Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Release date: 27th May 2014
Synopsis. (Goodreads) Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means. Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help. West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future. Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.
Review: 4 out of 5 stars
Take Me On by Katie McGarry is the third book in the Pushing the Limits series and is West Young and Haley story.
We first met West in book 3, Crash into You; he is Rachel’s older brother and to be honest he didn’t leave a good impression on me so I was curious to see how he would redeem himself and I was pleased with the outcome and how it all played out. West was a cocky character with attitude who acted before he thought which caused quite a few problems, he was riddled with guilt and full of pent up anger, I felt sorry for him; especially with his family life and his strained relationship with his father.
West has been suspended numerous times for fighting but his latest suspension & his insolence has left him starting at a new public school and kicked out of home, when an incident leaves him running in to Haley and a few thugs he ends up beaten & caught up in a feud between Haley’s family and her ex-boyfriend and scheduled to a cage fight.
Haley is a former fighting champion but she has sworn off fighting and fighters after a tragic incident, I loved that she was the kick-butt fighter character in this book and could make the boys squirm with her skills. Haley was the most wonderful character, she was a sweetheart with the kindest heart - how she got caught up with a guy like her ex was beyond me but I liked her determination, watching her slow return to her grandfather’s gym and her college hopes was enjoyable.
With Haley preparing West for his big fight it bought them closer together but a lot of their interactions were more to do with his training. The romance was slow to build, Haley was quite hesitant about dating a fighter which was understandable but West wormed his way into her heart; I would have loved a few more smexy, sweet moments but I appreciated what we got and thankfully there were only a few bits of drama and no drawn out angst.
The secondary characters were all amazing, I adore Abby! Her story when it comes is going to be wonderful, Jax and Kaden were both appealing and Haley’s uncle was unbelievable and deserved a few smacks upside the head, he was horrible!
Katie McGarry’s writing is effortless and held my attention from the very first page with the fabulous characters and engaging storyline. Katie certainly knew her fighting and training details which made the little tidbits all that more interesting.
What I liked:
- The small appearances from Isaiah and Rachel, my heart broke for Rachel but it was nice to see Isaiah so devoted to her.
- The way Haley’s family situation was dealt with, the author didn’t sugar-coat their situation or the dad’s condition; it was all dealt with realistically.
- A girl kick-ass fighter!
- The characters growth throughout the story.
What I didn’t like:
- The change in the chapters and the narrators wasn’t crisp and I had to work out who was who, I received an ARC so I’m not 100% sure if the chapters would be distinctly marked but I found the flow difficult to grasp.
- Some parts felt choppy and I would have to re-read portions to get it to make sense; there is one stand-out scene in particular where I am still clueless what the fussing and fighting was all about.
- A few secrets took a little too long to be revealed and when they were they were slightly brushed over ie. West’s family.
Overall, a fast-paced, romantic, emotionally intense read that kept me captivated and wanting more. Katie McGarry is a fabulous writer who continually creates characters that are true to life and stories that touch your heart and make you crave for more.
Thank you kindly to Harlequin Teen Australia for the opportunity to read and review Take Me On.
About the author, KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.