Maverick “the Avenger” Cage wants to rise to the top and become a legend in the ring. Though he keeps his identity well guarded, he's known on the fighting circuit as the new kid with a chip on his shoulder and a tattoo on his back that marks him as trouble. He's got a personal score to settle with the Underground's one and only Remington "Riptide" Tate.
As Mav trains, he meets a young girl—the only other new person in the town--and sparks fly. When things get heated between them, he finds out she's none other than Reese Dumas, the cousin of Remington Tate’s wife. A girl who's supposed to root against him and a girl he's supposed to stay away from.
But Maverick fights for the woman in his heart, and the monsters in his blood. The world’s eyes are on them and the victor will go down in history as the ultimate fighting champion; the ultimate LEGEND.
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Review by Michelle:
The long awaited conclusion to the Real series by Katy Evans is finally here. The time for the highly anticipated showdown between Maverick "The Avenger" Cage and Remington "Riptide" Tate has finally come. Legend brings us all the drama of a new contender for Remy's crown and this contender has got something to prove. Something to prove to his father, to Riptide, to the crowd, to the world, to Reese Dumas, and most importantly to himself.
After finally getting what I was so impatiently waiting for all this time...I feel conflicted. On the one hand, I REALLY liked Maverick. I enjoyed his back story, all that he overcame, and where he finally found his place. I loved seeing the Tates again and the way things wrapped up for them. And while I didn't see how The Avenger's story would work as a conclusion to the series going in, I really loved the way this story fit in to such a diverse series and what it means as the conclusion. On the other hand, I just couldn't find it in me to like Reese very much. I didn't like her attitude, her awkwardness, or her motivations. And on top of that, I didn't connect with Reese and Maverick's love story. I just didn't feel it, so while it was sufficiently steamy, in the end, it just wasn't very romantic for me.
Reese is young so I would expect her to not have a whole lot of life experience, to not be very worldly or wise, to make mistakes. What I wasn't prepared for was her flimsy motivation for self improvement, her enormous insecurity, and her immaturity. Not to mention her social ineptitude. Time after time Reese would blurt out random things to Maverick that had no place or bearing on their conversation and then explain it away by saying that he made her reckless. I understand feeling comfortable or close with a person and telling them things you wouldn't normally tell those you hardly know, but these things didn't fit into the conversation in any way, shape, or form and would come completely out of left field for no apparent reason. It reminded me of when you are stuck in an elevator with a stranger who randomly starts sharing overly personal information with you. It is really much more uncomfortable and annoying than it is cute or endearing.
I wholeheartedly believed in Reese and Maverick's connection and attraction, but a willingness to give something away that Reese has held dear for 20 years after a few chance meetings and a kiss, and a profession of love after only a few short conversations seemed like a stretch to me. I could definitely feel the heat between the two, I just couldn't find the real feelings amongst the chemistry. Conversely, while I wasn't head over heels for the progression or the speed of Reese and Maverick's relationship, I did really love the unexpected relationship Maverick formed inside the ring and all the camaraderie and wisdom it lends Maverick in his time of need. This surprising bond just made me love and respect The Avenger's mentor even more than I already did.
After the mother of all fights and a shaky love story, Legend left me on the fence. Elated and at piece with the perfect conclusion for The Avenger and the man that started it all, Mr. Remington Tate, while also unfulfilled and wanting more from the unlikely pairing of Brooke's cousin and a man with nefarious lineage.
*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 3 Stars
Hey! I’m Katy Evans and I love family, books, life, and love. I’m married with two children and three dogs and spend my time baking, walking, writing, reading, and taking care of my family. Thank you for spending your time with me and picking up my story. I hope you had an amazing time with it, like I did. If you’d like to know more about books in progress, look me up on the Internet, I’d love to hear from you!
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At Tate’s corner, outside the ropes, his coach whistles. “You two get some headgear on. Stat.”
Tate’s lips curl rebelliously, and he looks at me with challenge in his eyes.
I smile back, a feral curl of my lips.
We tap gloves.
I jab. He swings his arm, blocks the hit, leaps back, and I jab again, blocked again.
We space apart and jump in place, shaking our shoulders, loosening up. I pull my gloves back up, narrow my eyes, and he asks, “You think you’re the shit because you’re fast and strong? I got news for you. I’m faster, I’m stronger, and I’m disciplined. Your coach isn’t doing you any favors.”
“He’s in my corner, and that’s enough for me.”
He swings, I duck fast and come up behind him. He straightens and faces me again. “If you settle for that, then you should settle for second place.”
“What the fuck. You want me to win?”
“I want a good fight. I like keeping things real. Reminds me I’m a man. Mortal.”
“I want to be a legend. Legends never die. Even if they die alone.”
He swings again, and I duck, come up, and jab three times.
He blocks repeatedly, then hooks with his right; I deflect. He grins and jabs again. I block, then I duck before he puts me up against the ropes, and I head back to center. He follows.
“To be a legend you need to fall seven times, get up eight,” he says.
I remember a final a few years ago when my father kicked Tate to a pulp. “Or not fall at all.”
He backs up his arm and then smacks the smirk right off me. “Before you stop falling, you need to embrace the fact that you’re going to hit the ground.”
I clean the blood from my mouth, glowering.
We take positions again, and he watches me as if waiting for my next move as we start dancing around, jumping, waiting for the other to strike.
“Do you want the headgear now?”
I lunge and start hitting, and he blocks, deflects, blocks. “Fuck you,” I grit out.
“Getting angry doesn’t help. You control the anger, not let it control you.”
I want to prove him wrong; I loop out my arm and aim for his head.
He ducks and hooks, his knuckles cracking into my jaw. I spurt blood and bounce against the ropes.
I shake my head, wipe the blood away, grit my teeth and straighten, narrowing my eyes. “My turn,” I growl, and I swing. My fist connects: a kidney punch.
He blocks my next hit, frowning in thought. “You’re cocky for someone who just lost yesterday.”
I dive my upper body to the side, evading. “You got to play it to become it.”
“I’m the champion, not you.”
“You won’t live forever, champ.”
He jabs three times, then leaps back, flexes his arm and looks at it.
“Muscle memory. You hit enough times, you fight on instinct; part of your brain works on your assault, the other is focused on the other’s assault. Let your muscle memory work for you and consciously stay focused on your opponent’s eyes.”
I laugh mockingly. “I don’t need your pointers.”
“Go back home to daddy, then.”
“When I’m finished with you.” I punch him, then raise my left hook and connect hard enough to stun him.
He raises his head, shakes it to clear it, and wipes blood from his nose. I catch my breath, satisfied I got some blood. At least I won’t be the only one with an ice pack tonight.
He sees the blood on his arm and looks at me, impressed.
“TIME!” his coach yells out from the corner. “You two won’t have shit for the fight if you keep up this nonsense.”
Tate grins at him, then turns back and glowers at me. “You get enough?”“Barely warming up here.” I squint the blood out of one eye and raise my gloves. “Come get it, Riptide,” I growl.