Series: Real #6
Author: Katy Evans
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 9 Feb 2016
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
Maverick “the Avenger” Cage wants to rise to the top and become a legend in the ring. Though he keeps his identity well guarded, he’s known on the fighting circuit as the new kid with a chip on his shoulder and a tattoo on his back that marks him as trouble. He’s got a personal score to settle with the Underground’s one and only Remington “Riptide” Tate.
As Mav trains, he meets a young girl—the only other new person in the town–and sparks fly. When things get heated between them, he finds out she’s none other than Reese Dumas, the cousin of Remington Tate’s wife. A girl who’s supposed to root against him and a girl he’s supposed to stay away from.
But Maverick fights for the woman in his heart, and the monsters in his blood. The world’s eyes are on them and the victor will go down in history as the ultimate fighting champion; the ultimate LEGEND.
One word for you Wow.
This is so hard to review. I’ll start by saying I was desperate to read it and yet didn’t want to start it. I knew as soon as I opened those pages that would be it, it would be over before I could blink. I wanted to savor every single second immersed back in the world of MMA, of flawed characters and devastating, all-consuming love. Did Katy deliver?? What can I say, not only did he deliver everything I wanted but she delivered more than I could have expected. Soul-mate connections, adorable characters and burdens based on heritage and upbringing. Prepare yourself when you start this book because you won’t be able to go anywhere until you’ve read that last page, and if you are anything like me I had to immediately go back and re-read the rest of the series. you know just to make sure the characters were still there 😉
Maverick (yes, I did immediately think of Top Gun, it’s my age I tell you) is consumed with proving himself in the world of MMA. Abandoned as a child by his father, he carries the weight of the sins of his father on his shoulders. There are hints and red herrings scattered through the narrative as to the identity of Mavericks father, the revelation not surprising but still poignant when it occurs. I was a little confused as to the age of the character with a child Mavericks age but that is probably because I always picture the characters in their twenties unless it is specifically stated otherwise.
For the most part I didn’t really feel as if Maverick had so-called ‘Daddy’ issues. Yes, he is on a quest to prove himself within the world of MMA and overcome the legacy he has been bound to. I did feel as if he was trying to prove something to himself as opposed to gaining his fathers approval. Insanely talented yet without the arrogance you would normally assign to young challengers. Maverick has an uphill battle to even be admitted into the ranks of the underground.
Reese would appear the complete opposite of Maverick in every way. Shy, introverted and suffering for low self-esteem especially regarding her body. Reese also happens to be Brooke’s cousin, staying with the Tate’s during Summer break to help with the 3-year-old Racer. Hints through the narrative suggest Reese has undergone a huge life crisis and struggled to take control of her own life following her life altering incident. Her struggle to fit in and find where she belongs was poignantly portrayed. I did feel as if Reese was a lot stronger than people gave her credit for and for the most part she doesn’t acknowledge her own strength. It is only with Maverick that she really lets herself be who she truly is.
There is no way I can divulge even the slightest aspect of the plot because you really, really have to read it for yourself. You need to experience the revelations as they happen and the emotions the characters experience as a result.
Maverick and Reese fill the hole Remy and Brooke left in my heart, they have the same soul-mate feel to their relationship you can’t help but swoon over. The inclusion of my favorite couple increased my enjoyment but it was all of the characters development that made my heart beat double time for them. Accepting yourself for who you are is one of the main themes that stood out within the Real series but is most apparent in Legend.