Fighting Dirty by Sidney Halston
Dali’s review & rating: 5 of 5 stars
A complete swoony escape! It’s a fun, sweet and deliciously sexy story about a woman who is tough and confident on the outside but soft, caring and yes a bit damaged on the inside and a very predictable and too uptight man who discovered that even though they came from two very different worlds they were perfect for each other.
“I’m exactly with the right girl. I’m glad you gave me a chance to show you I can be the right guy.”
Lorenzo Silva has always been a by the rules kind of guy. He’s neat and tidy and from the handsome, preppy looks of him the last place you’d think to see him is in a MMA gym where his neatly pressed designer suits could get wrinkled, much less trying to get a date with a tatted pixie-size bartender for over a year. But Jamie Lynn is what he wants and he’s determined to get her to accept. But he never expected this completely confident woman to tilt his world on its axis during the longest date ever. Can he hold on to this sense of peace and happiness he only experiences with the very refreshing JL?
“Fun and spontaneous isn’t something I’m very comfortable with.”
Even though JL has led a difficult life and knows she has some baggage, it hasn’t stopped her from living it to the fullest. She’s her own person and refuses to let her hardships define her. She presents a tough, self-assured front, living by the “fake it ‘till you make it” motto. But the resolved, sexy-nerdy Enzo makes her feel like she could drop her guard and tell him all her secrets. If he’s willing to live in her world for a few hours, she might just let her walls down long enough for him to take root in her heart.
“She was impulsive and fast, he was slow and methodical.”
Each book in this series keeps getting better and JL and Enzo’s story was no different, I’m certain that their story is now my favorite especially since I really wanted to get to know the fun loving, care free JL and snobbish, uptight Enzo for a while.
“I can’t get you out of my senses and I will not be able to sleep or work, or basically do anything, until I get to taste you. Completely. Thoroughly. Selfishly.”
I wasn’t completely sure that I liked the fact that Enzo was married, but his loveless marriage was finalized right at the beginning of the book. After knowing the reasons for the separation I was happy along with him that he was done with that part of his life and that he finally convinced Jamie Lynn to go out with him, even if it had more to do with some out of character male modeling.
Since JL was in charge of their date, it followed her fly by the seat of her pants philosophy where she pushed Enzo beyond his limits. It was great because she tried new things as well and it turned into an incredibly fun and intimately revealing four day long tryst neither one of them expected or wanted to come to an end because it felt comfortable, natural and right.
“The way she was bubbly and excited about the little things in life was so refreshing and made him want to see life through her eyes… nothing seemed to bring her down. It made him want to stay inside that bubble of hers and shield away anything that made her unhappy. But at the same time, he wanted to absorb all her positive energy and gather strength from it.”
Although this series has a Mixed Martial Arts backdrop, this and every story is very character driven. In Fighting Dirty I loved both characters equally. Jamie Lynn is a perfect balance between brave, spunky, spontaneous and yet vulnerable enough to want a happy ever after. I think just being in her orbit would make anyone smile. Even though her past broke my heart more than once, she rarely let it drag her down because she was a fighter, a survivor.
“This is you, baby. You’re that chick, the badass tattooed pixie, and you’re also the soft sweet girl who’s afraid of the dark and of heights. I like them both, Jamie Lynn. A lot. More than I should. More than I thought I would.”
Enzo’s attractiveness was not enough to disguise his stuffy, responsible persona. But once he got an opening to go out with JL, I loved that he was willing to go along with her on whatever adventure she took him, and as he got to know her I really appreciated how he got some perspective in life. I loved that he was protective of her, that he embraced his true self and after having had a lifetime of cold, unemotional relationships he welcomed his feelings for JL with open arms.
“She lived her life to the fullest which made him see that he wasn’t living his life at all. He was shackled to his family who he would probably never be able to please anyway.”
I really enjoyed how, even if a bit rapidly, their relationship developed, it’s funny, charming and touching. From the way JL made him relax, laugh and appreciated his passion, to the way he saw her beyond her outer façade, understood her and wanted to protect her completely, to their playful banter and off the charts blistering chemistry. They were a perfect fit balancing each other.
“Defile. Good word… Is that what you’d like to do? Defile me?” “Baby, you’ve got no idea.” He stood and helped her up. “Then we better get going… Let the defiling begin!”
Having the very comedic Bird back along with all the secondary characters topped off the story wonderfully. I can’t wait to see how the next chapter in the Worth the Fight unfolds with the interesting turn of events described in the epilogue.
Book Facts: Fighting Dirty is book #5 in the Worth the Fight series by Sidney Halston. It’s written from both points of view. It can be read as a standalone with interconnecting characters from previous book. The story has a happy ending. No cliffhanger. No cheating.