Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Tough Enough by Michelle Leighton

By 8:00 AM , , , , ,

Tough Enough (Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #2)
    by: Michelle Leighton

Publication Date: Nov. 3, 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: e-ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 336 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 2/5 stars

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the second book in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.

He’s a fighter who never loses, but is he tough enough to win her heart?

There was a time when I had everything–a wonderful family, a bright future. Love. But all that was taken away in a single night, torn from me like flesh from bone. Since then, I’ve hidden away in my second-choice job as a makeup artist. But I prefer it that way, actually. I’m comfortable in the shadows, where no one can see my scars.

Kiefer Rogan literally took my breath away the moment I met him. MMA champion-turned-actor, notorious playboy, charming to a fault—he’s everything I vowed to avoid.

But he just wouldn’t stop until I opened up and let him in. Maybe I should’ve tried harder to resist him. Maybe I shouldn’t have fallen in love with him. Because I, of all people, know that everyone has secrets. Scars. And that they’re usually ugly and painful and destructive to the people we love most.

I just never guessed that they could be deadly, too.

Having enjoyed the first book in the series and the romantic suspense it offered, I was really looking forward to this second book, featuring the oh-so-sexy Kiefer Rogan we briefly met in book one. Everyone seems to be swooning over Rogan and for good reason. He's an amazing guy and I loved how he treated Katie and got her to open up to him. Katie has been through a horrific past and has the physical scars to prove it. Once a vibrant, outgoing woman, she now prefers to remain behind the scenes and tries to make herself unnoticeable. Rogan sweeps into her life and is making her feel all these things she thought were long dead and is slowly bringing her out of her shell.... and back to life.
I hate feeling like the black sheep when it comes to books. However, this book and I had quite a few issues and I just couldn't end up overlooking them. Had the plot been more engaging, maybe I could have, but for so much of the book I don't feel like there's enough going on. It's mainly Rogan chasing after Katie and trying to convince her to let him into her life. I was really hoping for more suspense and we really didn't get that until much later in the book. What we do get are two scarred human beings who each have their own cross to carry from their pasts and it's a more emotional type of read. I feel some of the things that ended up occurring were too 'convenient' if you will, to spur their romance into action. I obviously don't want to sound insensitive, but I feel like sexual assault and its aftereffects are starting to become a sort of trope in romance and I don't particularly care for that. I felt like it was a plot device here and that does not sit well with me. I am also not a fan of insta-love, and while it may have taken Rogan awhile to wear down Katie's defenses, I still felt their romance progressed too quickly.
I also couldn't help but be bothered by some of the inner dialogue. While this is in first person, the "Oh my God!" and other similar exclamatory statements just came across as awkward and even a bit juvenile to me.
While this one didn't work for me, do not let that influence you. This book has gotten so many wonderful reviews on Goodreads, so while this wasn't my cup of tea, it just might be yours! That Rogan is awfully swoony after all.

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  1. Aww this makes me so so sad but I get it and I see where you are coming from..... I liked Strong Enough but didn't LOVE it and that one is very different from this one and I loved this one! Great review Jessica.

  2. "I obviously don't want to sound insensitive, but I feel like sexual assault and its aftereffects are starting to become a sort of trope in romance."
    YES. This needs to stop because using it as a plot device is truly insensitive because of the way it is handled by most authors. If you're gonna have it in your book, handle it with care and tact and use it to teach readers something.
    I'm sorry this wasn't for you, Jess. But I don't think I'd like either. I would expect much more romance.
    I hope your next book by the author is better.


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