Title: Breaking a Legend
Series: Kavanagh Legends, Book 1
Author: Sarah Robinson
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours
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Perfect for fans of Katy Evans and Monica Murphy, Sarah Robinson’s blistering-hot series debut introduces the Kavanagh brothers—mixed martial arts fighters who work hard, play hard, and love with all their hearts.
As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.
Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.
One. That's all you get. You get one pity party and then you better figure out how pick your ass up and move on with your life. If you don't, you end up sinking deeper and deeper into self-pity until you don't know which way is up anymore, as it was for Rory.
Rory was once an enormously successful MMA fighter brought down by his own cockiness. A leg injury plummets him into early retirement where his best friends are Pain Meds, Meaningless Sex, and Alcohol. Oh, and his loyal companion Ace, an adorable rescue dog. Given the heights Rory reached as a fighter, it was understandable that he hit rock bottom when he couldn't be that guy again. Pain Meds were a necessity as he healed, but they became his crutch as he struggled with "What do I now?". Drinking and one night stands were easy outs because they kept his demons at bay but only for a little while. Until he met Clare.
While this story is equally about Clare as it is Rory, it is Rory who held me captive. He wasn't in a good place when he was first introduced. Meeting Clare made him want to get to that good place so he could try to be the man he was before the injury and the drugs. His willingness to change for her, because of her, however you want to put it, appealed to me. He was at his lowest and I wanted to see him realize his life still had purpose and meaning, that his impact outside of the cage could be just as powerful as it was in it.
This wasn't so much a romance as it was a second chance at life story. Life doesn't always go as planned. There are times when shit hits the fan, nothing makes sense and it seems like everyone's talking jibberish, but wallowing in self-pity doesn't do an ounce of good. Anger and misery do not need, or love, company. Pushing yourself up and taking a step into the unknown is a choice. It's scary and uncomfortable as hell but change isn't supposed to be easy. It's supposed to be hard and, in the end, totally worth it.
Rory and Clare's story is a good beginning to this series. There are four more brothers in this family and I can't wait to see what kind of stories Ms. Robinson writes for them.
Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of The Photographer Trilogy and the Sand & Clay rock star series. A native of Washington, D.C., Robinson has both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal psychology. She is married to a local police officer who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiast as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescue and foster animals.