ARC Review – Fighting Dirty by Sidney Halston

Posted January 5, 2016 by smutmatters in ARC, Contemporary, Reviews, Sports / 0 Comments

ARC Review – Fighting Dirty by Sidney HalstonFighting Dirty by Sidney Halston
Series: Worth the Fight #5
Published by Loveswept on January 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Pages: 240
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
AmazonBarnes & Noble
three-stars

If you love the MMA romances of Vi Kreeland and Kendall Ryan, Sidney Halston’s Worth the Fight series will knock your socks off! In Fighting Dirty, a geek-chic cage fighter proves that appearances can be deceiving . . . and oh-so-tempting.
With his preppy clothes and horn-rimmed glasses, Enzo Silva is the last dude anyone expects to find in a mixed martial arts gym. A wealthy Brazilian banker who never had to fight for anything, Enzo’s stuck in the amateur circuit—but he burns to make the pros. Maybe that explains the heat he feels whenever he’s around Jamie Lynn Calhoun. The pint-size, magenta-haired bartender with the Texas drawl is everything he’s not . . . and everything he craves.
Tough as nails and independent to a fault, Jamie Lynn—JL to her friends—works hard to pay her bills and keep life simple. Enzo is doing his best to complicate that. Even though she likes to bust his balls, he’s got some kind of a nerdy-hot vibe that makes JL wonder if she might finally be able to let her guard down. It might do the boy some good to spend some time in her world, where blood, sweat, and victory are as sweet as the first taste of real love.

Have you ever spent any time on TVtropes.com? If you go, prepare to fall down the rabbit hole. Anyway – from their entry on the ‘manic pixie dream girl’ trope:

Let’s say you’re a soulful, brooding male hero, living a sheltered, emotionless existence. If only someone could come along and open your heart to the great, wondrous adventure of life… Have no fear, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is here to give new meaning to the male hero’s life! She’s stunningly attractive, high on life, full of wacky quirks and idiosyncrasies (generally includingchildlike playfulness and a tendency towards petty crime), often with a touch of wild hair dye. She’s inexplicably obsessed with our stuffed-shirt hero, on whom she will focus her kuh-razyantics until he learns to live freely and love madly

That entry could have been written using Jamie Lyn and Enzo. There’s nothing in that paragraph that wouldn’t fit. Jamie Lyn (JL) is gorgeous and spontaneous, she instigates make-out sessions (gasp!) outside, breaks into a library to show Enzo an art book she loves, has hair that changes color every day (blue, magenta, pink, purple, etc). She laughs at Enzo when he expresses concern over the well-being of his expensive possessions and takes him on a first date that ends up lasting four days and has him questioning his entire cold, money-heavy life by the end of it. He even refers to her as a pixie many, many times. She calls him Pretty Boy and makes reference to the stick up his ass multiple times.

All this sounds like I didn’t like this book, but I did. Not quite as much as I liked other books in this series, but I liked it. I just found it to be a little less developed, a little less… well, just a little less. JL and Enzo had their roles and didn’t vary from them too much. Neither of them really gets out of their comfort zone at all. At one point, Enzo tells JL that he’s going to make love to her his way for once, which apparently meant he was going to fold their clothes neatly as he removed them all. He’s the neat freak who likes everything clean and taken care of and she’s the free spirit who eats nothing but Oreos and potato chips and yet weighs 85 pounds. And she eats the Oreos in bed, which horrifies Enzo.

There’s not a lot of drama, just something Enzo discovers during their four-day first date regarding a special proje ct of JL’s and waits too long to tell her about. Which is par for the course. It’s all resolved fairly easily and even the issue with Enzo potentially losing all of his money is taken care of without too much trouble.

All in all, I thought this was just an ok entry into the series. I liked JL and Enzo, but I wanted a little more from them. They were just a typical uptight rich man who’s set in his ways and crazy, life-embracing woman who shows him what he’s been missing. Enzo’s MMA career isn’t really a big part of this, either. He’s not a pro, he’s not ready to be pro, and other than training and one match, there isn’t a lot of focus on it. He tells JL he’d like to go pro, she tells him that if he’s not ready he should stay on the amateur circuit, so that’s what he does. There just isn’t a lot here.

About Sidney Halston

Sidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” (Mark Twain). Or even simpler: “Just do it” (Nike). And that’s exactly what she did. At the age of thirty, having never written anything other than a legal brief, she picked up a pen for the first time to pursue her dream of becoming an author. That first stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Halston lives in South Florida with her husband and children.