This is my first book by Jennifer Fusco, but Going the Distance is actually the second book in the series. Each Ringside series books is easily read as a standalone story with interconnected characters. While there were some good moments here, this one was just okay.
Michael Perez is preparing for his biggest fight yet, and has just scored a great endorsement. His gym is finally getting back on its feet after losing its owner, and all appears to be turning around. But when a reporter takes interest in him and the gym, he begins to worry when he finds out that it is none other than Ava Phillips. Ava is known for writing exposes on athletes and refusing to stop digging until she finds dirt on the subject of her stories. So when his manager insists on Ava traveling with Michael to his big fight, Michael is anything but excited. Things soon heat you between them though, and Michael had to wonder if he can trust the Ava he is getting to know or is she will do whatever it takes to get her story even if it means betraying the connection they are forming.
I had a tough time with Ava's character from the start, but luckily as the story continued I liked her better. I still had a tough time relating to her, especially with some of her actions here in this story. She didn't always think before she acted and I also felt like the roles were a little reversed here. While Michael was the fighter and one would think that he would be more alpha, Ava was the one that seemed to take charge more than he did. She was constantly calling him baby and even went so far as to tell him to say her name while they were physical. It just felt a bit weird to me, as I typically like the male to be more alpha than the heroine. These two had definite chemistry between them, but I still struggled to relate to them and I just didn't feel invested in their story.
Overall, this wasn't a bad story but for me it was just okay rather than great. I found my interest wavering over the course of this book as there just wasn't a lot that really grabbed my attention. I liked Michael well enough and Ava did get better for me over the course of this book, but this one just wasn't anything really new or different. If you like fighter stories, you might give this one a shot.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**