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Against the Ropes

Against the Ropes - Sarah Castille

*1,5 star*
*Spoiler free review*
*Buddy reading with Ali & Nikki*

The first half wasn't that bad. The writing was clumsy, but to be honest I found it quite funny.

The heroine's name is Makayla and the hero's nickname is Torment.
So, given the heroes names, the way the POV was written, the hero as well as the secondary characters behavior (the heroine's supervisor, Drake, Sergio (the debt collector who was acting like an hysterical series B mafioso), the best friend (who reminded me of Samantha from Sex & the City) and pretty much everyone else) as well as the heroes situations (heroine so poor she can't even afford a room —her bedroom is a hallway that everyone enter to access the bathroom (If I remember well, she has 4 roommates each with companions)— and filthy rich hero, I actually thought that the book was some kind of a parody gathering all the clichés in every romance genres.

The heroine is an EMT working in the admission service of an hospital. But she can't bear blood and violence. I'm not American, I just knew that the EMT was some kind of paramedic but the blood and violence issues puzzled me so I checked and it appears that the "EMTs are trained to respond quickly to emergency situations regarding medical issues, trauma injuries and accident scenes. [...]" (quote from Wikipedia).

The hero is a MMA fighter with lots of yummy tats, he owns an unsanctioned club where he trains, teaches and fights. He also appears to be some kind of biker dude. But heavily tattooed MMA fighter + biker dude wasn't enough, so the author decided to also makes him (view spoiler).

Do you understand why I first thought it was a parody?

I never understood how these two ended up together but still, somehow the first half of the book was quite entertaining and so far I was giving it 2,5/3 stars.

But then these things happened:

--> 1/ As if the hero's profile wasn't versatile enough, the author felt the need to add " wanna be Dom" to his pedigree. At that point no way was I rounding up my 2,5 stars to 3.

The first scene was so bad it spoiled all the other sex scenes of the book.

(view spoiler)

I'm no prude. When the fancy takes me I love to read some good BDSM books. I can even read some BDSM series back to back. When that happens it's because I chose to read that genre, and I choose BDSM books written by authors that actually know what they are talking about. "Choose" being the operative word.

I absolutely don't understand why nowadays so many contemporary romances authors feel the need to add BDSM elements in their books. It's usually really badly done and totally kills the hero appeal.

--> 2/ Misuse of French. A lot of authors enjoy using touches of French language in their books. Which is awesome. Unfortunately very few feel the need to edit it. Which isn't awesome.

In the book the heroine goes to a French spa. Its name is "La Sanctuaire". The gender of the word "sanctuaire" is male so it's "Le Sanctuaire" not "la".

-> The French esthetician refers to the heroine's pubis hair as "une épaisse tignasse". A "tignasse" is a word used in reference to head's hair, usually unruly. For the pubis —or any body— hair she should have used "toison" or even "touffe".

-> le BDSM, not "la BDSM".
-> le sexe, not "la sex".

The French mistakes are made worst because spoken by a supposedly French speaking native.

--> 3/ Blatant lack of documentation.

"Giselle returns with Amanda's aesthetician, Lulu, and two pots of what I assume to be boiling wax. She takes a seat beside me and puts the boiling wax within spilling distance. [...]
Giselle raises an eyebrow as she paints hot wax over my mound "Sounds like your man likes la BDSM."
I hiss in a breath at the initial burn, but it quickly fades to a tingling warmth. I manage to unclench my teeth to answer, [...]"

Who the hell is waxing using boiling wax? Unless you want to badly burn yourself? What is called hot wax is actually lukewarm wax and it shouldn't burn when applied on the skin. The removal of the wax + hair is what hurts not the wax application.

Also, what the hell is that: "Giselle interjects. "It reminds me of my first wax when I was ten years old."?

No. 10 years old little French girls don't wax down there. Or like a friend of mine would say nor did I know 10 years old little girl that would be hairy enough to need a wax.

This and the French mistakes totally killed a potentially funny scene.

--> 4/ Some sentences didn't make sense at all. Here's an example: talking about the unpleasant receptionist this is what she says "Her smile is as cold as my heart." What the hell does that mean?

--> 5/ The OTT second part of the book where more often than not the heroine acted like the dumbest moron on earth.

--> 6/ The over dramatic and so sweet it hurts my teeth as well as over the top (also) end.

I left the 0,5 star for the fun I had in the first half.