Series: Wiccan Haus #2
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: August 14, 2015
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Blurb from goodreads:
He has nothing left to offer. She's determined to show him how much he's worth.
Shot by a member of his elite military team, Justin Lawson goes into hiding, cutting all ties with his girlfriend to keep her safe from the traitor who’s hunting him down. With his body shattered, he no longer has anything to offer her anyway.
Holly Walters refuses to accept her boyfriend’s out-of-the-blue rejection without an explanation. Intent on seeking closure, she tracks him to the Wiccan Haus. Once there, she is drawn to help him heal his broken body and spirit, even though she knows she has to let him go.
The rogue assassin catches up to them, but this time Holly is in his crosshairs. Before Justin can make her believe he’s a man worth fighting for, they’ll have to fight for both their lives.
A military romance, a man who believes himself unworthy of love, a woman fighting for her man, so much catnip. And the cover doesn't hurt either. :) Mmmm, I had to say yes to this one.
"A Man Worth Fighting For" is flawed but I enjoyed the story anyway. It's a quick read with lots of hot sex, some sweet scenes, a glimpse into the paranormal world of Wiccan Haus, and characters that I liked and cared about it.
Now, where the story went wrong was two places: world building and believability. The characters in Wiccan Haus are a mix of human and paranormals, typically referred to as paras. The blurb makes it sound as if both leads in this story are humans. In fact, they're not. Holly is human but Justin is a para. Exactly what kind of para the author never reveals. I'm not sure why it needed to be kept a secret. We're told, early on and several times throughout the story, that Justin is a para but we never see any sign of it. He acts like a normal human being. So then why make him a paranormal? A few tweaks and the story would still have worked with him as a human, or keep him a paranormal and actually follow through with it. I kept waiting for the big reveal of his identity and it never came. The paranormal aspect as a whole is light in this story but we do learn a little bit more about the world, mostly in regards to the military. ETA 9/9: I spoke with someone at the publisher who read this review and she agreed that the story is vague as to what Justin is. In fact, he's human, not para, though the story implies differently. The story may be edited to make that fact more clear.
Problem number two has to do with Holly and Justin's relationship and how believable it was. The story starts after Justin has been wounded. He's injured, depressed, and dealing with a traitor. He decides it's best to dump his occasional girlfriend, Holly. Then we jump ahead several weeks and Holly, whom we're meeting for the first time, decides after a family visit, to go across country and confront the man who dumped her. They'd been involved, sort of, for about a year. Mostly, it was booty calls; they'd get together and have sex in between his military missions. She knows nothing about him as he won't share and his teammates didn't even know he had a woman in his life. But she drops everything to go across country and demand an explanation from him. It just wasn't believable.We never saw their interactions as a couple nor did we ever get a glimpse of Holly's feelings pre-abandonment but we're meant to believe she'll chase this man who can't be bothered to call her or text her in between booty calls.
So, a couple of big flaws but the story as a whole was enjoyable as long as I ignored said flaws. All of the characters, major and minor, were vivid; the romance was both sweet and hot; and I'm still intrigued by this world. I particularly like Myron the seer. She's bossy but has a sense of humor; she enjoys wearing the wrong name tag, 'borrowing' those of her co-workers and confusing the guests. There were a couple twists that I didn't see coming, which I always like, but there were also more communication problems, yawn, before Holly and Justin found their happy ending. The story telling was weak but I liked the characters and that boosted the story for me.