Micro-Review: Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille
When this story first started, I wasn’t sure it was going to be my style… a little cheeky, a little quirky, and a heroine seemingly set from the standard “I’m a clutz with no self confidence until some beefy rich alpha man comes to sweep me of my feet” mold. It was also distracting that the two major characters have names that are solid cannon from two other very popular and well known story universes. Fortunately, Mac has a sense of humor and an engaging modern inner monologue to rival her namesake and, after Torment and Mac start getting to know each other, their relationship is amusing, fun, and intense in a good way. I had a great time following it. I was a little disappointed that the story adopted several currently common trends (cute text messaging, uber rich young buff bossy guy in disguise who is head over heels for the girl he barely knows), but those things are also part of what gives Against the Ropes its charm and why I enjoyed it.
This story has an intensity about it that alternates between sexual thrills and the emotional upheaval of confronting a traumatic past. It has aspects that reminds me of Fifty Shades (Max/Torment’s possessiveness and protectiveness) and Real by Katy Evans (his fighting, won’t-back-down spirit and brawler hair-trigger temper). I enjoyed both those reads so Against the Ropes was a happy meet-in-the-middle for me, harnessing the best of both stories and keeping the rest in a lighter tone with Mac’s humor. Against the Ropes is an emotional roller-coaster that I’d line up for again and again!