Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster (Ultimate #4)

Fighting Dirty by Lori FosterAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: HQN

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

With the life he’s led and the muscles he’s gained, Armie Jacobson isn’t afraid of anything. Except maybe Merissa Colter’s effect on him. It’s not just that she’s his best friend’s little sister. Fact is, she deserves better. Women pursue him for one night of pleasure, and that’s all he wants to offer. Until rescuing Merissa from a robbery leads to the most erotic encounter of his life.

Good girl meets bad boy. It’s a story that rarely ends well. But Merissa is taking matters into her own hands. No matter how he views himself, the Armie she knows is brave, honorable and completely loyal. And as past demons and present-day danger collide, they’re both about to learn what’s truly worth fighting for…

I’ve been a fan of Lori Foster for years, and her MMA fighters are some of my favorite heroes. I was looking forward to jumping back into her world of honorable tough guys and the women who tame them, and she didn’t disappoint. Fighting Dirty is the fourth book in the Ultimate Fighters series, but even though I hadn’t read any of the previous books, it was fine as a standalone.

Armie Jacobson takes the term “ladies man” to a whole new level. Honestly he’s a man-whore who is known for his escapades with women, often two or three at a time. He is the love ‘em and leave ‘em type, and his sexual reputation has made him a legend in the bedroom. His speed and skills in the cage have helped make him a local legend in the world of mixed martial arts. Those two combined make him a man men want to be like and one whom women want to be with.

A rough childhood helped forged Armie into the calculated fighter and cavalier lover he is today. His fellow fighters are his friends – his brothers – and the only people he allows himself to trust. Abused by his father, abandoned by his mother, he has learned to keep a low profile and only count on guys like his best friend Cannon.

The one woman guaranteed to break through his defenses and tempt him with something real is Merissa. Armie knows that Merissa has had a crush on him for years. His best friend’s sister is a beautiful, funny, caring young woman who deserves better than the man who shuns commitment. Although he’s been attracted to her since before she was even legal, his friendship with Cannon and his low opinion of himself have kept him from taking what the promise in her eyes offers. He would never want to disrespect Cannon or Merissa, so he has kept his distance.

All of that changes when Armie rescues Merissa during a bank robbery. Shaken and afraid, Merissa turns to the one man she’s always wanted – and the one who makes her feel safe. When she becomes a target of her former boyfriend’s wrath, Merissa finds herself smack in the middle of a very dangerous situation. Armie vows to keep Merissa safe while at the same time doing his best to keep his own past from rearing its ugly head and making things even worse. On the verge of taking his career to the next level, Armie is supposed to be concentrating on his first SBC fight, but instead he’s forced to deal with Merissa’s ex and once again face his father whom he turned his back on years ago.

I liked Armie a lot. He was sexy and strong, protective and so vulnerable. He fought his attraction for Merissa until keeping her safe forced her into close quarters with him. Then all bets were off. They grew closer day by day until he began to believe that maybe he did deserve someone like her in his life. Merissa was almost a little too perfect for me. The goody-two-shoes that everyone loves and can do no wrong, I wanted her to have something that would make her a little more real. Armie was a delicious, rough around the edges hero who made the book well worth the read. The cameos from some of Lori Foster’s older SBC books (Simon, Jude, Havoc) were a fun addition.

I give Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster 4 stars!

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