#Review Tough Enough by M. Leighton

Posted November 20, 2015 by viviangrey in Book Reviews, Books / 0 Comments

#Review Tough Enough by M. LeightonTough Enough by M. Leighton
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Published by Berkley on November 3rd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Purchase links: Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Source: NetGalley

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the second book in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.

He’s a fighter who never loses, but is he tough enough to win her heart?

There was a time when I had everything–a wonderful family, a bright future. Love. But all that was taken away in a single night, torn from me like flesh from bone. Since then, I’ve hidden away in my second-choice job as a makeup artist. But I prefer it that way, actually. I’m comfortable in the shadows, where no one can see my scars.

Kiefer Rogan literally took my breath away the moment I met him. MMA champion-turned-actor, notorious playboy, charming to a fault—he’s everything I vowed to avoid.

But he just wouldn’t stop until I opened up and let him in. Maybe I should’ve tried harder to resist him. Maybe I shouldn’t have fallen in love with him. Because I, of all people, know that everyone has secrets. Scars. And that they’re usually ugly and painful and destructive to the people we love most.

I just never guessed that they could be deadly, too.

We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.


This was my first M.Leighton novel. I had heard some wonderful things about her books, so my curiosity was piqued. So when we got the arc in our blog, I jumped at the chance to read it!

I went into TOUGH ENOUGH completely blind…didn’t read the synopsis, didn’t know what to expect. But after reading about 60%, I finally went to goodreads to see what others were saying about it. I don’t typically do that, but this book seemed to have a suspense factor in the background and I was curious if I was missing something…if there were other books that would’ve helped me with this knowledge…and there was! TOUGH ENOUGH is book 2 in the “Tall, Dark, and Dangerous” series. Yes, it is considered a standalone and yes, M.Leighton did a good job of building the story, so you wouldn’t need the other books, but me being a lover of spinoffs, I just had to know if there was more to this storyline.

With that being said, I was worried about how I was going to rate this book. I thought about it the whole time I was reading. Here is why I had a hard time with the rating.

Things I liked:

1)   Kiefer Rogan!!! (Love that name BTW!) He made for a delightful read *wink*. Because of him, I was intrigued in the book and he kept me coming back for more. *swoonworthy*. His slow seduction of Katie was s*xy and so much fun to read.

2)   Slow Burn element. There was a slow build to Rogan and Katie’s relationship. It was obvious from the beginning that they were both VERY attracted to each other, but Katie knew “his type” and wanted nothing to do with more heartache. Rogan on the other hand, was very intrigued by Katie and wanted to break her out of her shell. Get her to tell him all her secrets. Get to know her inside and out <3 There relationship development was lovely to read.

3)   Both characters were “flawed”/damaged. It wasn’t just about one of them having a horribly back story, they BOTH had their own issues they were living with. I liked this factor because in so many books, it’s all about one character being flawed and shouldering all the issues.

Things I didn’t like:

1)   I felt as if I was sucked in right from the prologue, but then it kind of died there L I felt like it lacked dialogue and because of that, I felt like I missed out on the relationship build between Rogan and Katie. I wanted more interactions in the beginning, but I got more inner dialogue. I felt like the lack of character dialogue hindered my ability to build a “relationship” with the characters, which made me sad because they seemed like such amazing characters with powerful back stories.

2)   I didn’t really connect with the heroine, Katie (“Kat” “Kathryn”). She has a HORRIBLE and tragic back story and I completely understand why she is withdrawn and more of a wallflower type, but I would’ve like to have seen her come out her shell sooner. I like reading about damaged but strong female characters and Katie fell short of that for me. She did find her “tough enough” factor at the end of the book, but it was a little too late for me L

3)   The suspense factor. I probably would’ve understood the background story a little more if I would’ve read book 1 in the series, but I didn’t. The suspense factor was so infrequently brought up in the book that I almost forgot about it and then all of a sudden at like 10% left in the book, it was brought back in and wrapped up in a neat little bow. I felt like the conflict in the background was a bit rushed at the end and kind of anticlimactic. I would’ve liked a little more balance between romance and suspense.

4)   Overall, I found this book likable. The plot was intriguing; it was fast paced, and had that hidden suspense in there on top of the romance. The “fight to survive, fight to live” element was perfect and M.Leighton did an amazing job of portraying how these two characters learned how to fight to live on their own terms. Rogan and Katie were a perfect match for each other <3

***If I could give one recommendation (just from reading other reviews) I would suggest reading book 1 STRONG ENOUGH first.

3 stars




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