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Tough Love #2

She's a Spitfire

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One fiery-haired, sexy scientist finds her perfect complement in a dark and handsome soccer star. Opposites attract, and they’ve got chemistry that’s explosive—literally.

Physics calls it entropy. Philosophy calls it Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, eventually it will. Professionally and personally speaking, Zed’s familiar with the principle. After a decade of trying to alter the atomic makeup of the mafia from its nucleus, now he’s set on leaving The Life and pursuing his heart. Problem is, the sassy, hot-headed spitfire he can’t quit is meddling in his slow burn escape plan, and turning it into full-on combustion.

Not to mention, Nairne’s got a painful history she won’t talk about and more secrets than she has lab instruments—which is really saying something. In an ideal world, the bad boy footballer would follow the brainy beauty overseas and they’d live happily ever after. But Murphy’s Law is proven true, as Zed finds his world imploding and his escape plan foiled. These enemies turned lovers end up discovering how costly it can be to meet the right person at the wrong time.

A present he can’t escape.

A past she can’t forget.

A future they won’t stop fighting for.

They say all’s fair in love…and war.

Book Two in the Tough Love Series—an enemies to lovers, suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, feisty heroines, globe-trotting action, and an ending that’ll both satisfy you and leave you ready for more!

284 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 24, 2019

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About the author

Chloe Liese

19 books6,571 followers
Chloe writes romances reflecting her belief that everyone deserves a love story. Her stories pack a punch of heat, heart, and humor, and often feature characters who are neurodivergent like herself. When not dreaming up her next book, Chloe spends her time wandering in nature, playing soccer, and most happily at home with her family and mischievous cats.

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5 stars
114 (21%)
4 stars
202 (38%)
3 stars
150 (28%)
2 stars
44 (8%)
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11 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 98 reviews
Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,502 reviews1,217 followers
July 9, 2019
After all this drama, I need a stiff drink. Not whiskey! Going into this, I understood that Zed and Nairne were clear that what should have been casual and temporary between them was so much more. They had acknowledged that they loved each other and wanted a future together. But how could they make that possible? Nairne was destined for a fellowship in London and Zed was stuck running the Boston mafia (into the ground). Well, where there's will there's a way. And love really can conquer all!

As much as I adored this story and am completely in love with this couple, I did have a few issues...
✳ the theory that Nairne's $10,000 could leave an impact with a capo. This is the mafia. 10k is a drop in the ocean, especially with someone who is used to power and money. Shoot, I know regular people who would scoff at ten grand to do anything unseemly. That kind of money wouldn't make me take out a mafia don, much less someone firmly entrenched in the organization.
✳ if Nairne had spoken up, Zed would have been prepared. I get that this was mentioned in the story, but I dont think it was given enough air time. What she did was wrong and NO ONE held her accountable.
✳ Nairne's 21 years old. It's hard to remember that. She wants to be taken seriously, be commended for her independence, to be able to put her nose in people's business, but doesn't appreciate when the tables are turned. She jumped in with both feet to 'help' Zed, but wouldn't allow him to do the same. Annoying. Girl is smart, but not so wise.

Again, Chloe Liese gave me a story I could really sink my teeth into. There were plenty of moving parts, Zed and Nairne with their similar motives and differing methods, and even a couple of really bad people. This book was heavy on the love and heat that breathed life into this couple, with suspenseful moments to break up the monotony of what could be a happily ever after. While these two haven't reached their happy ending yet, I'm satisfied with where this story is going and I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds in They're a Match.

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Profile Image for Malene.
1,200 reviews527 followers
March 15, 2021
Book 2 in the Tough Love series and it picks up right where book 1 ended. I can’t get enough of Nairne and Zed. They evolve so much throughout this book. As a couple and individually. Damn talk about chemistry. Sizzling! The suspense, humor and steam. Top notch.
Chloe Liese writes amazing and underrepresented characters especially Nairne who’s such an inspiration living with a spinal injury. She’s so strong and determined. The perfect opposite to the dominant Zed who also shows his vulnerable sides thanks to her.
The side characters are fantastic too especially Zed’s brother Teo and friend Lucas along with Nairne bestie Elodie. Definitely want more of them.
She’s a Spitfire ends with a HFN and I already know there’s a third book out so I can get my Zed and Nairne fix. This author is definitely a new favorite of mine.

4 Never Give Up Stars
Profile Image for Laura • lauralovestoread.
1,153 reviews237 followers
July 2, 2019
*Thank you to the author for this free copy in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own.

I really loved He’s A Brute, so I was elated to read this sequel, She’s A Spitfire, and follow more of the story between Zed and Nairne.

I may even love this one more because we get to see how fierce and brave Naine is. This really is a great series and I’m excited to see where things head next.

All the stars for this fun, steamy series!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Sophie's Reading Corner .
811 reviews328 followers
July 25, 2019
The story continues and we see the couple getting adapted to their new life in London. There are some problems they have to deal with and these problems will affect them, especially his new reality and her past.

Honestly, I was stuck around the middle of the book for so many days and I really wanted to DNF it. I don't want to blame the book, since probably I wasn't in the right mind, but still I didn't care much about the story and I thought it was kind of predictable at times.

However, I think someone else may enjoy it more than I did and you should give it a chance :)
Profile Image for Becky.
394 reviews167 followers
September 4, 2019
I read this book within one single sitting and absolutely devoured it. It was intense, interesting, intriguing, sharp, unique and a lot of fun. This author crafts an incredibly powerful story, and tells it in a really captivating way. The story is impossible to put down once I start reading, is incredibly captivating, the plot has depth and is thoroughly intriguing to read.

— Loved the disability aspect. There was a particular scene wherein Zed helped Nairne with a catheter and it was just amazing to read that. He was helping her, she wasn’t nervous about it, he didn’t hesitate about it - he just wanted to help, and I really loved Zed’s thoughts about it too. About how he wants to get to know the ins and outs of her condition. I just loved the connection the pair had together in terms of her disability. It was infinitely touching, heart warming and soul melting. I loved it. It’s still the representation I have always needed!
— The sex scenes were incredibly spicy, and I have absolutely fallen in love with the way the author crafts her sex scenes. They’re different to anything else I normally tend to read. I adore the characters interactions during these scenes and the dialogue between them also really enhances it. I love how the scenes aren’t simply driven by descriptions of actions but are also driven by dialogue, internal monologues and character actions.
— Intriguing plot! Really loved the extra injection of drama in this story, it really kept the story moving and enhanced it even further for me. It was a lot of fun, infinitely captivating to the point wherein my heart was pounding. It was incredibly intriguing and extremely fun to read. The plot moved easily, comfortably and the events melted together so well; the story flowed brilliantly.
— the characters are even better than in the first story!
— this story very nearly made me cry, too, which is extremely rare for me — I don’t normally tend to nearly cry at stories but there were some aspects of the story that just broke my heart, particularly between Zed and his Mum. Ah, my heart!

I just really love this series. I didn’t expect to love it the way I do, and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read. Massively enjoyable, and a lot of fun, not to mention how brilliant it is to read this to escape because it really transfers you to a different place. Love!
Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,846 reviews294 followers
July 3, 2019
At the end of Book #1, we read as Zed and Nairne's relationship had turned from a fling into something more serious. Now though, Nairne's time in the States is coming to an end and she will be flying to France for a science fellowship she has been awarded. Her dream though is to help Zed get out of the Mob and things lately have been a bit stressful for him as he loves Nairne but he is loyal to his family and is trying to get out and lately both sides of the Mob - his Irish ( Mother's side) and the Italians( his father's side) are at war. Nairne seeing her only way to help him is to go behind his back and help Nelle be awarded as Mob Boss. This plan, however, backfires when Zed is awarded the role instead of Nelle. Zed never wanted to be Boss and now sees this as his worst nightmare coming true. With a bit of push and Nairne who has vanished and disappeared from his life, Zed has an epiphany of what he wants and that is to get out of this life once and for all. It's not going to be an easy task though and may result in more tragedy than happiness. Meanwhile, Nairne is busy doing her sciencey stuff in France when it looks like her stalker has come back and found her. He is the guy that Nairne talked about a bit in the first book and made her try and embrace her quiet side. Now that he has found her, he is no longer letting anyone stand in the way of what he wants, that includes Zed. Is Zed strong enough to still fight for the things he loves after his ordeal back home in America or will he lose Nairne once and for all - this time forever? Find out in Book #2 of the Tough Love Series "She's a Spitfire" by Chloe Liese.
Profile Image for Aurialis .
133 reviews23 followers
January 15, 2021
Note - I was given ARC copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I will be honest here, I would not have read this book if I had not been given a free copy by Netgalley. The first book in this series was not my cup of tea, and neither is this one.

I am afraid my opinion is against the popular opinion, and I didn't find this as hot and steamy as others. The sex scenes were very similar to the first book, and the main problem I had was that their relationship did not evolve.

The relationship was the same, and the characters were the same. There is no character development that would be expected from a couple that is going through difficult times. I would have hoped for some change, maybe evolution of their relationship dynamics or even change in characters.

Again, I found the heroine immature and the hero not really likeable. They didn't solve their problems with trust and love, they choose to walk the way of irrational fights and arguments. They would have solved half their problems by communication. But then, drama was the main part of the story. Actually, too much drama. There were so many things going about, it was difficult to focus on one thing.

Overall, the plot was crazy, characters two dimensional and the writing okayish.

This is the end of the road for me. I don't think I will be pursuing this series.
Profile Image for Joee (booksandacupofjoee).
951 reviews145 followers
June 27, 2019
After reading He's a Brute which I loved, I was incredibly excited to read more about this feisty, sexy couple! She's a Spitfire was a wild, exciting ride that I couldn't put down.

So many things happen in this book that had me on the edge of my seat. It was fantastic, not to mention I fell even more in love with Zed and Nairne! Those two are both so stubborn and fierce. I admire them both for how they're willing to fight for what they love.

I absolutely loved every minute of this. It still had lots of steamy, swoon worthy scenes. Maybe not quite as many as the first but I loved the vibe in this one. There were lots of crazy things trying to keep them apart but everyone should know these two are force to be reckoned with!!

I'm completely invested in Zed and Nairne's story and can't wait to see their journey goes after this! The ending of this one was so sweet too!! If you like a good, sexy, fifty shades vibe story, then I can't recommend this series enough!

Steaminess level: 8.5
Profile Image for Kelly.
1,161 reviews12 followers
July 27, 2019
Lots of Action

She's a Spitfire is the second book in the Tough Love series, and the series should be read in order. Zed and Nairne are back, hot as ever, and dealing with all sorts of drama between them. Zed wants out of the Mafia, while Nairn has a danger from her past show up to threaten her happiness and relationship. Lots of suspense and action to the storyline, which I loved.

Zed is an interesting character. A professional soccer player and in the Mafia, although neither soccer or the Mafia feature prominently throughout the whole story. He most definitely has an alpha male personality, but Nairne is very strong minded and determined - one could say stubborn, and she holds her own against Zed. They are well matched personality wise.

Loved the ending, can't wait to see what happens next in They're a Match for Zed and Nairne. Is there more suspense/action waiting for them, or is the story going to focus more on their relationship?? Can't wait to find out.
Profile Image for Tαɾα.
102 reviews26 followers
November 18, 2021
The thriller part was a bit unexpected but silly me. ofc i should have expected it after all Zed is in the mafia anyway🤦‍♀️
Profile Image for Tahsin.
1,157 reviews86 followers
May 9, 2020
3.5+ stars

Lots and lots and lots of drama - that could have been avoided, or at least mitigated but it was a fun read, once I got into it. Getting into the story took a while; I put it down once I started it immediately after finishing the first story, but it was just too much at once. Took a break, skimmed through until it got exciting and smooth sailing from there onwards.

One thing I can’t understand though, is why do strong women think they’re better off doing dumb shit on their own, without asking for help? Which only blows up in their faces sooner rather than later. Why has that become the archetype for strong women? I’ve seen this play out in too many stories, and honestly, I’m fucking sick of it.
Profile Image for Barbara.
208 reviews
January 17, 2021
[ARC provided by the author via NetGalley] I picked this one up in the Spring of 2019 as I was looking for a smart romance in the style of Penny Reid, even though it was a sequel and I hadn’t read the first book.

I’m afraid this was not for me. I had tried to read the first one but DNF-ed pretty soon and tried multiple times to get back to this one to honor my commitment to NetGalley. Eventually, I finished it out of duty.

As I said, this book didn’t work for me:
- the plot was too complicated in a way that felt forced and superficial
- The characters talked a great deal, but there didn’t seem to be much communication going on, to the point where it felt they had the same arguments over and over
- The characters felt two-dimensional and didn’t engage my interest much
- The ‘steamy scenes’ felt formulaic and devoid of real chemistry

I’ve read other books by Liese that I enjoyed a lot, and where characters evolved and sparked, and kept me interested. I think she tried something here story-wise that is not within her comfort zone, and she ended up being entangled in a plot that didn’t work.
Profile Image for Saskia.
394 reviews34 followers
February 4, 2020
1.5 Stars | tbh this book is not for me and not really special. Everyone looks perfect, has money and is somehow famous. In the second half everyone forgets that Zed is supposed to be a famous football player and former member of the mafia, not a big deal 🙄 The special thing, that made the first book so "good" is a disabled, STEM researcher girl. But I'm not sure if she is that smart es she thinks she is.
Profile Image for Jamie.
977 reviews63 followers
June 26, 2020
What the effing hell with all the manufactured drama here?

Also, let's just end the mafia thing immediately.

Why is Zed a professional soccer player?

Really? Nairne has a STALKER?

There's like seventy two conflicts that are resolved in ways that are entirely too tidy for the level of piling on that Liese gives them.
Profile Image for Lindsay (nerdybooknurse).
177 reviews88 followers
June 29, 2019
She’s a Spitfire is book two in the Tough Love Series and continues Nairne and Zed’s love story. It picks up right where the last one ended with Zed trying to find a way out of his mafia life while Nairne is set to move to London in a few short weeks. Nairne can’t bear the thought of their relationship splintering apart so quickly so she takes measures into her own hands in an attempt to get him out…

Zed’s past isn’t the only one that Nairne should be worrying about. A vile character from her history starts creeping into her present and she’s desperate to hide the truth from Zed in order to protect him. Can these two escape their past lives in order to begin a new future together? Or will the lies of the past end their happily ever after before it even begins?

I really enjoyed seeing where Zed and Nairne’s relationship went next. Their love for one another was solid but family obstacles and past traumas kept coloring their relationship. This one was equal parts action novel and plot driven as it was glimpses into their dynamic and romance. I love that Nairne’s physical disability doesn’t make Zed see her as any less his equal, which was only amplified in this one. As a nurse, there is a cath scene in there that made me swoon over Zed and just demonstrated unequivocal love and devotion in the purest way. If you enjoyed the first book He’s A Brute or the Fifty Shades series you’ll love the second installment! Can’t wait for the third and final book to release later this year! // ☕️☕️☕️☕️

Thanks to author Chloe Liese for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own!
Profile Image for Joharis.
1,004 reviews92 followers
August 9, 2020
El libro me gustó porque la pareja me parece muy linda y la representación de una protagonista con una discapacidad en un libro en el que no es discriminada por eso es... *chef's kiss* Hay momentos muy lindos entre ellos que me hacen desear un novio para ayer PERO el libro me gustó menos que el anterior por la única razón de que no me gustan los libros de romance que sean parte de una serie y sigan a la misma pareja. En especial cuando ya en el primer libro se declararon amor y se notaba su exclusividad. Siento que éste libro, aunque no fue innecesario... No debería de existir!
Aún así, lo recomiendo porque está pareja es muy linda and they have good sex



Profile Image for Mollie's Bookshelf.
92 reviews51 followers
July 2, 2019
She's A Spitfire - Chloe Liese, Book 2 in the Tough Love Series⁣

OK, typically my favorite book in a series is the first one, especially in romance. I love anticipation and build up, the will they/won't they bits of a new relationship. She's A Spitfire has turned that upside down, I loved this one even more than the first. Chloe did an amazing job writing in suspense and thrill that really kept me captivated through the whole book. I was cheering for Zed and Nairne completely, you can just feel the epic love they have for each other through the words. I love these diverse characters, I truly cannot wait to see where this story goes next. I am so excited for book 3!⁣
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 🔥🔥🔥⁣

Thank you Chloe Liese for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Escape_in_a_Book.
236 reviews15 followers
July 30, 2019
The second book in the series, I am all in on Zed and Nairne’s relationship. As in book one, I love that our heroines disability is as much as a side note to her makeup as freckles or a dimple. It’s just who she is and not production.

This series is (and I absolutely mean this in the most flattering of ways) like if your took a mafioso classic film and interwove a steamy contemporary romance =💥!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the progression of their relationship. I am a fan of Nairne’s brain. I am a fan of Zed’s loyalty. I cannot wait for the third and final book of their romance. 🤩
Profile Image for Cherry London.
Author 1 book79 followers
August 6, 2019
An engaging and entertaining read, be warned, it has a lotta foul language of which I’m not sold on. But that is only expected when dealing with the mob I guess. The storyline is quite an interesting one, riddled with deceit, jealousy, and greed, ample fuel for an in house war. Nairne and Zed had to lose each other before finding the right sequence that works for them, so they can be together.
Profile Image for Yna from Books and Boybands.
747 reviews348 followers
April 10, 2021
Initial Thoughts:

I picked this book up immediately after the first one and it was still an easy to read romance!

In the sequel, our main couple faces romantic troubles as they might be oceans away from each other. The mafia aspect of our male lead's life is threatening to ruin what they have.

Overall, I love the developments. Still as steamy as the first one and I love them even more now!
Profile Image for Heather andrews.
9,520 reviews149 followers
June 9, 2019
Zed has his priorities straight, "he begrudgingly brought this eyes back to mine. “After ***, we’re having a conversation about this.” The man is always trying to sweeten the pot with his lady, “but you see why you need to live here, so we can have morning *** every day. Then you’ve got my smell all over you. Keeps the other alphas away. And because we both like morning *** a lot.” I liked seeing Zed again the man was still possessive as ever.
Profile Image for Jen.
316 reviews69 followers
January 26, 2020
Chloe has such a gift with words and creating complex characters. In less than 300 pages she makes you fall in love with Zed and Nairne. This is not your typical romance. It's steamy, sweet and suspenseful all at once.
Profile Image for Cathy.
856 reviews6 followers
September 7, 2021
Book 2 in Zed and Nairne's story, having left behind his mafia lifestyle to pursue his football and Nairne it looks like things are on the up but this time Nairne is the one who's past is catching up with them. Dramatic and a bit graphic at points I love how strong and stubborn Nairne is.
Profile Image for Stephie.lovesbooks.
342 reviews26 followers
July 23, 2019

This was book 2 in The Tough Love Series. In the first book we meet Nairne and Zed and this one picks up where it left off. I think it had a good combination of suspense and romance. I absolutely LOVE the characters.
Nairne is a strong, smart and independent woman and doesn’t let her disability stop her. One of my absolutely favorite things about this book is the fact that the author introduced a character that has a disability but is still in touch with her sexuality and doesn’t stop her from being intimate. Zed is protective and can be a tad bit possessive but he lets Nairne take the reins and supports her dreams. In this book we see how Nairne fights for the person she loves and shows that she won’t let anyone stop her. I’m excited to see how their story ends! Thanks to Chloe for my review copy!
Profile Image for Malkhai.
231 reviews2 followers
August 21, 2019
Original review: https://myshelfbooks.wordpress.com/20...

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is going to be a hard one. It is only human to have expectations and I am not going to apologize for having them. As I said when I reviewed the first book, I think the author had gold between her hands. Interesting situation, complex characters… It just needed a nudge toward the good direction, but, sadly, it has been pushed to the other way. This is the saga of the missed oportunities.

The story continues where the other book left it: Nairne is about to go back to London and Zed is little by little trying to erase the undercover crime of Boston. Too bad the current timetable for that doesn’t work for Nairne any longer, so she tries to take the matters into her own hands. But… what kind of life are they going to lead if those plans succeed? No need of wondering… the answers are in the story itself!!

The book has a really good start. One of my main complaints from the previous one was that the author focused too much on the BDSM scenes. Everytime Zed used his dominant voice I wanted to peel the skin from my face. Thankfully, all that bullshit is totally dropped in the second book and the first chapters are all about the mafia and the plans to ruin it. That is the most interesting part. It actually gets a faster pace pretty soon and I realized we were getting into the climax of that plot way before the first half of the book. So, yeah… it is engaging, it is interesting, it is a page-turner and… suddenly… it is nothing. What? Already over? What are you going to tell me now?

For several chapters it is just a bunch of nothing, where we are punished with a really disgusting version of Zed. Yes, we know he was kind of brutish in the first book, but in this one he is so possessive. He believes himself the only decent man in the world and the rest are just targets for his fists. His behaviour everytime there is another man near Nairne is so insulting that the character is totally ruined for me. The most infurating moment is the day of Nairne’s birthday. Someone left a present in fron of her door and Zed treated it as if it were a bomb or a body part of a love one… He didn’t even want her to see it. They were flowers, by the way. Yes, I know those flowers come from a bad guy, but Zed had no idea about that. He wasn’t behaving like a protector… he was behaving like an idiot who thinks he owns Nairne. And there are plenty of other examples where his attitude is just simply unbearable.

Thankfully, there is also a new oasis after the mafia fiasco. This time, the problems come from Nairne’s past. The new badie seemed like a good candidate to become the supervillain of the story. It wasn’t crazy to think that, because there is still a third book to fill. So, my disappointment was pretty big when this new plot was resolved even faster than the mafia thing. After finishing the second book I’m wondering… what is there to tell? Because I have learned my lesson… these characters are not what I thought they were going to be, so I’m no interested in reading more about their love life. I dread that scenario, actually.

I think I’m not ready to keep reading how Zed hides his insecurities behind his fists and possessive nonsense… and the way this second book has ended, I’m afraid that that is what I’m going to get. If I read the third part is not going to be anytime soon… It has been SO disappointing so far!
Profile Image for Von Jess.
521 reviews
May 19, 2020
As I stated in my review of the first book in this series, it took me a long time to finally read this book.

It is not a standalone book and continues on where it left off in book one.
Zed is in Boston trying to get the mafia thing sorted out, while Nairne is about to go back to London. Zed’s character was still demanding and pushy and Nairne got stung by the “I’ll fix it all” bug.

I received this ebook copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Noemie | allmybookthoughts.
492 reviews23 followers
January 12, 2021
I loved that both characters in this book had a wild ride through the story! Nairne truly shows her spitfire side, while Zed keeps trying to protect her & do what he thinks is best. I loved seeing their relationship develop & see what they did to help & protect each other.
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