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Against the Ropes

(Redemption #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  10,228 Ratings  ·  879 Reviews
He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more…

Makayla never thought she’d set foot in an underground mixed-martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it’s these guys. Trouble is, at her first sight of the club’s owner she’s the one feeling breathless.

All sleek muscle and restrained power, the man they call Torment
Paperback, 351 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
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Rating details
Sort: Default
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4 FCUK ME STARS!!!! (Nope. I didn’t misspell that.)

There was a lot of this:

And a lot of this:

And a whole lot of this:

And plenty of this:

And I pretty much did this the whole time:

And there was some of this:

And this is me loving this book:

My Torment/Max: everything you could ever dream!!!!

My Makayla: Laugh out Loud heroine - She’s such a dork – snorts when she laughs….fakes German accents….quirky sense of humor. I kinda had Jess, from New Girl, in my head.


Don’t be distracted by those low ratings!
Sep 04, 2013 rated it did not like it

*1,5 star*
*Spoiler free review*
*Buddy reading with Ali & Nikki*

The first half wasn't that bad. The writing was clumsy, but to be honest I found it quite funny.

The heroine's name is Makayla and the hero's nickname is Torment. <-- Ring a bell, anyone? Also, in her first appearance she's wearing a T-shirt with FCUCK written on it. I may be the only one in that case, but the name Makayla Delaney + the T-shirt and I couldn't help but think of the Fever series and MacKayla Lane and her Juicy Co
4 Sexy Stars.

Makayla is a med student trying to make it through life. On night she meets Torment in a underground fight club and they are immediately take with each other. When things starts to heat between them she finds out that not only Torment has a hidden identity, he’s also a famous and billionaire CEO trying to expurgate his sins. Makayla has a bad past who makes her hate any kind of violence. Torment uses fights to help fight his demons. Can will ever find a middle ground?


This was a s
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This book was 50 Shades of AWESOME AND THEN SOME!!!! LOL!!!! LOVED the HECK outta it!!!

A heap of MMA, a dash of BDSM and a WHOLE LOTTA HUNKA-HUNKA BURNING HOTTIES... I've died and gone to heaven, I tell 'ya!

Torment aka Max was just a hot, tattooed, MMA fighting, ALPHA BAD ASS *SWOON*... I loved EVERYTHING about him!!!

I HOPE that you write MORE books about these fighters Ms. Castille!!! They are BEYOND
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
So I really liked the first 20% or so of this book. I like the basic premise of the book. Sexy underground MMA fighter meets quirky slightly bohemian recent grad EMT girl. Yum. The writing is a bit shaky, but I really enjoyed Castille’s sense of humor so I settled in to enjoy the read. This book could have been interesting if it had stuck with the whole Mac working at the fight club as a medic in order to pay back her student loans while Max/Torment helps her get over her aversion to violence th ...more
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
I gotta say this was the most unoriginal book I've ever read. I had two major problems with this book. 1 Mac's charater was really unoriginal like extremely. She was the typical I get nauseous while watching violence. Violence is bad. The typical give the guy a hard time when he try's to buy you a expensive present. Next was the I can't understand male love interests charater. And finally the don't pay my debt I'd rather run myself and family into the ground. I didn't like her as you can tell. T ...more
Jul 17, 2014 added it
Shelves: mma
NO rating.... DNF at 25%

Am EMT that cannot stand the sight of blood/ violence... actually gets physically ill witnessing it....

A very popular bad boy underground unsanctioned MMA fighter that owns a gym and runs underground fights..and he ALSO is apparently a billionaire by day and is also as famous in his billionaire life as he is in his nighttime fight persona.. and apparently these paths don't cross each other....

He lands eyes on her once and immediately NEEDS her there with him when he fi
~Nichole~  Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
The premise is what caught my eye but overall this was a DOA book for me. I'm not sure if it was the author's intention to make the heroine over the top silly and loopy. She's a big ditz even with her so-called education and skill as an EMT. Also the love interest Max is a big confusion. Is he some bad ass MMA fighter or some mega millionaire who gets off on fighting, or some alpha male who is also into BDSM? I rolled my eyes when he ties up the heroine on his motorcycle and all of a sudden want ...more
Tara  TUG
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Holy Mother Alpha..This book was just what I needed.Torment/Max was hot and bossy and everything in between..I love when the guy is overprotective to the point of obsessed. Thats right this girl waves her freak flag proud.To me an Alpha male is alpha in the bedroom and out and Sarah Castille nailed it head fucking on.

Max is running an underground fight club when Mckayla happens to stumble over the line and into his ring.I loved Max the minute he opened that damn bossy mouth and let me tell ya he
Kenya Wright

I mean seriously. Sometimes you see a hot cover like this and wonder if it will match up. . .and it does.

Now this wasn't a perfect book. Let's make that clear right now!!

Things that put me on edge:

**The heroine wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed....if you get my drift.

She wasn't SOOKIE stupid. (that's a whole 'nother level of stupidity).

But there were times when I was like, come on dude. . .

**The hero was TOO OBSESSIVE at times, verging on me yelling at the book, "Girl! You better
Duchess Nicole
This was good...didn't try to be all to badass, which was nice. I guess I expected a wannabe Real or something, but this was much more grown up feeling. LOTS and lots of laughs. Makayla is hilarious, and so are all the other MMA guys. Torment is good for some sexy times and I love that he and Makayla have this whole push/pull thing going on. On the other hand, the sexy times were just okay. It could be just me, but they didn't do a whole lot for my libido.

I did think that Torment got a bit high
Sep 26, 2013 rated it did not like it

Another DNF for me. What the hell?

The only thing this book has going for itself is the cover.

That. Is. It.

I was really hoping this would be a good read, but it wasn't. I lost interest quite a few times throughout the first half, and then just stopped trying to push it all together. I'd had enough.

Between the FCUK ME shirt, Collectors R Us, and the Black Dagger wannabe's, I threw my towel in and forfeited.

OHHHH!!!! And the heroine is an EMT but cannot deal with violence or blood.

May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
MMA themed books are becoming one of my favorite genre. I like the whole build up of their relationship, Torment was so hot and Makayla sweet but at the same time badass. Couldn't put the book down and hope to get a book about Jake/Amanda.

I received an ARC from Netgalley.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the fighters.
The bad boys.
The sexy ones.

This was a fun read!
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Max Huntington is all fighter in that ring,

But all lover once he steps out of it.

He knows what he wants,

And he knows how to attract it with his smothering good looks.

He has a pleasuring hot temper and a kinky fetish,

He has tattoos and he’s ripped to the core.

But he has a brokenness to him...

A need to belong, and only Makayla can fulfill this desire.

I loved this book so much. Like, I can actually relate to this shit. It has so many monologues
P.A. Lupton
Apr 06, 2014 rated it did not like it

I really disliked this book, which was unexpected. I’d heard good things from a few friends on Goodreads, and I read the blurb and it sounded like my kind of book. Sadly, it just fell apart. This novel is way, WAY, too unrealistic for me to enjoy. I understand its fiction and I need to take a lot of the content with a grain of salt, but it was one unrealistic event after another until it became too much.

First of all, the characters were just off to me. The heroine is an almost EMT (not quite) wh
Feb 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-again
Gahhhhh!!!! I think my IQ dropped with this one!!!
I don't know how to rate this one... Against the Ropes started out as a fantastic read with a controlling and possessive hero plus lots of sexual tension... However, the main heroine Mac and her best friend Amanda (who has her own book which I probably won't read) almost ruined this book for me.

Against the Ropes is supposedly Fifty Shades with Fighters and I could see that though I've never read Fifty Shades. It has a little bit of the 'BDSM' and 'kinky' elements to make the story more erotic b
Apr 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, 2017
This was a frustrating read, what I did read of it. The heroine is an EMT yet she can't stand the sight of violence (to the point of getting physically ill), which to me seems very strange. Having worked as a public servant, you're going to see the aftermath of violent events, and I just thought that plot made no sense. It's also a book with BDSM which is not mentioned at all in the blurb, or I would not have picked it up. Huge negative in my opinion to not let the reader be aware.

It's written i
Jun 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
For this review and more visit my blog

Against the ropes sounded great and I was really excited to read it but it turned out to be completely different to what I thought it would be and I really didn’t like it at all. I don’t really know where to start with this review as I feel like there is so much I want to say but I really hate to write purely negative reviews.

Makayla is struggling financially. She has a full time job but her student loan repayments are breaking her. Despite not wanting to (d
Aղցela W.
Spoiler Ahead This was a really good book that I would have given 5 stars if the sex scenes would have started sooner than chapter 15. Makayla Delaney "Mak" as her friends called her went to an underground MMA fighting gym called Redemption with her best friend Amanda so she can hook up with Jake a member and fighter at the gym when she runs into Max "Torment" Huntington who is the owner of the gym. Torment is a rich playboy who doesn't tell her who he is at first. I really liked the main charac ...more
First, a lot of people LOVE this book, so I am not discouraging anyone from reading it. I get that there are definitely things that didn't work for me, that are just my own things that I don't care for that will probably work very well for others.
I am just going to go and say everything now so I'm going to put it in spoiler tags, don't read if you haven't read the book or want to know...everything.
(view spoiler)
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I was really partial to the main character, Mac/Makayla. She was such a sweetheart. She is an EMT that works in a hospital in an office. Mac has a heart of gold; anyone who is hurt or seemed to be hurt, she runs to their rescue. No matter how dangerous it is for her. Mac is also a smart mouth who knows how to worm her way into people’s hearts. I love how Mac really cares about the hero, Torment/Max. Together they fight but they always make up because neither one can sta ...more
Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog
3.75-4 Stars

Fight terms skitter through my brain. Naked. Back. Rear. Mount. Submission. Dominant. Pound.

If you didn’t know why I love reading MMA books, just read the above quote and you’ll automatically know the reason. Nice right? Reading those words, you know that anyone with a perverted mind, like me, would automatically think dirty things.

I was browsing through my Kindle when I came across this impromptu purchase I made a bit ago. I figured, meh! Why not give it a go? I love MMA Heroes!
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Starting with the cover… it’s hot and definitely will attract readers to this book. I stewed about this review, because if not for the need to review it, I wouldn’t have finished it.

I thought the premise was good, but that the book lacked originality. It seems to be a combination of a lot of popular books out right now, but done as a parody. Unfortunately I felt no connection to the characters, and I had issues with the connection between the characters as well. The story could have been streng
5 Perfect Stars

I absolutely loved this book! It's hot, funny, kinky, with a hint of angst. It's about one stuffy, billionaire by day named Max / and his alter ego Torment, a hot as sin, tattooed MMA fighter by night. And though he wasn't looking, Makayla / Mac struts into his life, and she just bowls him over with her beauty, curves, empathy and her sweet, smart mouth.

Makayla's compassion does not extend to herself. It's hard for her to give herself a break or to ask for what she needs. And let'
Jennifer ♛Jenna♛
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Overall this book was a very hot,funny read and the characters were likable. I really liked Makayla she was a strong character who didn't let Torment aka Max push her around. She really tried to make it on her own and really didn't want his help.

Makayla is someone that plays it safe and doesn't really like to ask for help unless it is for someone else. While Torment, is used to people doing what he says because he is a billionaire and because he is a respected fighter.

Makayla and Torment meet
Ok so this started off really good for me. I was laughing and I loved Makayla in fact I pretty much did through out the book. She was snarky and her inner thoughts made me giggle. I did think that Torment was super hot and they started of really good but then it took a turn for the worst in the form of the " Geek House". Now Torment runs an underground fight club which was honestly cool but then they go to this "Geek House" and I just lost it. Makayla doesn't like violence so she asks why this p ...more
Kitten Mercer
DNF at 63%. I am a huge fan of romance novels with a fighter hero but this book left me seething with frustration. I just couldn't bring myself to read any more further with the whole "ice cream" thing. The first few chapters of the book got me hooked. But when I nearly reached the second half, I got fed up and it didn't work for me anymore. The hero was a complete asshole for (view spoiler) ...more
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Against the Ropes Review 2 35 Sep 12, 2014 08:33PM  
  • Beneath the Surface (Reluctance, #1)
  • Consumed (Consumed, #1)
  • Knock Out (Worth the Fight, #1)
  • Levi's Ultimatum
  • Extreme Love (Love to the Extreme, #1)
  • Hammer's Fall (The Breakers' Bad Boys, #1)
  • Making Him Sweat (Wilinski's, #1) (Harlequin Blaze #740)
  • Crossing the Line (Battered Hearts, #3)
  • Fighting to Forgive (Fighting, #2)
  • Dare (Brothers of Ink and Steel #1)
  • Safe in His Arms
  • Battered Not Broken (MMA Romance Companion Novels, #1)
  • Obsession (The Plus One Chronicles, #3)
  • Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter, #1)
  • Raising Ryann (Bad Boy Reformed, #1)
  • Against the Cage (Worth the Fight, #1)
  • Redemption (Defiance #2)
  • 12 Rounds (Knockout, #1)
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them. A recovering lawyer and caffeine addict, she worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies.

Other books in the series

Redemption (5 books)
  • In Your Corner (Redemption, #2)
  • Full Contact (Redemption, #3)
  • Fighting Attraction (Redemption, #4)
  • Strong Hold (Redemption, #5)
“Tell me the truth,” he rasps. “Admit it made you hot. It made you wet. You are coiled so tight I could slide my hand down your panties and make you come before you could tell me to stop.” 7 likes
“Rampage frowns. “If you can’t even hear about it, how are you going to watch the fight?” Bucket on head. Facecloth over eyes. Torment has given me lots of options.” 4 likes
More quotes…