Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blog Tour: A Fighting Chance by A. J. Sand

Title: A Fighting Chance
Author: A. J. Sand

Jesse Chance is a bastard.
And that’s all he heard his entire life growing up once news got out that he was the illegitimate child of womanizing ex-con, Henry Chance.
Stuck in Glory, Texas, a town too small to escape the sins of his parents, Jesse turned into exactly what everyone expected him to be: a lover of liquor and women, and so good with his fists, he became a teenage champion of the secret underground fighting rings that float around the South, while doubting the only people who ever believed he could be more, his ailing mother, and his girlfriend, Drew Hallisay.
But determined to make his mother’s dying wish come true, he enrolled in a college on the East Coast, far away from his past. Jesse Chance is reborn into a new life, and set on keeping Glory, Texas--and Henry Chance--in his rear view.
Until a visit from his father in the middle of the night changes everything.
Forced to return to Glory to prevent a tragedy, Jesse is soon back on the fighting circuit with Drew's help and facing the history he was so desperate to escape, the part of him he would prefer to hide.
As he slips back into his old ways--Henry Chance's ways--he finds himself torn between the guy he was and the one he’s been struggling to become. And in a world dead set on betting against you, can you ever really overcome your past… or your destiny?

My first thoughts after reading this book were "wow, that book was so totally not what I expected - but way more than I could have imagined." 

Jesse was such a tortured young man – trying to forget his past, and make a new life for himself as he goes through college.  And, he does just that – he makes new friends, has a girlfriend, and has a new job lined up after graduation – leaving Glory, TX and everyone there in the dust.

  Except somehow the dust got kicked up, and his father shows up needing a favor.  Jesse struggles with his decision to help, but because of the person he truly is he can’t say no – so he puts his entire life on the back burner – to help his father.  I asked myself so many times “why are you helping this jerk”?  Jesse’s father, Henry – is in no way going to win “father of the year” – because he is a total bastard.  He never even acknowledged that Jesse was his son, never did anything for him, except use him when it benefitted himself. 
By helping his father out, Jesse is forced to go back to Glory, TX and face his past.  The past that includes underground fighting and his first love, Drew.
But even though Drew is pissed that he never had contact with her again after he left for college, and they have both moved on – she decides to help Jesse as he goes in to the underground fighting world in Mexico.  I can’t even imagine how she felt when he showed back up in town – so conflicted – but he was her first love, and she just couldn’t leave him to do this on his own.
Setting off for Mexico - this is where the story totally gets interesting - and let me say - hold on!!
I had no idea where this story would go – but it took me on a journey that had me captivated the whole time.  The twists and turns were unexpected and perfect.  The journey that Drew and Jesse take to make money to help out his father is crazy – and goes places I could have never imagined.  It's not your typical romance, to me the romance is more in the background story.  To me this story is about a young man finally accepting where he came from, living with how he got there, and learning to love himself along the way. 

This book was about not only fighting for love but fighting for acceptance and just being enough for that one person you strive to please.  Having been born out of an affair that had the small town buzzing, a safe place to land became the hardest place to survive.

Fighting was the way for Jesse to get the accolades he had always searched for from his "father" a man that could never be bothered to see his full worth.  Finding out he was not only good but great at it, put him in a position to lose.  Lose his first love and respect of his dying mother.

A decision to stop before the demons over took Jesse became someone that couldn't look at himself in the mirror.  With this change came a new life and that life was without Drew, Jesse's rock and the love of his life.  College, a new girl, no alcohol or demons, Jesse forged a new persona.  One of quiet existence, but always yearning for the comfort of the one person that knew the real Jesse.

Drew waited, she waited for her love to return, to become the family she thought they would always be.  Years passed and an encounter with the "father" he always wanted to prove his worth to changed the direction Jesse's life was heading.  Back to his small town, back to Drew, but she wasn't waiting..she had moved on.  He can't fight without her, she knows the ins and outs of the sport and the who that he has to help his "family" get out of trouble.

This was it..the way he could be the big brother to a boy he had never known, be the son he always wanted to be seen as, be enough. Now he just has to live through the darkest and dirtiest of underground fighting that he has ever seen.  The only way he can is with the love and support of Drew.  Can the past become their future?

I really enjoyed this book the actual "love" story was kind of the back plot, violence and serious angst on the what can possibly go wrong being the front story.  I was on the edge of my seat and thought..really? more than once.  Great fighter story and a very different, intense read.
 Sizzling Giveaway
$25 Amazon gift card, (1) copy of A Fighting Chance on either Kindle or Nook,
 and (1) Wantable gift card or one-time accessories box (U.S. Only giveaway)
– all for one person winner
 a Rafflecopter giveaway


A.J. Sand grew up an only child whose parents bought her many, many books to keep her busy, so it was only natural that she would start writing her own stories.

She is the author of “Documentary,” “Remake” and “Recklessly.”
She lives just outside of Washington, D.C.

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