Review: Real (#1, Real, Raw and Ripped) by Katy Evans

My Thoughts

Super sexy and highly addictive.
With a captivating story and an intriguing and complex hero, I really enjoyed the book despite taking issue with a  few, but significant elements that could have been easily improved.

3halfstars

Synopsis

real coverA fallen boxer.
A woman with a broken dream.
A competition…

He even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…

Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life.

He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents . . .

But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me.

I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations.

If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me?

My Review

I’ve been wanting to read this book since its release and something always came up. This past week, however, I’ve been reading some very emotional books so I decided to squeeze in a sexy alpha story. I have to honestly tell you that I’m a bit torn on the book. I felt like it had tremendous potential, but needed to have some issues addressed. It was truly an enjoyable story and I completely hooked, but I will always give it to you straight and I wish the things that bothered me would have been addressed… because I think they could have easily been fixed in the editing/beta reading process. So all in all, it was a mixed experience for me although the positive definitely outweighed the negative.

“Ladies and gentlemen, and nooooww… the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the man you’re all here to see. The baddest of the bad, I give you, the one, the only Remington ‘Riptide’ Tate!”

I loved Remy. He’s a great, intense, multidimensional character. I was really drawn to his appearance and could visualize him vividly. He’s strong, yet vulnerable and flawed, burdened with a painful past and ongoing struggles that make it difficult to express himself and show all parts of who he truly is. He’s a famous, wealthy, undefeated underground fighter with a unrelenting, ruthless, adoring fan base of women… all who want nothing more than to touch him and be with him.

When Brooke Dumas accompanies her best friend to a fight, she doesn’t know what to expect. It seems this isn’t her type of thing. She didn’t expect, however, the effect that Remy was going to have on her at first sight. When he steps out to the ring, she’s wholly captivated, ensnared by his physicality, his masculinity, his strength.

“The guy is just too much. Too much male. Too much masculinity and pure raw beast.”

And when Remington’s intense blue eyes connect with hers, she seems to feel it throughout her entire body. To her surprise, Remy invites her up to his room after the fight, and as she struggles internally on whether she can go through with a one-night stand, she’s simultaneously floored and disappointed when he offers her a job.

“I think I like him, and I dislike that I do. I think I want him, and I hate that I do. I think he truly is the perfect material for a one-night stand, and I can’t believe I’m starting to wonder about it too.”

The more time they spend together, she can’t help but be consumed by him, she’s constantly filled with desire for him. And that’s one of the things I noticed… I felt like it was just too much. At first, Brooke’s description of how he looked, how he made her feel helped vividly paint the picture of who he was and how strong their chemistry burned… but it happened constantly and I was ready to delve into more of the heart of the story instead of reading about the current status of her underwear. Related to that, the times they were together, some of her word choices bothered me. Words sometimes seemed a little too crude and guttural for my personal taste. However, the aspect that bothered me most of all was repetitive word choices and phrasing. There were times when it was so repetitive that I had to re-read to see if I had actually turned the page or thought I inadvertently re-read a paragraph. I really thing this last element could have been easily avoided through feedback in beta-reading or editing.

Moving on, as the story continues to unfurl, we learn that Remy’s past has been difficult. He grew up without love and affection. His parents practically disowned him due to a medical condition that makes his life tough to manage. I really felt for him… my heart broke for everything he had to go through. Remy is such a fascinating character that the book would have been fortified by including Remy’s POV. I wanted to understand him more and get a deeper glimpse of his complex persona. The details behind the way his team managed his condition (which I don’t want to reveal so they won’t spoil anything for you) didn’t ring true, but in all honesty, I am not an expert in this area. His treatment seems animalistic.

Brooke connects with Remy because she has also had a broken past… her dreams disrupted and lost after she injured herself in her attempts to get to the Olympics as a sprinter. She’s kind to him, treats him with care, shows him affection and before long she finds herself in love and plagued with doubts on whether he feels the same way.

Remy is also filled with insecurity… if she knows the real him, will she stick around? Will she still feel the same way?

“You’ll leave me the second it gets too steep, and you’ll leave me with nothing – when I want you like I’ve never wanted anything in life. You’re all I think about, dream about. I get high and low and it’s not about you now, it’s not even about me anymore. I can’t sleep, can’t think, can’t concentrate worth shit anymore and it’s all because I want to be the fucking ‘one’ for you.”

The story entangles with more complications that contribute to the pulse-pumping conclusion. I was riveted, I couldn’t wait to see how the story would twist and turn and how it all would end. I loved the way music was woven into the story to help express feelings when feelings became too difficult to communicate. I could see a lot of thought was given to this aspect and I think it really worked well.

Overall, I really did enjoy the story. It was super sexy and intriguing, but what really made the book was Remy and his complex persona. Katy Evans did a great job at making him so intriguing that as a reader, you simply want more of him. I can’t wait to read Mine, book 2, and I hope we see some of the bothersome elements I mentioned above addressed… it will only make this captivating story stronger.

“I don’t want to be yours. I want to be your fucking REAL.”

addseriestogoodreads

NOTE from Vilma: After reviewing this book, I found out that there were two versions of Real that were sold. The earlier version of Real is the version I read and the copy that contained editing issues (as described in my review). The current copy of Real is fully edited with some of the issues I discussed above fixed.

 

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