I really like Sarah Castille so I was looking forward to this book. The erotic content is good but I must admit, I didn't love the story.
This is the fourth book in the Redemption MMA series. It is my first time reading a book in the series but you don't need to read the other books. If you are looking for a place to start this series, you can start wherever you want. This is Penny and Jackson's (Renegade) story. Penny and Jacks have been friends via their mutual enjoyment of the Redemption gym where Jackson trains for quite a while. Jackson has recently gone pro and is now somewhat of a celebrity. Penny is a refugee from a life of misery at the hands of her father. As a way of dealing with her pain, Penny has developed some really questionable coping mechanisms. Penny is a sweet thing in sweaters and kitten heels on the outside. On the inside, she's a huge damn mess who is really a bunch of broken pieces.
Penny discovers that Jackson, the nice guy who everyone loves at the gym, is hiding his own dark side. Jackson is "Master Jack" for a famous sex club. Penny works for a law firm that represents a client that is trying to get the club shut down. When Penny visits the club to serve legal documents, the course of her life is drastically altered. Penny discovers there may be another way to deal with the demons she has been facing on her own. What Penny is not prepared for is that her masochism is related to sexual pleasure. When she discovers that about herself, it freaks her out. When she discovers it with Jacks, her relationship with him is strained as she tries to run away from her own self. On the other side of the equation, Jacks was raised as a Southern gentlemen. He is completely horrified by his desire to hurt women but it's there. Jacks has not fully accepted that what he wants his normal and he doesn't want to subject Penny to it no matter how much she might enjoy it.
Penny and Jacks are flip sides of the same coin. Neither one of them can accept the truth about their self so it causes them to push the other one away. My problem is how confused things became. Jacks is over the top in his intensity about Penny. When any other guy even glances her way, Jacks flies into a crazy rage. On the other hand, when he has an opportunity to declare to Penny that he wants her, he goes running in the opposite direction. As for Penny, she is just really emotionally unstable. The way Penny's past comes back to haunt her and she fixates on not being good enough was sad but also exhausting. Penny just really need a big gulp of self confidence. I did like Penny and Jacks together but I wish they could have gotten there with just slightly less angst. I also didn't really care for the use of supporting characters in this book. I thought there was too much information about other characters and it got a bit distracting at times.
All in all, this was not my favorite book by this author. It delivers some really great sex scenes and some intense emotion but parts of it felt tedious.
**ARC provided by Publisher**