Against the Ropes (Redemption Series #1)

Against the Ropes (Redemption Series #1)

by Sarah Castille

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"Fifty Shades of Grey meets Fight Club."-RT Book Reviews

A Publishers Weekly TOP 10 Romance for Fall

He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more...

Makayla never thought she'd set foot in an elite mixed martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it's these guys. Then again, at her first sight of the club's owner, she's the one feeling breathless.

The man they call Torment is all sleek muscle and restrained power. Whether it's in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when a soft touch is required and when to launch a full-on assault. He always knows just how far he can push. And he's about to tempt Makayla in ways she never imagined...

Redemption Series
Against the Ropes
In Your Corner
Full Contact
Fighting Attraction (coming Spring 2017)

More praise for Against the Ropes:
"Smart, sharp, sizzling and deliciously sexy."-Alison Kent, bestselling author of Unbreakable

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402284861
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 09/03/2013
Series: Sarah Castille's Redemption Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 15,034
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha males and the women who tame them. A recovering lawyer and caffeine addict, she worked and traveled abroad before trading in her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home in shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Readers can find her at

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Against the Ropes 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
NaughtyBookSnitch More than 1 year ago
Makayla is a licensed EMT who works admissions at a hospital (future undecided) and gets physically ill when she witnesses violence and see’s blood. She is smart, sexy and sometimes naïve with a tortured past. Torment (aka Max) is a super studley MMA fighter on the underground circuit. He is smart, sexy, has a few demons in his closet and is completely alpha. YUMM! Torment meets Makayla at an MMA match and they are immediately attracted to each other. My first MMA fighter book... I am so giddy with excitement about reading this!! Now throw me down and mount me into submission.  I thought the humor was great and the story flowed pretty well. I did finish this in one sitting. However, there are just some things that really irked me. *Que eye rolling* The major one for me was Torments character. He has a serious case of multiple personality disorder. He has 3 different people in him. You have the MMA fighter, the millionaire and the wanna-be BDSM guy. Makayla also had identity problems, such as; being a pushover, naive, strong but has a tortured past. I got a headache from rolling my eyes so much in certain parts of the book. One of the things about the story that irritated me the most was; where did the BDSM come from? You take a beautiful girl on a date and do uber sweet things with her, start a steamy make out secession and then BAMM!! BDSM. You sir Max do not know anything about BDSM and are acting like a jerk! Its like ADHD for BDSM. “Im going to tie you up and make you pick a safe word then leave you alone for 5 minutes without explaining anything to you.” Its like he saw something shiny off in the corner and went to play with it for a bit. If that was me I would have broke out a level of crazy you have never seen and gone straight street rules on your rear. For me this is when the book started to deflate like a left over party balloon.  Later on in the book Makayla gets the crap beat out of her and here comes Max and his friends to the rescue. *bats eyes* My hero…  Then when he rescues her, he just yanks her into the nearest shed (while police sirens are in the background) and yells at her to take off all her clothes while pulling his belt off. Are you kidding me? I know your tuff stuff Barney Badass but have a little compassion. This girl just went through hell and now you’re acting like you're going to beat her yourself. And why take off the belt? That made absolutely no since to me. Another thing that I thought was completely unbelievable and confusing was the collection person. That is the most ridiculous things Ive ever heard. Collection agency’s do not act like that. Then all of the sudden the collection agency is the Mafia? Because that is what Max is acting like. Its so inconsistent. Then there’s a school yard rumble and pissing contest between Max and Dr. Drake. Oh PLEASE!  Some of the things I loved are the growling and sometimes cave manish (in a hot way) behavior, being hunted down by a tattooed fighter *grrrr* , then *deep sexy voice* “hi, I know we just met, but Im going to throw you down and pin you to the mat and use my sexy stare on you” , licking ice-cream off my finger and then… masturbating in his office so he can see and driving him crazy enough to run out of a meeting and drag you down to the parking garage and bang you up against the wall. Now… that was finger licking good. *waggles eyebrows* Overall? In my opinion, the book cover is fantastic, the story has great potential and started off really strong. But It almost felt like when Castille got to 50% she threw it all together in a hurry and added a bunch of unnecessary junk in there and didn’t think the plot through. The sex was just ok for me… with the exception of the garage banging. That was awesome! I will read more from this author because I have faith that things can only get better from here. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
515UWLtofRLConfession Time: I LOVE me a steamy romance when the bad boy is a rough & tough athlete. Some readers prefer soldiers or cowboys or zillionaires... I like the athletes. Kristen Proby and Jaci Burton always come through for me, and now I have another "she wrote it = one click buy now" author: Sarah Castille! Against the Ropes is a GREAT BOOK - An underground MMA fighter that goes by the name of 'Torment' finds himself distracted by Makayla. The blurb goes like this: Makayla never thought she'd set foot in an elite mixed martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it's these guys. Then again, at her first sight of the club's owner, she's the one feeling breathless. Makayla accrued a huge debt while getting an education, and is now living check to check. Working as a medic for Torment's fight club is a means to an end... at first. She slowly adapts to the fight club culture while the sparks begin to fly. They are both battling personal battles while resisting outside interference, and they are both strong charactes:, inside and out.515UWLtofRL This is one of those New Adult Contemporary Romance books with a 17+ rating because the lovin' is steamy and the language is not for everybody. There is also a fair amount of violence (cough, cough: fight club), but there is also humor, drama, suspense and mystery. I loved Torment: he's honest and direct, cocky with good reason. Makayla is independent and sassy, making the most of what life dealt her. The secondary characters are equally entertaining, and this easy read is full of plot, action and romance. I loved it & look forward to what's next from author Sarah Castille.
HarlequinJunkie_ More than 1 year ago
Against The Ropes by Sarah Castille: I was struggling to decide if I would give this 3 stars or 5 stars. There are parts of this book that I didn't really like (the characters kind of drove me nuts - and not in the good way). But there are other parts of the book that were totally awesome! I mean, it's really unique because it combines two genres (1: MMA fighting and 2: kinky billionaire) and blends them together in surprising and enjoyable way. Makayla is the heroine in this novel and for the most part, I liked her. She works in the Admissions department of a hospital and is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life, such as continue on with medical school to become a doctor or just go to EMT/Paramedic school. But right now, she's drowning in debt and trying to make ends meet. To make a little extra cash, she agrees to help her best friend by selling tickets at the door of an underground MMA fighting club. And that's where things get interesting. First, though, I really identified with Makayla because she's pretty broke and I've definitely been there! Man, does that suck! She's also a healer and she cares about people. There really isn't anything to DISlike about her. She's not perfect though. She's pre-med and sorta kinda an EMT but she gets sick at the sight of blood and can't handle violence? I understand that it links back to the trauma in her childhood but maybe this was not such a great career choice for her?? Then there was the debt collector issue. I won't get into all the crazy details but it seemed like the debt collector was stalking her but then he wasn't and it devolved into a whole different plot line. I didn't understand it and it especially made no sense to me when it clearly illustrated what an idiot Makayla was about not letting people help her. "Oh my mom did it all by herself and that's how I want to do it." Ugh, save me from martyrs. Torment/Max was pretty hot. It could be argued that he's a carbon copy of a lot of other billionaire, alpha males but I still liked him. I've only read one other MMA story and I liked it. I liked it here again too. I guess I just don't know a lot about MMA so its fun for me to read about it. Plus, I love to imagine how sexy the men are!!! So Torment is sexy as hell and rich to boot. But his wealth isn't revealed until later in the book so it was cool to find that out later. Torment is an alpha male, for sure, but he was also slightly into some light BDSM. Nothing major, just a little tying up, a little spanking here and there. I like BDSM stories but sometimes, Torment's BDSM activities with Makayla pissed me off. I can't say for sure why though. I think I felt like Makayla didn't fully give her consent since she didn't really know what was coming. It was hot too though so I found myself kind of at odds over it. What I wasn't confused about what how much I loved Torment's badasssery! He's a force to be reckoned with in and out of the ring! I loved his fight scenes and I'm ashamed to admit that I really enjoyed the scenes where Torment went head-to-head with anyone messing around with Makayla! The Sexy Time scenes were awesome! Torment and Makayla have great chemistry. I'm not sure they're such a great match though with Torment's love of fighting and Makayla aversion to violence and blood. The fight scenes were pretty great and, believe it or not, not too gruesome! LOL! The secondary characters were a lot of fun. I had several laugh out loud moments when Makayla was interacting with some of the guys from the gym. So other than Makayla's tendency toward monumental stupidity and immaturity, I enjoyed all of the characters. As I said earlier, this is a blending of two genres and I found it to be absolutely original. I went in thinking I was going to get a hot and steamy MMA story and then it started morphing into a BDSM billionaire tale. For me, it was having the best of both worlds because I felt like both sides of the story were well done. Overall, I think I would recommend this book. The characters had some serious flaws, especially the heroine. But I loved the story and how surprised I was by it. Yes, I realize that I've ruined that surprise for you but there are other fun things about the story too. Much of it was funny and had me laughing a lot. The Sexy Time was fairly plentiful and well written. The story goes places that you might not think its going so there may be some surprises in store for you! This book would be for anyone who likes a tough alpha male and a heroine who is just discovering the joys of a kinkier lifestyle!
matiah More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book!! I wasn't too sure about when I first began but it quickly won me over. The book starts out in an underground fight club. Athletic, sweaty men....o.k. you have my attention. The main focus of the book is the relationship between Makayla and Torment. I was very happy with the progress of their relationship. This book lacks many things. First off, it lacks the main characters blindly falling love during their first five minute encounter. It lacks the female character totally disregarding what she wants and succumbing to the overly demanding alpha male. But what it does have is the characters' relationship following a natural order. God forbid, the author actually let them get to know one another. They! GASP!!!!! How refreshing! The book's female lead, Makayla, is a wayward medical student trying to find her way. The book's male lead, Torment, runs the underground MMA fight club where they first meet. Makayla is a great female character. She is strong, opinionated, and thinks for herself. She is trying to get a feel for her life and decide what career path she wishes to take. Torment is a great alpha male. He is dominate without being totally domineering and controlling. He pursues Makayla and values her for her strong personality and beliefs. He doesn't threaten, yell, scream, although stalking is somewhat questionable. The book has witty banter. Makayla's inner dialogue often had me laughing out loud. I cannot say enough good things about this book and the writer. I can only say, if you give it a try you will not be disappointed.
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more… Makayla never thought she’d set foot in an underground mixed-martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it’s these guys. Trouble is, at her first sight of the club’s owner she’s the one feeling breathless. All sleek muscle and restrained power, the man they call Torment plays to win at any cost. Whether it’s in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when to use a soft touch and when to launch a full-on assault. He always knows just how far he can push. And he’s about to tempt Makayla in ways she never imagined… Review: I want to start by saying, if you have not picked up this book or Ms. Castille's other book, I would highly recommend doing so. It is hard to put in words the things I enjoy about her style of writing to do it justice, but it draws me in and keeps me immersed with the characters. Okay, now I know this has been done before with the Billionaire hiding his wealth, but in this case I like that he is running an underground MMA fight club. Torment or Max (his real name) is a sexy, strong (physically), billionaire who meets Makayla in his club when she goes to help a friend work the door. It is a little cliche that of course Makayla is struggling financially; when she meets Torment (secret billionaire). Makayla like a lot of people does not know what she wants to do for a living, even though she was pre-med, so she is working a low paying job and now the loan company is trying to collect on her student loans. Makayla takes up Torment's offer to work as Med Tech during fights to put off the loan company. They become closer and closer working together. Torment/Max and Makayla have some BIG past family issues that keep getting in their way of a happily ever after; Torment/Max is very possessive/protective and Makayla is afraid of that type of man. I could go on and on about Max's and Makayla's past, but read it for yourself! The last part of the book is very dramatic. Oh, and I cannot leave out the sexiness, let's just say Torment/Max is in his dominance in the bedroom, Whoa Momma! I have to tell you that the whole back story of the underground MMA was interesting for me to read because I have not read another book with this as the backdrop. And for me this really weaves all the story and characters together. The secondary characters in this story were great...Doctor Drake, cracked me up with his whole seeming over the top on his quest to get Makayla. Amanda is Makayla's best friend, who screws up with Jake by getting caught playing naughty sexual games with Doctor Drake, but I do hope Jake and Amanda get a story, I think there is still a lot that can happen between these two. Sergio, who is the loan officer who is harassing Makayla really makes me angry at the beginning of the book, but come to sympathize with him at the end. As a whole a great story! and hope to see more from these characters. 4 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## BAD. The writing/dialogue was juvenile and the heroine was even worse. Why do authors feel the need to write such simpering, needy women? There ARE smart, capable women out there who are also beautiful. I couldn't find anything redeemable with this one. I recommend skipping it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing like a good MMA alpha male book boyfriend...and this book had it, fun, wanted more
Doodlebug4444 More than 1 year ago
3 out of 5 for this reader folks! Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille is a contemporary romance with elements of Erotic/BDSM. Sarah is a new author to me, so I really had no idea what to expect. The premise of this story however, really grabbed me and so I decided to dive right on in! We meet our heroine Makayla right away. She has taken on an under the table job to sell tickets at an underground fighting event. Sarah works at a hospital full time throughout the day in medical admin, and as a EMT on the side. She is a smart cookie if not a little naive, is quick witted, hates violence and tends to get nauseated at the most inopportune moments. Honestly, she is an average girl trying to make ends meet in the best way she knows how. While selling tickets, she is conned into a conversation with out hero "Torment" Max. Max happens to be one of the top contenders in this underground fighting ring and happens to own the place that hosts many of these fights. OH .. and he is super rich by day as some kind of business executive. He fights because he truly loves it. He is also seriously attracted to Makayla right away and comes on super strong (actually it was kind of creepy how strong). LOL Max decides to hire Makayla to provide medical attention ring side to his fighters. Max also wants her close and ensures everyone knows that she belongs to him. Makayla is completely lusting for Max, but thinks his "bully you into loving me" is a little much, so she holds him back at an arms length until she can't fight her attraction to him anymore. Through some pretty tough battle of wills, some nasty fighting, misunderstandings, hot nooky, experimental nooky, these two try to find their way to each other. However, Makayla is not sure if she can live in this underground fighting world that Max seems to love. She also isn't sure if she can live with the fact that he is filthy rich and thinks that gives him reason to take what he wants, forget about anyone else's feeling. Okay ... I had really high hopes for this book. I mean hot underground fighting, all that testosterone flowing. HELLO, SIGN ME UP! LOL Well unfortunately this read like a very, unbelievable, immature attempt of hot erotic romance with some BDSM elements. This book has potential to be a great book, but the fluency wasn't there and it came across choppy. I felt somewhat disengaged and apathetic through most of it. If you have read my reviews before, you know I love my smut and tend to gush if I really am smitten with a book. While I want to do so here, I really can't! To end a review on a small negative note is not my style, so now I will tell you what I loved. THE HUMOUR! I actually chuckled out loud at some of antics and conversations. These two can text me into stitches as they banter back and forth. It's rather amusing. The whole premise of underground fighting .. LOVE THAT! The fight scenes were vivid and the kind of fighting used was well researched. Some of the sex scenes were hot, and I love me a hot sex scene! Overall, not a terrible read but I think there needs to be some growth with this author. HAPPY READING! :)
Tazzy-TMH1 More than 1 year ago
**ARC copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review** I’m loving the MMA theme in this book! I’ve read a few MMA themed books recently and I couldn’t make my mind up on if they ‘did it’ for me or not. Well, Against The Ropes certainly did do it for me! Makayla or Mac, as Max prefers to call her, has a fear of violence. As in she literally pukes when subjected to it, even watching a professional fight in the ring. With Max being a MMA fighter and Mac having a seriously queasy stomach these two are as mis-matched as they can get. Mac holds an inner strength that she doesn’t even realise she has and she makes a really good lead character. I actually fell in love with Mac and found myself crossing my fingers and praying for a happy ever after for her. She was just THAT good! Torment or Max (sigh), ok so I may of fell in love with him and if I wasn’t married I might be searching the local MMA venues to find myself a Torment. He’s strong, he’s domineering and he’s ALL that. Max plays into your fantasies. As you’re reading you are that drawn in by his character that you actually see him in the ring, watching him fight, you can see the sweat rolling down his chest…….. Ahem well, you get the picture. I was completely pulled into the book and actually made an emotional connection with the characters. Not sure I’ve read another book that has done that to me. Don’t get me wrong I connect with books but not like I did with this one. The scenes blend well and the book flows from beginning to end. It has a mix of serious, humour, suspense & intimate scenes. For me that mix makes a great book when done write and this has been done right. I didn’t pick up on anything in the book that I thought didn’t fit or needed more explanation. I’m not sure if that’s because the book was flawless or the fact that I was that consumed I didn’t spot them. Great book and recommended read.
Rhodes123 More than 1 year ago
Against the Ropes is book #1 in the Redemption Series. This book is Makayla and Max's, aka: Torment story. The book has to many things happening IMO. It has fighting scenes, alpha's, BDSM, secrets, trust issues, secondary characters, a H/H that just reminds me to much of The Shades of Grey. Could be just me but I found it hard to follow and the dialog was hard to pinpoint and the ending was to abrupt.
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quilterKT More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I don't often write reviews but this was such a good book, I've read the rest of the far. There was some humor in this one and I rarely giggle while reading. I hope there are more books coming in this series.
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A great series book
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shabobo More than 1 year ago
Really loved this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Could not put it down! Have a feeling Sarah Castille will be put on my favorite authors list!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been reading alot of dark romance lately.I kind of needed a slight change for a bit. I know Makala & Torment both had dark pasts , but the story is way more than that. It is full of a sweet emotional romance,with suspense , heartache and lots of Hot ,sweaty mma fighters bodies. I will put this book in my favorites pile and can't wait to read books 2 & 3 in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A man I know so little and care so much about... Against The Ropes was my first Sarah Castille read, my first of many, make that ANY she writes in the future. I am a major fan now. She had me laughing out loud at the inner dialogue and sarcastic witty banter of my new bada$$ 'BGF', Mac. She had me swooning for my new sexy, alpha, tattooed, muscled MMA 'BBF', Torment. She had me turning up my air conditioner because it was getting so hot! And she has me very excited about the next book in the Redemption Series that will be about Jake & Amanda. BTW, Redemption is the name of the club where the fighting takes place. I'm really hoping the series continues as long as there are more hot, muscled, sweaty fighters to write about!