Paige’s review ~ The Fighter in Me by M. J. Penn

Posted March 8, 2021 by Sharon in Mainstream, New Adult, Paige Turner, Reviews / 0 Comments

The Fighter in Me, a debut novel by M.J. Penn, held suspense, drama and romance. This combination held my attention for the afternoon. ~ Paige – Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews





Tia Anderson wants to escape the attacks of the creepy visitors at her apartment, the verbal abuse from her alcoholic mom, and the anxiety-driven nightmares. The summer before Tia starts attending Bastien University, her mother’s drinking forces Tia to make a deal with an unreasonable and unstable drug dealer, Charlie. She is given a three-month deadline to pay off her mom’s debt —with money, or with her body. Now Tia has to add an obsessive stalker to the list of things she’s running from.


Tia finds refuge with her brother at his campus apartment where she meets Victor “The Bull” Cornelius. Victor is nothing like the picture of Mr. Perfect glued to Tia’s dream board—not preppy, not polo-wearing, nor does he aspire to be a dentist or doctor. Victor is a mixed martial arts fighter with delicious rippling muscles and an angry bull tattoo on his chiseled chest. He is a walking reminder of the violent past Tia’s trying to run from.


Except, Tia is so completely drawn to Victor’s charm, surprising gentleness, and stunning body that she can’t decide if she should run away from him or run to him. She can’t ignore the fiery tension growing between them—and Victor’s persistence helps Tia awaken the fighter in herself and realize she’s stronger than she believed.


But is she strong enough to withstand Charlie’s attacks? Tia designs the perfect plan to find the money to pay off her stalker. Only this time the stakes are higher—Charlie’s threatened the people she cares about most: her brother and Victor. As the deadline looms closer and closer, and Tia’s love for Victor grows deeper and deeper, she wonders: would it be better to disappear once and for all? Or stay and fight?





I found The Fighter in Me to be a good read for a debut author. Her writing style reminded me of Monica Murphy. Perhaps it was the genre, new adult, that I related to her. The author wasted no time bringing the drama but I felt that I started reading in the middle of a chapter instead of the beginning of the book. The author explains more about 1/3 into the book but I would have liked this knowledge in the beginning.

Tia is the main character of the book. It’s written in the first person but I would have loved a different POV especially from Victor, her love interest. Despite her rough upbringing she is very naive. She shields her issues from her brother and Victor thinking she can handle her situation on her own.

Victor is Tia’s love interest and her brother’s roommate and friend. He’s protective towards her but is also dealing with family drama that he keeps to himself. The author does a good job explaining his feelings but again his POV would have been welcomed.

The book held my attention but there were a times the storylines didn’t make sense to me. I understand that its fiction and you have to dispel believe but it also has to be somewhat beliveable for the reader so they can fully support the characters.


3 stars

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Posted March 8, 2021 by Sharon in Mainstream, New Adult, Paige Turner, Reviews / 0 Comments