A battle is fought by soldiers on the ground in a time of war. Or at least that’s what I used to think.I’ve never had to fight for anything in my perfectly planned life, and I certainly never thought I’d have to fight for love.I was wrong.One wild, carefree night, and one stupid dare made me realize you can’t appreciate love until you’re forced to fight for it. I want the complex, sexy bull rider who stole my heart in the middle of a deserted wheat field. But Battle McCoy doesn’t believe in love.What do you do when you aren’t prepared for battle? When someone you care for becomes your greatest enemy? And your surrender is imminent?I’m going to fight.There’s a chance he’ll destroy me, but my heart will go to war to make him mine.
Generally I'm not into cowboy themed romances so going into Battle by KJ Bell I wasn't sure what I was jumping into. But there was just something about that cover that I couldn't resist (I wonder what that is...). I'm happy to report I found an original romance with two fully developed leads that had great spark and connection.
Faye Callahan has had her whole life laid out for her. Get the degree from the right school, get the right job, marry the right guy. But when Mr. Right cheats on her for the umpteenth time, Faye decides her plan desperately needs a shake up. She never guessed her attempt at living it up would lead to a wild night with professional bull rider Battle McCoy.
Battle McCoy has seen the ugly side of love and has vowed to live without it. When a nervous Faye propositions him, he sees through her bravado and her innocence both repels and attracts him. His vow of one night proves hollow when Faye begins to consume his every thought.
Can these two opposites deviate from what they know for a chance of happiness?
What I Loved: Battle is unique in having it's leads Faye and Battle jump into a steamy one night stand only to back off from the physical to develop a real and lasting relationship. I could feel the sexual tension between the characters but the slow burn added something to their attempts to get to know each other. It helped me connect with Faye and Battle on a deeper level. I wanted them to get a happy ever after and cheered when they did.
What I Didn't Love: Several of the secondary characters in Battle at times made me want to scream. Faye's pushy father, her dismissive mother, her egotistical ex, her questioning girlfriends... there was no support system for the heroine and it was difficult to believe that such a smart character would put up with being pushed around or ignored for as long as Faye did.
"God help me if I'm not one hundred percent smitten with the devil himself."
"He's larger than life, egotistical, an often vulgar, but he has an enormous heart."
"You taught me love can be a surprise. You've taught me life isn't planned. You've also taught me that a love like ours can't be ignored. You can push me away all you want, but my heart will always be yours."
Overall Battle is a fun and engaging romance that I can easily recommend. You don't need to be a cowboy fan to enjoy this great read (but you may just walk away one.). I will definitely be one the look out for more reads from KJ Bell.