Shadowboxer

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

I really liked this book, first book for me of this author. Honestly I have never paid attention to these previous books, because the covers seemed a little too much in the anticipation line, I already told you my problem with the covers. I tend to judge a book on its cover, yes I know it's a big flaw.

Jordan, who had a difficult childhood and a boxing career, is involved in her work as a social worker, but also in learning boxing by inculcating street youth, discipline, empathy and pride to succeed. But, through a sponsorship program, she finds herself face to face with Ali the first love of her life. And a group story that sends mysterious messages with threats comes to shake up Jordan's entire life balance.

Jessica L. Webb addresses the theme of street children who are completely disconnected from their families but also from society, which is interesting and informative. It also addresses the hope of a better world for these completely lost children in a society that does not want to see and integrate them. She says to herself that through boxing, it discipline, but also it rituals, they will manage to find a hope, in default of a better life.

Everything is well orchestrated, including the part of the clan that wants to restore order in society,
She says to herself that through boxing, her discipline, but also her rituals they will manage to find a hope.

The romance is, in my opinion,  not enough present, and it is a euphemism, it is the only pitfall of this book.

I strongly recomend this book because of its originality of the theme, as well as the quality of the writing of the author.

You can buy this book without a doubt.
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This is an F/F and very good, one is a boxer trying to help street kids. The other is a lawyer. After not seeing each other since high school they are brought together by a company trying to improve its image. This is a really good intrigue with twists and turns I highly recommend it.
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Let me just begin this review by saying that I absolutely love Jessica Webb's writing. I fell in love with her first book 'Trigger', and have eagerly awaited every book since. 'Shadowboxer' is a good addition to my Jessica Webb collection.

The story is about Jordan McAddie, a former professional boxer for a brief time who now is working to become a social worker for at risk kids and runs a boxing gym targeted specifically for those kids. Jordan herself was once an at risk child, and the pain of her childhood is intertwined into the story. Her first love, Ali Clarke also enters into the story when the company Ali works for offers to fund Jordan's gym for a year if Ali can stay and be mentored by Madi. Madi is one of Jordan's former kids, though she is now out of the children's social network system because of her age.  Jordan and Ali must work together  to help the vulnerable kids that Jordan has taken under her wing and to solve the mystery of the secretive underground political group that threatens Jordan's kids and even Jordan and Allie.

The title of this book is very apt, not because of the boxing, which you actually do not see that much of, but because of the shadow that hangs over the characters and the story itself. Just the fact that most of the book and many of the characters are connected to  Child Protective Services is enough to make this a very somber story. The lovely romance that Ms. Webb adds to the story does help to brighten the overall serious and somber feel to the narrative.

Even though this story is fiction, I think there are some real life lessons to be learned from the book, especially about the lives these children have to endure, both in and out of the system. They don't have easy lives. Ms. Webb has created realistic characters that can give the reader a glimpse into the reality of the lives of those who live on the streets, in group homes, in foster care, or in the not so safe blanket of social services.

I loved the characters. I enjoyed the plotline, and I feel the reader can learn from the story. You should get 'Shadowboxer'. It is a good read. I was fortunate to be granted an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
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I have read all of Jessica Webb's books and they had always been great. This was no exception.

For starters i love romances where the characters knew each other from their teens, they fall apart and then they fall fo each other all over again as adults. The chemistry between Jordan and Ali is palpable and so true and honest, it's beautiful. All of the supporting characters had depth and fit perfectly with the other characters and the story.
As always, the writing is amazing! I was specially blown away by the way the author captures the mind of Jordan as a child. I think that was my favourite part of the book. Her carefully chosen words take you to the mind of a 6 year old and gives you an incredible insight into Jordan is and why she does what she does. 
I have not been to Halifax but from the amazing descriptions of the places in the book i feel like i've visited some of the city already.

Aside from being a great romance story, i feel like the bigger story is what Jordan does, the difference it makes and its importance in society. 

This is one of those books you might need to read once a year, I know I will!
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Jordan McAddie, an ex-boxer, has fought her way out of her past to become social worker. Besides her office job, she’s used her winnings from her boxing career to start and run a boxing gym for kids, in and out of the system, to come to. Things start to change when a corporate needs to invest in some social responsibility and choose her gym as the recipient. The person representing the company is Jordan’s first love from her teenage days, Alison Clarke. Around the same time an unusual symbol starts making an appearance and it seems to involve the kids frequenting Jordan’s gym.

Jordan is a really powerful character in this story, both because of the depth of her character as well as for the strength she portrays as a human confronted by her past and present. She is the main character. Alison is important and likeable but the story is really about Jordan, and it is a great story. The suspense is quite subtle for most of book but it is there, bubbling insidiously in the background. There’s a great relationship between Jordan and Madi too. Madi is a young woman who’s been mentored by Jordan for a while and she’s still coming to terms with who she is and how to centre herself when she finds herself slipping.

This is a really good read and while weighted more on the romance side of things than “Trigger” (which is the only other book I’ve read by Webb) is, it still has the tension if not the pace. I’m incredibly pleased that I have other books to read by this author.

Book received from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.
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I was incredibly excited when I saw this come up on Netgalley!  I love this author.  I've read her other works more than once.  She spins a marvelous tale with lots of action and intrigue.  The characters are always interesting and the romance sweet.  This book definitely delivered on all that...just not to the extent of her previous works....IMO.  I appreciate the social commentary and the weaving of it within the context of this story.  

I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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A little sweet, a bit of tension...well-written story with a second chance romance that adds a sweet element to the trouble brewing around town.
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I haven't met a Jessica Webb book I didn't like! This book was spectacular like all the others!

Jordan is anything but prepared when her first love returns to Halifax for the first time since high school. Jordan had a rough childhood, and fought her way up in the world, first with a career in boxing, and then becoming a social worker and opening a boxing studio for at-risk kids. Ali had returned to Halifax to act as an investor for Jordan's program, and to be mentored by one of Jordan's ''graduates. Old flames begin to ignite between the two women, but danger challenges their shakey relationship when someone is targeting the city, the kids, and Jordan and Ali. 

From the very first moments, this book had me hooked! We begin reading in Jordan's POV when she is six years old. I honestly felt like I was listening to a six year olds thoughts, I don't know how Jessica Webb did this, but holy cow it was brilliantly done! I can't get over how mind blowing it was. 

I did my undergrad in Halifax and reading this book made me both feel like I was back there and made me miss it terribly. The market, Point Pleasant Park, Mahone Bay, the smell of subway in the SUB (or library when I was there), the wind, the hills...it was brilliantly written, perfect details, and perfect amount of love for a gorgeous city. Thank you Jessica Webb for setting the book there! It was the best feeling and the saddest feeling to experience Halifax like this. It made me connect so much with both Jordan and Ali and how much they missed Halifax when they were gone and how it was home when they came back. 

The chemistry between Ali and Jordan was so good - I loved the sweetness of emotions that carried through from when they were teenagers, but the added fire of grown up desires. It certainly made for a powerful and beautiful couple. 

The mystery side of things a little obvious, but well written and eye opening nonetheless. 

I loved all of Jordan's kids in this book - they had so much heart and so much strength. I'm so inspired by all of them, and by Madi, Jordan, and Ali. 

Once again, it was an amazing book, so brilliantly written, so interesting, so sweet and sexy, and so heartwarming.  I’ll be buying a paperback copy ASAP.

I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Jessica L. Webb’s stories are always powerful in a sense that it makes the reader think beyond what is written down to a realism which is actually felt.  In this story, that realism is felt through the character of Jordan McAddie. Jordan was a relentless fighter for her kids…foster care ones, homeless ones, those suffering from mental illness. She belonged to a dedicated group of people who are constantly overworked and underpaid…social workers. 

Jordan used her boxing winnings to open up a gym and taught them not only physical skills but life lessons. She offered them what she didn’t have growing up with alcoholics parents and an abusive father…safety, love, and constancy. When a political activist group wreaked havoc on her Halifax community, Jordan didn’t back down by their threats to not get involved. She was concerned her kids might also be involved in this rebellion-which went from mischief to criminal activity. So with the help of her recently returned first love, Ali, Jordan fought the fear. She continued to fight the “war of constancy” for them. 

Ms. Webb creates  intriguing multidimensional characters that always seem to draw the reader into their inner conflicts and outward turmoil. She engages her reader with realistic dialogue and actions. I especially liked the slowly developed renewed relationship between Jordan and Ali. It was developed in a mature manner which matched these women’ intelligence and persona. It was refreshing to see this type of development. 

This was another captivating read and highly recommended.
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Shadowboxer by Jessica L. Webb focuses on Jordan McAddie, who runs a boxing gym and is studying to be a social worker. Jordan had a tough childhood and feels a strong connection with the street kids and at-risk kids she works with at the gym. A new mentoring program at the gym brings her first love, Ali Clarke, back into her life – at the same time that a shadowy group begins to stage strange political protests in and around the streets of Halifax.


Jordan and Ali’s relationship is ever-present throughout the book as the two look at what went wrong in the past and how they can become friends again – or possibly more – going forward. But the driving force of the story is the mystery behind the protests as Jordan tries to keep “her” kids from getting caught up with a group whose activities are moving from graffiti and vaguely threatening messages to actual criminal activity.

Shadowboxer moves at a fast pace and the denouement is particularly page-turning. I didn’t find the revelation of the central figure behind the protest group surprising at all – it was hinted at very heavily – but other than that I found this very engaging.

It does a good job of weaving social commentary into the narrative without being heavy-handed or didactic, and I liked the way the different threads of the story – contemporary romance, mystery, family drama – intertwined.
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Jordan is a 30 something year old community advocate who works tirelessly with at risk teens on her old blue collar stomping grounds. She’s surrounded by loving friends and family but has emotional scars that keep her isolated.  Enter her first true love and heartbreak, Ali, who shows up unexpectedly after 14 years. There is also an important subplot involving radical protesters that affects everything. 

Shadowboxer is a deceivingly quiet book.  A bit slow in the beginning but as the layers of past and present are revealed, the story quickly gains momentum and tension.  After that, it’s hard to put down.  As I read the first chapters, I did feel the story was pulled in too many directions—is it a sports book, a suspense thriller, or a romance?  But as the story progresses, it evolves into a deep character study of a woman who struggles but then finally come to terms with all aspects of her life including failures, successes and limitations, her own and those of others. The author pulls together all the narrative strings and it all weaves together very nicely. In addition, the supporting characters are strong and memorable.  The romance is less about sex and more about trust and emotional intimacy.  There are also many subtle moments of human connection that made me pause in my reading, words or gestures that made me smile in recognition. My only tiny complaint is that I wish there had been a little more of Jordan in the professional ring but other than that, it is a very good read.
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A compelling thriller, Shadowboxer features a delicious butch/femme romance on the side with a mystery crime drama up front. Halifax is being slowly infiltrated with a clandestine and mysterious underground anarchy group that social worker, Jordan is certain some of her homeless kids are involved in. Much of the book is Jordan stumbling in the dark with what’s going on as the anarchy group grows more bold with their protests. The mystery was intriguing but dragged on to the point of sheer repetition. By the time the crescendo of the plot finally came to fruition it was frankly, a relief and while still good, it made it seem a bit anticlimactic. The story is well written and  the romance between Jordan and Ali is a delightful distraction from the mystery and actually glues the story together perfectly with ties between Jordan, Ali, and the involved homeless kids. Jordan and Ali are wonderfully likable and make a solid and supportive team to a rag-tag group of disadvantaged teens who just want a little love from grown-ups who genuinely care. That was what I loved most about this book.
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Book received from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books in exchange for an honest review.

It is a good thriller lite about second chances. The characters are sympathetic and engaging, even though a lot of the supporting characters are slightly shallow and could definitely have benefited from some more characterisation depth. The ending also felt a bit abrupt and unpolished. That said, I had a good time with it and would recommend it.
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I received an ARC copy of this book from the Publisher via Netgalley and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

This for me was the best book by this author.  A little different to what she normally writes but  I enjoyed the storyline and I loved the main characters of Jordan & Ali.  Jordan who is an ex-boxer and now working in social work and runs a gym for what she terms ‘her kids’.  Jordan came from a family where her parents were alcoholics and was also living in poverty when she was growing up.  Ali who is now a lawyer has come back into Jordan’s life after being away for x amount of years.  During the process of the book they rekindle their relationship taking it slow to begin with (slow burn romance – my favourite).  However, I have to say that I totally fell for Madi (a secondary character) from the very beginning.  I cannot pinpoint exactly why I took to her so well but she is my favourite.

Overall, the book in my opinion is the best one to date that I have read from this author.  Looking forward to reading more from this author in the very near future.
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beautiful, everything I read was beautiful, even the dark side was done with flavor. I usually don't like it when i read about "one who never moved on" spacailly if the love was lost for more than one year since love is not something permanent it's a constant work, i don't make sense so let me go back to the book. I loved Ali at first i thought ali was a guy and god I was so confused but then i found out it's short for Alison 

my only negative view would be about the fact that this book was so focused on JP and did not give us more about Ali and how she processed her thoughts or feelings. and altho JP was fantastic at showing us her coming back to Ali "process" I was wondering why is it to easy for Ali to try again and be so trusting.

thank you for giving me the opportunity to view this book. Highly recommended 4.6 stars
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'ARC Generously provided by both NetGalley and The Publisher in exchange for an unbiased review'

**'Forget the narrative,backstory,characterization,exposition,all of that.Just make the readers want to know what happens next..Find any writer whose sentences make your heart beat fast..'

Decent story!
3.5star!
When you're the leading protagonist character of this intriguing and interesting book,you usually have a shameful past or a bleak social life --- maybe even family issues and a difficult childhood plus a few tattoos on your body. After all,a flawless main character sometimes evokes more eye rolls than admiration because of their backstory in this instance Jordan being an ex-professional boxer plays that role in this story. She might also fake a few of her smiles to cover what inner turmoil and pain that she's battling but those frowns and winces and laughters and grimaces while interacting with the kids at the gym are always genuine because she knows their life's struggles. Both Jordan & Ali also reignited that magical teenager Love -- they had forge back when both were only 18 years old and now into a full blown romantic relationship. Another thing is that both also were forced to confront truths,forgiveness,not just about each other but also about themselves. The storyline unfolds in fits and starts,and Ms.Webb works backwards and then forward again following Jordan,Ali,Madi & all the other secondary characters in this plotline dealing with these activism and mini-protests. In conclusion,there are no easy or cliched answers here because i'm a bit torn and on the fence with this story: there were some good parts,some deflating ones then the book is realistically questionable in several key aspects but on the other hand this actually makes for a reasonable ending and a good read.
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I'm giving this three stars because even though I like the characters I didn't really like the plot it didn't excute right I get the message about being hungry I been there at times but Helena motives I didn't really understand don't get me wrong I like Jordan and the kids Ali Maddie with boxing everything that about best part of the book beside Jordan and Ali relationship. I just think her other books are better but thank you for giving me opportunity to read your book looking forward to your next book
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If you start by just looking at the front cover of this book, you’ll notice a few things. Now sometimes a cover doesn’t do the book justice, this is absolutely not the case for Shadowboxer. The cover is dark and gritty. The focus is on heavy boxing gloves that have been battered and bruised, much like the kids that face life in the foster care system, on the street, and in abusive homes. 

Jordan McAddie was raised in a home by two parents who abused alcohol. Her father was an emotionally abusive drunk. He took is abuse out on the mother of his children and well as the kids, finally going so far that Jordan was removed from her parent’s custody. We meet Jordan as she is well into her career as a child advocate and social worker in Halifax. Jordan uses her past experience as a professional boxer as a way to connect with the local kids. After working grueling hours she spends all her free time opening up her boxing gym to local kids interested in the sport and needing a place they can feel wanted. 

When new funding for her gym comes available from a large corporation, Jordan is faced with a face from her past. Ali Clarke is back in Halifax as a representative for Centera Corporation. Her job is to learn from the youth at Jordan’s gym and create some good PR for her company. Ali is the one Jordan let go of so long ago. Her first and only love is back in Halifax. To see Ali again is a blessing, but also brings back all those old feelings. These two have a new chance at love if they are willing to risk it. 

As heavy as the subject is about kids that are in desperate need of better representation and social services this book gives you lightness and hope as well. Ali and Jordan have a fabulous chemistry and it’s a delightful slow burn romance. At times this book is heavy but the counterbalances are done well. The secondary characters add so much to the book but never out shadow the mains. That is hard to pull off and Webb did it flawlessly. More than anything this one keeps you hooked.
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Review of 'Shadowboxer' by Jessica L. Webb.

Former boxer Jordan McAddie had a hard childhood and now she's dedicated to help street kids by teaching them the discipline of boxing. With her mentoring duties, a full time job and her social worker studies, she's got enough on her plate and the least thing she needs is her first love walking back into her life. As she struggles to open up to a possible relationship, the street kids are being targeted by an extremist group. Can she keep the kids safe and give love a chance?

Throughout her short but productive career, Ms. Webb has written action, mystery and psychological thrillers with romance at the side. While 'Shadowboxer' has a mix of these genres, it's her most introspective work. There is a criticism of the social services system and, more specifically, how adults fail to protect their children and youth. Through boxing, Jordan and the teenagers under her care learn more than the physical activity of fighting: they build their self-esteem, learn to trust each other and to boost their confidence. It's not a fight against each other but rather a struggle against their own ghosts, a bit like shadowboxing. No  wonder that, compared to the rest of Webb's novels, this one feels oppressive and darker. The author works with the lights and shadows in the characters' states of mind as reality throws punches at them. It's not an easy read but the heaviness is balanced by the sweet redemption of romance and friendship.
 Regarding  the mystery and action scenes, they are short but effective in keeping the reader hooked in the story. The characters are well written and even though there are a good number of secondary characters, they all have depth and feel real.
The romance is slow burn and sweet, both mains complement each other and send a light of hope to the darker sides of the plot. My only criticism is that the last couple of chapters seem a bit rushed. However, this book is definitely worth a read.

Overall, a darker novel by Ms. Webb with a mix of action, mystery, phychological thriller and romance. Not an easy read but highly recommended. 4.5 stars.  

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

See all my reviews at
www.lezreviewbooks.com
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4.25 Stars. Webb easily makes my list of top favorite authors. I love her writing and her stories. While I must admit that I like her action-romance books better, this was a very well written book.

Jordan is a social worker. She comes from a poor family and a rough childhood that has left many scars. After a short career as a boxer, Jordan was able to purchase an old boxing gym she uses for underprivileged youth programs. She is able to help homeless, foster care, and group home children, find a sense of belonging above her social work job. When a large company wants to fund her gym for a year, Jordan finds herself working with Ali, her first love. With all the unresolved feelings between them, can they work together for the good of the kids? And what will happen when an underground political group has its site set on revenge of their city?

This book is a little on the somber side. Learning the scars of Jordan and what the kids are going through really tugs on your heartstrings. The book is so well written that you really feel the pain Jordan is still struggling with. While the book has a somber tone, it also includes a sweet romance and a small mystery.

All the characters are very well written; from the mains of Jordan and Ali, to the other workers and some of the kids. You are instantly behind Jordan and root for her to find the strength and self-confidence she deserves.

When it comes to the romance, I thought it was good. While there are issues the characters have to work out, Webb takes the time to really build and build the chemistry up. It did not feel rushed which I appreciate. I would not really call the sex scenes explicit. They were more about what the characters were feeling than details of who did what where, if that makes sense.

There is a small mystery that adds a little excitement. Who are this underground group targeting people all over the city? While I did think it was a little easy to figure out who “the bad guy/girl” is, the mini mystery added a little excitement the book needed. Since the book was a little somber and slow at times, this added boost of a little action that was a nice mix.

This is different than any book Webb has written, but I still think Webb fans will enjoy this. Webb’s excellent writing style and history of writing books that are not like the books we always read, is all in this book. I can't wait to see what Webb has in-store for us next.
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