ARC Review: Fighting For You by Sydney Landon
Fighting For You (Danvers #4)
by: Sydney Landon
Publication Date: Oct. 15, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 304 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Fighting For You is book four in the Danvers series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. Sometimes I get nervous about jumping into a series because I know old characters will pop up and I won't have any idea what they're about. This was not the case for me. While I was definitely interested in the other characters and their stories, I was glad I could easily jump into their quick banter with one another and Landon does a great job explaining how they all know each other.
Ella and Declan are our two main characters in this novel. Both work for the same company and while I don't quite remember how long they have known each other- the two are friendly with each other. Ella is a very sweet character and has the biggest crush on Declan. However, being the innocent virgin that she is, she is quite inexperienced when it comes to men. Her strict, religious upbringing made sure of that. She has put some distance between her and her family and working at Danvers has really helped her find her own footing. Declan, while definitely interested in Ella, feels that he's too damaged for her. He suffers from PTSD from being in the Army and doesn't do the whole relationship thing. At the beginning of the book he feels that his spending time with Ella has become too much and tries to step back. He doesn't want to taint her with his inability to give her what she wants.
I felt bad for Declan. He is not social when it comes to his coworkers and Ella is really the only one he associates with. His time in the Army has really affected him and he really keeps people at a distance. Yet, he's a good guy through and through. He is very protective of his sister, Ava, and I wish we had seen more development on that end. Maybe we will in Ava's book? However, Ella tests Declan in every possible way. While he doesn't want to be the one to ruin her, he certainly won't sit by and let her date other people either. (She does this at her friends' bidding so he would notice and take action- and boy does he!) He keeps telling himself that it's not forever- that he can't give her what she needs. However, he never planned on feeling the things he does when it comes to her. He can tell himself all he wants he's not falling for her, but we know better.
While Ella is inexperienced, she is certainly enthusiastic when it comes to her and Declan's budding relationship. Ella knows what she wants and she wants Declan, plain and simple. And she's not giving up until she has him. It's a bit humorous at how he wants to take things slow and she's ready to jump right in. She doesn't want slow with Declan- she wants passion, burning, heat!
I really ended up enjoying the side characters in the book. Suzy, Beth, Claire, and Ella not only work together, but they are a close knit group. They definitely have the whole Sex and the City vibe going on too! The girls have taken it upon themselves to help Ella out with Declan, giving her tips and advice. Ella is definitely closest to Beth and I liked their friendship. Beth is pregnant and Ella is really great about helping her as much as she can. I also liked Declan's group: Ava, Brant, and Mac. Ava and Brant are his siblings- Ava has been hurt by a man in the past and while we do not find out the details in this book, I think we will in her story. Brant is definitely the tightwad of the siblings. He is successful in his company and watching him interact with his new assistant Emma, while brief, is definitely enjoyable. I am excited to read more about them too! Two other characters that were introduced I did not see coming at all! Mac is his best friend and is completely in love with Ava and has been for a long time. Yet, he loves her from afar, as she hasn't acknowledged his feelings for her.
Julie and Evan show up in Declan's life as a past reminder of how he was during his time in the service. I was nervous about this storyline, but everything ended up working better than ok.
I could not stand Ella's mom. She is a real piece of work. As I said, Ella grew up in a religious home and her parents are only concerned about appearances. Her mom is tired of making excuses as to why she does come to church on Sundays and is constantly belittling her and blaming her friends for being bad influences. I cannot stand self-righteous people. There is one scene where her father really stands up for her against her mother and I was definitely glad. Someone needs to put that woman in her place!
Overall, Fighting For You, was a cute, but clichéd romance. I'm a bit over the whole 'virgin meets bad boy who doesn't do relationships but realizes she's amazing and changes for her' storyline. I also had some issues with the third person POV. For some reason I found myself having trouble with it- I didn't really connect to the characters as much as I would have liked, and to be honest, I don't think this book is one that really stands out as being memorable. I also felt some of the character development was lacking. Declan suffers from PTSD and nightmares and while he is seeing someone for help, we are told, rather than shown, that he gets better. I also had mixed feelings about the way Declan handled his feelings for Ella. One minute he was going to take one action, and then an event suddenly changes everything for him. I get the whole 'you don't realize what you've got until you almost lose it' scenario, but this just felt a little awkward for me.
While I had some issues with this book, it wasn't a bad read- but just not one that will leave a lasting impression.