*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
After discovering at a young age that he was the illegitimate child of womanizing ex-con called Henry Chance, Jesse Chance takes up underground fighting and soon realises that he is good at it, and uses it as a way to escape and mask his pain.
“Fighting helped me deal with my demons, but it created a whole Hell full of them in the process too”
When his mother asks him to stop fighting and to make something of his life just before she dies, Jesse takes note, re-assess his life and where he may he heading. Not wishing to let her down, he leaves his hometown of Glory, Texas, and moves to the East coast to start college, make new friends, start a new life leave his past behind.
“You better never let yourself be defined by who decides to love you…. Don’t ever define yourself by the way people treat you….
You better walk with your head held high and your heart full”
Jesse never planned to go back to the town that held so many memories, until four years later, the man who paid him little attention shows up. One conversation with Henry changes everything and in order to prevent tragedy Jesse has no choice but to return to Glory and return to the fighting world. However, returning also means Jesse will come face to face with the only other person who believed he could be more, his ex-girlfriend Drew Hallisay, the girl who still owns his heart.
“Drew had been more that a girlfriend back in high school, she was my best friend, my biggest support, and my shoulder to lean on”
The storyline was about redemption, fighting for what you want, and second chances. The underground fighting aspects meant it was definitely not a hearts and flowers read. It was emotional, raw, and gritty, with suspense, action and intense violent scenes A.J Sands doesn’t hold back and nothing is sugar coated. There are many twists and turns right up to the end to keep you guessing.
I loved Jesse of course ;) he is a fighter with a heart; told from his POV you really get an insight into what he is thinking, you really get to feel his emotions. He had some issues that he needed to overcome as he struggled to get free from some parts of his past. Drew was great a girl after my own heart; she was feisty, strong and not afraid to say what she was thinking. She was the person Jesse needed, the person he could trust and rely on.
I loved these two together, and their story was heartwarming at times. Time may have past, both may have tried to moved on, but their history means that as much as they try to fight their feelings, do what they think is right, chemistry, connection and the passion, they share was still there, you really get to see, and feel how much they really care about each other.
“For a moment, as I look at her, it’s just us, and I feel our history playing out on my skin, in my heart, in my veins. It would be so easy to fall in love with her again…if I weren't so in love with her already.”
“All I've ever done is carve out a space for you inside me, Jesse. And I'm afraid it's gotten so big, it's going to eat me alive one day."
Overall, I enjoyed A fighting Chance, it was well-written and I loved the ending as there was no cliffhanger. I liked A.J’s writing style as it’s descriptive, emotional and as a result she definitely pulled me in. I look forward to reading more of her work.
If-like me-you are a fan of fighters, especially MMA and you’re looking for something a bit darker then this is the book for you.
A.J. Sand grew up an only child whose parents bought her many, many books to keep her busy, so it was only natural that she would start writing her own stories. She is the author of “Documentary,” “Remake” and “Recklessly.” She lives just outside of Washington, D.C.
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