Blog Tour (Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway): The Last Round by Emmy L. Montes

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Title: The Last Round
Author: Emmy L. Montes @EmmyMontes
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 28th
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis
In the ring, I’m trained, powerful, and in control.

And that’s exactly how I built my legacy.

For years I’ve trained to fight, but no championship title in the world has prepared me for the most important fight of my life.

Out of the ring, I’m untamed and reckless.

Which is why my wife of nine years has filed for divorce.

I’m done with living up to the bad boy image my middleweight titles come with. Boxing is my life, but the money and the fame mean nothing to me without her by my side.

This fight is for the woman that I love.

And I can’t lose.

I won’t lose.

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Amazon CA – AMAZON AU

Goodreads

Grace Review
What do you do when the love of your life breaks your heart, over, and over, and over again?  Do you walk away and focus on repairing your broken heart?  Or do you stick with them and give them their fourth chance (since you already gave them their second and third chances)?  This book addresses that difficult decision.

Told in alternating POVs with some flashbacks from the past, we learn Julian and Natalia Rios’ love story, which after 12 years together, was falling apart.  From Natalia’s perspective, the demise of their relationship was not an immediate thing, but occurred over a period of years as Julian’s career rose,yet his personal demons took over.  Based on what was presented in the story, the failure of their marriage was entirely Julian’s fault.  The drugs, the parties, the women.  I won’t spoil things to reveal if there was cheating.

Based on Julian’s past actions, I completely understood Natalia’s desire to walk away.  However, when you’ve spent more than a decade with someone, is it really that simple?

“Don’t you understand?  Sometimes love isn’t enough.  There’s so much more to a marriage, to a relationship than just love, and I think you failed to realize that.”

I personally don’t know if I could forgive Julian for the past, but in the present, he really takes the right steps to get his second chance.  I also like that the author didn’t have Natalia forgive him overnight.  Some begging, groveling and heartbreak for him, were all deserved in my mind.  But as his career slows down and Natalia’s takes off, he finally showed some maturity and commitment that appeared to be lacking in their past relationship.

“I loved you then.  I love you now.  I’ll love you always.”

I really liked the idea of this book, and while there were moments I loved, the story as a whole needed to be fleshed out more, in my opinion.  This was more of a novella when it should have been a full length novel.  There was angst, but given the length of story, it came and went quickly.  We never got those heartbreaking moments when the couple wasn’t together.  It is only mentioned as an afterthought.  I would have loved to have been inside their heads during their time apart, which we don’t get.

Overall, this was a quick read and ties into the author’s past and future releases.  I especially loved all of the references to Philly, where the author and I am from, making it felt like a little walk down memory lane.  I also like that this book featured two diverse main characters, something which our blog is always looking for in romance books.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

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Excerpt

FLASHBACK of Julian and Natalia (High School Years)

My smile brightened with each step. This should be fun. His head was bent low as his fork stabbed into a baked potato.

Placing my tray down, I took a seat across from him. “If that was a living being lying on your plate, I’m sure you’d be charged for aggravated assault or even attempted murder. What has that poor potato done to you?”

He lifted his head, eyes meeting mine with a raised brow. He seemed both amused and annoyed I interrupted his train of thought.

“I eat alone,” he said, eyes tensed. Then he shoved a fork full of the loaded starch into his mouth. His tongue darted out and wiped clean his perfect lips. I wonder what it would be like to kiss Julian Rios.

“So do I!” I sounded a bit too bubbly, even for myself, but with a wide grin, I nestled further into the seat, crossed my legs, and reached for my apple. “We can eat alone together.”

“Why do I have the feeling you’re gonna make my life miserable?”

“But quite the contrary; by the time I’m done with you, you’re gonna want me part of your life every waking second.”

He scoffed. “I find that very difficult to believe.”

“Listen. I’m a freshman. You’re a junior. We have two long years together. Unless you switch schools, I’m all for bugging the hell out of you until you fall irresistibly in love with me.”

He pointed a plastic fork at me. “I’ve seen girls like you on The First 48. You’re one of those psycho obsessed chicks, right? I’m gonna have to get a restraining order, aren’t I?”

I never laughed so hard in my life and for a moment the cafeteria went quiet. Only the sound of my hooting bounced in the space. I froze and looked around along with Julian. I focused my gaze back on him, leaned in and whispered, “Everyone is staring at us.”

Julian moved in closer. “Because you’ve just crossed over dangerous grounds.”

Squinting, I mouthed, “You don’t scare me.”

“You scare me.”

A soft grin touched my lips. “Good.”

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Playlist

*A song that reminds me of the couple is Poison by Rita Ora, and Just Give Me A Reason by P!NK, and Wanted You More by Lady Antebellum.

Trailer

Direct Link: https://vimeo.com/149045282

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About

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USA Today Bestselling Author, E.L. Montes (Emmy Luz Montes) lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Alex, and their English Bulldog name Butters. She has a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies.

Ms. Montes worked several years as a paralegal for a mid-size law firm. She had always loved the legal field and found it to be interesting. She more so “secretly” loved to write. Disastrous was her debut novel which was released October 2012. After the release of her second novel Ms. Montes took a huge leap, by leaving her fulltime job to focus on her writing career. She has and continues to write characters with flaws. Ms. Montes said, “No one is perfect and neither are my characters. It makes the storyline a bit more realistic, in my opinion. But I also feel no matter who you are or the life you have lived, everyone deserves someone to love and be loved. I’m a hopeless romantic, and enjoy writing a story where my readers feel like they’re living and feeling every emotion.”

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Giveaway text

Four winners will win a basket with:  A custom mug, Tshirt, Signed Paperback, a $10.00 Amazon GC and a few extra goodies!

Emmy L. Montes THE LAST ROUND Release Week Event

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