#ReleaseDay • In The Ring (Boxer Book 1) by Rie Warren • Excerpt • Teasers • Review • Giveaway
Title: In the Ring
Series: Boxer #1
Author: Rie Warren
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: December 5, 2016
Pages: 280 pg Novel
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.
What Others Are Saying:
“Stars: Five,a great read, full of real issues and a perfect HEA..” - Jeannie Zelos book reviews
“Smart. Gritty. Dirty. Kind of fabulous.” - Reader Review
“.this, by far, is the absolute hottest M/M book I have ever devoured.” - Romance Ever After Book Blog
I inhaled and closed my eyes, soaking in the feel of Michael touching me, so close. He moved away, leaving me with a cold wash of air in his wake. Around the corner, a shower turned on, and when I looked again, Michael was gone. His discarded clothes sat on the bench in front of me.
I hated this feeling, this vulnerability and insecurity inside. Everyone expected me to climb higher, do better, be bigger—never weak. I wanted to be less than what I was for just one minute. More than I was, in someone else’s eyes.
I padded naked to the showers. There before me was Michael, back-to, soaping up. Foam ran down his traps, delts, glutes, quads.
Michael spun around. Suds, chest, cock, balls. “You checking me out?”
“I’ll go.” I turned to leave, but he grabbed my arm.
“Don’t.” He slinked forward, and every effort I’d put into shutting this unwanted thing down melted away as his hand curled around my bicep.
My body was on fire for him. “Michael—”
“Don’t,” he repeated, running a hand down my bare chest.
My heart skipped, and my cock surged. Sensation weakened me, the sheer sexiness of his wet touch swirled inside my tummy, gripped my groin like a fist.
I stepped inside, under the hot rain of multiple showerheads. My erection leaped to my belly, big, hard, unmistakable. Diamond droplets of water slid off Michael’s hair, dripped into his eyes, and ran down his chest. Down below, the torrent gathered in his curly golden pubes that circled the base of a shaft that reached upward. Pink, wrapped in pulsing veins, the entire picture of his cock was so much sexier than any man I’d ever fucked or any porn I’d ever watched.
“You are gorgeous, you know that, right?” Michael stood so close his heat clung to my skin.
“I . . .”
Tilting my chin, he brushed his knuckles against the black stubble on my jaw. “Liam, are you just curious—or gay? Because this”—his fingertips drifted down my abs which jumped on contact—“is really dangerous.”
My skin burned from his touch. Heat scorched down to my cock. “No.”
“No what?” He reached low.
His thumb rubbed just beneath the flared head of my dick.
I shook my head, then nodded, trying to get closer to his reddened lips. To feel them on mine.
“No, you’re not gay? No, you’re not curious?” His tongue darted to my earlobe.
My hands clamped onto his biceps.
“No? You’re in denial?” His thick whisper trailed along my neck.
I wrapped one hand around his hip, slick and wet, and the other into his hair. “Kiss me if you wanna find out.”
Michael gasped. His lips parted and found mine. Not like a girl. Nothing near a woman. Stubble, rough mouth, harsh groans, all man. But for all the force our bodies contained and all the months of desire coursing through me, our first kiss was sultry, liquid, languid.
“Ahhh.” I leaned away to look at him.
“You boys ’bout done?” the ref called over.
I breathed long and deep, peering through damp hair at Michael.
He shook his head. “Nah.”
The total body torment went on and on. Neither of us cried mercy. If he was pissed off, so was I. I just wasn’t sure what I’d done to make him go all pow-pow-pow on me. I didn’t really much care. The scent of his clean perspiration was as much of an aphrodisiac as the visual of his sweating body.
I blocked a vicious jab to my face. “You’re being a dick.”
He spun away before my fist connected with his stomach. “Back atcha.”
If he wanted me, he sure had a funny way of showing it. Killing someone via sheer bodily torture didn’t usually lead to love scenes or make-out sessions. Anya was way the fuck off the mark there.
“What’s your beef, bro?” I gasped after a particularly stinging punch.
“I think you should be more discreet.” He whipped his head out of the way just as my left hook whistled past.
“With Anya. And the other women. Or all the women, if you really like Anya.”
He jogged in front of me on his feet. Left, right, left, right. “Nope.”
“This is about Anya?”
“Bull and shit.” I kicked his legs out from under him and followed him down to the mat.
I didn’t cock my fist to beat his face, but only because it was too pretty to injure.
I restrained his massive thighs with my knees. “You’re beginning to sound like Dev.”
“Call! That move is not allowed,” the ringside ref shouted.
“’S’okay. We’re not playing by the rules here, are we, Michael?”
“Nope.” His hips bucked up, and his crotch hit my growing hardness.
I aligned my torso with his. Lowering myself another inch over him, I imagined Mikey bare and begging beneath me, our cocks thrusting together.
“Dev’s a slick Mick.” His chest pumped up and he tried to push me off him.
“He’s not even a true Mick and PS. that’s an insult to my Irish upbringing, preppy motherfucker.” I pushed down on his shoulders.
“Get up, you big bastard.” With no warning at all Michael spanked my ass hard.
A resounding smack rang through the air.
His eyes widened.
Mine almost rolled back in my head.
That was so hot. I’d never imagined him slapping my ass before.
I pumped against him once then reared back in horror.
Finally the pinched-sphincter expression he’d worn all day relaxed. He licked his lips in a slow motion move I wanted to repeat with my tongue on his mouth.
“Come on, man. Let’s hit the showers.” He bucked against me one more time, and I swear to fuck there was an extra, slow-grinding motion to his hips.
“What?” I croaked.
“You stink, you fucker. Get off me so we can get showered up.”
Oh yay. Because both of us getting naked with water and suds is a great idea. You’ll drop the bar of soap between my legs and stoop down to scoop it up . . .
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
**Thank you to the promoter/author for providing a copy of In The Ring for my reading enjoyment**
Direct Link: Rafflecopter
Rie is the badass, sassafras author of Sugar Daddy and the Don’t Tell series–a breakthrough trilogy that crosses traditional publishing boundaries beginning with In His Command. Her latest endeavors include the Carolina Bad Boys, a fun, hot, and southern-sexy series.
A Yankee transplant who has traveled the world, Rie started out a writer—causing her college professor to blush over her erotic poetry without one ounce of shame. Not much has changed. She swapped pen for paintbrushes and followed her other love during her twenties. From art school to marriage to children and many a wild and wonderful journey in between, Rie has come home to her calling. Her work has been called edgy, daring, and some of the sexiest smut around.
You can connect with Rie via the social media hangouts listed on her website https://www.riewarren.com. She is represented by Saritza Hernandez, Corvisiero Literary Agency. http://www.corvisieroagency.com/Saritza_Hernandez.html
Social Media Links