You may remember from previous book posts that I praised Once Perfect and Once Loved by Cecy Robson. Well when I was contacted by the publisher to get a free copy of the third book in the series as well as to do a book stop I jumped at the chance. Sofia and Killian were introduced in the first book and I was most excited for their story. The publisher was also kind enough to host a giveaway for Flirt and Loveswept mugs and multiple eBooks. Checkout the giveaway at the end of the post. Hope you give this book a chance, I know I’ve found a new author I enjoy.
Sophia is one of the three Tres Santos kids that have grown up with a violent father, long has he broken each one ,in their own ways. Sophia was not as strong as her siblings, she would frequently find shelter in the neighbors homes for a reprieve from the violence and emotional abuse.
Her childhood friend Killian provided an escape and someone to keep her company. They leaned on each other, and needed each other. One fateful day breaks the bond, one with guilt and one with pain. Sophia is ready to face her fears and agrees to help him with his MMA business. Killian sees her fears and teaches her to protect herself.
There is a lot of history and a lot of hurt to get over on both sides but they both know the outcome is worth it. Sophia’s side of the story broke my heart and rooted for her happy ending. I am glad her story was finally told. Killian has a raw power that was well contained but his heart and protecting instincts made him a great hero.
Find it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23834613-once-pure?from_search=true
The steady pummeling of fists against the speed bag continued as if the body slams and swears weren’t bouncing off every wall of the MMA gym. Every strike, every blow, promised pain and demanded respect. I tried not to react to each loud smack, or cower from supersized bodies dripping with sweat, but it was hard. Controlled chaos was the best way to describe the scene unraveling before me. And no one owned it like Killian O’Brien.
I slipped my fingers into the computer bag hooked to my shoulder, pretending to fumble with the files tucked against my laptop, while totally checking out Killian behind the safety of my sunglasses.
His broad and muscular back was to me, but that was okay. I liked the way his Celtic cross tat crawled down the length of his spine and spread across his shoulder blades. I liked the way his wavy jet-black hair tickled the base of his skull. I liked the way—okay, who was I kidding? I liked everything about him. I had since I was seven, when he and his large Catholic family moved into the row home across from ours.
Killian hadn’t noticed me. He was busy kicking what remained of a heavy bag, showing the younger MMA brawlers how it was done. At six feet five, and fighting at super heavyweight status, Killian shouldn’t have been so flexible. But he was. Dear Lord, he so was.
His foot skimmed the top of the bag with each brutal thump, causing the chain holding it to rattle and jolt with hard shakes. Killian was best known for his kicks. If he caught his opponent in the face with his foot, the poor guy was done, and so was what remained of his face.
I jumped when the youngest O’Brien approached. “Oh. Hi, Finn.”
The dimple on his right cheek deepened when he grinned. He motioned to my nylon
computer bag. “You ready to work?”
“Oh, yeah. Ready to go.” I patted the bag like a total loser, then rather awkwardly let my hand fall to my side. In an attempt to regain some sense of grace, I slipped my sunglasses to the top of my head, pushing the strands of my long, bouncy curls behind my ears.
Finn’s grin widened. He likely sensed my nervousness. His toothy smile made him appear younger than his nineteen years, but it was sweet enough to soothe the tension my first day back had caused. I liked Finn, I always had. He was smaller than his brothers, but just as tough, working his way up the MMA ranks as a welterweight.
He slapped his gloved hands together, full of energy as usual. God, it seemed, had dumped all the O’Brien muscle onto Killian’s heavy-duty frame. God was funny that way. That didn’t mean Finn wouldn’t take on a guy twice his size. Finn was funny that way.
He scratched the top of his curly ginger hair. “Killian know you’re here?”
“Ah, no, but that’s okay. I can just head to his office and start on his website—”
“Kill, Kill!” Finn cupped his mouth with his hands, yelling at the top of his lungs. “Your woman is here!” His attention cut to my mortified face. “You are his woman, right, Sofia?”
“Ah . . .”
Killian’s head jerked our way, along with most of the behemoths training. I wasn’t sure if he could see how red my face was from where he stood, but the easy smile spreading along his strong features told me he could. He abandoned what remained of the heavy bag and crossed the padded floor as the rest of the fighters resumed their free-for-alls.
I froze, watching him prowl forward like the mad beast he was, his hulking and densely tattooed arms swinging loosely against his sides. It wouldn’t take him long to reach us, despite the large expanse of the converted warehouse, so I tried to speak fast. “I’m not his woman, Finn.”
“So you’re just banging?”
“But you want to.”
“Want to what?”
“Bang my brother like a pair of cymbals,” he said, like I was the stupid one.
“Yes—no.” Oh, good heavens.
“He’s a good guy.”
“Finn, I’m not having this conversation with you.”
“Do you want to have it with Kill instead?”
“Have what with me?” Killian’s deep voice rumbled like thunder as he stopped just in front of me.
It had been a few weeks since I’d last seen him. Dark stubble grazed his chin, forming a mini-goatee and emphasizing the angles of his square jaw. But his face didn’t hold my attention for long. My stare traveled down his body, taking in his light skin glistening with sweat . . . before I remembered that my sunglasses now rested on the top of my head and I was blatantly gawking at him.
“Like what you see?” he asked, playfully.
“I . . .” The urge to bolt had me shifting my weight, hard enough to slap the hem of my long white skirt against my bare legs. But I stayed put, trying not to faint from his scorching level of badassness and working to form a decent response. “I was just admiring your sweat.”
So much for a decent response. He stopped smiling. “My sweat?”
I punched him in the arm, because, yeah, I was just that lame. “Totally. You must have had quite the workout, huh, asskicker?”
Finn grimaced as if it pained him to watch me go down in flames. I was good with computers. I couldn’t say the same about men. If the fate of the world depended on me successfully interacting with the male species without stuttering, blushing, or recoiling, the world would just end and we’d all die some sick apocalyptic death.
Killian analyzed me closely like most would a bug they were debating on squashing, before his chest shook with laughter. God, this is Sofia. Please strike me dead.
Killian closed the distance between us, the fingertips of his large hand extending to tickle my chin. “I was just getting started. Nice to have a pretty girl appreciate my efforts.”
Cecy Robson is the New Adult author of Once Perfect, Once Loved, and Once Pure and the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A self-proclaimed professional napper, Cecy counts among her talents a jaw-dropping knowledge of useless trivia, the ability to make her hair big, and a knack for breaking into song despite her family’s vehement protests. A full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the Great Northwest, Cecy enjoys spending time with her family and silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.