They both have been fighting most of their lives, but each for different reasons.
Derrick survived an abusive father and the bullies on the street to become Dagger, a poor but up-and-coming MMA contender.
Katy survived an abusive relationship—just barely—and is living life looking over her shoulder and in the shadows.
The two meet during one of Derrick’s frequent visits to the ER where Katy works to get patched up after a fight. There is an attraction but closed-off Katy and cynical Derrick don’t connect.
However, they each suffer setbacks which cause their paths to cross again, and Derrick goes into protective mode and Katy needs the protection… and a friend.
Told in the alternating points of view of Katy and Dagger (Derrick), this read is a good slow build romance. The problem for me was there was too much telling and not enough showing.
We spend a lot of time in the internal thoughts of Katy and Derrick, remembering past times and events, but most are only memories/descriptions with little dialogue between characters. It’s obvious these two have lived hellish lives, but the intensity is lost in the telling of their pasts. The suspense was watered down, leaving me feeling bad for their experiences, but no anger or empathy until near the end.
These two are likable characters and I couldn’t help but be in their corner as they grew closer together. Overcoming trauma and abuse is difficult, and while I believe these two characters appreciated the changes in their lives, to me, it simply didn’t feel like a life-changing victory because of all the telling.
A solid, feel-good ending ensures Katy and Derrick have a future together… and they do deserve it.
I’d been fighting all my life.
Making it my career choice seemed…logical.
“Sweet. Dashing. Protective. Loving. Ah. Derek is all that and so much more!” – Red Hatter Book Blog
“WOW!! WOW!! WOW!! DAGGER by S.L. Sterling was OUTSTANDING and Tugs at your Heart Strings at the Same Time!!” – Goodreads Review
“What a quick but powerful read!” – Millennial Life Crisis Bookshelf