Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
Cruz is the first book in the Diablo's Throne MMA romance series and is my introduction to the writing of HJ Bellus. Diablo's Throne is a gym that specializes in the training of mixed martial artists and is located in Vancouver, Washington. A trip back home ends up changing the trajectory of Layla Diaz's life when her beloved abuela falls ill and soon passes away. With her father her only remaining family, Layla has no intention of going back to being a traveling nurse, choosing instead to make Vancouver her home base once again. While she isn't a fan of fighting in general, she's surrounded by it, all thanks to her father's gym. It's the same gym that Cruz Felix, an MMA fighter with a highly promising future in the sport, goes to. This is the same Cruz that was by Layla's side when her abuela passed. They become fast and flirty friends and soon, it develops into more. But Layla and Cruz have secrets and they're secrets that could quickly end their relationship. Add to that a rival gym that has its sights set on bringing Diablo's Throne down; to do that, they're going after the link that'll break the men who mean most to her--Layla.
This book proved to be a pretty entertaining one with two main characters that had an undeniable connection, which led to a believable romance. It was also a good start to the series, introducing the gym that would, I'm guessing, serve as the main backdrop for the series as a whole, as well as at least one memorable supporting character whose story is up next. The rivalry between Diablo's Throne and Titan's Tribe and how it connects to Layla specifically definitely took things to an interesting level. There was one side story that I thought was going to go somewhere but didn't, but it did involve a minor character who I'm assuming may have had their story told in a previous series (because there were a few other names mentioned alongside hers). Overall, I enjoyed Layla and Cruz's romance and am rather curious what story the next Diablo's Throne fighter has to tell. Four stars go to Cruz. ♥
Release Date: 13 February 2018
Date Read: 13 February 2018
Learn more about HJ Bellus.
Purchase Cruz on Amazon.