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.