Reviewed by Susan65
Author: Carol Lynne
Series: The Brick Yard #1
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 261 Pages
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: February 9, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: For Lucky Gunn, the hardest fight of his life happens outside the cage.
On the South Side of Chicago sits an old gym called The Brick Yard.
Ten years ago, on a bitterly cold day, Lucky Gunn wandered into The Brick Yard dressed in a threadbare jacket, looking for refuge. He hadn’t expected the owner, Tony Brick, to welcome him with a job and a place to sleep when Lucky’s abusive and drug-addicted mother made it too dangerous to return home.
Dray was a gay man living in a world of straight fighters. When his secret was exposed to the media, he dropped out, giving Lucky a piece of advice-if you want to make it as a MMA fighter, bury the part of yourself that won’t be accepted.
Lucky discovered the cage was the perfect place to keep his demons at bay, but when he learns his trainer and mentor, Brick, is suffering from end-stage cancer, he begins to spiral out of control. After eight years, Dray returns to help Lucky and Brick deal with the devastating news.
With Dray so close, Lucky’s old desires return, and Dray teaches him more than how to fight. Torn between his career and the passion he feels for Dray, Lucky’s past demons resurface in full force, threatening his sanity and his budding relationship with Dray.
Despite leaving the cage years earlier, Dray finds himself in the battle of his life with the only man he’s ever loved. Will he stand and fight or walk away like he did years earlier?
Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released with Pride Publishing under a different title. It has been considerably expanded and re-edited for re-release and now is book one in The Brick Yard series.
Review: This was heartbreaking yet beautiful. Lucky, Dray, Jax, Lucas, and Mac…they all have a story, and they all have one thing in common…Brick…the owner of The Brick Yard, an old school gym. Sounds mundane but it’s anything but. Brick is also an older single man who never married…but he wasn’t lonely because he had his boys. Every one of his boys comes from a tragic beginning and their path to righteousness, hope, and success all starts from the moment Brick invites them inside his gym.
Brick was hard as nails, because he cared. And no one really knew everything the man did for so many until he was near the end of his life. Lucky and Dray were two of his very special boys, boys who grew past their demons, and grew into men that made Brick proud. But, the story, as much as it revolves around Brick, is really about the slow burning love affair between Lucky and Dray.
Lucky and Dray have a small age difference between, but that in no way took away from their relationship, and honestly, except for the very beginning when Lucky was very young, and Dray only saw him as a charity case of Brick’s, it was almost unnoticeable once they finally get together. Lucky, though, was always crushing on Dray. He was everything Lucky wanted to be and everything Lucky wanted in a man. Both were fighters, MMA cage fighters, both have many demons to overcome, and this book walks us through their process of putting those demons to bed, watching them learn to accept and love themselves (and each other), and paying it forward.
Truly, this was an amazing read and I look forward to seeing where the series goes from here. FYI, I made the mistake of reading the first chapter of the next story (I rarely do that as it just makes me want the next book, now!!!), and trust me when I say that story sounds like it’s going to be a thrilling follow up to this one.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*