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Defying the Odds

(Battered Hearts #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  17,780 ratings  ·  1,056 reviews
When struggling waitress Melody Dylan gives a handsome, lonely stranger a simple gift she has no clue her life is about to take a drastic turn.

The stranger ends up being Clay Powers, a famous UFC heavyweight fighter. Clay’s large build and dangerous fists have always intimidated. People in his hometown keep their distance and Clay is fine with that. Everything changes when
ebook, 252 pages
Published December 20th 2011 by Loose Id LLC
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Kele Moon It's up now. . . And on sale for 99 cents! :D Or free on kindle unlimited!…more
It's up now. . . And on sale for 99 cents! :D Or free on kindle unlimited!

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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  17,780 ratings  ·  1,056 reviews

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Solid 4 stars

Defying the Odds was the perfect book to start off the New Year!

I thoroughly enjoyed this emotional, endearing, fun, and heartfelt story. The cast of characters were multidimensional, engaging, and fantastically quirky. The hero and heroine were adorkable! I couldn't seem to get enough of their fun dialogue and sizzling HOT chemistry. I'm definitely looking forward to the next addition to this series.

Caution: There is quite a bit of descriptive violence in this book, as the hero is
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
Book One in one of my favorite series is on sale for $0.99 for those interested!

This is the book that starts it all...

Battered Hearts Series:
Book Two: Star Crossed
Book Three: Crossing the Line

Untamed Hearts Series:
Book One: The Viper (the only one I didn't love)
Book Two: The Slayer
Book Three: The Enforcer

Original Review:

I find myself in an odd situation here...because I finally read this book (book one of the series) AFTER reading books two and three.

I ha
Defying the Odds is the love story of a gruff heavyweight UFC champion with abandonment issues and a struggling waitress with an abusive ex-husband.

Melody has no idea who Clay is, and what UFC is. She is working hard, trying to be strong, but also very tired. She is fearful and overwrought. Considering all these things and her dreadful past, it is weird how open and chatty she is, and trusts in Clay immediately.
That fighter had her feeling young and alive when she’d felt worn-out and beaten
Lisa Kay
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★★★★✩ Sweet and loaded with charm! This is a fast read, but that doesn’t make it any less H.O.T. Kudos to this “new-2-me-author” for making me care about these believable people in a relatively short amount of time. I’ll definitely be reading more of this author’s work.

Here is the little black polka-dot dress Clay bought for Melody:

These look like the shoes she got to go with the dress, as described in the book:
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However, I wanted her
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it

Melody Dylan places a piece of pumpkin pie in front of a customer as a gift to him on Thanksgiving because she feels sorry for him eating alone. Divorced from her abusive husband Melody is trying to make a new life for herself waitressing in the small town of Garnet.

Clay Powers hates pumpkin pie. But he'll gag it all down so as to not embarrass the sweet, new waitress.

This is such a gorgeous romance and I can't think of anything in it to complain about. There were no hidden agendas, no misunder
Rachel Reads Ravenously

I have loved Kele Moon's M/M books but this really wasn't for me. For a lot of reasons. I read this because it's been on my tbr list for what feels like forever, and many book friends of mine loved this one. I felt the characters could have been developed a lot more than they were, and the relationship was to instalovey for me, which led to me not being sold on their love.

A friend told me not to judge the rest of the series based on this book, so I won't and I will definitely try Moon's other bo
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

I'm keeping this short because there are already so many awesome reviews out there.

Defying the Odds is the first book in the Battered Hearts series and a very, very sweet story. In fact, it's uncommonly sweet given that it's also an extremely hot tale, and readers used to edgier erotica might miss that in with this story.

That said, I adored Clay and Melody and loved watching their relationship grow. Wyatt and Jules were also great, in an annoying family members kind of way.

I'm very much looking
4 Sweet Giant & Pumpkin Pie Stars!

 photo Defying the Odds Casting.jpg

Awww! Well, I was smiling at the end so I think that's the sign of a good book. Love Clay!!!!! And his story was so stinkin' cute!!

 photo tumblr_m22py4odoL1qc6sa9.gif

So I read this series all out of's become a nasty habit of mine. I was going to skip this book altogether, because I was told it was just a quick, sweet read and not integral to the rest of the series. HOWEVER, after reading the third book in the series, Crossing the Line, I HAD to read Clay's book!!! This poor gu
Duchess Nicole
"How'd this happen?" Melody asked in a stunned whisper..."We just met."
"I don't believe that," Clay argued as he turned her palm over in his and traced the lines of it with the pad of his finger. "I'm pretty sure we've known each other forever. Seeing you the first time was like coming home, and there ain't been anything to happen since that's disabused me of the notion."

Melody recently fled from her abusive husband after finally gaining the courage to run. She ends up in a small town that b
✰ Liz ✰
"She’d never expected to find a man who affected her as Clay did. It felt like her life was a jigsaw puzzle , and Clay was the missing pieces. They just fit together so well. She felt safe and happy and whole when she was with him."

Defying the Odds is the first book in the Battered Hearts series. I happened to fall upon a review for The Viper (also by Kele Moon) and was intrigued. After reading it, I fell in love with the characters, the writing style, and I knew I wanted more! I jumped ahead t
Jennifer Kyle
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Ladies and Gentlemen, in this corner we have... Clay "Powerhouse" Powers the UFC Heavyweight Champion of the World!


Clay is quiet, loyal and strong. He lives with Jules Conner and Wyatt Conner. Wyatt Conner is the town's sheriff and Jules is the town's only lawyer. The three share a business and they live together. The witty banter of their relationship is fun to read.

And in this corner... We have Melody Andrews a new waitress at Hal's Diner!

Melody is so real and so very likable! Her black gla
Kele Moon
Jul 25, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
For the next four days, Defying the Odds, Book 1 in the Battered Hearts series is FREE on Kindle!!!

Also, since I'm feeling so generous. . . Star Crossed is on sale for only 99 cents!! This is a super plus novel, on sale for a very short time! So take a walk on the wild side with the bad boys of MMA!!
Another one to my LOVVIT shelf. I loved everything about this book. The tender Hero, the down-on-her-luck heroine, the blabber mouth wing-man and most definitely the HOT smexings.

All were very yummy and my personal favourite was the shower sex. I cannot gush enough how scorching that was. Absolutely yummy!

Apart from that, there were many bleeding-heart moments between Clay and Melody that I just couldn't believe that for a guy who made a living out of beating people up (he was the UFC world cha
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Wendy'sThoughts by: Duchess Nicole
4 Smokin', Hot, Down Home Yummy MMA Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free
Found this series, Battered Hearts by Kele Moon... and I became addicted. It had everything a hot, sexy, yes sweet love story should have for me. Throw in MMA brooding hero and place all the action in a small town with full characters to develop into other books which carry on the same flavor... and I get hooked.

Kele Moon has a certain charm in her writing...she presents real situations of the heart and I owe my discovery of her to Duc
Dec 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this one, but it just wasn't for me.
Even though I highlighted like crazy, and the premise and writing were great, I think it was just too much.
Too sweet.
Too lovey.
Too...not me.

I'm still willing to give the rest of the series a go though.
Alex ♈
Great strong Hero!!!

I needed some time to warm up to the writing style, but from the beginning till the end I adored the Hero!

Maybe some plot holes, maybe a bit cheesy, maybe OTT drama.

Sweet safe love story!
~ Becs ~
In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.
~Maya Angelou

Aw, this one was just adorable.

It’s a beautiful story of how a simple act of kindness can bring two broken souls together.

Clay, a UFC champion fighter and lonely soul with abandonment issues, is sitting in a diner on Thanksgiving. The new waitress spots him looking lonely and buys him a piece of pumpkin pie even though she can ill afford to. She is Melody and she has ran from
Elizabeth (Liz)
This is the first in, what I hope is, a series from Kele Moon featuring current and former UFC fighters, set in the small town of Garnet.

Clay, our hero and current UFC World Heavyweight Champion, is adorable and verrrry sexy:) He's big, strong, tough, grumbly and gruff. But, underneath, he's a little bit of a softie as well. Melody, our heroine and (new) hardworking waitress at Hal's Diner, is lovely, kind, dealing with a hard past which is making for a hard present, and equally as strong as Cl
A sweet romance that brings two people with troubled pasts into each other’s live. Clay was adorable, so big, so strong, and very humble. Melody senses his loneliness and offers up an act of kindness that touched him more than she realizes. No one has ever done anything for him, who didn’t want anything in return. Clay’s a wealthy, popular MMA fighter, and she doesn’t have a clue who he is or what he does. She’s been living a sheltered life and has escaped from an abusive marriage.

Considering t
4 stars.

A sweet read with no pretense or melodrama... it was so nice to get back to basics. And by basics I mean basics.

Clay and Melody meet, they find themselves attracted to each other, they become friendly, they communicate how they feel to one another, any baggage is discussed like adults and their love is so sweet, so pure, it made me purr like a kitten.

I love how this pulled no punches and defied the norm in terms of romance formulas. There were no games or misunderstandings, just emotion
Geri Reads
Nov 01, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars!!

So this is what happens when you read a series backwards. This was supposed to be read first but once again, I jumped the gun and started Crossing the Line first and then Star Crossed before this one. And because of that, this only gets 3.5 from me since this book is nowhere as intense as the other two.

I still liked it but after the emotional angst packed in book 2 and 3, this one was a little tame for me. In hindsight, if I had started with this one first, I might give this a four.
Reread September 2017

Another reread. Clay and Melody are one of my favorite couples. Clay is all in from first sight of Melody. And I like even though Melody was abused by her ex-husband, she doesn't hold it against all men. The sex scenes are steamy but also beautiful and sweet.

12/16/15 Re-read

I love this book. I know I will read it again and again. It was just what I needed at the moment.

Original review:

This was absolutely one of the sweetest, best romances I have read in a while. It had som
Hannah G
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm rating this book 2 stars. I really didn't get a feel for this at all. Overall I didn't like it. This book was overdone in my opinion. I didn't like melodys charater. Two things really bugged me about her. 1 is that she was broke and she didn't except a 100$ tip. I've personally been broke before and I would have taken it. And secondly her ex Justin she didn't marry for love. And it wasn't like she was in an arranged marriage or forced. So I didn't like her. Through reading this I was hoping ...more
Melody came to the little town of Garnet to hide from her abusive ex-husband. She was charmed by the town and especially it's generous townspeople. She was just settling in, when she met Clay.

Who would've thought that one act of kindness (it was just a piece of pumpkin pie!) could change her life so dramatically.

Now she has this gorgeous fighter wanting to spend time with her. He's so nice and sweet, despite his appearance, and saying no to him is hard.

Clay is and UFC figther - that's Ultimate
4 Stars (Originally Read 5/11/2014)

3 Stars (Re-Read 10/27/2019)

Overall Opinion: I'm not quite sure I picked this one for a re-read, but I was in the mood for a damaged h and maybe some angst. I enjoyed it at times, but it just wasn't my cuppa for the rest. It was way too instalove for my liking, I felt that there was too much sex and not enough substance in their relationship (once it started going), and the ending was pretty non-existent. I would've love to see these two have a family togethe
Amy | Foxy Blogs
Defying the Odds is an old-school romance. What do I mean by that? This book was written in 2011 back when there wasn't a ton of sports romance books to pick from. There was a phase, about 4 years ago, where readers would claim books like this had too many themes that were overdone (a surly guy who's a famous UFC fighter happens upon a down-and-out waitress who is running from her abusive ex-husband. She's clueless about who this guy is sitting at her table on a Thanksgiving evening. Her act of ...more
Defying the Odds was smutty good. Clay and Melody were adorable and completely shippable. However, it did take me a while to jump on board with them.

I like how they instantly connected but not in the "I love you" right after they said hi to each other. They just had a connection - that's it. It's mostly why I started to ship them. She saw a side that not a lot of people did and automatically assumed that he was sweeter than everybody thought.

Clay is swoonworthy. I don't know any MMA fighters b
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I seem to be in the minority here but this book didn't do much for me. I had to force my way through it. I'll give it that it was a sweet book but the plot development wasn't up to par in my honest opinion.

My first issue is that the characters seemed strangely immature to me. They acted like teenagers around each other and not like grown men and women. I'll read about teenagers in my young adult books, thanks. Another thing that I didn't like was that I felt like Clay and Melody went from nothi
Kele Moon
Dec 04, 2011 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Defying the Odds is on sale for 99 cents!

And FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!
Tpagirl Loves Romance
Defying the Odds was the first book in Kele Moon’s Battered Hearts series. It was also my first book by the author.

Clay “Powerhouse” Powers was a famous UFC Heavyweight champion fighter. He was a machine. Yet under it all, he was real, honest, loyal and he even had a sensitive streak for the right person.

Melody Dylan was a struggling waitress who was starting over in the small town of Garnet. She fled an abusive ex after a nasty divorce and was working consecutive shifts at the diner for her ind
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A freckle-faced redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives on pushing the envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for romance, she adores the art of falling in love. The only rules she believes in is that, in love, there are no rules and true love know ...more

Other books in the series

Battered Hearts (3 books)
  • Star Crossed (Battered Hearts Book 2)
  • Crossing the Line (Battered Hearts, #3)

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“Don’t leave me again, okay?” Clay whispered in a voice choked with emotion as he pulled her tighter against him and tilted his head to rest his cheek on top of her head. “’Cause that ’bout killed me.”
“Yes,” he assured her without hesitation. “I thought I was broken too, that I’d never trust women, but I had it all wrong. I wasn’t broken at all. I was just waiting for you. It’s always been yours; even before we met, it belonged to you.” 18 likes
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