by Lori Foster
Series: Ultimate #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
She's playing hard to get… to win the MMA fighter of her ultimate fantasies in a sultry new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster… Vanity Baker loves a good, clean match, but she's not above playing a little dirty. She's wanted Stack "The Wolf" Hannigan from day one. Seems as though the best way to corral the famously commitment-phobic fighter is to insist on keeping it casual. And her plan works—deliciously well—until Stack's past steps out of the shadows. Stack learned early to stay free of attachments. But with sexy, forthright Vanity, he's the one always left wanting more. Then his troublemaking family comes back into the picture, threatening everything Stack cares about—Vanity included. Suddenly he realizes they're much more than friends with benefits. He's ready to go to the mat for her…but will it be in time to protect the woman who's tamed him for good?
Tough Love is the third book in Lori Foster’s Ultimate series and ever since the proposal Vanity Backer made Stack “The Wolf” Hannigan in Holding Strong, I have been anxious for their story. Foster delivered and their romance was hot, sweet, humorous and filled with delicious banter and teasing.
While the story centers on a group of MMA fighters, their friendship and gym each novel works as standalone. However, why would you want to miss the friendships, backstories and development of these characters? Foster does a pretty darn good job of filling readers in but half the fun of this series has been the build-up leading to each couple’s story.
Caffeinated Dates with Tough Love
- First Date: Vanity has a thing for Stack but knows he has commitment phobia and our heroine is very clever. She plays dirty but in the most delicious way. In the previous book, the two make an arrangement of sorts. He will be her date at the wedding of their friends and she will give him one night of bliss with no strings attached. Ooo-la-la you clever, clever girl. The novel opens at the wedding and we get a little flashback of what has been happening since they made the arrangement. They have not even hooked up yet and Stack is plotting for more time.
- Second date: Things get hot and smexy, but interruptions caused by a family emergency and commitments keep these two from doing the tango. Foster has a way with her characters, and I found myself drawn in and curious about his family and their problems. We continue to learn more about Vanity and the more I get to know her the more I want to be her bestie. The chemistry, banter and dance between Stack and Vanity is off the charts and I so want them to get an HEA. We get updates about other characters, and witness some changes in Armie. A suspenseful thread involving Stack adds tension and a little mystery. I enjoyed this added element.
- Third date: Secrets, threats and growth make the last date intense. Vanity has been in love with Stack since she met him, but watching Stack fall is nothing short of sweet. Danger and misunderstandings made this final date a little bumpy but Foster creates just enough tension without overdoing the drama. I really do not want this date to end.
Tough Love was delicious with characters I completely rooted for and while I never doubted we’d get our HEA the ride was fantastic. Toss in some cuteness of the four-legged variety and their motley crew of friends and Lori Foster delivered! Fighting Dirty is the final book in this series and will finally give us Armie’s story *happy dance* and will release February 2016.
Glad to hear you enjoyed this too! I thought it was a pretty cute read and I definitely can’t wait for Armie!
Great review, Kim!
I think we all are excited for Armie 🙂
Sharon - Obsession with Books
This sounds sexy and fun! I am a huge Lori Foster fan but I still need to start on this series, it sounds great!
A lovely review Kimba! Sharon – Obsession with Books
I hope you enjoy them when you do. I cannot wait for the last book.
And I still haven’t read anything by her. I know I should. Glad you loved it 🙂
I love her romantic-suspense her Love Under Cover series and this series have been so good 🙂
I love this series but passed on this one due to my overflowing TBR mountain now I’m wishing I hadn’t.
I feel your pain. I am trying to just say no..hahaha
I love Lori Foster. Her books are always so good. I haven’t started this series yet though.
I think so too Mary, I always end up smiling
This installment does sound like a fab read, Kimberly. I love great banter between a couple and I really enjoy watching a big, tough guy fall hard when he wasn’t expecting it. I’m going to have to take the time to meet these guys and the girls they fall for. 🙂
I enjoyed the premise on how they hooked up, hope you enjoy it!
Awesome review Kimberly.
Just got it on my Amazon kindle,it’s next on my reading list 😀
The Bibliophile Babe
Fab review! I’m a sucker for a good MMA fighter story, so I’ll check this out!
Enjoy, these boys, well men have heart and I think you will enjoy them
Great review! I have not read anything from this author yet. I love teh heat level!
I hope you decide to try her. I love this series and her Love Under Cover series.
Braine Talk Supe
The sphere is swooning over this installment. I have two of her books and they’re sad because they don’t want to be decorations. lol
I love the name Vanity, it’s so very unique and if I hear it, I’d immediately associate it with LFoster.
You need to dust them off and read them. I liked the name too
This whole series sounds like so much fun and I love the premise of this one. I’m going to have to work to get past the name Vanity but I think I can just manage! Great review! I’m really looking forward to trying this series.
LOL, the author provides a funny story to her name
ooh-la-la, that book cover!
Right…I thought so too
Why do I not read enough with MMA fighters? The tension and chemistry between Vanity and Stack sound delicious! 🙂
LOL, I wasn’t sure I would like the MMA thing..but yum..just yum Grace 🙂
Michele at A Belle's Tales
This does sound delicious and steamy! Love the dates 🙂 Great review, my friend!
*tackles and hugs you* Thanks my dear. I hope your summer has been fantastic!
Great review! I am going to have to read these just for the “heat” hehehehe!
Yes Foster adds a nice swoon and plenty of toe curling heat
Sneaky girl! I haven’t read these yet, but have no doubt that I’d enjoy the series.
Hehe…enjoy my friend. I have had fun with this series
Melissa (Books and Things)
I have fun with her books so I know I need to read this series. I love the sound of Vanity. You are also right. She knows how to do drama without going overboard. Yep, I need more Lori Foster on my reading list.
Yep, just enough to keep you fully engaged. Enjoy Melissa!
ARMIE, ARMIE, ARMIE!!!!!!!
Fantastic review, girl!! You totally summed it up! I wrote my review just now and I figured out my problem 😀 I was looking for a darker book, I think. This was meant to more fun and the light side of trying to get a boy to notice you. The big lughead!!! tee, hee!!
Yes…while there is suspense these are more about the swoon and can see how that would disappoint. I cannot wait to see Armie fall!
Not your usual heroine, it would seem 🙂 But she’s different in the best kind of way! I absolutely understand you wanting to be her bestie, lol. Happy Monday, Kimba <3
Thanks Ramona..hope the week is good to you
Wow!! This book sounds awesome Kimberly. I can’t believe I haven’t heard about this series before. This really sounds like my kind of book. I love those suspenseful romance stories that make you want to keep on reading. I definitely need to check this one out 😉
Glad I could share with you, this is a fun series with a touch of suspense to keep you flippin the pages.
Quinn's Book Nook
I just love Lori Foster. She’s been a favorite writer of mine for so long! I’m really enjoying this MMA books, and I also cannot wait for Armie’s story.
I cannot wait either and keep trying to temper my excitement.
Glad to see there is lots of growth in this, I almost have to have that anymore. Wonderful review Kim!
I enjoy growth too and it has been fun watching these players fall.
I am a bit familiar with Lori Foster’s name, but I have yet to read any of her books. Glad you enjoyed them.
She mixes romance and suspense nicely in this series and the previous Love Under Cover series.
OOh Thanks Kim, I LOVE Lori and have this one on my shelf which it just climbed a few books up 😉
I enjoy your mix of romance and suspense Debbie 🙂
Ack I loved vanity in book 2!! I am so excited to see her book is finally out. She and Stack would be mega hot together 😀
I thought they were..enjoy Sarah!
It’s already on my list but it looks like such a fun series that I’m moving it up 😉
Sweet, enjoy my friend!
I’m always up for hot, sweet and humorous reads, so I’ll have to get this one!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kimberly, and glad you loved the book so much! 🙂
You are welcome Silvia 🙂 I hope you pick it up
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I do love a truly smart girl who knows what she wants and goes right after it! I love that she was able to play him like that. Commitment phobe, right. 🙂 And there are pets? Consider me convinced.
Yes, pets always add a nice interest and usually a dose of humor.
I can tell I’m going to get a tiny bit irritated at all the interruptions that keep them from the sexy times (LET THEM GET TOGETHER ALREADY!), but other than that this sounds so good! I love Lori Foster’s books – like you said she knows how to do tension without crossing the line into over the top drama and I’m always at the edge of my seat with her stories!
LOL, I hear you Jenny!
Ooh! Sounds like all kinds of delicious sexy and romantic fun, Kim! Added to the list! 😉
It was fun Nick, I enjoy this series.
It’s great to have a story like that. I haven’t read a lot of books set in the MMA environment but I confess that it’s quite intriguing and I heard great thing about the author’s books.
Neither have I and I like how she did this one
LOL I just noticed this heat level! That’s amazing. I haven’t heard of this series but who isn’t up for some hot reads 😀 I know I always am. Great review, Kim 🙂
Yeah she gives us some deets. I struggled between 3.5 and 4 so decided to play it safe since some folks like less.
Lover Of Romance
oh I just love this author. I haven’t had a chance to read this series yet, but I have Holding Strong on my bookshelf, so hopefully I will be trying it out soon. Loved your review, love a heroine that has a clever personality like this one.
I think there is only one book left..then you can have a mini Foster thon 🙂
SOunds good to me 🙂
It was 🙂