Rory Kavanagh's career fell apart when his leg was severely injured in a bout, and he's been drifting through life ever since. While his family is there to support him in any way he needs, and a new career as a trainer is guaranteed, he can't seem to cope with the changes. Alcohol and pain meds are his only constant, but then a plucky little waitress catches his eye.
Clare's past isn't pretty, but she's doing her best to start over. Between the abuse of her ex and the criminal activity in which she landed, a clean break is just what the doctor ordered, and setting up house in Brooklyn, where no one can judge her, seems to be the right step. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate things, especially a man whose very identity is tied up in violence — sanctioned though it may be in the MMA world. But she can't seem to get Rory off her mind.
But... I have to say I'm not convinced. While I did enjoy the story, and I imagine the full cast of characters will be lots of fun as the series continues, some realism was missing. For one, Rory went cold turkey and ditched the booze and pills, and yet he never showed any real signs of withdrawal. Sure, some addictions are more psychological than anything, but the substances he was abusing for quite some time don't fall into that gray area. Narcotics and alcohol are physically addictive, and at the rate he was downing them, there's no way his body wouldn't have been screaming for more.
Likewise, Clare seemed to have little issue with falling into a relationship with Rory. Someone who had been abused and taken advantage of would generally have been more skittish about picking up with another man, especially one who clearly had some issues and was known for beating the hell out of people. While she was a strong character and certainly able to bounce back from her past, it was too instantaneous to be believed.
The Verdict: Despite the pretty brush that painted over any real problems these two had, Breaking a Legend was a really fun read. The banter between Clare and Rory was awesome, as were all the witticisms that flew when he came in range of his large family. I don't think there's a single character I didn't like, except for Clare's jerk of a boss, but clearly we weren't supposed to like him.
The chemistry between these two was just sizzling, as one would hope when picking up an MMA romance. It made the quick pace of their relationship a bit more understandable and also brought out the more sensitive side of Rory — even as he tried to keep his man card up. Of course, there was the psycho ex to deal with, not to mention all the feminine eyes tracking Rory, but while it followed a somewhat standard romance pattern, it didn't venture into annoying cliché territory.
All in all, Breaking a Legend is a fun, hot start to what's sure to be an incredibly entertaining series, and after falling in love with pretty much everyone in the book, I can't wait to see whose story we get next.