#Review “Dagger (Vegas MMA #1)” by S.L. Sterling


3.5/5 Stars

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.



Title: Dagger
Series: Vegas MMA #1
Author: S.L. Sterling
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 27, 2020



I’d been fighting all my life.

Making it my career choice seemed…logical.
Sticking to what I was good at seemed…illogical as often as I ended up in the ER.
Then my occupational hazard began to feel like more of a perk when I met, Katy. She was a night nurse at the ER I frequented. She could barely hide her contempt for me, which naturally made the curvy brunette with long wavy hair all the more irresistible.
𝙉𝙤𝙬 𝙄 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙖 𝙛𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙚𝙧.
They called him Dagger, for the looks he gave.
He knew I hated him on sight, but still, he teased me and tried to sway me.
There’s no way it would work. I was on the run and still healing from a relationship with a ‘roid-raging powerlifter. No way was I going to give it a go with someone trained to cause pain for a living.
Then my ex tracked me down. And suddenly, having a fighter in my corner didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

“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

I am super excited that Dagger is finally LIVE! 
To celebrate I want to gift one lucky person my entire backlist! Yes, you read that right! 
Books will be sent directly to Kindle (Dagger excluded). For your chance to win all you need to do is sign up for my Newsletter, easy peasy!
List of Titles
It Was Always You
Bad Company
On A Silent Night
Back to You this Christmas
A Kiss Beneath the Stars
In Your Arms
His to Hold


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