An ARC copy was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
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Rowdy is the second book in the Black Ops MMA Series from D.M. Davis. Back when the first book came out – No Mercy – I fell hard for the characters in this world. So much so that I did a character interview with the leading man Gabriel and an interview with Davis herself and have been waiting for the day when I could read Rowdy’s story.
Well it finally arrived and it did not disappoint. You kind of have to read No Mercy to be able to jump into this one as Rowdy’s story is tightly intertwined with the second half of No Mercy and picks up right after that story ends. So let’s get right into it, shall we?
To start off, the first few chapters kind of gave me whiplash because it jumps a bit through the timeline and had me lost and confused as to where we were or what was happening. But after Rowdy’s close friend Frankie has her baby and the story settles into focusing on Rowdy and Reese it really just jumps right in. Rowdy is the focal MMA star in this story and he’s falling for Reese, the little sister of one of his fellow fighters and star Alpha from No Mercy, Gabriel.
In all the marketing I saw regarding the release of Rowdy, DAvis warns you that this is not a love story, but a massacre. What I hadbn’t properly prepared myself for was that she was going to massacre my emotions. SO many hardships happen in this story – but not in a way that you’re used to with romance novels. Usually the hardship centers around activity that pulls the characters away from each other in a way that they must find their way back. But Davis is a unique writer because she doesn’t utilize that form of drama to draw you in. She focuses on character depth of history and experience to really take you for a ride.
Rowdy finds himself in a situation where he loses someone close to him and finds out life altering news that will forever change the way he knows his own life. In contrast, Reese is working on trying to recover from a lifetime of sexual abuse that has left her broken and damaged. At least that’s how she sees it.
These two were perfectly paired for one another in so many ways. Both of their stories broke my heart, made my eyes water and continued to cement my love for this series. If you are interested in reading a series about Alpha males that love their women deeply and will do anything for them, but also don’t cause any heart break to them intentionally or ruthlessly, then you’ll love Rowdy and the other MMA stars in this gripping series.