December 17, 2014

Latest Read: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4) by Katie McGarry
Publication date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Borrowed from the library
Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
Katie McGarry's series is SO entertaining! Even though each book is technically a companion novel and has a story that can stand on its own, I love how each one subtly connects to the other and brings a whole new perspective to characters I may have previously overlooked. Or flat-out disliked. Such was the case with West, one of the two main characters in Take Me On and who we first met in Crash Into You. I remember feeling so angry with him at the end of the last book because his bad deeds were left unresolved. This book addresses them all and then some and the author managed to make me fall in love with West too. Yup, Take Me On is officially my second favorite book in the series (Pushing the Limits with Noah & Echo still holds the #1 spot!). West and the other main character, Haley really brought the book to life and I enjoyed their story from beginning to end.

Haley was very different from McGarry's previous heroines. For one thing - she's a champion freaking kickboxer! How cool is that? But I loved how she wasn't a cliche in any way. Everything about her surprised me. Kickboxing is a sport that requires a lot of hard work, discipline, strength and skill and she's got it all. She works hard in school and is focused on her future. But there's also this vulnerable side to her and she's got issues she needs to overcome. Her family is a mess, her ex-boyfriend did a number on her and the last thing she wants is a complicated boy in her life. The way the author shows us how Haley works through each of these things and opens up to West felt very real to me.

But it's how West comes into Haley's life that plays a huge part in what the book was about. He's still wracked with guilt over his role in what happened to his sister Rachel and reacts in the only way he knows how - fighting and lashing out at everyone around him. He runs into a fight to help Haley when he sees a bunch of guys going after her but then he gets into yet another huge fight with his dad too. Both of these fights land him in big trouble. He's kicked out of his house, forced to transfer to a school attended by Haley and the guys who attacked her and said guys are now targeting him. And what does West do? He pursues Haley and tells those guys he's willing to fight them. This brings Haley and West closer together despite everything and it made me see West differently. He is a good, kind, stand up guy who loves his family and cares about Haley. Their banter, conversations and hot chemistry really made me root for them as a couple. 

(None) reservations
None! There is a lot going on though between West and Haley and their personal lives, not to mention their romance but I think it all came together really well.

Do I recommend?
Yes! I really really enjoyed this one and ordered a copy for myself soon after reading it. 

Happy reading!

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