by London Casey , Karolyn James


It makes no difference that this is book four in the series it is perfectly at home as a standalone novel and while I think that is a good thing, I don’t feel it would be any hardship if you have the time to give the previous books a read.

Noah has spent a year rueing the day he is handed a one year jail term, because it isn’t only his liberty he lost being inside, it was the chance to track down and the woman that rocked his night, right before he was arrested. Life was harsh enough being a fighter, at the beck and call of the mob but there was something about this woman that had him looking for her again, the chance for a second meeting, and it wasn’t of their minds if you get my drift. But incarceration put paid to all of his plans that night and the sh**storm that ensued and when the cell door closed, he was left with no option but to put his unknown, unnamed mystery woman out of his head, he had time to serve and keeping his wits about him was his prime objective.

Ashlynn’s circumstances were little different to Noah, she is making do and keeping her head above water, she has a completely different reason for being unable to forget her night with the sexy fighter, one that she is going to have to share with him sooner than she thought because Noah is out of jail and back in the employment of Benito but this time is isn’t just earning a crust in the ring, nope he is flexing his muscle outside too.

Collecting debts isn’t exactly what he wants to be doing but when the scope of works means that he just has to do whatever he needs to in order to resolve the matter, Noah’s fine with that, until he rocks up at the door of the guy who owes and is faced with someone he never expected to see again…Ashlyn

Now, that little tete a tete would have been awkward enough had there not been any weapons involved but the Mexican standoff that ensued was difficult for them all, he never thought he would see her again, or her him but no matter what transpired, the truth of their night together is presence of her child, her baby boy Jude because this is not the way you expect to introduce your son to his father!

Noah is blown away by the fact that he has a son, but he is also devastated that Ashlyn has had to go through everything herself, she is the mother of his child and he is gutted that he wasn’t able to be there not only to ensure she was safe and had everything she needed but to see his kid come into the world, he wanted more for his family and she and Jude were most definitely HIS family.

So without hesitation he is ready to step up to the plate and do whatever he has to straighten thigs out with Benito and the mob, to explain that her dad is the guy they want, not her and to take on the role that he has now accepted, as Jude’s father, and Ashlyn & Jude’s provider and protector.

It was never going to be easy, nothing ever is but keeping them both safe was always going to keep his life very interesting, there were so many secrets and lies surrounding their environment that it was difficult to make out the good guys from all the bad ones. But Noah was doing his best, trying to keep his head above water and to keep his family together but could he?

Would the mob use his family as leverage against him? Just how far would he go to make sure that the freedom he is struggling for is something that his son will never know about, the life he wants for his kid is so far removed from the one he has endured that he is willing to stop at nothing.

There are twists and turns along the way that I didn’t anticipate and it is fair to say that everything isn’t exactly what it appears at first glance but if they can stick together and believe in each other then, just maybe this little family may just have chance to make it.

Noah was a great character, he has more lying under the surface than he ever showed, he was a big guy but he had a sensitivity when it came to Ashlyn and Jude that brought his real personality to the fore, he was torn and tormented almost by the life he was having to live but he had an end game and in his mind he had reconciled the fact that he was willing to do whatever he had too to cross that finish line with his family intact and he had the perfect partner in Ashlyn because she was just as tough. She was so strong, she gave up college for her son and with no-one, was forced to bare the weight of her pregnancy alone. She was a beautiful woman that had a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue. As strong as Noah was toward ensuring her safety, she was equally as protective of him.

I found myself rooting for them almost from the outset but I was really worried that they wouldn’t get their happy ever after, that despite all their time and effort, all their hopes and dreams that there was someone and believe me there were enough of them dotted throughout the story to take what they were striving for away from them.

A good read with a moral undertone that cannot be downplayed, good people do bad things for the right reasons, and I think the story showed that you should never judge a book by its cover.

Topic: Hurt by London Casey , Karolyn James

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