Review: Outside the Ropes, by Ashley Claudy

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? Yes.

Category: Adult, with characters of new adult age.

Genre: Contemporary Suspense with some romantic elements.

Self-published

Pages: 438

Blurb:

In the ring, Regan has control. Outside the ropes, she fights to survive.

Regan Sommers spent her life fighting. Fighting foster parents, kids in the group home, and classmates. But the night she has to fight for her life changes everything.

Now, she’s fighting for money in the ring, and from the first punch she’s addicted. Every addiction has a price though, and this one is the gym’s star boxer, Gage Lawson. He may come in an enticing tattooed package, but his demands are more than she can handle.

The responding officer from that night, Anthony Fields, comes with no demands. He want’s whatever she’s willing to give, and Regan can handle that. She can definitely handle him.

But no help comes string free, and Regan’s not the only one with a hard past and scars to cover. The life she was trying to escape is nothing compared to the danger she’s in the middle of now, and she can’t fight her way out.

***Reader please be aware: Story contains mature content such as: Drugs, sex, abuse, and explicit language that may be upsetting for some.****

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 
Outside the Ropes is the first installment in the series and ends on a small cliffhanger. I heard that this book was previously published on Wattpad, but I don’t know if it’s true or not. Either way, it’s an enjoyable read if you’re looking for some suspense, but the romance is lackluster for me.
I enjoyed reading this book. Stating otherwise would be a lie. Sometimes I got a little bored, but soon after a new twist would pop up and things would unravel some more and I was sucked back in. The only thing is, the prologue let it on that the story would be pretty exciting right away, but I think the beginning of the book is rather slow when you take in the book in its whole. That doesn’t mean that first part isn’t important, not at all! It is very important for Regan’s characterization. Though, I do think that some things would have happened a little sooner to not have some things repeating themselves again and again.
Now, if you’re looking for a book only about the romance you’re going to be let down. It’s not a romance as I often read and review here. There’s a romantic aspect, but to be honest with you it doesn’t interest me all that much. The author uses the word spark to describe how Regan and Gage are together, but other than the description states, I don’t feel it all that much. It dragged for a while and then happens and it morphed into something more so quickly in comparison to how long it took for them to get closer. Somehow, sometimes it made me cringe a little bit.
But the thing that truly interested me and still does, it’s the suspense. The author created a story based on suspense and it really works. She didn’t take the easy way out, didn’t hesitate in adding some crazy twists to her story and I can only bow to her for that. It’s the suspense that won me over, not the characters, not the romance.
Speaking of the characters…
I’m not necessarily fond of them. I enjoy Regan enough not to be annoyed by her POV and to want to know more regarding her past, but I don’t love her either. Gage is interesting enough, but sometimes I felt like some of his actions were at odds with what he’s showed. I enjoyed Dexter (Gage’s little brother) for a while, but close to the end I wanted to slap him. The other secondary characters bring a little something to the story, but I don’t necessarily care about them.
Even Anthony made me wary for a while. At this time, I still don’t know why. I’d like to see him again in the next installment because I think he could bring another twist when need be.
To be honest with you, rating this book is very difficult for me. I’m hesitating, going back and forth between 3 and 4 stars…
What do you think of Gage? Anthony? Regan? 
RATING:
3.5

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