I love this Book 2 of Battered Hearts, it is much more emotional engaging that its predecessor. I guess the groundwork on the character development from Book 1 did help to make this read much more engaging because before I even started with this book I feels like I already know Jules Conner and Romeo Wellings. Jules is Clay's best friend and Wyatt's twin sister, who is a lawyer, a part time cop and also a self-defense trainer. She is a hardass and seriously intimidating chick. Romeo is Clay's archrival during the UFC champion title fight where Romeo lost to Clay. He is presume to be cocky and flashy, a total opposite from Clay.
This can work as a standalone as well because some of things that happen in Book 1 was explained clearly. Despite losing the title to Clay, Romeo stepped in to rescue Clay's girlfriend, Melody at Las Vegas when she was nearly kidnap by her psychotic ex-husband. We were then brought to the aftermath of the shoot out incident with Romeo at the hospital treating his minor injuries and then meeting Jules for the first time. When he found out her name is Juliet, he feels like moth being drawn to the flame. Despite the anymosity between them, Jules was grateful for Romeo for saving Melody and she decided to buy him dinner.
Jules was surprised to find out that Romeo is not what he seems in the public eye. He is not cocky and flashy, he is surprisingly down to earth and she feels attracted to him and make her interest known. After the supposingly fantastic one night stand they share, it surprises me that they continue a long distance 'relationship' despite going separate ways after leaving Vegas. They initial texting and phone calls turns into sexting and phone sex. Oh my. Unknowingly, Jules had been subconsciously having something special with Romeo over the distance for almost three months. There is so much longing and yearning between these two. Things turn interesting when Romeo decided to train with Clay at Garnet Town and Jules had to finally face her real life crush in flesh. She needs to play it cool, of course. She can't admit that he turn her into this lovesick puppy.
"Three rounds in the cage with me and you'll be running back to New York with your tail between your legs. I'm a scary bitch."
"Bruises don't scare me. Hurt me, baby. I like it."
Honestly, I just can't wait for Wyatt and others to find out about Jules' affair with Romeo. They decided to keep their relationship as a dirty little secret because of Romeo's past and Wyatt's obvious dislike at him. They are not really sworn enemy as painted in the blurb, more like petty rivalry and dislike of each other.
We were also introduced to Romeo's brothers, Cassa'Nova' and Valen'Tino' that had a great part in the story. Loves their name, by the way. Kele Moon really did have a knack for making us fall in love with these secondary characters. Nova is the genius brother who is working for their Italian mob family, while Tino is the youngest brother who still doesn't know where he stand. Romeo had an ugly past dealing with the Moretti's family and he wants his brother away from the mess. I'm already half in love with Nova. I feels like he is the misunderstood soul that is doing his damnest to keep his family safe despite doing things he abhor. These thightnit and affectionate Italian brothers makes my heart ache for them. You know without doubt they will kill and die for each other.
Things that happened towards the ending was pretty intense. Much more intense that I anticipated. Romeo's life was threaten by his tie-in to the mafia family and he had some drastic choices to make. I know the classic Romeo and Juliet's romance suppose to crash and burn, but I never thought we will face a similar life threatening tragedy that pull at all my heart strings. The climax has so much more emotional and intense scene not only between Romeo and Juliet, but also between Romeo's brothers.
Jules' love and devotion to Romeo is simply amazing. I guess when a Conner fall in love, they fall hard. Nothing Romeo do will deter her away from him and she is adamant at keeping this man.
"You're the only chich I know who carries a .45 in her glove compartment and a shotgun in her trunk."
"You can never be too prepared."
"For what, World World War III?"
This is afterall a romance and we get our prerequisite HEA. I also can see a lot of potential for every secondary characters to get their story. The epilogue tease us on Wyatt and the apperance of his old flame. I'm anticipating whole load of angst and not quite sure whether I would have enjoy it. But so far, Kele Moon yet to dissapoint me. I'm hoping to catch up on Clay and Romeo too.
Tino summed it up well for me. Love that boy.
"For a town without nightlife it seems like lotsa interesting shit happens around here. Never a dull moment in Garnet."