Saturday, April 19, 2014

Uncaged Love

I was warned by the writer, JJ Knight, that this is a serial & the 1st part ends in a cliff hanger but I was still not prepared. I need the next part! 

The read is told from Jo's point of view. We find out quickly that she's just doing what she can to get by in life. She's out of a job & money so now she has to resort to pawning her prized, family pendant. It's the last tie she has to her family but she needs to cover her rent & have a little extra for food so she can get a little time to get back on her feet & hopefully come back for it. The shop owner does what they do & she gets enough to hold her over but he also gives her hope that it will be waiting for her cause he doesn't believe anyone would want to buy it. Jo's described as wearing a hoodie & being pretty withdrawn & we come to find out there is a history of some anger issues. She tries to detract attention from herself, especially around guys, yet she seems to draw it in still. As she's fighting for herself against a group of guys harassing her, after leaving the shop, she's saved by a golden boy on a motorcycle. 

We find out a little later that golden boy is Cage McClure, son of a famous boxer & he himself is a MMA fighter. Before we find that out however, he comes back to help Jo cause the way she was fighting for herself against the guys harassing her piqued his interest. They part ways at the gym he was heading to for training and by that point Jo figures out there is something about him that she's drawn to, which surprises her. She notices the gym is hiring & grabs the paper as she heads across the way to the restaurant where her friend, Zero, works. We find out that there is a lot of hoopla around Cage at the gym but there is something in his past that seems to haunt him & is his MMA career. It also doesn't help that his dad doesn't really seem to give Cage much credit yet he is having the gym decked out with a new area for him to train for his matches & Cage isn't really enjoying all that attention. 

Jo & Zero hit it off from the start & have a special relationship. When they met Jo believed Zero was a woman. She quickly found out that Zero was a male but only because those were the cards he was dealt at birth & Zero decided (s)he would shuffle those & choose her own. From then on the 2 became close friends that were there for each other through the tough times. So when Zero notices that Jo actually has some interest in a guy, for the first time since they met, s(he) encourages Jo to go for it. During the day Zero dresses as a man for the restaurant but outside of that the full Diva comes out & participates in competitions, where there is a bit of a love interest that Zero really has no interest in. 

Jo ends up going back to the gym where she bumps into Cage again & they officially tell each other their names. Jo is aware of who Cage's father is but doesn't know anything about MMA or the gym for that matter, she just really needs a job & wants to be near Cage. He introduces her to Buster, the owner of the gym, & helps her get the job. There's some indication that Cage has more interest in Jo than just an attraction & that it's not something new for him. Jo finds herself actually enjoying the work at the gym & how it's toning her body. She is however uncomfortable with the fact that it gets too hot for her hoodies & the gym t-shirts are a little too snug for her liking. As time goes on Jo becomes more & more interested in the different parts of training & finds that it's a good outlet for the anger issues that she's had all her life. She gets encouragement from Cage & some of the others at the gym to continue. Cage & Jo become closer however there is another woman in the picture, Brittany. Jo finds out pretty quickly that Cage & Brittany are an item but doesn't think she'd ever have a chance with Cage herself so she deals with it. She later feels that there is some interest in her from Cage & she stumbles into some proof that Brittany is cheating on him but then she's surprised one day when she walks into the gym as Brittany & him are announcing to the press that they are engaged. 

The book ends with a cage match, an awkward & somewhat confusing/shocking hint of a reveal, some paparazzi flashes & you..... probably jonesing for the next one so that, "Did I just read that right?", moment that you are still waiting to be answered can be! 

I was provided with an ARC by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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