Midwest Fighter by Jennifer Ann
Series: Kendall Family Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Release Date: June 29th, 2016
James Kendall has spent his entire life being protective of those he loves. When unforeseen tragedy strikes, he finds solace in the boxing ring. But when the pressure of being the family leader causes his anger to spiral out of control, hurting those he vowed to always protect, his rockstar brother-in-law sends him to New York to cool down and train with a boxing legend.
New York socialite Sharlo Rockford was raised in the lap of luxury, but with an absent dad and drug addict of a mum, she can hardly classify her childhood as happy. Still, she’s able to remain upbeat as well as a loyal friend even after her last boyfriend was unfaithful, she was traumatized in a home invasion, and her flatmate married America’s hottest rockstar. With so much going on in her life, it’s a miracle Sharlo can still be the rock everyone around her needs.
Following a chance meeting, James and Sharlo are unable to shake each other from their thoughts. When they reunite, it’s with a bang…literally. But when James feels an obligation to return home to run the family business, he questions if his feelings for Sharlo are strong enough to fight for, or if he’d be better off throwing in the towel and admitting defeat.
Little does he know, fate is about to deliver one helluva sucker punch.
Warning: This book involves the whirlwind love affair between a brooding boxer and a strong, witty British heroine. If you’re looking for an entertaining read with knicker-melting sex scenes, then sit back and enjoy the ride.
Like all my siblings, I had plans that didn’t involve sticking around. But I’ve learned plans change when you’re caught cold, just as in boxing. Thought I was going to college with the girl I’d been dating since freshman year of high school and eventually we’d marry. Then Mom died. After I made the decision to farm with Dad and Uncle Orin, Olivia announced on graduation night that she wasn’t going to spend the rest of her life in Blue River and I never saw her again.
“I haven’t seen you around lately,” Ivy comments while putting on her seatbelt. The strap pushes her breasts together even more until it looks like they’re going to spring free. “I was hoping you’d stop in for a drink when you picked your dad up from Roadrunner’s a couple nights ago.”
Grinding my teeth together, I turn the key in the ignition and my truck roars to life. Keeping tabs on Dad was the main reason I decided to stay in Blue River. He’s always been a good man, the kind that would give his friends the shirt off his back. But he never really recovered after the love of his life died. And too often he relies on booze to numb the pain.
Family has always come first in my life, and I’d do anything to protect them. I just wish they would at least make an effort to take better care of themselves. I’m the one who’s always keeping track of everyone, making sure they’re staying out of trouble. I’m the one who’s always losing sleep over our three sisters who have spread out across the country.
As we head down the gravel road, Ivy’s fingers jab at each of the preset stations on the radio. She stops when Charlie Walker’s deep voice bursts from the speakers with the song he wrote for my sister. I cringe. Wonderful.
“Oh my God!” she squeals, clapping her hands together. “It must be so weird for you to hear him on the radio like this! Is Evelyn bringing him home again anytime soon?”
With the mention of my sister and her new rockstar husband, I hunch over and grip the steering wheel tight. It was hard enough when Evelyn moved to New York, too far away to keep an eye on. Then I found out through some random fuckin’ email that my baby sister was dating someone known as being a womanizer and I about lost my goddamned mind. When I flew out to confront her, I planned to drag her back home with me. If I had followed through, she wouldn’t be preparing to follow Charlie Walker across the country with rabid fans on their heels. The only reason I changed my mind was because of Evelyn’s roommate, Sharlo.
Sharlo. Her unusual name alone evokes pleasurable thoughts that draw my balls tight. Not unlike Ivy, she’s blond haired and blue eyed, only her hair looks as soft as strands of silk, her much bigger eyes are a bright pacific blue like the ocean, and her body’s filled with curves in all the right places. She’s the very definition of soft and feminine.
Come to think of it, Ivy and Sharlo couldn’t be any less alike in every other way. From the limited time I’ve spent with Sharlo, she seems to be the type who doesn’t give a shit what other people think, and she’s unafraid to share a piece of her mind. And she’s smart, like Harvard smart. Plus she knows how to have fun without being annoying and dresses in a way that I can respect.
After she sat me down in their Brooklyn apartment, giving me an ass chewing for showing up unannounced to confront Evelyn, Sharlo somehow convinced me that I had done the wrong thing and needed to lighten up on my sister. I returned to Minnesota with my tail between my legs without Evelyn ever finding out that I had been there. The irony that I hadn’t flown all the way out there for nothing wasn’t lost on me when I couldn’t get the British fireball out of my head.
At Charlie and Evelyn’s Lake Tahoe wedding in December, I was eager as shit to spend time with her again. The temptation to have a one-night fling was strong, especially seeing her all decked out in a dress for the wedding. The way she looked both classy and sexy as hell made me seriously question my resolve not to get involved with my sister’s best friend. To my frustration, though, we parted ways without so much as a goddamned kiss. It was my fault for not letting her know what the mere sight of her did to me. Then again, what good would it have done me to hook up with someone who lives over a thousand miles away?
“Uh, you just missed your turn,” Ivy says, pointing over her shoulder at the road as we pass.
Cursing under my breath, I slow the truck and make a three-point turn. As much as I want to be with Sharlo, she’s off limits for too many fucking reasons. If I’m going to do something about the ache she started, I’ll have to do it with someone local.
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About the Author:
Jennifer Ann is the pen name used by Jen Naumann when writing steamy romance novels with complex love stories. Like her characters, she’s in love with the city of New York and can often be found either there or at concerts, rocking with the best of them. On the rare occasions she realizes she’s no longer a spring chicken, you can catch her driving a tractor alongside her husband in southern Minnesota while trying to keep up with the madness of their four active children.
Jennifer also writes YA paranormal under Jen Naumann.