Sunday, November 3, 2013

Defying the Odds ( Battered Hearts #1 ) by Kele Moon

Defying the Odds by Kele Moon

When struggling waitress Melody Dylan gives a handsome, lonely stranger a simple gift she has no clue her life is about to take a drastic turn.

The stranger ends up being Clay Powers, a famous UFC heavyweight fighter. Clay’s large build and dangerous fists have always intimidated. People in his hometown keep their distance and Clay is fine with that. Everything changes when a new waitress at the local diner buys him a piece of pie on thanksgiving. Touched by the gesture when it’s obvious she can barely afford to survive, her warm smile and lush body churn up powerful feelings that leave Clay wanting more from her than pie.

Melody is running from her past and the small, country town of Garnet is the perfect hiding place. With an ex-husband after her and scars from her abusive marriage etched deep, the last thing she expects is to fall for a man who makes a living with his fists, but she can’t resist Clay or the tender connection they share.

Finding love in the most unlikely of places, the passion is undeniable, but Clay and Melody know their haunted pasts and unpredictable futures leave the odds stacked against them.




I finally found a MMA story that I can enjoy without having to cringe at a certain over dramatic heroine (I'm pointing my finger at you, Brooke). This is a pleasantly simple romance that is full of passion without much fanfare but I can see the potential in this series because Kele Moon really did know how to build up her secondary characters.

Melody Dylan is new to town working as a waitress at Hal's Diner. She is hiding from her abusive ex-husband while trying to make a life for herself. This plot sounds too familiar and seems overdone, but Melody is different from other broken heroine that I read before. She's not a recluse or trying to protect herself from other men. She is friendly, upbeat and is attracted to the lone man eating by himself on Thanksgiving day. So she bought him a pie.

Clay Powers is the reigning champion of the UFC heavyweight fighter. He is rich and famous in his town, but he only has two best friends, Wyatt and Jules who live with him. Clay enjoys the sport and the fight, but he hated the circus that came with it. He is a stoic and quiet man and when a waitress bought him a pie on Thanksgiving, he was genuinely touch by the gesture.

I find Melody and Clay totally adorable because they were both playing this mating dance around each other that is a totally endearing in a way. I guess I read too much about lust-filled romance that people no longer do things for each other just to see the other person smile. I was a little dissapointed that some of Clay's nice gesture to Melody was just mentioned in passing without going into detailed. The way they came together seems so easy and natural without much drama.

As I said, the first part of the book seems like a simple romance without much intense moment ie. no drama, no angst. But the second part of the book really pick up the pacing of the story. Kele Moon really has a knack for writing some pretty intense and passionate sex scene. One word to describe Melody and Clay being together is beautiful. They give me the feeling of two soul mates finding each other.

I also need to mentioned the strong secondary characters that help to build up the story. Wyatt and Jules Conner, the twin siblings are simply too fun to watch. They both bicker like an old couple constantly getting on each other nerves. Wyatt is the Sheriff of the town. When I heard the word Sherrif, I thought he is some stuffy guy. But he ended up surprising me with his blabber mouth, cocky attitude and a total nuisance towards Clay. Jules is a total hardass of a lawyer and also volunteer at the station. She is seriously intimidating and is gonna be so fun to watch her fall head over heels for a guy. 

"If I pay eighty bucks for a piece of meat, that thing better vibrate. I want long-lasting satisfaction outta the investment."
"Thank you, Jules. You've just ruined a perfectly fine meal and totally grossed me out in the process."

Of course things wouldn't be interesting if Melody's ex-husband didn't make his appearance. Melody is torn between staying with Clay or run for her life to avoid an ugly confrontation between her past and present. We also got introduced to Romeo Wellings, Clay's archrival during the title battle. The climax towards the ending was pretty amazing, the way Kele Moon played out Romeo's role. Now there is no way I'm not reading the next book to get to Jules and Romeo's story.

Rating 4/5