Author: Cat Grant
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Home may not be what he remembered, but it might hold what he needs.
Bannon’s Gym, Book 2
An abusive father drove Tom Delaney away from Lincoln Beach. Now that he’s back to settle his family’s affairs, he’s finding that not even the good things he left behind are the same. The old neighborhood is a dangerous slum. Eddie’s diner is on its last legs. Gloria, who looked after him like her own son, is seriously ill.
His only refuge is Bannon’s Gym, where Danny Bannon nurtured his talent for mixed martial arts. Bannon’s also harbors Travis, his ex—as in ex-sparring partner, ex one-night stand. The man who, the last time they faced off in the ring, left Tom with a broken jaw and a concussion.
The sparks are still there, in the ring and out of it. But when Travis’s own troubles quite literally explode, their only chance to build something solid on their broken past could go up in flames.
Warning: Hot guys slugging it out. Heaps of sexual tension and cursing. Fighting. Grappling. Kicking. Throwing elbows. All drenched in buckets of manly sweat.
When we first met Tom Delaney in Black Dog, book 1 in this series, I thought that book was going to tell his story. We learnt about his abusive father who beat him and his mother regularly which led in the end to his mother committing suicide. When Tom finally gave evidence about the abuse his father was sent to prison.
This book starts with his father dying in prison two years later and finds Tom returning to Lincoln Beach. The small town has changed drastically becoming run down and desolate. Eddie the man who found Tom living on the streets and rescued him still runs the diner but it is barely making a living. Gloria has since retired and is frail and very ill. Danny still owns and works at the gym and Travis, the man who left Tom with a broken jaw in his last fight, is still working there.
Tom is only 22 but has dealt with a lot of hard knocks in his short life and seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. His family haven’t really forgiven him for giving evidence against his father, his inheritance has been used up and the place he thought of as home is crumbling to the ground.
He is quickly ensconced into his old life but seems to keeping secrets from everyone. Gloria hasn’t told her family she is ill, Eddie hasn’t told his mother the diner is failing and Travis is the object of both his hate and lust. To top it all off he is left to deal with his fathers ashes, a man he finds he can’t forgive or forget.
Travis is a little older and a little wiser. Having just come out of a disastrous relationship he is wary of getting involved in another one. The last time he saw Tom was when he had put him in hospital after a fighting match and it becomes clear very quickly that Tom has not yet forgiven him. A number of things bring the two men back together but Travis isn’t sure whether he will ever get past Toms walls enough to show him that he loves him.
I felt sorry for Tom for most of the book. It seems that everything he does and every way he turns he feels like he is failing people and causing them pain. He is so lonely and so desperate to be loved but is equally scared to move on and let himself be loved that he has a constant need to keep running. It takes him a long time to realise that everything bad in the world is not his fault and that if he takes a moment to stand still and breathe he may find just what he is looking for, but first he must forgive himself and find closure.
I would like to thank Samhain for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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