ARC Review: Takedown by Sierra Riley
By: Sierra Riley
Releasing March 1st, 2016
“You can’t let him get into your confidence.”
“Man up, face Luke, and sell the damn gym.”
Three years ago, Mitchell Keane’s marriage was called off when his close friend Luke thought he spotted Mitchell cheating on his wife-to-be in a gay club. Mitchell fled to a new life as a New York City realtor rather than defend himself against the rumors flying around his small Nebraskan hometown. After all, Luke accidentally got the gay part right. Since his abrupt outing, Mitchell’s been too wound-up to even date until he’s forced back home.
“This is all I’ve got.”
Luke Hanson never forgave himself. Low lighting, one too many drinks, and an overactive conscience led to a terrible mistake. Luke tamped down his feelings and threw himself into his career instead. All Luke wants now is a white picket fence and a career as an MMA fighter. Then his trainer, Hugh, tells him Mitchell is coming back to town for two weeks… to sell the gym, after the death of Mitchell’s uncle, gym owner Toby.
“Don’t play mind games with a fighter.”
Luke convinces Mitchell to let him run the gym rather than sell it on the spot. But Mitchell’s parents can’t accept who Mitchell is, and Luke’s future rides on winning his first big promotional fight. With a ticking clock, hothead Luke has to finish things… but hopefully not with Mitchell. Does a small town MMA fighter even have a chance with a high-powered realtor in backwater Nebraska?
Takedown is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel with a HEA and no cliffhangers.
Buy Links: Amazon
*ARC provided by Author in exchange for a fair and honest review*
When I received the request to review author Sierra Riley’s novel, Takedown, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into by agreeing. I don’t read a lot of m/m romance and I usually don’t read anything in the m/m category without a trusted fellow m/m romance blogging friend recommending authors and books to me, or my already knowing the author from other books. However, for whatever reason, I chose to take a chance on reading this one, and I have to admit, I’m glad I did.
Despite a few rough patches in need of more emotional fleshing out, I found myself enjoying Mitchell and Luke’s journey quite a bit. It was different for sure, but in a good way. At least for me.
You see, Luke did Mitchell wrong in the past, and though Mitchell had every right to be angry with his once good friend, he found himself almost relieved by the actions Luke took, actions that led to the breakup of Mitchell’s engagement. Now, one would think Mitchell wouldn’t want anything to do with Luke after what we did, but the attraction between the two men takes hold the second they see each other again and as such, things get a mite confusing for Luke and Mitchell. Because these men do have a complicated history, and an even more complicated present, and it made for a good story because of that. I would’ve liked to have known more about their past friendship and why Luke chose to do what he did without confronting Mitchell first. And I hated that once Luke figured out he’d been wrong, he never made sure people understood he’d been wrong in what he saw, if not wrong about the gay part.
This book is written in dual point of view, so you get some thoughts and feelings of both men, you are able to get a good surface grasp on how they feel about themselves and each other. I do feel like Mitchell needed more backbone with how he handled things with his parents for three-fourths of the story, and with Luke, too, in some aspect, but I liked Mitchell as a character despite my wishing he would stand up for himself more. It was the same with Luke. I wish he would’ve stood up and said he’d been wrong instead of letting his friend’s silence about it all do so much damage, but the fact that I cared enough to want that from him, from them both, told me the author has a good knack for creating characters that entertains readers.
Mitchell and Luke fight their attraction for a little while at the start of this story, but once they give in, the push-pull tension is handled pretty well in this debut book. I liked their interactions together, and the growth of their feelings for each other, too. I thought both was handled well and I enjoyed reading about the two of them getting to know each other again. I will say, I think the second half of the book was much stronger than the first, both in story and in characterization. That’s what makes me glad I liked enough of the first part to keep reading until the end, and it’s the second part of this book that made me rate this novel higher than I thought I would when I stared the second act of the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the dynamic between these two male characters. I also enjoyed the secondary characters because none of them read flat to me, nor were they overly cliché. The story entertained me and the characters intrigued me, which made me want to keep reading, and made me glad I took a chance on the author and this book. I’m looking forward to what comes next from Sierra Riley.
Rating: 4 Stars
About the Author
Sierra Riley was born and raised in a small town where she spent all her time reading under trees before she moved to the Bay area to pursue her own love story. She writes the kinds of books she loves to read: rollercoaster rides with happily-ever-afters. She’s rarely at a loss for ideas, and credits her wonderfully supportive friends with helping her stories actually make it onto the page, as well as her husband and kids for giving her the chance to follow her dreams. When Sierra isn’t busy writing, she enjoys knitting, traveling, listening to the Pet Shop Boys, or just curling up with her dogs and cats and devouring a good book.