Favorites of 2016 • "Recap" • Day 26 • In The Ring (Boxer #1) by Rie Warren + Giveaway

For the month of December, MM Book Escape, will be posting a recap of the books that TOOK ME AWAY. They are in no particular order and if you enter the giveaway and give me your favorite book of the year, or at least one that left an impact, and the book you've been dying to read, I will gift that book to you, plus the $10 Amazon gift card.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading from MM Book Escape!!


The biggest fight of his life isn’t . . . In the Ring. 

The bright lights. The roaring crowd. The chance at a championship belt. The not-so-little secret Liam Shaughnessy—the Bonny Bruiser—is fighting to keep tucked far away. 

Liam got the pussy pounded out of him on the mean streets of Cin-city—the other Sin City. The oldest in a Catholic clan where his da never pulled any punches, he went from geek boy to the golden boy of the boxing world care of his fists. Liam’s on the fast track to having it all . . . all except the one man he wants. 

Michael Fairweather makes pretending to be hetero goddamn difficult for Liam. The man is blond and beautiful and just so happens to be Liam’s trainer. With a penchant for doing shirtless yoga, giving midnight massages to loosen Liam’s muscles, and sometimes even taking it out in the ring with him. To say Liam has porn-style fantasies about Michael is an understatement. 

Michael’s out and proud. Liam’s only proud of what he can do in the ring. He can’t risk his career, least of all for someone unavailable. Michael has a lover. Liam has the lies he lives every day. And when his money-grubbing manager gets involved as the title win approaches, Liam doesn’t know what hit him. 

Fight to win. Fight with honor.

It won’t be easy, but that’s okay.

Nothing worth fighting for ever is.





PRIDE, HOPE, PASSION, & FEAR, are just a few things that Liam “The Bonny Bruiser” Shaughnessy have playing in his head as he steps IN THE RING, book one of Rie Warren’s new Boxer series that will have you holding your breath one minute, and shouting for joy the next.

The story takes the reader inside Liam’s life as a young boy, growing up inside a catholic home with an alcoholic father and a mother trying to hold down jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.

Liam, being the oldest of the siblings, would sneak out and hit the mean streets where he learned to fight hard and dirty and bring his winnings back to his little sister in hopes his father wouldn’t drink the money away before the next fight.

Besides fighting, Liam’s other passion was reading. Hanging out in the local library was as good as Disney World for a young boy like Liam and, also, where he realized and confirmed his sexuality by looking at erotica and pictures of men with men, but at fifteen, he also realized this was a bad thing and pushed it far away and to the back of his mind. By the age of eighteen, he left home and never looked back. 

As we move forward to the present, we watch Liam battle with himself, over his sexuality, leaving his siblings behind, he continues to send money to his mother but has no doubt his father still manages to drink the largest sum of it away.

No one, other than his manager, knows he is gay. His manager insists it stay that way. In fact, he insists Liam carry a woman on his arm almost every evening at different events. By the end of the book, I truly despised this man. He had no good redeeming qualities that I could find. 

Liam is lonely and has never had a friend, let alone a relationship. He really wants that with his trainer, Michael Fairweather, who is out and proud, but who also has a boyfriend. Michael also thinks, along with the world that Liam is straight.

But, he confuses Liam by giving him mixed signals, and lingering touches. When they kiss and everything seems like for once it may be going right, what happens when Michael runs out instead? I would like to point out here that no cheating takes place in this book, hence Michael running away.

Michael Fairweather is an enigma. He’s a strong coach that takes no crap from Liam and makes him work hard and long grueling hours. He insists on giving Liam massages to ease his body of the aches and pains he has suffered at his expense and refuses to allow anyone else to do it in his place. He can’t stand seeing Liam take woman to his room every night but there’s nothing he can do about it. . .is there?

Jealousy, betrayal, bitterness, are all felt by Liam when all hell breaks loose and he is left to fend for himself. He has never been a quitter and he won’t be one now. Realizing he’s made mistakes and trying to fix those and continue to train for the title will be hard but it’s not impossible and if Liam knows anything at all it’s that you must

Fight to win,

Fight with honor,

Fight for love.

Warren’s, In the Ring, is a compelling read that had me consumed with my kindle the minute it loaded on the screen. Liam is the badass alpha male that takes a licking and keeps on ticking but underneath his hard exterior is a man who has been hurt, starting at a very young age at the hands of his father, to being bullied for wearing nerdy glasses and learning quickly to hide them from his peers, to the young man that he is now—where his manager and longtime friend—constantly insists on hiding who he is. . . all in the name of his career. 

It’s painful watching him struggle—to hold that side of himself back—when he wants to be true to himself more than anything else. Contrary to what people think about Liam, he doesn’t mess around and he’s not that experienced in the sex department. He’s old fashioned when it comes to romance and he believes in holding the doors for his partner or bringing flowers to date night.

There are two strong supporting secondary characters that were valuable to helping Liam when he needed it most. Gabriel, a local painter, who was more than willing to show Liam any sexual position he wanted (insert wink),but also understood that Liam loved someone else and was there for him as a friend. Anya, one of the ring girls, from Ukraine becomes a real friend to Liam and a confidant and I loved her meddling and sassy spirit.

Liam is one of the most selfless people there is and is truly deserving of love. You forget how young he really is because he has had a tough upbringing so he seems more-hard-core-with-the-tough-exterior than he really is once you get to know him, but Warren's writing pulls you into the story and you become completely absorbed and so invested in Liam that you find yourself like a mother bear ready to kick someone's ass if they look at your boy the wrong way. 

This is an amazing story of one man's journey finding the strength to be his true self, even if that means going at it alone, standing up for what you believe in, taking care of family and clearing out the trash that's piling up and starting to stink. Rie Warren's writing is fantastic, the banter is hilarious, the dialogue, at times, has the power to sucker punch you one minute, and make you swoon the next. The bedroom scenes will have you reading on repeat—HOT—SCORCHING—SIZZLING—and I cannot wait for more in this series. 5 Stars from me!!

"You get right to the heart of me, Liam" —Michael