Release Blitz and reviews: Tough Enough: M. Leighton

Tough Enough
(Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #2)
M. Leighton

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the second book in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.

He’s a fighter who never loses, but is he tough enough to win her heart?

There was a time when I had everything–a wonderful family, a bright future. Love. But all that was taken away in a single night, torn from me like flesh from bone. Since then, I’ve hidden away in my second-choice job as a makeup artist. But I prefer it that way, actually. I’m comfortable in the shadows, where no one can see my scars.

Kiefer Rogan literally took my breath away the moment I met him. MMA champion-turned-actor, notorious playboy, charming to a fault—he’s everything I vowed to avoid.

But he just wouldn’t stop until I opened up and let him in. Maybe I should’ve tried harder to resist him. Maybe I shouldn’t have fallen in love with him. Because I, of all people, know that everyone has secrets. Scars. And that they’re usually ugly and painful and destructive to the people we love most.I just never guessed that they could be deadly, too.

Katie Rydale, a make up artist, has no idea how the next man that sits in her make up chair is going to change her life. Kiefer Rogan is a former military specialist turned  MMA fighter/actor and from the moment he hears Katie talking about him with her friend he is intrigued and by the time he sees her, he knows she will be his next mission.

Katie has been hiding her true self for years and is basically just a shell of her former self, she is fairly isolated, untrusting, and does not do relationships. She has issues from her past that still affect her, fears, and insecurities. She is in no way prepared to take on Rogan.

Rogan is intrigued by the one woman who is trying hard to resist him. He's charismatic, flirty, sexy , funny, and determined. He plans on wearing down her defenses and wants to see the real person she tries to hide. He will have a big fight on his hands, but that is okay since he is used to fighting for what he wants.

They have a fun, witty rapport and good chemistry. He pushes, she pulls back, they circle around each other, and have to dodge some punches.  But eventually her resistance is futile.

But they are on borrowed time and their lives are totally different. Are they tough enough to deal with their pasts and not break again?  Will it bring them closer or tear them apart?

This installment was less about suspense and intrigue, and more abut survival and fighting to truly live. They both have secrets and past pain that is slowly revealed throughout the story. They will both have to learn to trust, takes risks, accept things that they can't change, and share feelings if they ever want a real chance. But not all fairy tales are pretty and perfect and work out easily.

I was glad to get a little bit of Jasper, Muse, and Tag from Strong Enough. The story arc involving them was still being explored in this one. I am interested in Tag's story and I also enjoyed Rogan's grumpy brother Russ and Katie's sweet and funny friend Mona.

This was romantic, dramatic sweet, funny, sexy, and inspiring. It was told in both points of view and flowed well. The characters were flawed and a bit broken, but likable. It had some dark subject matter but was tempered by humor and a strong connection. I totally fell for Rogan. He was such a sweet and swoony hero with just enough damage and toughness to give him an edge. And Katie had inner strength and I liked seeing her try to take her life back. There were mysteries, secrets, and some twists and turns. 

It technically can be read as a stand alone since the plot line for this one and featured couple was different than the first book, but there is still the ongoing story dealing with their former military team that continued in this story. So you would get the most out of it by reading Strong Enough first. I can't wait for Tag's story Brave Enough.

ARC provided by publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. 

Katie Rydale lives a shell of the life she once imagined. As a makeup artist, she makes other shine while she works to stay in the background. She deflects attention, and hides in plain sight. What she can’t know is that her newest assignment will change everything about her neatly ordered life.

Kiefer Rogan knows he can’t fight forever. His attempts at acting are his way of branching out before he steps away from the MMA ring for good. When he overhears a conversation about him, he is immediately intrigued by the woman who isn’t dazzled by his celebrity and seems to be hiding from everyone around her.

They enter into a flirtatious banter that involves Rogan pushing forward while Katie deflects and attempts to maintain her distance. Eventually she can’t help but let in the man who pays attention to the small details he is able to pull from her conversation and seems to know when she needs a push and when to let her take a step.

Each of these characters were hiding secrets that forced them to be strong. To toughen up for survival. As the layers of secrecy are revealed, it only made me love these two even more. Rogan for what he was protecting, and Katie for what she had survived. Neither were proud of their secrets, but each had to live with them.

But it was also their secrets that really allowed them to see each other. Because Katie knew a little bit about scars and the last effects, she knew what Rogan needed and didn’t need when she discovered his. And he knew the same as hers were revealed. These two fit each other so completely that it only added to the fun of watching Rogan try to get through the tough walls around Katie.

Katie’s friend Mona gave Rogan some great insight and ins when dealing with her shy, wallflower friend. Mona was a constant burst of energy and brightness that made me smile and cheer on her antics as a way to keep Katie from sinking within herself completely.

The remaining members of the Delta Force team that was introduced in Strong Enough, consisting of the Colonel (Muse’s father), Jasper, and Tag, are only present in a few, though key, scenes. Rogan really has moved beyond his Army days and though the team is coming together to discover who is targeting them, only Jasper is still involved in any type of covert operations.

ARC provided by publisher and author in exchange for an honest review.
Strong Enough
(Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #1)

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Our reviews
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the first in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy. 

Is she strong enough to trust the most dangerous man she’s ever met? And is he strong enough to let her? 

How would I describe myself? Well, I’m Muse Harper. I’m a twenty-something painter who loves red wine, quirky movies, and men with a fatal flaw. But that was before I met Jasper King. He became my fatal flaw. Eight months ago, I had a choice to make—abandon everything I’ve ever known to protect my family, or stay and risk someone getting hurt. I chose the former. My plan was working just fine until I found out my father had gone missing.

That’s when I met Jasper. A bounty hunter with the eyes of a tiger and the nose of a bloodhound, he was supposed to help me find my father. What I didn’t know was that meeting him was no accident. Hunting people isn’t all that Jasper does. And helping me was only part of his plan. I just wish I’d found out sooner, before my heart got involved. But even then, I don’t know if I’d have done things differently.

Now, I have another choice to make—trust the man that I’m falling in love with and hope that he’ll do the right thing, or run as far away from him as I can get.

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes another dark, sexy story…

Is she brave enough to give her heart to a man she only thought she knew? 

He was the most charismatic man I’d ever met. Strong, tough, brave. Bold as hell. Something told me Tag Barton could have anything—anyone—he wanted...and he wanted me. It didn’t matter that he was wrong for me in practically every way possible. It didn’t matter that my father would hate it. 

I couldn’t resist him. Even if I’d known who he really was and what he was really capable of.
When he suggested we pretend to be engaged, I thought he was the answer to all my problems. He wasn’t. And, in his wake, he left nothing but scorched earth and me, just another casualty of my father’s war.

Can I believe him now when he tells me he loves me?  Or is he nothing more than a beautiful, breathtaking lie?
Michelle Leighton Blog | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

M. Leighton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Wild Ones and The Bad Boys romance trilogies. She is a native of Ohio, relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she lets her mind wander to romantic settings with sexy Southern guys much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.  

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