Thursday, May 28, 2020

Review: Tough Love by Lori Foster (audio/print)

Title: Tough Love
Author: Lori Foster
Series: Ultimate, #3
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Published: August 2015, Recorded Books / HQN Books
Length: 11 hours 10 minutes / 538 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audible / Print - ARC e-copy via Netgalley

She's playing hard to get…to win the MMA fighter of her ultimate fantasies in a sultry new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster

Vanity Baker loves a good, clean match, but she's not above playing a little dirty. She's wanted Stack "The Wolf" Hannigan from day one. Seems as though the best way to corral the famously commitment-phobic fighter is to insist on keeping it casual. And her plan works—deliciously well—until Stack's past steps out of the shadows.

Stack learned early to stay free of attachments. But with sexy, forthright Vanity, he's the one always left wanting more. Then his troublemaking family comes back into the picture, threatening everything Stack cares about—Vanity included. Suddenly he realizes they're much more than friends with benefits. He's ready to go to the mat for her…but will it be in time to protect the woman who's tamed him for good?

My thoughts: This is the third book in Lori Foster's Ultimate series and I'm so glad I am catching up in really is quite enjoyable. As I mentioned in my review of the previous book in this series, I had read the discovered this series when it was first released and then went on a requesting spree via Netgalley, but then got sidetracked and forgot about them with all the other books I had to read, so one of my goals this year is to try and clean out some of my older Netgalley books...and I am starting with this series.

Having just read the second book in this series, Holding Strong, not too long ago, it was much easier to get back into the swing of things with this next book, though I will say I really do find that each of these books do hold their own if you do decide to pick up any of them to read independently. I think authors now are writing their series book to stand alone just in case readers haven't read the entire series, but give you that option of having connecting stories so that if you are like me, you might want to read all the books.

One thing I love about this series is it jumps right into the romance between the main couple. We know right off the bat that this is Vanity and Stack's story and things get hot and heavy between them right in the first chapter. But, what I also love is that this book doesn't just focus on their romance. There is so much more to this story. Stack's family is a huge part of this book and I loved that we get to see how he deals with them. He doesn't just push them aside to be with Vanity, and because she has lost her family, she comes with him and then ends up developing a relationship, a true relationship with his family. I loved that and felt that this was real and authentic. 

Of course, this book isn't without some conflict and this is where we see the other fighters come into the fray. I love that these guys have each other's backs. They even have their own bat signal - a special phone that they only use when there is trouble. This just speaks volumes on the friendship that these guys have.

This was an enjoyable read with fun, dynamic characters. I've got one more book in this series and I'm actually quite bummed about that...I really like this series and wish there were a few more books to go! But on the other hand...I am glad that I got these books cleared up on my Netgalley queue!

Audio thoughts: Once again, I decided to do a combination of listening and reading with this book. I really enjoy Jim Frangione's narration. His pacing was good and he did a great job with all the characters, giving them all unique personalities.

Books in this series:
0.5  Hard Knocks
   1.  No Limits
   2.  Holding Strong 

   3.  Tough Love
   4.  Fighting Dirty



  1. Hello! I picked up Fighting Dirty at a library book sale last year. I didn't realize it was part of a series. Could I read it on it's own or should I read the series in order? Love the review btw!

    1. Yes, all the books can be read independently. You will just miss out on knowing any of the previous character development that might have happened. I hope you enjoy!


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