Blog Tour & Giveaway: On The Ropes (Down for the Count #1) by Christa Cervone

A murderer’s child…A foster child…A troubled teen…Gabriel ‘The Saint’ Vega has never had an easy life. Being shuffled from one foster home to another after his father murdered his mother, he found himself in and out of trouble with the law. Never giving a damn about himself, let alone anyone else, his life was spiraling out of control; fast. Until one man and one sport changed everything.

Frankie Carbone taught Saint how to handle his anger and rejection; by fighting it out in the ring. On his way to stardom, Saint finds himself pushed into the spotlight and into the arms of more women than he can ever imagine; he’s completely content with one night stands and random sex. Then Salem Harris comes walking into his life and changes his game plan. Saint finds himself wanting Salem in all the ways that scare him. She is off limits; taken. But that doesn’t stop Saint from going after what he wants, and he wants her. Frankie showed Saint a new way of life with Boxing, but will Salem give him the one thing he’s never known – love? Will Saint find himself fighting for the one thing he thinks he doesn’t deserve or will Salem end up breaking his heart? Gabriel ‘The Saint’ Vega has had to fight for every good thing he’s gotten in his life. Can he go the distance?

***

My heart was breaking in the prologue alone. The book opens with a young Gabriel and his brother watching as their father stands in court for the murder of their mother. I wanted to wrap my arms around the boys and protect them from the cruelty they’ve had to endure. Fast forward to their adult lives and I found fate took them in two different directions. While Gabriel found a guardian angel in Frankie that took him off his self destructive path, Gabriel’s brother wasn’t so lucky.

Gabriel may have had a crap childhood, but Frankie and boxing did him a world of good. He’s a good man, helps other at risk youth and is a rising star in amateur boxing. He’s content with life and where it’s going. Until Salem enters his gym. Her beauty attracts him. The fact that she’s in a relationship, her coldness and indifference to him only fuel him on. She’s a challenge.

Salem is on a destructive path herself, but just doesn’t realize it. For whatever reason she stays with her douchebag boyfriend. As much as he wears her heart down with hurt and mistrust she refuses to leave the asshat. Instead she clings to loyalty and the love she’s sure he has for her. Ugh! I wanted to shake her around and shove his cheating ways into her face till the light bulb goes on. She’s suspected for a long time that he cheats, but never had proof and hoped he would change. Seriously! You’re not married to him. Move on! But their families have a history, so it’s not that easy for her.

After a moment of weakness and letting her guard down, Salem and Gabriel actually form a quick friendship. There’s attraction between them both. But, she’s not free to explore it. These two can actually be good together. The only thing really stopping them is her. She’s blocking her own path to happiness.

We meet up with Gabriel’s brother again. Life hasn’t been good to him. Ms. Cervone made me cry at one point. Now that Gabriel is an adult though, he’s doing what he can for his brother and vows to not ever leave him again. Old friends step in to help provide a better outcome for him.

This one leaves off on a cliff. Things are unresolved in the end and left my heart feeling sad for Gabriel. It’s a good start to a new series. I’m looking forward to the next one. I want to see what progress his brother has made and if Salem has managed to pull her head out of her ass and get it right.

Excerpt
My thoughts drift to creating a fantasy of Salem and me. We’re in the locker room at Frankie’s gym and I’m all hot and sweaty from training. I have her pinned up against the wall and she’s completely defenseless against me, but she’s into it. Her skirt is up around her waist and the little piece of fabric she calls underwear is interfering with what I want. I grind my body up against hers and my dick is swelling as I rub up on her thigh. My hands roam freely over her body, finally landing on her tight ass. Our tongues are dueling and I’m drunk on her taste. The scent of the perfume or body spray she’s wearing is tormenting me until I’m at my breaking point. “God, Salem, you smell so fucking good; it makes me wanna fuck you until you can’t remember your own name,” I growl. Her hands tighten in my hair and a stronger wave of her scent drifts into my nose as I inhale. My chest is heaving at my thoughts and my breathing is labored. Sliding my hand into my boxers, I adjust myself to get more comfortable and my thoughts are almost immediately back with Salem. Her perfectly manicured nails are clawing at my back now as I dig my fingers into her legs. I kiss her neck roughly as she pants in my ear, “Make me come, Saint.” Then she bites my earlobe and I lose control. I’m so anxious to have her that I rip off the expensive panties she’s wearing and slam my cock into her like her pussy is my saving grace. I smile when she screams in pleasure as she comes apart in my arms.

Unconsciously, my hand slides back down into my boxers until it meets my aching erection. This time I begin stroking myself; I just can’t help it. Salem…there’s just something about her…I’m not sure if it’s her beauty or the fact that I’ll have to work to get her. But, whatever it is, she will be mine.

Meet the Author

I was born and raised in Western Massachusetts and I’m a married mother of three who married her high school sweetheart, Frank. I don’t really have too many hobbies. I like to watch my kids play sports. I do photography on the side (weddings, families, babies etc). I’m Minion & Adam Levine obsessed. I enjoy listening to all different types of music, Maroon 5 & P!nk being some of my favorites.

Achievements — I was on the Top 20 Erotica as well in being on the Movers and Shakers List on Amazon with “Broken.”

I’m currently working on her second novel titled “Going the Distance” which will be released Fall 2013 as well as a third novel titled “Saved.”

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