Review: Against the Cage by Sidney Halston (Worth the Fight #1)

The last time Jack Daniels saw his best friend's younger sister Christine Martin was at the funeral for her father ten years ago. Prior to that, it had been a year or so since she left their hometown of Tarpon Springs, Florida to go to college. The once awkward pushover of a girl has transformed into a gorgeous, self-confident woman who speaks her mind. Jack's always been protective of Chrissy, but now, his feelings are of a more primitive nature and certainly nowhere near the brotherly concern he's had for her for over two decades. But as much as Chrissy is drawn to Jack, the fact that he enjoys cage fighting during his spare time bothers her and for Jack to understand why Chrissy's pulling away, she'll have to confess her secrets.

Against the Cage is the first book in the contemporary romance Worth the Fight series from Sidney Halston and is about Chrissy Martin, a doctor who returns to Tarpon Springs to help out her older brother, and Jack Daniels, a cop who is best friends with Chrissy's brother and grew up next door to them. Chrissy's always had a crush, but she's felt as if he never saw her as anything more than his best friend's annoying sister. Seeing him again stirs up those feelings of attraction, only this time, it's obvious that Jack has finally noticed her. This has falling-for-his-best-friend's-sister/falling-for-her-brother's-best-friend written all over it but has an intriguing twist involving her past and feelings of guilt and his cage fighting.

Anyone who's read my reviews in the past knows that I've mentioned a few times how books about girls falling for their brother's best friend (or boys falling for their best friend's sister) is a favorite trope of mine and Chrissy and Jack's love story certainly didn't disappoint. The requisite sexual tension is present and I liked that there were no pretenses about Jack noticing how grown up Chrissy was now rather than pretend as if he's always been physically attracted to her. There's a fair amount of bickering between the two, but it's almost as if it's foreplay and simply heightens the draw to one another. Chrissy isn't the kind of girl who'll allow guys to control her, and I'm glad she put him and her brother in their place a few times. 

The conundrum of whether Chrissy will accept Jack's and her brother's Slade's being cage fighters is based on her abusive relationship with an ex-boyfriend, so it's easy to understand why she's anti-violence. I do think, though, that the resolution was a bit contrived, what with an a-ha moment that had me thinking, "Really? It's that simple?" But other than that, I enjoyed the humor and tiny bit of angst in the story and both Chrissy and Jack were great lead characters. Drogo definitely stole the limelight every time the overly aggressive dog was mentioned and the dog lover in me will never say "no" to a scene stealing canine. Against the Cage was a good start to a series that looks like it's got quite a few stories to tell. 4.5 stars! ♥

Date Read: 16 August 2015

Learn more about Sidney Halston here.

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