Title: Fighting for Flight
Author: J.B. Salsbury
Series: Fighting #1
Release Date: February 25, 2013
What happens when in order to win, you’re forced to lose?
The only daughter of an infamous Las Vegas pimp, Raven Morretti grew up an outsider. Liberated from the neglectful home of her prostitute mother, she finds solace as a mechanic. With few friends, she’s content with the simple life. Flying under the radar is all she knows, and more than she expects.
Until she catches the eye of local celebrity, UFL playboy Jonah Slade.
Weeks away from his title fight, Jonah is determined to stay focused on everything he’s trained so hard to achieve. Undefeated in the octagon, he’s at the height of his career. But resisting Raven’s effortless allure and uncomplicated nature is a fight he can’t win.
Jonah trades in his bad-boy reputation and puts his heart on the line. But when her father contacts her, setting in motion the ugly truth of her destiny, Jonah must choose. In a high-stakes gamble where love and freedom hang in the balance, a war is waged where the price of losing is a fate worse than death.
Will the hotheaded Jonah be able to restrain his inner fighter to save the woman he loves?
Or will Raven be forced into a life she’s been desperate to avoid?
Every once in a while, a story comes along and manages to touch you so unexpectedly. You go into a book thinking it’s one thing and come out feeling thankful that it was something else entirely. Fighting for Flight is a book about a fighter, but the fighter that really stuck with me isn’t the muscled, tattooed bad boy know as Jonah Slade. Raven really stole the show here with her broken heart, beautiful spirit and undeniable charm. This book was hers through and through. Her story is messy and gritty and even brutal at times, but the journey she travels couldn’t be more moving.
“Hope. It has sustained me through my darkest days, but it also lifted me up only to drop me, breaking me into irreparable pieces. Could I live through that kind of fall again?”
Raven has stolen a top spot when it comes to female characters I absolutely love. JB Salsbury has really raised the bar for heroines everywhere. The way JB develops and matures this character over the course of her journey is astounding. Everything about Raven grew as the story progressed. As her confidence built, JB made her voice stronger, louder, and more distinct. I could feel every bit of Raven’s transformation through her interactions, conversations and inner musings. Raven was so easy to connect with. Every fear and insecurity was just as genuine and raw as what we experience in our own lives.
“You’ve managed a life through your obstacles. It may be a lonely life, but a life nonetheless. Surviving is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s something to be proud of.”
Jonah demonstrates the ultimate balance between alpha male and swoon-worthy book boyfriend. Every ounce of him is protective, delicious and absolutely sexy, while his soul is kind and overflowing with love. He fought his way into my heart with very little effort and I was definitely jealous of Raven for getting to have him around. Jonah was refreshing in that for once, it wasn’t the fighter that was stuck running from their demons. While he had his own history, his own pain, and made his own mistakes, he was the one who had to help someone else find their own strength and it was absolutely breathtaking to be a part of.
“It’s funny, this thing between us. Every concern or emotion we feel, it’s mutual. Here you’re thinking I’m saving you, when all this time it’s been you who saved me.”
Fighting for Flight was captivating, pulling me in from the very beginning and holding me hostage well beyond the last page. JB has woven this tale so carefully that each and every revelation aided in building the suspense of the plot. There were several moments I didn’t see coming at all and as things unfolded I was anxious to know how things would turn out. The secondary characters really brighten up this story. I adored Blake and his ridiculously crude sense of humor. I can’t wait to see more of him. The pacing was spot on, never leaving me in a lull or overwhelming me completely. Raven’s complicated history and Jonah’s complex reality came together in the perfect explosion of lust, love and self-discovery.
I picked this book up after seeing and hearing such raving reviews about it, and I’m definitely kicking myself for not picking it up sooner! I got so sucked into this world and just couldn’t put it down. The premise to the book was definitely one that I have not come across before. It made for such an intriguing read. I kept going because I just had to find out how the whole story played out for this baby girl we are introduced to in the prologue.
“Surviving is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s something to be proud of.”
In terms of the characters, I absolutely adored Raven. She is such a contrast to what I see in females these days; she defies every single typical gender role stereotype and it provided for such a refreshing read! I also loved that she had such real fears and anxieties given the fact that her parents essentially abandoned her. I know from personal experience that when your confidences aren’t built up by those who are always supposed to love you, it makes for a questionable self-esteem. I admired that these feelings and emotions weren’t downplayed or exaggerated, but J.B. Salsbury just seemed to hit the nail on the head with them.
“If only everything were like that. It’s not easy to do: owning and accepting the pain of our past, the heartbreak, our misgivings, and using them for good. Make our lives better not in spite of it all…but because of it.”
We also met Jonah, who I absolutely could not get enough of! I love how fiercely protective he was. It’s my Achilles’ heel in male characters so the degree to which he exuded this, combined with his confidence, was just perfection for me! He also had these hints of dominance which I think put him over the top. I also loved all the secondary characters. It was great how quickly they took Raven in and made her part of the family, and also how quickly she acclimated to them. That banter between Blake and Raven was perfect! In a story with heavy moments, they helped to lighten the moods. I loved the idea of these two together and how they each brought out better qualities in the other.
“Tears born of laughter feel so much better than those born from pain.”
Although this was a story of love, it was also about family and friendship. It was about loyalty and perseverance. It’s awe-inspiring to come across these themes when they are so accurately portrayed and well-played out in novels. While it’s always nice to have the romance, a little extra goes a long way to set it above the rest. I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on the next one!
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Don’t miss the rest of the Fighting Series:
Fighting to Forgive (Fighting #2)
Fighting to Forget (Fighting #3)
Fighting the Fall (Fighting #4)
A Father’s Fight (Fighting #5)
Fighting for Forever (Fighting #6)
Fighting Fate (Fighting #7)