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(Striking Back #4)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  983 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Ninety- two days. Thirteen weeks. That’s how long it’s been since I lost my love, my best friend. It’s been everything I can do to drag myself out of bed and get back to work, but I know Cooper would want me to move on. I think he’d even be happy if he knew who I want to move on with. The target of my affection, though, may not be so thrilled about my choice.
He’s str
Kindle Edition, 145 pages
Published February 26th 2016 by Amazon Digital Services
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  983 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 42%

Why does this book have such high ratings?? What the heck?!?
I can suspend disbelief when reading books, I really can (hello, I read mpreg..), but not in this one..

Alex is living with his best friend Ian after Alex’s boyfriend died. I get that that is a really big thing and that Alex would be crushed. But him and the boyfriend were together for 3 months, but Alex keeps thinking about him as if they’ve spent 20 years together….

Then Alex gets a call.
“Typical worthless drunk keeps beating his seventeen year old son. The state juscall.
Red Cheeks Reads
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m going to blame the alcohol for this tomorrow.”

I love this series and highly recommend you read it (it follows MMA fighting brothers who run a shelter for domestic violence victims) but this novel can very easily be read as a standalone if you wish. S.M. Shade has quickly become an author who I can’t wait to read. The moment she puts out a book I need it desperately. I am a HUGE fan of both fighter books and m/m books so this one was just extra good for me!

“I’m not attracted to men!” I sho/>
Jun 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Got this for free through the Amazon deal running right now. Some wouldn't complain about a free book but I will, because at 10% finished, I found myself not wanting to continue reading this book.

In some ways, this is rather perplexing. The writing is nice enough, well above average for this genre, I would say. The dialogue is fine. The descriptions are fine. Everything is fine, and, well, soulless.

I don't like Alex or dislike him. I don't like Ian or dislike him. I don't
Nat ReadingAllNite
Jun 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: m-m, dnf
DNF at 52%. So, maybe it's not fair to rate at this point. I don't care. It's cliche ridden and rather mysoginistic. Written much the way that drove me away from MF books. Alex is gay and Ian is "straight". They haven't really done anything, just starting to talk about Ian's feeling towards Alex. Ian's been a complete manwhore, rarely with women twice. Alex then says: “I’m not going to act like a jealous housewife if you bring a chick home, man. Might want to watch though,” he says with a smirk. ...more
A.R. Jarvis
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: slash
I could write you a novel about how terrible this novel is, and it would be a better novel than the novel it is about. I did read the whole thing, balancing on the line between "Train Wreck" and "Guilty Pleasure"--apparently my guilty pleasure is reading really terrible books.

So. This is a story about a family of brothers that run a domestic violence shelter. I suppose that could happen. My mind got really emotional about the women who might go their seeking succor from men (perhaps
Romance Readers Retreat
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow, I absolutely loved this book. 
It's the 4th in the Striking Back series and although it could probably be read as a standalone, I highly recommend you read the first 3 books (in order) first. I say this because one of the things I've really loved about this book, is the way the author has invested time in creating such a great family bond (between the Reed brothers) that threads it's way through all the books in this series.

Alex's story picks up where we left off in book
Jun 19, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebie
💝FREE on Amazon today (6/19/2018)!💝

Ninety- two days. Thirteen weeks. That’s how long it’s been since I lost my love, my best friend. It’s been everything I can do to drag myself out of bed and get back to work, but I know Cooper would want me to move on. I think he’d even be happy if he knew who I want to move on with. The target of my affection, though, may not be so thrilled about my choice.
He’s straight. Or he thinks he is.
A womanizer of the worst kind with
A little birdie told me...
I wanted to love this so badly. I just... didn't.

There were several side trips around the main plot. I think those side trips were supposed to bring the characters together, but all they did was distract from the main story.

I think I would have liked it better if they were brought together more slowly, like if we saw more internal thoughts and feelings developing. As it was, the kind of sudden jolt of how things progressed seemed unnatural and forced.

And by forced, I mean actually forced. Ale
Terri Handschumacher
of all the books in the Striking Back series Alex is my favorite. not to say the other three books werent good, because they are. but, there is just something about Alex's story that just stuck with me. he is a character that has had to face loses in his life that just make you feel for him. and Ian's character is no different. there isnt any part of these characters that isnt perfectly constructed. you can just see their stroy playing out in your head. i hated when i turned the page and saw the ...more
Rachael Fick
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
S.M. Shade definitely saved the best for last! For those who've read the other 3 books on the series, this picks up 8 months after the end of PARKER.

After the car accident that claimed Cooper's life, Alex had a choice. Either stay with one of his brothers and be smothered to death or move in with Ian and help him rehab the house he bought a few months ago. And for the most part, things have worked out pretty great. Ian gave him just enough room to grieve without letting him sink into depression
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having read the previous books in this series and enjoyed them I was really intrigued with this M/M offering from S M Shade. I love this genre immensely and I have to say that this author’s offering was well received. A 4 star read for me, it didn’t light me on fire but it was indeed a good read. If you haven’t read the first three it’s no problem as this can be quite easily read as a standalone but I would definitely recommend reading them, gives you a better insight into the characters and the ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tara Santiago
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it

4.5 Stars

Let me start by saying that this can be read as a stand alone, I highly recommend reading the other books in the series in order, so you can have a full understanding of all of the characters and their relationships.


There haven't been many authors I have found that can write a great m/m storyline. Shannon knocked this one out of the park. I hesitate to say much on the story line , but know that it definite
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
A bit too far fetched to be believable, in addition to plot holes and cheating. Alex and his brothers work to protect youth, but are willing to break the law and hide Kyle? Not only would they lose their license to keep Striking Back running, but they’d be arrested as kidnappers. And what art school just gives a full ride to a student based on a couple drawings? In fact, what school is going to harbor a runaway and falsify records to hide him?
Then we have the relationship between Alex and Ian.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs-2018
I was given the box set to read and review

This was my first M/M romance and it was with a straight guy? What? Why couldn't the author have 2 gay guys getting together. I don't think gay guys turn straight guys gay. Ian has a different woman every night but because Alex, who is gay, stays at his house, they fall in love. So I already did not like the premise. I ended up skimming the book to finish it. If the book would have just been their love story maybe it would have been okay (sus
Lisa Gonzales
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ian is mine and so is Alex lol

S.M Shade ceases to amaze me once again. I love reading M/M books and let me tell you this is one of my favorites. They way the love unfolds between Ian and Alex is wow. Incredible amazing. At first it’s just a friendship/family bond but News Eve changes one little thing... plus to see all siblings back in the book it’s amazing. Reading this made me think of the situation going on right now with lgbt community and it’s true. So many people out there judge but
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alex's manly man Ian

Really like the story of Alex and Ian. I think I understood a little better when people say they don't want to put labels on there sexual orientation. Ian was a heterosexual man or better described as a manwhore who slept with every women he could. Until he started getting feelings for his roommate Alex, which he is a gay man. He fell in love with Alex but still not having feelings or any attraction to other men, which can of made me understand when people say they fall
Joy R
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Spoiler Alert

I was really getting into this book and I liked it. The writing is great. The plot, though probably a little unrealistic at times, was great, too. I loved the main characters, Alex and Ian. I liked all the side characters. There's witty banter and a few laughs here and there. Then bam! Cheating. I put up with Ian's manwhoring ways before he hooked up with Alex. It was part of his character and it helped define him but I cannot stomach cheating. If you can tolerate cheating then
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Ohhh how I wanted to LOVE the shit outta this book. I NEEDED it after the heartbreak I felt at the end of Parker's book. I was already crushing soo hard on Alex and Cooper's relationship, but I knew Ian needed to be included and could see it brewing. I am soo wishy washy about this one because I absolutely LOVED their story but I needed more. MORE page time, and thoughts from Ian when he was figuring out what he wanted. And MORE time with Alex showing him the way and the two of them as a couple. ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This entire series was perfection; the characters, the writing, the story lines. But this book -- Alex ... this one stole a little piece of my heart. I've never read a same sex romance before this, but this will definitely not be my last. The author made this journey so beautiful and heart wrenching, that I couldn't not be roped in. I finished this book weeks ago and I still remember the characters and their story and fall a little more in love each time.

And can I just start a petition now that
Leanne Bryson
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I am honestly and voluntarily reviewing a copy of this book 📚
Although I really liked Alex in all 3 of the previous books in the Striking Back Series, and my heart broke for him at the end of Parker’s book, I was less enamored with him in his own book. Ian was completely changing everything he thought he knew about himself sexually and I felt Alex didn’t always care about that turmoil. I was disappointed that the character I felt was the most compassionate was not when it came to his own re
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love builds bridges

I've been blown away by all 4 books in this series.
Each follows one of the brothers as they try to assist people caught in the horror of domestic abuse.
Dark subjects are covered throughout but the way the stories develop with the fantastic writing, you can't help but root for the people involved.
Despite the brothers suffering tragedy they prove that love can find anyone when it's least expected.
I highly recommend all these books and can say S. M. Shad
Jane (PS)
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, mm
I hadn't read the earlier books since I predominantly read MM romance, however I have to say I enjoyed the author's writing; there was a humour and character engagement that immediately pulled me in. It didn't matter that I hadn't read the prior books; whilst there are a few characters from earlier in the series, they are in couples and it was easy to place them. The inclusion of Kyle and his situation gave a bit of extra depth and personality to the MCs.
Wendell Hennan
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alex is getting over the death of his partner, albeit a short term relationship, and living with Ian, who was a straight best friend of his dead partner. Ian is very supportive during the grieving in a very sarcastic humorous warm way and suddenly Ian discovers that he has a growth on one of his testicles. Alex returns the support through out the surgery and chemo treatment. Feelings develop although Ian is still chasing bar girls and in denial. A fast moving light enjoyable read.
Flirtatiously Fictitious Reads
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
While I have read some MMF/MFM books, this was my first MM read. I have to say I enjoyed it.
The playful banter between the two leads was so much fun. They pushed and pulled each other, testing each other at every turn. I love how nosy the family is, always in the twos business, helping put them in their place.
Love how balance between the two, they're equals in each aspect of their relationship
I would recommend
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first M/M book. I have never been interested in the genre because I like to imagine myself in the stories and thought it wouldn't be as enjoyable in a M/M book. I just enjoyed this series so much and really fell in love with Ian that I wanted to give this book a try. I have enjoyed S.M. Shade's writing and her interweaving of the characters lives. This book did not disappoint, I only wish there were more books about the Reed brothers!
Bree Shearer
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
S. M. Shade is a new to me author and I am working through her backlist.

I read Alex out of order from the rest of the series just because of a blurb I found on a bookstagram account.

Seriously, I loved this book. I wish it was a little bit longer and expanded because there was sooo much going on in this book.

Illness, jealousy, angst, protective orders.... Just so much.

I really enjoyed this one and I am going back to read the series in order.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book! Oh my word. Hands down my favourite book of the series! I loved the story line the characters and the everything. I'm a little speechless right now. There were parts where I couldn't even deal and thought I'd have to hunt SM down and beg for a rewrite. Cause they hurt. But man I wouldn't change a thing now that I got to the end.. I just want to read it over again. Please read this is a great story!
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good ending to the series

Book four, Alex and Ian’s story was a good end to the series. Interesting plot devices to move the story along. Kind of an abrupt end and the fours years later epilogue throws a lot of stuff in that it would have been nice to read more about. Worthwhile series to read.
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I'm a full time author who is hopelessly addicted to iced coffee, love stories, sunshine, and men with full sexy lips, though not necessarily in that order. A voracious reader since I sounded out my first word, I started writing as a teenager and rediscovered my love of writing as an adult. Originally from Indianapolis, I now live in a small Kentucky town with my college age son.

Other books in the series

Striking Back (4 books)
  • Everly (Striking Back, #1)
  • Mason (Striking Back, #2)
  • Parker (Striking Back, #3)