Cover Image: Fighting Dirty

Fighting Dirty

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Member Reviews

From my blog: Always With a Book:

This is the fourth, and final, book in Lori Foster's Ultimate series and I really enjoyed this series. I'm so glad I finally made the time to finish reading it - these stories were so much fun...and I got a bunch of older Netgalley books read so double win for me!!!

While this book can absolutely be read as a stand-alone, I highly recommend reading the prior books in the series first. You will have a better understanding of the characters and their connections if you do.

As has been the style in this series, we jump right into the romance between our main couple, and having read this series in order, this is a romance that has been brewing for a while. I have been waiting for Armie and Rissy's story for some time and loved that they finally got their time to shine...but of course it wasn't without its bumps along the way. 

One thing I love about this series is that Lori Foster can go from steamy, sexy scenes to conflict and it doesn't seem forced. She creates tension and drama and it all works together to give you a cohesive story that keeps you invested and caring about the characters. She created this series about a group of MMA fighters and they are loyal to each other, always having each others' backs. It's nice to see this friendship outside the ring.

I really enjoyed this installment as well as the series as a whole. I typically don't read a whole lot of romance series anymore but based on my enjoyment of this one, I might have to change that!
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I am a huge fan of Lori Fosters' writing, so when a new book of hers is published, I can't wait to read it! 

Fighting Dirty is the latest in the Ultimate Fighters series, and I was so excited to finally be able to read Armies story. This book follows the story of fighter Armie and Merissa. The heat and attraction has always been there between these two, but Armie is best friends with Merissas fighter brother Cannon and also known as somewhat of a playboy. After a steamy kiss at a friends wedding, Merissa decided she is going to go after what she wants when it comes to Armie, but with his past, he worries he's not good enough for her. When an old rumor surfaces before a big fight, and dangerous situations arise for Merissa, Armie is convinced his past is to blame and wants to do all he can to protect Merissa. 

This book kept me on the edge of my seat, I couldn't wait to see what happened next. If you are looking for a book that is hot and steamy and will also keep you interested right until the very end, you don't want t miss this book!
I received this book free for my honest review, all opinions are my own.
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This was so good! The Ultimate series has been hit or miss for me but Fighting Dirty was awesome!!! I loved Armie and Rissy!

Armie and Rissy were wonderful characters. He's so sweet and charming. I loved learning his history and finding out what really made him tick. Rissy was great too. I loved here personality. Watching them come together was awesome. It was filled with so much emotion and heart. Armie was a complex guy and I loved how she was there for him. And Armie letting Rissy in was amazing. 

The writing was really good. Though long and drawn out in spots I felt it had a great flow and I enjoyed the details. I thought there was a great build happening and was excited for what was going to happen next. I loved all the guys, there were so many fun scenes that had me smiling, it just made me happy.

I was a little nervous to read this because the last two really didn't do it for me at all but I am so happy with what I got. Great characters and storyline and an amazing HEA! There's a lot of steamy times mixed in and a bit of suspense to round it out and I enjoyed it all.
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Getting to know the two main character throughout the series really made for such a deeper connection between myself as the reader as well as the characters since they have known each other for years! I love how Rissy's brother Cannon actually pushed them together, knowing how they both felt and we're holding back. The suspense of who the attacks were targeting kept the book moving and I enjoyed the extra layer it brought. Looking forward to the body guard series to come!!
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I had been really looking forward to this book, and it didn’t disappoint. Loved Arnie and Merissa, and finally seeing all the chemistry explode! Very hot together! A great conclusion to the Ultimate Series.
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I am so sorry to say goodbye to this series. Fighting Dirty is the fourth and last book.  Talk about saving the best for last!  Lori Foster has created a fantastic world in her Ultimate series, and peopled it with layered and interesting characters. The books can stand alone, but it's way more fun to get to know the characters early on, to become attached to them and look forward to their stories. I suggest reading them in order. Fighting Dirty is a best friend's little sister story, well crafted and delivered. The characters are clear voiced and interesting, the dialogue is sharp, and the story is sexy and fun.
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I have mentioned before my awe with authors who know how to write a successful series. And when I say successful, I am not meaning that everyone loves it or it is total 5 stars all the way.

What I am talking about is the capturing of the readers imagination and getting them to buy in on who these characters are... wanting to know more and feeling like you could visit them down the they lived there. This can happen with complex, intricately layered stories as well as ones who present easy reads which can just take you away from your real life and give you an escape.

Outside of setting up a successful series with the needed elements of the first installments, I think the long awaited book... the one of that character who has been in and out of all the other books, teasing us with witty comments or looks of deep longing for his eventual partner is the hardest of all to write. The build up in the fans heads can be so big that if the story doesn't match the anticipation of the readers then there is an almost certainty of disappointment.

I remember a hugely popular series which had multiple installments with strong Alpha guys. Always in the background was this brooding lead man who would contribute moments in each book...laying a foundation of want for the readers so strong they were foaming at the mouth waiting for his book. When it finally arrived...unfortunately it did not live up to the promise and may have been a "fine" book but due to the way the author presented him from all the other books, his personal story just didn't work for his fans.

I mention all of this because Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster succeeded for me as the book devoted to Armie and Merissa. We had a very strong foundation of who we thought Armie was... of who he thought he was...Throughout all of the Ultimate books, Armie was there as the sarcastic, sexually explicit MMA fighter who used sex as a release. He would flirt shamelessly with all, be side by side with all the other MMA fighters when they needed any type of help and we watched as he resisted the offers time and time again from the MMA organization to have him fight in sanctioned fights like all of the other guys.

Armie would run the rec center... show his big heart to the kids; looking out for the lost ones and work to teach them there were other ways then being on the street or in gangs. Armie's past was hidden but we knew it wasn't a pretty shiny penny. He was full of repressed rage and doing underground MMA fights gave him the release for his pain. Being the sexual stud he advertised let him dull the nonsense in his head.

Oh, Armie was a happily sexual fella and those who played with him were always satisfied for Armie made sure he gave each and every partner... or partners.... whatever they needed to get off.

What Amrie didn't have was a clear pathway to what he wanted, craved and needed all of his life... Merissa. Merissa was Armie's best friend's little sister...she was good and deserved so much better than him...for he was never going to be what she needed...the normal regular guy...providing her with the 2.5 kids and happy life. Things happened long ago which made that impossible. So, Armie carried his love for Merissa deep in his heart and ran the other way when he felt the draw to her too much for him to fight.

Merissa loved Armie for a very long time...she saw the true Armie... the one he hid from everyone. Yes, he teased every woman but her sexually... and yes, she heard all the stories of many partners all at the same time...but she also saw Armie over the years stand up with her brother and the other fighters over and over again doing good for the community, being loyal and true to whomever needed help and giving of himself time and time again... never asking for anything in return. Armie was hers...and someday she was going to figure out how to make it so.

In the mean time, Merissa had a life too... she worked and was active with the guys, supporting them and even going to all of the fights. She had been with a few guys... nothing serious and was in the process of cutting one of them loose. This last one turned out to be a selfish lover and not a very nice person, so Merissa let him know thanks but no thanks.

She is also determined to let things go with Armie. too. The two of them have been playing with fire and although they both want each other... Armie just won't man up and allow nature to take its course. Marissa has a new position with a bank as its manager and both she and Armie have stepped away...

But it isn't working for Armie... and after a few days, he goes to the bank to talk with Merissa... man up and try to figure out how to be with her.....only instead of being able to accomplish his goal...a bank robbery occurs. Even with all the elements of disaster, Armie is able to somehow "save" the day with some help with another employee. Merissa had been held and smacked around by one of the robbers and it has shaken her to her core...Armie is there and this moment allows both of them to stop the fear and cling to each other...

This story doesn't stop there, though... oh no...

There is a level of suspense, many suspects, revealing false accusations and Armie's first official fight to get ready for... All of these elements are strung together to engage us and keep us interested to the end...

But like any Lori Foster book...she has given us a juicy, sexy center of the love story of Armie and Merissa. These two together are just terrific...This time we get to be the fly on the wall, learning first hand the "talents" of the infamous Armie... and Merissa is us... learning what works for Armie the man not the performer...The scenes together when Armie finally "let's Go"....just prepared for dreams of wish fulfillment in your future, people...

Merissa is not a weeping willow, soft and mushy with no strength... no she has her feminine side but also understands Armie better than he knows himself... so instead of falling into whiny traps of romance books... she pushes back... captures him and makes him listen to her. Even when Armie is acting the fool about their relationship, she still holds true to who she is and handles the scene just right.

This book gives us Armie... stripped and bare and delivers on all the promises made in the books leading up to this. Ms. Foster smartly gave us continued pieces of the crew... past characters, up and coming fighters with more insight laying that every present trail of interest for the new spin off series to come.

As I talked about earlier, this was a very successful end of series book which delivered a one two punch of fun, providing everything an Armie and Merissa fan could want... Well, an epilogue would have been great... but I am betting... in the first book of the new bodyguard series, we will see how all of the crew are doing.
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I feel like Armie's book has been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait!  He has been such an intriguing character in Foster's other books, and it was great to get his story. Merissa made a worthy love interest for him, and I really enjoyed reading as their relationship developed. Both are great characters, and it was wonderful to see so many other familiar characters turn up.

I enjoyed the suspense aspect of the storyline, but it was the chemistry between Armie and Melissa that gave this book the wow factor. I'm so glad to finally have their  story!
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