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BREAKING A LEGEND
Kavanagh Legends #1
Released Sept 29th, 2015
Perfect for fans of Katy Evans and Monica Murphy, Sarah Robinson’s blistering-hot series debut introduces the Kavanagh brothers—mixed martial arts fighters who work hard, play hard, and love with all their hearts.
As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.
Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.
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Rory felt his jaw drop slightly as he watched her, his interest piqued. He wasn’t normally one to let a girl walk away without snagging her phone number, but something about her told him that she wasn’t the type to give that away so easily.
“Already hitting the latest talent?” Quinn came up beside his older brother and handed him a beer.
“Fuck off, Quinn,” Rory ribbed, surprised at how light he felt at the moment. It had been some time since he had laughed at all, he realized, as he downed the beer Quinn gave him.
A third brother, Kane, appeared behind Quinn a few seconds later, nodding at Rory. No one would know those three were related if it wasn’t for the famous Kavanagh name.
Quinn was the odd man out in the group of brothers, with his straight black hair, clean-shaven face, and snakelike black eyes. Quinn had even added to his differences by covering his arms and chest with tattoos that peeked out from under his sleeves and shirt collar, along with piercings on both ears and several other places.
“You coming to Ma’s tomorrow?” Kane asked Rory, leaning his back against the bar.
His body was turned to face Rory, but he was obviously scoping out the bar as his dark blue eyes peered around the room. Rory followed Kane’s stare, noticing more than a few heads turned in their direction. He didn’t bother rushing to answer his brother, since Kane’s attention was clearly elsewhere.
The Kavanagh brothers were well known in the Bronx, especially Woodlawn, but even if they weren’t, the group of athletic men was hard not to stare at. Several women on the other side of the bar were giggling, batting eyelashes, and attempting flirty glances as they openly gawked at the three men.
Rory knew Kane was a notorious ladies’ man; he watched him smile eagerly at a woman passing by. Everyone had always told him that Kane resembled Rory the most out of all the Kavanagh brothers, which was ironic since Kane was one in a set of twins. Rory wasn’t as close to Kane’s twin, Kieran, who was currently serving time in prison. They had had a falling-out before Kieran landed up in jail and not gotten around to resolving things between them yet.
Considering their similar dark brown hair, scruffy beards, and muscular build, the biggest difference Rory could see between himself and Kane, aside from their eye color, was that Rory liked to let his hair grow to chin length, leaving the wavy locks down to frame his face. He liked his longer style versus Kane’s short hair, and most of the women he found himself around seemed to share that opinion.
One woman had even told him he appeared medieval, as if he could be her knight in shining armor. That was a comparison that still eluded him, since his refusal to settle down or be in any type of serious relationship usually had women calling him much different things, none of them very pleasant.
Pulling back his attention to his brothers, Rory purposefully stayed noncommittal, though he knew Sundays at the Kavanagh house really weren’t optional. Not if their mother had anything to say about it.
“What about Monday, coming to Legends?” Quinn asked, nodding suggestively at one of the women watching them, as he referred to the MMA club and gym that the Kavanagh family owned a few blocks over.
“I can’t start training yet.” Rory pushed his hand through his hair, wanting to avoid the topic.
He was suddenly feeling a lot more sober than he liked, wanting his brothers to leave so he could slip a few more pills out of his pocket undetected. The numbing feeling they had brought earlier was already wearing off.
“It’s been over a year since the fight, man. The hell you can’t train—you’re Rory ‘Knockout’ Kavanagh, best MMA fighter in New York!” Quinn said sarcastically and slightly louder than was necessary.
“New York? Try the entire nation, Quinn,” Kane added, a swell of pride in his voice as he beamed at Rory.
“Was, guys. Past tense.” Rory spoke through gritted teeth as his hand touched his own knee, feeling the thick scars through the fabric of his pants, gruesome evidence of the injury that had ended his mixed martial arts career. The bottle of pills was now burning a hole in his pocket as he thought about how badly he wanted some relief.
“Maybe it would be present tense if you didn’t reek of booze all the damn time,” Kane said, daring him to counter the statement. Rory took a slow, deep breath to calm himself. He loved his brothers, but he didn’t need their pity.
The story of Rory and Clare
When we first meet Rory, he is at the top of his game on the MMA fight. He gets a smidge too cocky and…winds up hurt. We skip to a year later. He is basically healed, but lives with pain. He eases this pain with pain pills, liquor, and women. He’s pretty much a huge jerk.
He sees Clare at a pub where she is a bartender/waitress. She grabs Rory’s attention from the start, but she’s skittish.
As coincidences will happen, she goes for self-defense lessons at the family gym where Rory is suddenly hanging out at again. This is the beginning of coupledom.
I do enjoy it when there are obstacles to overcome. Rory has a bunch, but Clare is no slouch in the issues with her past as well.
Several parts had me frustrated, and several parts made me swoon. Rory’s love of animals got to me.
I also adore Casey, the cousin of Rory. I hope she gets her own story at some point.
Romance Readers received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of The Photographer Trilogy and the Sand & Clay rock star series. A native of Washington, D.C., Robinson has both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal psychology. She is married to a local police officer who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiast as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescue and foster animals.