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Raising Ryann (Bad Boy Reformed 1) Kindle Edition
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Reviewed by Tracey Lou Parker for Kindle Friends Forever
Raising Ryann is the first book in the Bad Boy Reformed trilogy. We all love a bad boy turned good. A modern day love story that brings with it issues of childhood abuse which I thought the author handled with the sensitivity it deserved. In all honesty, I'm not a big fan of fighter books, but I needn't have worried as there was hardly any fighting action in this book.
The story revolves around two main characters.
Firstly, Luke Ryann, an MMA fighter who decides to give up the fighting, drinking and the women who continuously keep throwing themselves at him, just wants to get his act together and live his life. He is called upon to help out the foster parents who took him in after the death of his mother and the arrest of his father. Furthermore, he has never forgotten the girl next door, Reese Johnson.
Reese has endured an abusive childhood at the hands of her father. She works at the local gym teaching self-defence classes to children, and she also remembers the boy next door who saved her one night. Luke and Reese come together but it's all not plain sailing and life deals them some low blows. To help keep Reese safe, Luke has to make a decision that will change both their lives.
This is a classic love story that alternates between the past and present day. Unfortunately, I felt little lost and confused because I had to flick back to the previous page in the hope I hadn't missed anything. The two main protagonists come together through circumstance and a memory that will stay with them forever. This was a sweet love story but the beginning was a tad too slow for me. Despite this setback, there is a good cliff-hanger and my only hope is book two’s pace will pick up as I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens to these two lovely characters.
Now you know I'm gonna pick up a book with a MMA fighter in the synopsis, that's just a given! I was excited to start this one as I needed a good book to sink my teeth into.
Reese Johnson is a 20 year old college student with a good head on her shoulders. She lived through a childhood that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy but instead of being a victim she has turned her life around and is attending college and teaches self defence to young girls on the side. I really liked this aspect of Reese's character.
So a tall dark stranger appears at the gym who happens to be the new employee hired to work alongside Reese. Doesn't sound so bad if Reese could think straight when she is around him! Luke Ryann has had his fair share of family drama. He has a colourful past and it was MMA fighting that put him on the straight and narrow, allowing him to make a name for himself and make some money along the way.
So when Reese and Luke first meet there is a connection between them, although it takes Reese a while to realise that Luke is in fact no stranger to her. I liked their banter in the beginning, it was good to see Reese being a mouthy girl and putting Luke in his place no matter how big or powerful he was. And I loved that Luke gave as much back to Reese and making her blush at any opportunity.
I must say I did miss the MMA element as the beginning of the story Luke was actually retiring from the profession so there was no sweaty fights or Reese shouting for her man from the sidelines. I was expecting some of that action. I enjoyed the story as it progressed it was Reese and Luke getting to know each other and Reese trying her hardest to get Luke to open up to her about his past but as the story continued I realised I was at 80% on my kindle and I noted that nothing really happened up until this point, Reese had some apartment drama that seen her staying with Luke not long after they met, they had a drunken night out where a few hot kisses were exchanged but that had been about it.
Now the last 20% is where the story started to pick up, the action arrived and we got to see some of Luke's personality. Luke's father appeared out of the blue wanting to stir up some trouble and it had Luke questioning if he was putting Reese in harms way. Meanwhile Reese could tell something had changed with Luke and she was worried for their future.
I liked the idea of Raising Ryann, I also liked the connection from the past that Luke and Reese shared, although it wasn't the best situation it linked Reese and Luke together and they made it back to each other in a way. Reese was a really sweet character, a little naive at times but then she is still young with her full life ahead of her. That is perhaps why Luke felt so protective of her and was there for Reese from the beginning.
I think Raising Ryann was a solid début from Alyssa Rae Taylor. For me I was after more chemistry between Reese and Luke, I also wanted Luke to be a great Alpha character, although he was really protective of Reese I didn't really get the all consuming swoonworthiness from him. Towards the end of the book Luke pulled back from Reese and it became obvious to me as the reader why he did that and what he was up to while Reese was left in the dark so even though the book ends with a cliffhanger it didn't come as a surprise.
I do look forward to the next book in the series, I look forward to the character growth and plot development and obviously I need to know what is next for Reese and Luke!
If you are a fan of New Adult books with hot guys and sweet girls then you will devour this story in no time as it is a quick read and it will leave you wanting more of Luke Ryann. ~Ava
"I live and breathe you. I bleed you." ~Luke
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There is still so much more to find out about all the characters
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