Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.
She and I are like two separate halves to a whole. Separate in that the two of us could live life apart and be successful, but when we are together -- when we are whole -- that's when the magic happens.
I have to say that I was a bit dubious going into this one. I wasn't previously a fan of West's. He didn't really endear himself to me at all in Crash Into You. His actions and his attitude kind of turned me off. But it just goes to show that first impressions can be deceiving, because it wasn't too far into Take Me On that I was completely smitten. On the outside, he is a bad boy who doesn't really give a toss. There are those crappy first impressions again, because on the inside he has a heart of pure gold. Yeah, he's absolutely gorgeous, but for me, I fall in love with a person's heart. And his heart is huge! He is just so passionate about everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. He feels everything so deeply. There were times that my heart broke for him. But everything that is thrown at him, forces him to grow up and by the end of the book, the West that we have is a much more strong and mature version.
I'm in love with you. I'm in love with you and I don't know how to make you better. I'm in love with you and I shouldn't be. I'm in love with you and once you figure out who I am, you're not going to love me. I'm in love with you and I seem to fuck up the ones who love me back.
I absolutely loved Haley. Her strength was amazing. Her happy family life is turned upside down. Everything that was stability is taken away from her. She carries around the responsibilities of caring for and protecting her family, and has had to grow up way too quickly. But she does it all without question. She is tough, but on the inside she carries hurt. Hurt that her ex inflicted, and that makes her very wary to trust again. She is especially wary to place that trust in another fighter. But she doesn't count on West's persistence.
For strangers, West and I have become uncomfortably familiar in a rapid amount of time. Our worlds didn't just collide; they merged as paint spilled on a sidewalk and it's like neither one of us will be the right color again.
The romance between West and Haley was a slow burn. Because of Haley's past hurt, it took her quite a while to finally give into West. The attraction was there from the start for both of them, but it was West that didn't hold back. He was caring and protective, right from the very start. He knew what he wanted and he was more than willing to give Haley what she needed.
These dual point of views are my weakness at the moment. It's the best of both worlds. Being inside both main characters heads is perfection. What better way to get a true and complete insight into the whole story. My favourite is almost always the males point of view and this time was no different. I love being inside the head of a guy as he's completely undone by a girl, and getting West's emotions, thoughts and feelings as he was falling for Haley was incredible.
I was so happy to have Isaiah, Rachel and Abby make an appearance. I always miss characters once a book is finished, so to get to spend a little bit more time with them was a welcome bonus. I really, really hope that we get Abby's story at some point. I really want her to experience a wonderful, crazy, good love. She's not always easy to like, but I thought we got real glimpses into a deeper Abby this time around.
Katie McGarry once again has nailed the perfect young adult read. True, realistically flawed characters, combined with her amazing ability to create a story that never fails to completely grab your heart and make you fall in love. She has such a knack for writing strong characters.
5/5 West young Stars
A huge thank you to Harlequin Australia for the opportunity to review such a wonderful read.