I have to start this review off with a bit of a disclaimer. You may have a different impression of this book if you either have no legal training or experience with the legal system. Because I am a lawyer by trade some of the family law issues that are addressed in this book were extremely far-fetched and distracted me from the plot in a way that made it far less enjoyable. For anyone who does not have legal experience and reads this book please take heart in knowing that the legal issue in the book would never turn out the way that it is depicted in the book in real life. Now after that long disclaimer, carry on.
Stacked Up is my first book in the series and I think my second book by this author. In general I like the MMA fighter books and I think that this author is definitely one worth reading. I give this book three stars because I think that overall it is an enjoyable read with well-developed characters and a relationship between Travis and Penny that most readers will root for and like.
Penny moves to Travis' rather small town with her 2 day old infant. Penny has left her hyper conservative home where she became pregnant as an 18 year old unwed mother. Penny knows that she won't be accepted at home and wants to go somewhere where she can raise her daughter in a more open environment. Travis is a local MMA fighter and celebrity in the Texas town Penny moves to. Over the course of a year Travis gets to know Penny while she is bartending and waitressing at a local restaurant.
Travis wants Penny almost from the first time that he meets her but of course Penny is focused on being a mother and thinks that the last thing she needs is a relationship. I was happy to see Travis and Penny finally get together but some of Travis' behavior is a bit annoying. Sometimes Travis seemed to have dual personalities. He was positive that he was not the domestic type and wasn't cut out to be a father but he really wanted to be with Penny just as bad. I didn't like his reaction to finding out that Penny had a child, I thought it was extremely immature and diminished him a little bit in my eyes. I also was a little bit confused by the transition between Travis' original aversion to a relationship with Penny and his rapid change of heart.
The part of the book that was most difficult for me to deal with was when Penny's past came back to haunt her and she was threatened with losing her daughter. I just felt like the author did too much to make Penny a damsel in distress character. At one point I was just like goodness grief this poor girl cannot catch a break. Of course, Penny's vulnerable life situation provided the perfect opportunity for Travis to come in and play the hero. I just wish that a few things could have gone Penny's way without so much intervention by Travis.
This book has a pretty good Supporting Cast, a decent plot and moves at a good pace. There are also some pretty good sex scenes here so all in all I feel like this is a win for you contemporary romance fans who like the MMA subgenre.
**ARC provided by Publisher**