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Holding Strong

Book 2, Ultimate Series

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


An up-and-coming MMA fighter wants more than just one night from a woman fleeing her past in New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster's irresistible new novel 

Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn't share. That's why he's been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry's about to need more than she knows… 

Denver's combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she's been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can't hide behind a carefree facade. Because the man by her side is one who'll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she'll trust him enough to let him…

Customer Reviews

I love those SBC fighters!!!

Denver Lewis, SBC fighter, was crazy attracted to Cherry Peyton but she flirted too much. He wanted so much from her that it scared him, so he stayed away from her. Cherry wanted Denver so bad and it hurt her that he ignored her blatant advances. While out of town at a fight, she propositioned him and he finally accepted. He worried she might be drunk but it turns out she wasn't drunk at all, she was ill. He stayed to take care of her and that was the beginning of their relationship. Little did she know that her past was creeping up behind her and would put her and all her friends in danger.

I love the SBC fighters, their women and all their friends and families. This is a world I can't wait to re-visit. The friendships and loyalty among the fighters and their loved ones is nothing short of amazing. It was great to see characters from other books play a role in this story. Denver is insanely possessive, jealous, very open and loves to talk. He's also gorgeous, sexy and he demands complete honesty. For Cherry, he's perfect! She's very ashamed of her past and it took Denver's complete acceptance to help her get beyond it.

Thank you Lori Foster for another fantastic visit to Warfield, Ohio and the SBC fighters. I can wait for Stack and Armie's stories.

Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Entertaining, romantic, suspenseful, & fun!

Cherry fell in love with Denver the moment she met him, but he's been steadily avoiding her forever, and a girl can only take so much apathy and rejection. Denver wants Cherry more than he's ever wanted anyone, but the girl's a flirt, and he can't stand watching her smile and laugh and charm other men. When Cherry's last shot finally hooks him, they fall into sync almost effortlessly, but when trouble from Cherry's past comes back to haunt her, she'll have to trust Denver with more than her heart in order to survive.

The Verdict: Wow. I might love Denver more than Cannon now. When I saw this latest book in the series pop up on NetGalley, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, and I'm not disappointed.

Cherry's been pining for Denver since she first came to town, but he seems more interested in pretty much anything else but her. Not entirely willing to give up, she gives it one last shot, and it looks like they might finally be together. But after one amazing night together, she's sick as a dog, and even though she doesn't want Denver to see her like that, she can't seem to get rid of him. To make matters worse, three creepy thugs have shown up in town and been asking people about her, and as much as she doesn't want anyone to know about her past, she doesn't seem to have much choice.

Cherry was an incredibly interesting character, both because of her past and because of her present. On the outside, she seems to have it all together; she's fun and flirty and catches plenty of guys' eyes. But her life hasn't always been something to smile about. Orphaned and sent off to foster care, she endured a horrific childhood at the hands of her three foster “brothers,” and since getting away, she never looked back. And now they're looking for her.

She's also not nearly as confident as one might expect, but instead of waiting around and wondering, she's quick to ask Denver where they stand whenever she's unsure about things. She doesn't push too hard, and she doesn't declare her heart, but she's careful to make sure she has some clue where they're headed before she gets in over her head. That insecurity coupled with a strong sense of self-preservation made her much different than the typical romance novel heroine. Her falling in love just added an extra spark to her character.

Denver is just… Well, he's damned near perfect. He's been practically obsessed with Cherry for so long, but he didn't think he could handle her flirtatious ways, and he also didn't want to rock the friendship boat with her or any of their other mutual friends. When he finally can't stand it anymore, he goes ahead and takes a chance, still not sure if he can really handle her. But through it all, he's quick to reassure her even when he's not sure what he's doing, and he does his best to take care of her when she's sick and when she's threatened. And there are no words for how hot the man is.

As much as I loved the first book, I've gotta say this one has knocked it off its pedestal and become my new favorite. The banter among all the friends is just as brilliant and fun, and just like last time, I absolutely loved Armie. The romance between Denver and Cherry is sizzling hot and amazingly sweet all at once, which is pretty much the perfect combination. They've both got their reservations and are trying to protect their hearts, but it's so much fun watching them lose that internal battle and give into each other. Of course, there's also the matter of the threats against Cherry, and while plot twists like that often annoy me, this one fit so perfectly into the story and with the characters that I was reading as fast as I could, just trying to get a piece of whatever would happen next.

Holding Strong is ridiculously entertaining, with hot romance, tense suspense, witty dialogue, and an incredible cast of characters who add to every moment. I have no idea how I'm going to be able to stand waiting for the next book!

***FicCentral received this book from Harlequin (via NetGalley) for free in exchange for an honest review.

5 Smoldering, Sexy but Sensitive, Stars!

HOLDING STRONG (Ultimate, # 2)
by Lori Foster 
March 31, 2015
Publisher: HQN Books
approx 480 pages
Romance: Contemporary (with a minor Sports / MMA theme ) 

** Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review **

What's better than being roommates with Cannon Colter's sister, Merissa? Maybe being friends with all the hot, uber alpha males at the rec center because of it. Wait... no, it's those protective males banding together  when trouble comes looking for Cherry - and Denver is leading the pack! Denver is, without a doubt, a total Alpha male. There's kind of a role-reversal here at the beginning... Cherry's the life of the party and Denver does not want a casual one-nighter with her, he wants her for the long-term. That's incredible hot. 
He growled, "Don't fool yourself, girl. I could never ignore you, no matter how hard I tried." He lightly bit her shoulder, then smoothed the spot with his hot tongue. "Anytime you were around, I knew it. I *felt* it. Clear down to my bones."
I love Denver and Cherry's characters, individually and as a couple. The standard fair of secondary characters (all the rec fighters, plus a few cameo cross-overs from Love Undercover and SBC) made an appearance. Dialogue and interaction was natural, realistic and believable. The plot is full and dynamic. My only complaint is that it was a little TOO full. Pamela... ugh! There were undercurrents for Armie and Rissy, leading me to believe they'll be getting their book sooner than expected. Stack and Vanity obviously are next in the line up. There were a few spots that I worried that they were trying to take over the book. Ms. Foster managed to rein them in, but just barely. The flow of the book is exactly what you'd expect of Ms. Foster. This one did, however, feel more emotionally focused than suspense and action seeded. I'm okay with that, but there may be some out there that anticipated more action than was given. There are plenty of conflicts, but calm and controlled Denver always manages to resolve them in a quick and efficient manner (while apologizing profusely when he's being a bonehead). Predictability was very low. The climax of the story is fast-paced and exciting, leading into a conclusion which is solid. There's even a Cannon Colter Bonus scene further hinting at what's to come. This was a truly enjoyable read and I look forward to TOUGH LOVE, due out August 2015.

Heat level: 3.75
Rating: 4.7
Stars: 5

Tina J / Happily Ever Chapter

Other Books in This Series

Holding Strong
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  • $5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Published: Apr 01, 2015
  • Publisher: HQN Books
  • Seller: Harlequin Sales Corporation
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 2, Ultimate Series
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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