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Strongman (Phoenix Rising #3)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  232 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Book 3 in the Phoenix Rising series. A hard-bitten mercenary who's had a gutful of mud and blood and death, Fortitude McLaren joins the Ten Nations Fair as a roustabout. Tough, cold and competent, he's shocked and angered by his hunger for Griff, a circus acrobat. Brought up in the bigoted society of the Straight Church, Fort regards manlove with casual contempt. Not for h ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published March 21st 2008 by Elloras Cave Pub Inc (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 12, 2012 Vio rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Vio by: Simsala
4.5 stars

Griff and Fort they are to die for! Griff is mesmerizing seductive and such a tease but watch out because he is one formidable opponent and totally yummy. Fort the lonely tormented mercenary is in for a shock when he comes up against Griff he really has no idea whats about to hit him. All his attempts at keeping his distance and denying his feelings are useless. The chemistry and sexiness between them sizzles its there simmering away slowly and building every time they are together.

I lo
Just re-read this bad boy because I am SO EXCITED for Phoenix Rising #5 to come out, especially because it's featuring two more of Ms Rossetti's HOT male characters! (Any chance we can get an m/m with two more Aetherii anytime soon? Please? *begs*)

Anyway... this story is a GEM. Fort is solid, strong, selfless, loyal, difficult to get close to, and smokin hot. Griff is just delicious... slinky, sexy, and drawn to Fort like a bejeweled moth to flame. While Griff is the persistent seducer, he does
Synopsis from Ellora's Cave.
A hard-bitten mercenary who's had a gutful of mud and blood and death, Fortitude McLaren joins the Ten Nations Fair as a roustabout. Tough, cold and competent, he's shocked and angered by his hunger for Griff, a circus acrobat. Brought up in the bigoted society of the Straight Church, Fort regards manlove with casual contempt. Not for him. Never for him.

Athletic, cocky and single-minded about what he wants, Griff sets about getting it. Fort fights with everything in h
Fort has been raised according to strict rules; he escaped his dreary childhood and his abusive father in a most disturbing way and married the woman he loved, but lost her long ago in childbirth. After years as a mercenary, he has recently "retired" to the Ten Nations Fair menagerie. He has always had this desire for men, but never given in to it, buried those urges so deep within himself he barely remembered them. Until - yes, until he meets Griff, a tumbler and knife-thrower, a seemingly care ...more
i dont usually like fantasy/futuristic books, nor do i like the whole plot centered around coming to terms with ones sexuality. guess thats why i was rather shocked that this book had both and i thought it was quite good.
of course, the fantasy/setting of this book was fantastically done: there werent pages upon pages of dull explanation, rather the world was presented as a fait accompli.
similarly, rossetti didnt make Fort a whiney bitch; the introspection was well-balanced with action and reac

I only write reviews when books are really great or really terrible (or when the mood strikes) and THIS BOOK IS GREAT. Why?

1. Romance is sweet, funny, touching, hot as hell. If problems arise, they aren't stupid or overblown, but believable because...

2. The characters are realistic, relatable, and likeable. The author writes well, so you get insight into their motivations and desires.

3. There is a story beyond the romance! It's adventurous and thrilling and moves the story along!
Let me start by saying that I don’t read fantasy when reading M/M. I definitely don’t read circus themed books; I also don’t start by reading the 3rd book in a series without having read the others. This book was all of the above and I still smiled and gave a little sigh when I finished it.
The world building took a chapter or two to get use to, and the characters from the previous books, while making an appearance, did not do so in a fashion that made one feel you where missing parts of the curr
Well, one of the reasons I decided to do challenges, was to diminish my TBR pile, especially the old stuff that was beginning to petrify at the bottom of the pile. This was one of them. And I'm glad I read it at last.

This is the third book in the series and is at least as good as the other two, if not better. Fort is a deeply scarred man, with both his upbringing and his years as a mercenary inflicting deep emotional wounds. Griff on the other hand, has no such scars, but is unable to settle. Wh
Myristica Myristica
May 14, 2011 Myristica Myristica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone into M/M Romance
Recommended to Myristica by: No one. Found on my own
I could not put this book down once begun. It took an entire Saturday for me to get from page one to ending, but what a ride and I would do it again in a heartbeat. A fantastic M/M Romance story, where the sex is not overly done and the characters make you FEEL for them. Awesome story and I became a fan of hers that very day! :D If you're into M/M stories, get this one! You won't regret it! It's been a few years since I first picked it up so I can't remember when I started it, but I finished it ...more
As always I love everything about this series. Denise Rossetti has created the perfect world for me and everything about it I can not get enough of. Fort and his background was interesting and I love the way Griff broke him down and made him see what he was looking for and missing in his life.

There is so many wonderful things about this book that I don't even know where to start so I will just say I loved it all!
Patricia Strehle
Oh Ms. Rossetti. Your talet is limitless. Thank you.
So far this is my favorite of the series. Even after the second time I just can't get enough of Fort & Griff.
Michele Williams
What is a retired mercenary to do? Fortitude McLaren joins the Ten Nations Fair as roustabout. He then catches the attention of a circus acrobat named Griff. While McLaren is cool, reserved, and a man of few words, Griff is the opposite. It took me awhile to read this book because of the relationship between two men. Initially, I doubted that the premise of the book would hold my attention. The author does a masterful job of telling a resilient tale about men who happen to love each other. Stere ...more
Another great book in the series. Shied away from reading it at first since I prefer the mmf over the mm, but I am glad I read it. It is a good continuation of the story, and I can't wait to keep reading the series to see how all the interconnected pieces finally fit together. As usual, Rossetti does a great job in developing the characters and, unlike a lot of books in the erotica genre, there is not a lot of superfulous stuff. Most of the books I read make me want to take a red pen and scratch ...more
Fort is a tough man who had a strict upbringing especially when it comes to men loving men. What's worse is Fort has feelings for Griff, a free spirited tumbler in the Ten Nations Fair. Griff just happens to have an eye for Fort and is out to get what he wants. They are as different as night and day, but when a job for Jan puts Griff in danger Fort will do everything in his power to save him, including fighting his own past demons with his upbringing. They are great on their own, but together Fo ...more
Even though it's an Ellora's Cave title, I wouldn't classify this one as strictly erotica where it's sex with a bit of story just to glue the sex scenes together. There's a really great story in this one and I've actually read it more than once - which is rare for me. Two thumbs up for sure.
Josephine Myles
I really enjoyed this one - despite not realising it was a fantasy until I started. Fortunately the world-building was just the right balance, and I was swept up in the tale. Exceedingly sexy.
Lisa ~ Books Are My Drugs ~
Book #3 in the Phoenix Rising Series

Excellent world building. Characters that are easy to relate to. Fort & Griff are smoking hot together, their chemistry just about melted my Kindle.
Yup, loved this one too. Can't wait to get to the next one.
Secretly Reading
Originally reviewed for The Book Vixen

2 1/2 stars

In a Nutshell: I wanted more character development than I got but the world was interesting and the romance sexy.

The Set Up: Fortitude McLean grew up in the Straight Church where men were killed for loving other men so he’s never been tempted until now. He’s the new strongman at the circus and the confident acrobat, Griff, sets his eyes on Fort. But when Griff chases Fort into a dangerous mission, Fort will have to save Griff and figure out if Gri
Elisa Rolle
You know that I'm not fond of fantasy in general, but I can say when I read a good book, and Strongman by Denise Rossetti is a good book. Truth be told she almost convinced me to read a menages not long ago thank to her interesting blurb and the very beautiful cover (Tailspin), but menages plus fantasy setting was really too much for me. So when Strongman came out, I quickly bought it, but for a reason or another, I didn't read it as soon as I bought it. And now I can say that it was a shame, si ...more
Vanyel Kane
3rd in the series, though I find that whilst you get some better background if you read them in order, it is by no means essential.

This seems rather conventional by the series standard. After tails, threesomes and some rather odd situation that were in the last novels 'Gift of the goddess' and 'Tailspin' (i think on that last one as I have not read that yet) the angst in this story was the rather normal (by my rather jaded standards) 'he be a man, I can't possibly be attracted to HIM'storyline.
what is the greatest trait of m-m genre? perhaps, no women? what, again? NO WOMEN! certaintly not a main hero who walks and talks about wanting to fuck women, dreaming about fucking women, describing to the guy he wants (in all detail) his latest sex experience, again, with a woman. And it goes on and on and on and oh my god, I'd rather read about Hssrdan mating urges for a thousand times. whatever. 2 stars for you, bitchman.
Gina (bibliobuff)
3 1/2 stars: The story was interesting enough — the straight-laced, damaged mercenary with the ultra-conservative upbringing reluctantly falls for the happy-go-lucky bisexual circus acrobat. My favorite parts, though, were the cameos made by Fledge, Jan and Mirry from Tailspin (still the best book in the series).
Loved re-reading Strongman - Fort & Griff are the best! On to my first read of Guilty as Sin, loving it so far :)
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When I was very small, I had an aunt who would tell me the most wonderful fairy tales - all original. I grew up, as little girls do, but the magic of story still dazzles and enthralls me. On the good days, I like to think of myself as Scheherazade's sister. On the bad days - not so much.

I remain an incurable romantic who loves happy endings, heart-pounding adventure and the eventual triumph of goo
More about Denise Rossetti...

Other Books in the Series

Phoenix Rising (4 books)
  • Gift of the Goddess (Phoenix Rising, #1)
  • Tailspin (Phoenix Rising, #2)
  • Guilty as Sin (Phoenix Rising, #4)
Gift of the Goddess (Phoenix Rising, #1) Tailspin (Phoenix Rising, #2) Guilty as Sin (Phoenix Rising, #4) The Flame and the Shadow  (The  Four-Sided Pentacle, #1) The Lone Warrior (The Four-Sided Pentacle, #3)

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