Title: Take Me On
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits, book 4
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Review copy from publisher
“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 her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his 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.”
Take Me On is the fourth book in the Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry.
Take Me On starts roughly couple of months before the end of Crash Into You. Rachel’s brother, West Young, feels responsible for what happened to Rachel. His guilt makes him act out, and after one too many fights he is expelled from school. His father, tired of his antics, kicks him out of the house.
West needs to prove himself and his father that he is not the screw up kid everybody thinks he is.
He meets Haley after almost running her over with his car, a girl that intrigues him and to his luck goes to his new school in the bad side of town.
Since the first encounter he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Haley, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him.
Haley used to be a successful fighter, but after her last relationship ended badly she lost her passion for the sport and has sworn off of dating another fighter. Even though West is not professional, that’s exactly what he is, a no-no in Haley’s new book of rules.
West knows Haley’s ex-boyfriend, Matt, is bad news and to protect her he accepts a challenge to a fight. The only problem is Matt is a professional fighter and West isn’t.
Haley knows West accepted the challenge to protect her and even though she left the sport behind she knows West needs her help to survive the fight. Leaving her promises to herself behind, she starts to train West.
West is falling hard for Haley and she for him, but to be together they need to be honest about their pasts. The only problem is the secrets they have been keeping can unite them or tear them apart.
Thanks to Crash Into You (book 3), when I started this book I had a not too favorable image of West, but as always, one thing is what you see from the outside, another very different when you are in the head of the character and you see the reasoning behind his actions, and that’s exactly what happened with West in this book.
Despite being rich and have everything in life, West has always feel as a failure and an undesired. Hearing since early ages that he was conceive to save his older sister whom was dying of cancer and knowing he wasn’t a match and she died hasn’t been easy. Having a grieving mother and an absent father hasn’t helped to reassure him, and now, after what happened to Rachel, his guilt and feeling of unworthiness has reached its limits.
West knows he needs to do something for himself and being homeless is just the push he needed.
I really liked that West saw his situation as an opportunity to be better instead of feeling sorry for himself and wallowing in despair. I liked that he knew what he wanted and work hard to achieve it, whether it be being with Haley or becoming a responsible adult.
My heart broke for Haley. She has had a terrible last year. After his father lost his job, they lost their house; circumstances took them to live with her uncle, an abusive bastard that used every opportunity to break her and her family’s spirit. The hardest part was they couldn’t do anything but take everything he threw at them because they were living under his roof and didn’t have another place to go.
If that wasn’t enough, Haley ex-boyfriend is dangerous and has her living in fear, not only for her safety, but that of her family.
Teen’s years are hard enough, I can’t imagine going through that with all those other conflicts that Haley had in her life. That is one of the things about Mrs. McGarry’s books. She gives us crude realities that makes us being grateful for what we have and open our eyes to the realities of life. I can’t imagine how many people are going through circumstances similar to Haley’s life. Fighting day after day to stay afloat and hoping for an opportunity in their conflicted lives for a chance to a better future.
West and Haley’s relationship develops slowly. West is constant in what he wants, but Haley is afraid. They need time to grow together and to realize they are stronger together than apart. Haley makes West a better man and West gives Haley the security and tenderness she so much needs.
In this installment we also see Rachel and Isaiah, but this time we see them through West’s eyes. We also see West warming up towards Isaiah and some part of Rachel’s recovery.
One character that plays an important role is Isaiah’s friend, Abby. Abby is a very interesting character to say the least. I really hope next book is her book. If somebody deserves some love is that girl.
Take Me On also delves into the fighting world and it was pretty obvious Mrs. McGarry did her job. Her knowledge of the sport is clearly seen when she brings it to live with her words.
Take Me On has everything I expect a McGarry book to have. Conflicted, tortured and compelling characters, top notch writing, engaging story and many heart-wrenching moments.
Take Me On is a book I recommend you all to read, and even though is catalogued as YA, I wouldn’t recommend it to very young readers due to its mild sexual content.
I’m looking forward to next book in this series, and I as I say before I’m hoping it’ll be Abby’s story.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Take Me On
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