Thursday, August 11, 2016

Undisputed by A.S. Teague: Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

I live a life most could only dream of. Parties, women, fame—what more could I want?

As the undisputed MMA light heavyweight champ, I’ve faced the world’s toughest men. But, with a single glance, I knew that the five-foot-five redhead with a smart mouth and innocent eyes would be my hardest opponent yet.

Sidney O’Neil isn’t my type. While I spend my nights out drinking at the trendiest clubs in town, she spends hers taking care of her sick nephew. She is nothing I thought I wanted, yet she’s somehow become the one thing I need.

But what happens when the world is tipped on end and I’m no longer who she needs?

How do I convince her that we’re worth the fight when all she knows is defeat?
I’ve never lost a match, and I refuse to start now.
But, sometimes, the toughest fight of your life is outside the cage.


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Excerpt:

I’m nervous about what I’m going to say. I’m not sure how she’ll react or if she will even believe me. Afraid I’ll chicken out, though, so I start talking.

“I’m sorry.” The words were surprisingly hard to get out. Apologizing is not something I’ve done often, and I’m not even sure I know how to do it properly.

Sidney raises her eyebrows and presses her lips together. I study her face for any indication of what she’s thinking and notice that her eyes are pink and puffy, like she’s been crying.

The guilt I’ve recently begun experiencing returns. I’m sure I’m the reason for her tears, and the thought of her crying because of me kills. I cup her jaw in my hand before lightly rubbing her cheek with my thumb.

Her eyelids flutter shut and she sighs while tilting her face into my palm. Her reaction gives me the fuel I need to keep going. I pull my hand away, but I’m not ready to stop touching her, so I grab her hand.

“I’m an asshole, Sid. I’ve always been a selfish prick. I’ve never had anyone care about me though, so I’ve always had to be the one to care about me the most. I’m used to doing what I want, getting what I want, and taking what I want. I don’t know how to care about others.” I scrub my palm over my thigh.

“That’s not true, Breccan. I’ve seen you—”

I cut her off with a shake of my head. “I’m a virgin, Sidney,” I say solemnly.

A short burst of laughter escapes her mouth, and she shakes her head. “Yeah, right, Breccan. Do I have ‘dumbass’ stamped on my forehead?” She laughs again.

I rush to explain myself. “Well, I mean, not a virgin virgin. I’m a relationship virgin. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing here. Hell, I had more finesse the first time I had sex than I do with this whole boyfriend thing.”

Her eyes widen at the word boyfriend, but she only says, “Oh.” Then she takes her hand from mine and brings her thumb to her mouth to chew on the nail.

Disappointed at the loss of contact with her skin, I pull her hand out of her mouth and lace my fingers through hers once again. “After you left, I went to my favorite club.” I purposely leave the part about destroying my kitchen out. “I couldn’t even get out of the car, Sidney. I sat there staring at the people dying to get inside and all I could think about was that I was dying to get out of that life. I don’t want to go to the clubs anymore. I’m tired of that shit. I just want to be with you. Here. On this couch. Eating fucking sushi if that’s what you want.”

I grimace, and she giggles.

It’s the fucking truth. Sitting in my car outside of Raw, all I could think about was how desperately I wanted to feel Sidney’s lips on mine and have her scent in my nose. I would have gladly choked down a pound of that crap if it meant I could go back and undo our fight and what I’d said.

“I’m sorry I freaked out when you called yourself my girlfriend.”

Her face falls.

I use my free hand to tip her chin up before I confess, “I don’t know how to do this. I have nothing to compare this to.” I use my hand to gesture between us. “But I can tell you that I want you. I want to hear you laugh. I want to make you smile. I want to hold you when you cry.” I run my thumb across her cheek. “I can tell you that I need you. I need your mouth on mine, your hair in my hands, your skin under my fingertips” Taking a chance, I lean in and place a light kiss on her lips.

She doesn’t pull away, so I continue speaking.

“I can tell you that no one else makes me laugh the way you do. No one else makes me feel stronger than you do. I miss you all the fucking time, Sid. Every minute of the day that I’m not with you, I’m dying to see you. My phone dings and I hope it’s you. When it’s not, I’m always so fucking bummed.” Lifting my shoulders in a shrug, I admit, “I’ve never felt this way about another person before, and I’m fumbling around like a kid trying to cop his first feel in the dark. I didn’t realize until tonight that I want you to be my girlfriend. I want to do all the cheesy couple things that people do—with you. And, Sidney, I’m really sorry I didn’t remember you from the club. I don’t know how I could have possibly forgotten you. But it’s not because you are forgettable. Because, ever since you fell down your fucking stairs, I haven’t been able to get you out of my head. And I don’t want to.” I blow out a breath when I finish and glance away from her penetrating gaze.

About the Author:

A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.

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Review by Michelle:

Who doesn't love finding new authors? After reading Undisputed by A. S. Teague, I have found a new author that I'm sure I will be reading time and again. What I thought would be another fighter romance featuring your average cocky MMA hero delightfully morphs into so much more as the shallow, arrogant man discovers there is more to life than fame and fortune and makes a pretty incredible transformation over the course of this story.

In the beginning Breccan "KO" Carlisle is not much more than a loveable douche. Is that really a thing? Well if it is, that's exactly what KO is. Brec certainly thinks highly of himself, he is selfish, he is serious about very little in his life, he is only concerned with fame, sex, booze, and fighting, and has a hard time showing those closest to him just how much he appreciates them. At the same time, as unlikable as that all sounds, you are sure to be inexplicably drawn to him as he's actually extremely charismatic, funny, and quite charming at times. It doesn't take long for a softer side to immerge once a certain twelve year old boy comes along and if Brec hasn't won you over up until this point, you are sure to fall for him right along with Sidney after that first Xbox session.

As heartbreaking as this story is, it wasn't quite a complete shocker or the emotional breakdown that I was expecting, yet it didn't go exactly as I was expecting either. While you can see where the story is headed and you're hoping with all your might that it just may turn out differently, there are still a few surprises along the way. And although I was fully anticipating a tear fest and was not quite as affected as I would have liked, the ending more than made up in the feels department.

Between a totally loveable and selfless heroine, a changed man, an adorably precocious tween, and the heart melting completion of a touching list (complete with the perfect allusion to one of my favorite books, The Fall Up), Undisputed is a wonderful debut that leaves me yearning for not just more from this family, but more from this author as well.

*complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4 Stars


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