Punching and Kissing, by Helena Newbury

Punching and Kissing

Grade: B+

Doing it at: 43%

Catnip: I’m No Good For You, MMA Fighter, Johnny Castle Complex, Deep Dark Secret, Guilt, Million Dollar Baby, Irish Brogue, Public Sex, Girl With A Hard Knock Life, Gym Shorts Bulge, Dangerous Criminal Villain

Shame Scale: Medium Low. It’s standard romance fare.

Fantasy Cast:  Jai Courtney, Elizabeth Gillies

Book Description:

Unless he can teach me how to fight, I’m dead. But our feelings for each other could destroy us both.

When an illegal underground fight leaves my brother in the hospital, I make a desperate deal to save his life: I volunteer to fight in his place. In thirty days, I’ve got to walk into the ring, a woman in a man’s world…and I’ve never even thrown a punch. I have one chance to survive. I need a badass who can teach me to be as tough as him. I need Aedan O’Harra, the blue-eyed, Irish beast of a man who everyone fears.

But training together means getting close. Every touch of his hands makes it harder to control my feelings. I begin to see the man inside him, the one no one else can. Can I help him break free of the dark secrets that haunt him and can we save each other, or will we both be defeated? Because neither of us is ready for how dark and desperate this fight will become.


Confession. The whole time I was reading this, I thought it was actually by Helena Hunting, who wrote Cleone’s beloved Pucked. I kept texting C things like, “This book is so good! I can see why you love her!” I didn’t actually figure out that it’s by Helena Newbury, who is a completely different person, until about five minutes ago. Sometimes, I’m kind of a moron. BUT. This book was really good! So now there are two Helena’s on our You Can Sit With Us authors list.

Things open up with Sylvie down at The Pit, waiting to watch her brother Alec fight. He’s currently undefeated, but the fights are anything goes till someone can’t get up anymore, i.e. super scary and dangerous. They are down on their luck though, and really need the money to pay the bills.

Aedan is at The Pit to watch the fights – he’s ‘retired,’ but he still gets a rush from watching, and he rescues Sylvie when she gets into trouble with some awful dudes. He’s giant and ripped and super gorgeous, with an Irish brogue to boot, but he’s got a bit of the ol’Johnny Castle complex; firm in his belief that he’s a life-ruiner, he vows to never see her again and disappears.

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Revved, by Samantha Towle

Revved

Grade: B

Doing it at: 39%

Catnip: Race Car Drivers, A Foreign Affair; Emotional Unavailability; Irish Brogue; Daddy Issues; Aftercare; Banging the Boss

Shame Scale: A little shame just because the cover makes it pretty obvious that it’s a doing it book.

Fantasy Cast: Adriana Lima; Max Irons

Book Description:

Race car mechanic Andressa “Andi” Amaro has one rule—no dating drivers. With a good reason behind the rule, she has no plans on breaking it. 

Carrick Ryan is the bad boy of Formula One. With a face and body that melts panties on sight, and an Irish lilt that leaves women on their knees, begging for more. He races hard and parties harder. The youngest driver to ever sign with F1, he’s still at the top of his game five years later, breaking hearts on and off the tracks. 

When Andi is offered her dream job working in the glamorous world of F1, she leaves her home in Brazil, positive she can handle working for Carrick. But she’s not prepared for the off-the-chart sparks that fly the moment they meet. 

Now, Andi has a crush on the one man she can’t have, and her resolve is about to be put to the test, because Carrick has decided he wants Andi, and he plans on testing her to the very limit… 


Mary: Raise your hand if you’re like me and bought this book because it has a great cover.

Cleone: The cover was the major selling point for me too, I had it bookmarked before I saw you pop it into the family library (thanks for that you stunning little sunflower).

M: The fact that it’s about an Irish race car driving manwhore was icing. Also: I used to date a guy with the last name Towle. I have googled Samantha Towle no less than three times to double check that she wasn’t a relative of his, because her name just seems really familiar to me (she does not appear to be).

The book starts out with a young Andressa (Andi) watching her Formula One race car driving dad die in a horrible explosion. I normally can’t stand books that do flashbacks in kid voice, but this one was not overly twee. Fast forward 14 years, and Andi is now a gifted mechanic, off to work on Carrick Ryan’s Formula One team with her uncle John. When she shows up, she realizes that Uncle John neglected to mention that she’s a woman, “because they wouldn’t have hired her if they knew.” Uhhh, John, even if it’s true, you’re not supposed to admit that out loud.

C: Well, its not because she’s a girl and they think girls can’t be mechanics, in Uncle John’s defense.

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