ARC Review: Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille

Posted September 14, 2013 by Francesca in Reviews / 4 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille
Against the Ropes
by Sarah Castille

2.5 Stars


Released: September 3, 2013
Series: Against the Ropes #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 351
Format: ARC

“…underneath all the layers of shoving tropes down my throat, there was a good story.  I just think it would’ve been better without the bells and whistles.” ~Under the Covers

Sometimes a great cover can draw you in like honey to a bee.  AGAINST THE ROPES has the same cover appeal as Jaci Burton’s Play by Play series.  So of course, I have to read this!

And then I got a bit of a disappointment.  See, I didn’t read any reviews about this book.  I went in blind knowing just that it was about an MMA fighter.  The good news, he’s a hot and brooding type of MMA fighter.  The underground world that he moves in has a big bad boy appeal and can definitely get me interested.  But that’s not where his story ended.  There’s more to him, who he is and what he does behind the scenes.  I guess for me, that was the bad news.

Well, that’s not the only bad news.  Lets just say that Makayla wasn’t what I would consider top heroine material.  She’s not very bright (even though she’s supposed to be book smart), but I do admire her tenacity in life and working with what she’s given to make the best of it.  But common sense isn’t abundant here.  However, I wouldn’t classify her quite as TSTL.

I thought Torment (yes, the hero of this story) had so much potential when the book started out, I wish the author would’ve continued the book with just that storyline without adding his “other side”.  And I don’t mean sexually.  I mean the melting pot of ideas the author was trying to cram into this one little story.  I think editing some of that stuff out would’ve been beneficial.  You don’t have to write it all in one book.  There was the sports MMA fighter angle, biker hero, along with some mafia issues, the poor girl being rescued by the rich guy, and lets not forget about the BDSM and the 50 Shades of Grey vibe.  Yes, I know a lot of people didn’t feel like this while reading the book but I kept thinking “why am I finding another billionaire book while reading this?”.  I wasn’t expecting that!!  And lets not forget the tortured, BDSM loving, town car riding, butler employer, sweet texting parts.  I think that hit most in the checklist.

Nevertheless, the book is hot.  I can’t take that away from it because Torment is alpha and very sexy when it comes to that.  And underneath all the layers of shoving tropes down my throat, there was a good story.  I just think it would’ve been better without the bells and whistles.



Click on the covers to buy the books




About Sarah Castille

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them. A recovering lawyer and caffeine addict, she worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies.


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Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m a 30 something sun lover living in the Big Apple (read New York).I’m a book and coffee addict and lover of all things elephants.

I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!

I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.
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KomalUnder the Covers Book BlogJenny Dauksa SchaberTimitra Recent comment authors
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I was looking forward to reading this one but now nah think I’ll pass…thanks Francesca!

Jenny Dauksa Schaber
Jenny Dauksa Schaber

Thanks for your honesty…I’m starting to realize that is not what everyone puts out there and makes me appreciiate you and a couple other bloggers even more than I already did. Thankfully we seem to like the same things. Based on you and Melissa, I’m taking this off of my TBR. It sounds like my head would spin & that’s not why I read.

Under the Covers Book Blog
Under the Covers Book Blog

Honesty is hard to come by, I’ve noticed that too. Mostly because it’s never easy to say something bad but we always try to give an honest opinion while staying respectful to the author who puts their heart and soul into their work. Not everything can work for everyone and maybe what I don’t like is something someone else might want. 🙂


I really thought this book would be a winner. I mean look at that cover! But the general consensus is that the book is nothing to sneeze at. Oh well. Awesome review, and thanks for the fyi! 🙂