Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping him fighting for her is a shot at redemption. Especially since it' s his fault her family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.
When I started it, I wasn't too sure what relation these characters were to previous ones but then suddenly clicked that Wash is Rachel's brother from the previous book Crash Into You. It was really interesting seeing things from Wash's perspective, especially as I didn't pay much attention to him before. Take Me On overlaps some events from the ending of Crash Into You, particularly Rachel's crash and recovery, so it was kinda fun piecing together the timeline. And then there was new character Haley: a great martial artist but has given it up after a bad break-up. Not that anyone knows exactly what happened between Haley and her ex, whose name I have forgotten.
So, quick summary: West gets kicked out and goes to Haley's school. On his first day, he defends Haley's honour and gets talked into a fight with her ex. Way to play the unwanted hero, West! Feeling responsible, as well as incredibly annoyed, Haley agrees to train him so he doesn't die. I adored seeing their relationship evolve; typical of McGarry's style, they put up with each other and then before they realise it, they've fallen. Hard. Something about these pairings are so balanced, they bring out the best in each other, which is so adorable to see form.
West is feeling guilty for his part in Rachel's accident and wants to do something to prove himself not completely useless, and he thinks he can do this by standing up for Haley. Turns out that his and Haley's lives are intertwined more closely than that, as West's father may have had a part in Haley's father losing his job. Which is the reason Haley and her family are living with her uncle and cousins. During all this, we see more about the Youngs' home life, with their dysfunctional way of dealing with things and lack of communication. Gladly, things improve, but not before getting slightly bleak first.
And before I finish, I must mention Abby. I'm not sure I liked her as much in this one, maybe because we were seeing her without Rachel, when she is clearly smitten. I still really like Abby but she came across much more dangerous, the dealer that she is. But Abby is still so funny and such a smart-ass and damn cute that you just can't help but like her.
I cannot show how much I love, and I mean absolutely love, McGarry's books. This one, just like the others, is more than just a love story, it bares truths and allows for greater development than just finding someone to kiss. Haley and West find someone to trust completely and fall hard for and most importantly, someone to brave the future with.
Published 6th June 2014 by MiraInk. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.