I've loved romance novels since...like forever. I read across most subgenres of romance. I also write fantasy/paranormal and new adult romance.
Marcos is an ex-con, underground street fighter with heavy gang ties who is trying to put his autobody skills to legitimate work. He is visiting his cousin Chuito, one of the resident UFC champs living and training in Garnet. While there, he gets into a car accident with Katie Foster, AP history teacher. His bravery in staying with her while they wait for the cops inspires her to be more assertive in her life. Her only romantic history involves a douchy ex-husband and stalker. Marcos is pretty irresistible.
Katie seeks him out on Craigslist and he returns to Garnet, hoping to get her out of his system. Muchos sexy times commence.
One of my favorite lines was when he comes to her house late at night (He was invited). She asks, "Who is it?"
"You know who it is, chica."
Whimper. I'm still fanning myself over that scene.
Katie was naive and trusting, but that's addressed in the book. Mary Sues aren't my favorite, but she had a streak of plucky stubbornness that I appreciated. It was odd to me that she didn't know even some basic Spanish words/phrases like "Dios mio" and "gracias" but she picked them up eventually.
I have no idea if the street slang and Puerto Rican gang dynamics are accurate but they take up a large portion of the book. They totally worked for me. Moon's macho heroes are excellent characters without being sneering assholes. (Alpha--yes, alphahole--no.) And I loved that she included the Morettis of course, too. Any dialogue between the guys is hilarious.
My tiny quibble is that Katie and Marcos are apart for a lot of the book. Their external conflict keeps them that way. When they are together, they are like peas and carrots. I generally like stories with the couple having more interaction with each other. Since Katie doesn't know a lot about what Marcos struggles with and she accepts him from the beginning, we never get to see her reaction to his eventual triumph. I wanted more conflict between the two of them.
I still really enjoyed the book and Marcos and Chuito's scenes together were especially great.
Kele Moon is one of my autobuy authors and this book is more evidence for why she continues to be in that group for me. I love the UFC/gang/mafia stuff and all of her characters. More, please. Happy sigh.