Title – Fighting to Forget
Author – JB Salsbury
Publication Date – April 15, 2014
Series – Fighting, #3
*Can be Read as a Standalone*
Every fighter is drawn to the violence, the release that a perfect hit can bring.
But very few are drawn to the pain.
Rex Carter lives behind a wall of indifference. The demons from his childhood act as an anesthetic, keeping him distant from emotional connections. Only the ache from a knock to the jaw, the sting of a tattoo needle, or the heat from a piercing can jolt him back from the numbness. The fiery pain is all he can feel, and nothing compares to the burn.
Or so he thought.
Working in a Las Vegas bar isn’t Georgia McIntyre’s dream. But she hopes it’ll be an end to the nightmare.
She’s watched him, followed him and kept tabs, all in preparation for this moment: to make amends and share the secret she’s been carrying since she was a kid. But she didn’t count on the feelings that seeing him again would stir up, the vacant look in his stormy-blue eyes, and his perfect body now mutilated by ink and metal.
And she knows why. She’s lived his pain every single day, since the day he left.
Changed by time, Rex doesn’t remember the girl from his past. If only she could do the same.
Will she get the absolution she’s spent her life seeking?
Or will he continue Fighting to Forget?
Fighting to Forget absolutely blew me away. Rex and Mac’s story caught me completely off-guard and left my heart a jumbled mess. From the beginning, JB Salsbury made it clear that this book would be darker than the rest. Rex and Mac’s pasts are filled with demons that have only grown larger over time. This story took twists and turns I never could have expected and my heart was in knots the entire time. JB Salsbury has absolutely outdone herself with this one and I couldn’t have fallen harder for this book.
“I’m tugged down to earth by gravity and the pull on my heart toward the one person who’s ever owned it.”
Rex turned out to be far more complicated and damaged than I would have guessed. His internal struggle and his vulnerability and pain evoked incredibly strong emotions in me as I read his story. Mac stuck with me in a completely different way. Her love and all-consuming need to protect Rex tugged at my own instincts and generated an understanding with her that I just couldn’t shake. I loved the unconscious recognition between Rex and Mac. JB Salsbury built the connection between these two in a way that effortlessly demonstrated the undeniable pull their pasts had left between them. She also sparked a chemistry between them that was absolutely electric at times and had me feeling the heat.
“What started as a need to alleviate the guilt turned into an obsession to be near him and, now, an undeniable, unconditional, all-consuming love for him.”
The emotional component of this story is incredibly different from the previous books in this series. Along with the tragic and broken, JB serves up a dark and haunting story that will break your heart over and over again. I felt everything. Rex and Mac’s anger, fear, and devastation was palpable and had me aching for them to get their happily ever after. Fighting to Forget is definitely the most suspenseful of the series so far, keeping me on the edge of my seat while I waited for the pieces of Rex’s past to fall together. This story was ripe with intensity and had my heart beating wildly as I tried to unravel the mystery that kept Rex and Mac in darkness.
“It’s not love; it’s more concrete. Tangible. Protected. Nothing in the world can touch it.”
Fighting to Forget is an absolutely breathtaking addition to JB Salsbury’s Fighting series. I loved getting another glimpse at my favorite fighting family. We got to see Jonah, Raven, Blake, and Layla a little more settled into their relationships and it put a huge smile on my face. This is one of those books I immediately wanted to read again the moment I finished. I was so touched, so overwhelmed with emotion, and so stunned by this complicated, heart wrenching story that I didn’t want to leave Rex and Mac’s world behind. Fighting to Forget has left me with a massive book hangover and I’m already eager for more Rex and Mac.
To say that I was floored by this book would be the understatement of the year. I felt like J.B. Salsbury broke my heart with Mac’s story, tore it to shreds with Rex’s story, and then somehow miraculously pieced it back together again. The first two books in this series were amazing, but there was just something so beautifully gut-wrenching about this one that put it to the top of my favorites list. This story was much more about fighting our own demons and pasts than dealing with the obstacles that get thrown in our path, and I can’t give enough praise for how well it was done.
We’ve met both Rex and Mac in the previous books, and I never really thought too much of either of them because I was so engrossed in the characters being told. However, I was so glad that we got each of their stories! From what I read previously, I never would have guessed that Rex’s story is what it was. Even as an adult, he was a broken, lost boy searching to find whatever solace he could – however he could. However, I really appreciated that he didn’t throw himself into sex or anything destructive. It made his past story more believable for me, and really created a sympathetic feel for this character. At times, he just wanted to feel like a “normal” guy, and you really got into his headspace in those moments that he couldn’t.
I think that one of my favorite things about this book is Mac’s character. It was so interesting to me that she had a hard time facing her own past demons (i.e. – not letting Rex take her to the hospital), yet a part of her wanted to divulge the information she knew of Rex’s past so that he could deal with his. I think it created a very interesting dynamic to their relationship. Neither could process their past without the other; it was very much like they were two halves of a whole, as they were when they were younger in a way. I also love how she saw herself as parts of a whole. She was different things to different people and then had to process how to combine them and be all those girls. To me, it was a reflection of something we all face in one way or another. We may not go around calling ourselves different names to represent different personalities, but we all wear several hats in different settings, and then must figure out how not to lose ourselves.
I only wish that I could read this book again for the first time. It dealt with some heavy things, but the thing about J.B. Salsbury’s work is that she brings to light these harder topics that we don’t often talk about in society. Furthermore, I loved that she put an emphasis on how important therapy is and what a tool it can be. I think seeing a therapist has such a stigma attached to it that it’s important to see how beneficial it can be. I absolutely loved this book – as hard as it was to keep going sometimes. It really did break my heart and put it back together again. The way the story was wrapped up was also incredibly perfect. It may not have been the sappiest HEA, but it definitely went with what I envisioned for these broken characters – not the total end game, but the beginning stages of a journey to healing.
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Don’t Miss the Other Books in the Series:
Fighting for Flight (Book #1)
Fighting to Forgive (Book #2)
Fighting the Fall (Book #4)
A Father’s Fight (Book #5)
Fighting for Forever (Book #6)
Fighting Fate (Fighting #7)
JB Salsbury, USA Today Best Selling author of the Fighting series, lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day as a domestic engineer. But while she works through her daily chores, a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles claws away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.
Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to sink her free time into novel writing.
Fighting for Flight, Fighting to Forgive, and Fighting to Forget are the first three novels in the MMA romance series. Fighting the Fall is due to be released in October 2014.
For more information on the series or just to say hello, visit JB on her website, Facebook, or Goodreads page.