Author: Katy Evans
Series: Real #6
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
Maverick “the Avenger” Cage wants to rise to the top and become a legend in the ring. Though he keeps his identity well guarded, he's known on the fighting circuit as the new kid with a chip on his shoulder and a tattoo on his back that marks him as trouble. He's got a personal score to settle with the Underground's one and only Remington "Riptide" Tate.
As Mav trains, he meets a young girl—the only other new person in the town--and sparks fly. When things get heated between them, he finds out she's none other than Reese Dumas, the cousin of Remington Tate’s wife. A girl who's supposed to root against him and a girl he's supposed to stay away from.
But Maverick fights for the woman in his heart, and the monsters in his blood. The world’s eyes are on them and the victor will go down in history as the ultimate fighting champion; the ultimate Legend.
Meet Maverick “The Avenger” Cage in Legend, the newest stand alone in the Real series.
It’s midweek already, and I’m halfway through my workout when I get a text from Brooke:
Hey! Huge line at the Underground registration, might pick up lunch on our way back home. Don’t wait for us – lunch home w/Diane
Me: Got it ☺ Will take Racer to park and meet you home ltr
I set my phone aside and scan the gym again. Some otherworldly impulse has me walking past the weights section. I cross the treadmills, bicycles, toward the mats at the end and the boxing bags. I scan the area where Maverick always works out. There are several guys at the bags now. None of them are as big, or mysterious. Or hot.
Disappointment washes over me. I wait a bit, checking the time. Five minutes to leave for Racer.
Reese, you’re acting stupid.
“You’re looking for your friend? The one you come in with?”
“I . . . ah . . . yeah.”
“He hasn’t come in.”
I head to pick up Racer from day care, meet Pete there with the stroller and our snacks, then sit Racer inside and push him to the park. There’s this spot I like under the shadow of a tree. I head there. “How was day care, Racer?”
He’s scanning the park for dogs, I know.
“This is nice, isn’t it?”
I pull out his fruit bears and open them. He dives in.
“Racer, I ran extra hard today and I’m suddenly hungry. If I tell you an extra story tonight, would you give me one of your fruit bears?”
“Two stowies,” he negotiates.
“Okay, two stories, for two bears?” I shoot back.
He hesitates, then nods and lets me pull out two bears, examining my hand thoroughly. I let him open my palm.
He grins a dimpled grin that I could eat up, and then continues eating.
I shove them in my mouth and start to set up my blanket and stop in my tracks when I spot the figure doing pull-ups on the tree.
His T-shirt is riding upward due to the lifted position of his arms, and I can see the concrete-like squares of his abs perfectly.
His extraordinary eyes blaze and glow when he spots me a few feet away, not far from the tree. He drops himself to the ground, lithe as a cat and surprisingly quiet, and as he stretches to his feet from the crouched position he landed in, his eyes are direct and interested and warm. No, not warm. More.
There’s a flip in my stomach when his lips curl a little. He ambles over and I have the oddest sensation that he was waiting for me. But . . . was he?
“Mavewick!” Racer repeats, and puts out his fist.
He bumps fists with Racer. “Dude. Cool cap.”
He taps Racer’s Yankees baseball cap. Then his eyes lift to meet mine.
My stomach feels unsettled, but it’s not from hunger, more like from nerves or something like . . . anticipation.
“Didn’t see you at the gym today,” I say.
He shakes his head. “I talked to Oz.”
He gives me this quiet, perfect smile and simply nods.
We smile for the most delicious few seconds.
“So you’re fighting during the inaugural?” I ask excitedly.
He pulls out a page from his back jeans pocket. “That’s me.”
I take and scan the page. It indicates his accepting the Underground terms and rules of engagement, states his coach’s name, and then his name. A dangerous little chill runs down my spine when I read:
Maverick “the Avenger” Cage
And Maverick “the Avenger” Cage is watching me read this paper, studying my reaction.
My palms are sweaty all of a sudden. “Well . . . wow.”
My stomach is quaking upon seeing his name, I don’t know why. Maverick Cage. His name is a conundrum. Maverick means “rebel,” and cage . . . But it looks like this maverick is coming out of his cage.
He tucks the page back into his jeans. “I had to tell someone.”
“And you came to tell me?” If I sound bewildered, it’s because I am.
He stares into me, a liquid look coming to his eyes. “It wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for you.”
“That’s totally not true.”
He glances down at the stroller. “I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t tell my buddy here.” He fist-bumps Racer again and Racer giggles at the attention.
“Mom and Dad are busy, so I get to keep him for an extra while,” I tell Maverick.
He stares at me. He has a very stubborn, arrogant face, but when he smiles, pleasure softens his granitelike features. And he’s smiling right now. Dear me. “So he’s not yours,” he says.
“God, no. I wish!”
I can’t think straight when he looks at me. I feel naked. As if he knows that I’ve missed him. As if he knows that just looking at him makes me feel odd. Odd and oddly sensual inside. Responding to him.
I open my blanket and bend over to smooth it on the ground. Then I realize my butt is sticking out, the Himalayas of butts out there for him to see. In tight exercise gear. Fuck.
He kneels on his haunches at the edges of the blanket and opens his hand. “Share the blanket with me?”
His knuckles are still scarred. I can’t decide why I keep looking at them. I get a gut squeeze of empathy every time I see the bruises. His hands are huge. He plants them on the blanket, then shifts to lean back on his arms, stretching out his legs before him. Other couples are nearby on blankets. It feels intimate when I set my stuff down, and I feel myself go hot when I sense him watching me settle down next to it.
He spreads out just a little more and squints up at the tree, then looks at me in silence.
I search the picnic bag. “Want some . . . kid food? Or I’ve got . . .” I pull out my emergency Snickers bar, which I’m proud not to have touched yet, and I hand it over. “Plus one water and a drinking cup with a lid.”
I pass the drinking cup to Racer and hand Maverick the water. He takes it. “I’m good.” He opens the water bottle and hands it to me.
I shake my head. I’m not hungry, really. Or thirsty. My stomach feels full of butterflies again and it makes no sense, since I don’t even know him.
He shifts up higher on his arms, the flex of his torsal muscles visible through the cotton of his shirt.
“I almost thought you’d arrived to the gym and got yourself kicked out,” I try.
“Not yet. There’s still tomorrow.” He smirks.
And there’s a tinge of merriment in his eyes.
“Wee, and the ducks?”
I jerk my attention back to Racer and my pending business with him. “Right. I promised we’d feed the ducks today.” I quickly pack our stuff and then push the stroller toward the lake. He walks beside me.
I feel him watching me as I stop at the dispenser to fill up a cup of duck food.
“Mavewick, get me out,” Racer commands.
Maverick sweeps him up and sets him on his feet.
“Don’t go in the water, Racer, just stay on the edge, and don’t let them bite your finger. Do it like this. . . .” I show him how to cup his hand. “Or throw it in the water and watch them pick at it.”
He nods and starts throwing all over, sending the ducks after the nibbles.
I sit on the ground, the scent of damp grass surrounding us as Maverick sits beside me.
“Hey, I want to do something for you.”
I can’t remember how to breathe.
I give him a moment to explain, but he’s not helping me out, only smiling. His face is open, friendly, his smile captivating. But his eyes are guarded, careful. I try to keep my voice indifferent.
“You mean for the gym?” I ask, a puzzled frown on my face.
He nods. “For that. And Oz.”
“Oh.” I shake my head, laughing softly. “It’s nothing, really.”
When he looks at me, he looks curious, and unsatisfied somehow. But a genuinely appreciative smile touches his eyes. “Trust me. It’s not nothing. It’s something, and I appreciate it.”
His open gratitude makes me so warm. He makes me feel impulsive.
“I’m in a healthy-living boot camp this summer. You’re meeting the new Reese,” I hear myself blurt out.
Wow. Did I just spew it out like that?
I’m so desperate for him to share bits of himself that I’m just totally baring myself to him without his even asking. Thank god he takes it in stride with an attractive little dance in his eyes.
“What was the old one like?” he asks easily.
I shrug and shake my head, not really wanting to get into that.
When he does nothing to fill the silence that settles between us, it leaves me with nothing to do but look up at him. I lift my lashes, and he’s staring at me with a look of total intrigue in his eyes. Wisps of hair tease my face, and I push them away, feeling really restless under that stare.
“Help me kick my own ass, and we’ll call it even,” I suddenly suggest.
He shakes his head with playful stubbornness. “We’re not even. I still owe you.” His eyes grow thoughtful, and he reaches into his pocket and extracts something. “Open your palm.”
He looks so intense that I open my palm and watch him drop something in it. “What’s this?”
I stare at the penny in my palm, then look up at him in confusion.
His voice sounds a little more harsh and textured all of a sudden. “I don’t have a lot right now, but I got this.”
“For a rainy day?” I ask.
“For any day.”
You know, for a book about fighters, this was an unbelievably sweet story. I loved that we got to experience not only two completely new characters, but we were able to reconnect with old ones. It was like coming home and finding everyone all grown up. It made me nostalgic and want to immediately re-read the first three books in this series. With each book that Evans releases, she just keeps getting better and better at perfecting her craft. She draws you into her characters and hold you hostage for long after the story is over. You become invested in their world and dread the moment they’re gone. This book was the perfect ending to a series I won’t soon forget. We were brought full circle with characters that are forever embedded in my heart.
I loved the vulnerability and strength that was portrayed in our characters. Reese came to the story with something to prove to herself; ready to start the next chapter in her life. I enjoyed how she just dove in head first and made changes, made it an adventure. She took risks and they more than played out with great rewards. I love that she saw something in Maverick that most wouldn’t have given time to uncover. I love that she saw it from the beginning, before they had even spoken a word to each other. There was an undeniable connection, a chemistry that sparked in the air yet couldn’t be explained. I loved the peaceful silence between them; words needed not to be spoken out loud. Their hearts did all the talking for them.
I think Maverick may just be one of my favorite characters to ever read. While it was clear what his goal was, the road to get there was paved with many twists and turns. I loved that he fought for what he wanted, sometimes literally. There was just something about the man that drew you to him and made it impossible to resist. He had an air and magic that surrounded him that you could’t help but become enveloped in. One of my favorite things about this story was the unexpected relationship that developed between him and another key player. I won’t be specific because it might be construed as a spoiler, but just know that it was so beautiful. It was so perfect and just everything they both needed. Like I said, full circle. That’s what this story was for me. THE perfect ending.
Real (Real #1)
A fallen boxer.
A woman with a broken dream.
He even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…
Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life.
He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents . . .
But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me.
I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations.
If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me?
Mine (Real #2)
He’s mine, and I’m his. Our love is all-consuming, powerful,
imperfect, and real…
In the international bestseller REAL, the unstoppable bad boy of the Underground fighting circuit finally met his match. Hired to keep him in prime condition, Brooke Dumas unleashed a primal desire in Remington “Riptide” Tate as vital as the air he breathes… and now he can’t live without her.
Brooke never imagined she would end up with the man who is every woman’s dream, but not all dreams end happily ever after, and just when they need each other the most, she is torn away from his side. Now with distance and darkness between them, the only thing left is to fight for the love of the man she calls mine.
Remy (Real #3)
Underground fighter Remington Tate is a mystery, even to himself. His mind is dark and light, complex and enlightening. At times his actions and moods are carefully measured, and at others, they spin out of control.
Through it all, there’s been one constant: wanting, needing, loving, and protecting Brooke Dumas. This is his story; from the first moment he laid eyes on her and knew, without a doubt, she would be the realest thing he’s ever had to fight for.
Rogue (Real #4)
He says he’s no good for her.
She hates that he might be right.
Brook Dumas found Remington Tate in REAL, and now it’s her best friend Melanie’s turn to find the man who makes her heart sing. After years of searching, one night in the rain, the strong and mysterious Greyson King comes to her rescue. He’s bold, and maybe just the lover, friend, and protector she’s been searching for. When they make love, he says her name like it means something. Like she means something—and that’s everything she’s ever wanted.
He disappears for days without a word, and when he’s around, he says he’ll only hurt her. Buy when he’s away, her heart hurts more.
Then Melanie uncovers the dark world he’d been determined to keep hidden, and suspects that their random first meeting might have not been so random after all.
Caught in a free fall of emotions, Melanie has no one to catch her but the man she should be running from. . .
But what do you do when your Prince Charming has gone Rogue?
Ripped (Real #5)
Every woman wants me–except the one I sing for.
Seattle shakes with anticipation: they call it the concert of the year. They say girls are getting pregnant just thinking about Crack Bikini being in town.
But when you love a girl, you don’t leave her with nothing but a ring and a promise. Any man with half a brain should know.
So what did I expect my girl would do when she saw me again?
Well, for starters, she loathes our music. Particularly the song I wrote about her.
When I sing it, the stadium is in an uproar. Thousands of fans scream my name like I’m a god–but yeah, not her. Crystal clear: the girl’s not happy to see me.
Black hair, black boots, a bad attitude, that’s her — Pandora Stone is a freaking man-eater and she’s out for my blood.
Let her come at me. Because I’m out for her heart and, this time, there’s no way she can stop me.
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