wanted, and then pushed me away. I hadn't asked for this. I hadn't asked for any of it. Yet here I was, in a foreign country, being emotionally tossed about with no care for my feelings.
Olivia Buchanan is a woman who chose a career in a man's world. Determined to make a name for herself, prove herself and succeed beyond everyone's expectations is all she has time to focus on. Relationships just aren't in the cards for her, she doesn't have the time and doesn't really feel like she'd missing anything – until a certain personal trainer from the gym she just joined walks in on a meeting for the major account she just landed. She was prepared to give the presentation of her life when for the first time she has an unexpected reaction to the mystery man – and he has a proposition for her....
Nathan Oakes – MMA fighter, personal trainer, gym owner, business man – has absolutely no desire to get involved in a relationship of any kind, but he can't deny the attraction he feels for the feisty architect. When he asks her to join him in France, offers her a job that would ultimately be a huge boost to her career, he has no idea just what he's signing up for.
Liv knows what an incredible opportunity this job would be, but she is unsure of Nate's motives. She has no time for a relationship, he doesn't want one, but being secluded on the french countryside could spell trouble for the budding friendship – it could either bring them closer together than they are prepared for, or drive them apart. One thing becomes quite clear the more time they spend together, Nate is battling some deep dark demons that Liv has no idea how to help with and he isn't exactly the sharing type. Whether they want it or not, their hearts are about to get involved and they have to decide if they are prepared to fight for what could be the best thing to ever happen to them, or walk away....
Every time he showed a glimmer of anything more than a friendly or professional relationship between us, I thought the wall was coming down. But the he would build it up and pack it out, making it thicker and more impenetrable than ever. Eventually it would crush me.
I don't even know where to start with this one. There was just so much to love about it, so many things pulling me in, amazing characters you couldn't help but love, a story that just didn't quit – I could not put it down. I felt such a strong connection to Liv it was impossible not to feel drawn to her. Not the career driven part of her – I work customer service at a grocery story, I'm not really the career type – but her insecurities about herself, the self deprecating, was so me it was uncanny. The beautiful part was watching her take control of changing herself for the better, and she did it for HER, not some guy. Watching her slowly gain more confidence and start to see herself the way other do was just amazing. Now Nate was a whole other ballgame – that man wrote the damn book on the hot and cold switch. And the mood swings?! Hello Mr. PMS!! But I got it.... eventually. The shadows of his past were very real, damaging, and ridiculously painful. Still, until we learn all there is to learn about Nathan Oakes I spent a lot of time wanting to choke him. Or lick him. Cause damn that man was hott – sexy, flirty, fun and dirty when he choose to be. Cassie, Wes & best friend Adam were fab additions and everything you could ever want in secondary characters. If there was one thing I would have wanted a little differently, it would have to be wanting to spend a helluva lot more time in Nate's head. The entire book (minus one too small foray) was told entirely from Liv's POV. Not that I minded being in her head, I just would have like to get a deeper sense of Nate, one you can only get from getting inside him. Other than that, there really wasn't anything I didn't love about this book. This was my first read by Ms. Shortall but it definitely landed her a spot on my One-Click-Addiction List. I can only hope she gives us Adam and Wes's stories at some point in the future. If you love your romances chock full of angst, drama, steam and a few laughs, then give this book a try. It was an incredible journey.
“From the moment I first saw you, I knew there was something about you. I tried to deny it, I tried to fight it but it was inevitable. We were meant to end up right here, right now.”
EJ Shortall was born and raised in a suburb of London, England where she currently still resides.
Having worked in education for the better part of 12 years, EJ decided a change was needed. Following a moment of inspiration, she decided to put pen to paper not expecting anything to come from the few words she had. Soon those few words turned into her first novel, Silver Lining. Not content with just writing the one, she continued with book two and then three, and has many, many more ideas just waiting to be written.
She has always enjoyed reading, but found it was mostly just a holiday extravagance. Then she discovered a certain worldwide best seller, and her passion was reignited. Reading quickly became an obsession and she couldn’t devour books fast enough. The books on her shelves and reading devices range from sweet, Young Adult romances, to smouldering erotic encounters. If pushed for an answer she would say that sexy rock star romances are her favourite.
Aside from reading and writing, EJ also enjoys amateur photography, playing around with graphics and cake decorating.
“I am on one amazing roller coaster ride at the moment. I have met so many new and wonderful people, discovered new music gems to integrate into my stories, and learned so many new skills. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me.”
If you would like to join E.J. on her journey, please follow or contact her. She would love to hear from you!
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