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Review - In Your Corner by Sarah Castille

In Your Corner - Sarah Castille

In Your Corner
by Sarah Castille
Series: Redemption, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Sports Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2014

He rules in the ring

Two years ago, Jake and Amanda were going hot and heavy. But when Jake wanted more, Amanda walked away. Jake immersed himself in mixed martial arts, living life on the edge. But that didn't dull the pain of Amanda's rejection-until a chance encounter throws them together.

A high-powered lawyer, Amanda was a no-strings-attached kind of girl. But two years after her breakup with Jake, she still hasn't found anyone who gets her heart pumping the way he did. And then he shows up in her boardroom, hot as sin and needing help...

But can he rule her heart?

Jake is darker, sexier, and impossible to resist. As their chemistry builds, Amanda's not sure if she can stay in control, or if she's finally willing to let him claim her body and soul.




Wow…this was such a great read! This book had everything I love in it – a sports theme, a strong heroine who can take care of herself, some awesomely hot, steamy times between the two leading characters, great friendships, and an engaging story that had me wanting to be part of the Redemption crew…and I hate to work out, so that is really saying something!

So this is a second-chance romance for Amanda and Jake. They broke up two years ago, mainly because Amanda has some issues, and they are reunited when Amanda, a lawyer, goes to meet her newly assigned client, and discovers it is Jake. Needless to say there are a LOT of unresolved issues, which then has Amanda seeking her boss to let him know she can’t handle Jake’s case. This sets off a whole series of events which ultimately lead Amanda back into Jake’s life, and has Amanda questioning her ability to give more and Jake’s ability to accept less.

I totally loved Amanda. She was one of those heroines who was so strong in so many ways, but so broken. She is determined, successful, driven…but unfortunately most of those qualities came from always feeling like she could never live up to her father’s expectations, and having a mother who never stood up for her. She has some serious trust issues because of her upbringing, and never feels she can count on anyone other than herself, which has her always running when things get serious in a relationship since she can’t ever allow herself to rely on anyone. She prefers the no-strings, friends with benefits, or casual hook-up so her emotions never need to run deep. What I loved though was that she recognized what she had done to Jake when she ended the relationship – she owned it, owned her issues, owned her inability to give him what he needed, and owned the fact that she couldn't hurt him again that way…and that she also needed to protect herself from being hurt again as well.

I can’t be the fun, crazy girl he remembers. That girl would probably be having sex right now on the living room floor. She would be adding another page to Farnsworth’s blue file. She would know he was only teasing and in the morning, she would be alone.

Jake was just…*sigh*…all that. Hot as hell, sexy as all get-out, whatever you want to call him, he was sex personified – and get him all revved up after a fight and hang on to that MMA Cage, Jake is coming for you. Jake has his own set of issues he’s dealing with, he’s always been the problem child in his family, but since the death of his brother he’s had to give up his fighting career and fill the role his brother did by running his father’s company. Of course when Amanda enters the picture again, she represents one more thing he’s had to give up, but this time he wants all of her and doesn't want to settle for anything less.

“I want you to want me until you ache,” he rasps. “I want you to need me with every breath in your body. I want to turn around and know I will always see you in my corner. I want you to want me the way I want you. Body, heart, and soul.”

As many issues as Amanda and Jake had, you just knew they were right for each other and would be able to give each other what they needed to be whole…once they both recognized and resolved all the issues that stood in their way. Even when it looked like one of them was past the breaking point, as soon as there was a crisis or need, the other would be there, in the other’s corner. It was tough watching Amanda deal with what she considers Jake’s rejection, but when he finally lays it on the line for her and lets her know what is going on in his head, I just fell for him even more.

For a long moment, he studies me, and then he gently brushes my hair away from my face. “You think I don’t want you?” His lips whisper over my forehead sending a firestorm of hope through my body. “You think I’m this hard because I don’t want you”? He grinds his pelvis against mine and the press of his steel-hard erection against my throbbing sex rips a moan from my throat. “I told you before, my life is just one fuckup after another. But I thought I’d finally got my life on track when I joined Redemption, started fighting…met you. And then it all went to hell. I lost you, Peter, my fight career, and my friends.”

“It wasn't your fault we split up,” I blurt out. “It was me. I’m the one who broke it off. I’m the one who couldn't commit.”

Jake shakes his head and his face softens. “Not letting you take all the blame, baby. Although after meeting your parents, I can see why it’s hard for you to get close to people.”

And don’t even get me started on just how hot these two were together. The tension between the two was off the charts, especially since Jake wants more than just the physical part of the relationship with Amanda. I just loved watching the two of them get each other all hot and bothered, and what a total turn-on it was to see Jake go all caveman possessive over Amanda – granted, he did go a bit too far at one point, but in general, there is nothing wrong with a man staking his claim. And after Jake finally can’t take it anymore and gives in to his physical needs – wow, let’s just say “cage match” doesn't even begin to describe just how hot things got after his fight. And I won’t even begin to go into the closet scene! And that piercing…let’s just say….wow!

But I mostly just liked the fact that no matter what, Jake and Amanda were there for each other. Sometimes it wasn't pretty the way it came about, but in the end, they could really count on the other to be in their corner. From Amanda quietly attending Jake’s fights, to Jake giving her a show of support as she faces off against her former employer, you could really tell these two were just meant to be together and how deep their feelings ran.

The other great thing about this book was the fabulous cast of supporting characters. From all the guys and girls at the gym who really were a family to both Jake and Amanda, to Ray and Penny, who jumped ship from Amanda’s old firm to work with her when she strikes out on her own. Those relationships were as essential to this book as the one between Jake & Amanda. The characters were colorful and real, and boy, they just made me want to be part of the gang. I know there must be quite a few stories to tell from this group!

I haven’t read the first book in this series, but except for the very occasional reference to previous events, which were then usually elaborated upon if they needed to be to support the current story, I don’t think I was missing anything except the pleasure of having read the first book. This was a great read and I look forward to checking out more from Sarah Castille!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.