Guest Review: Bearding the Lion by J. Mercury Jones & Sween McDervish

“How did I get here?” wonders David. “How did this fighter get so far in my head in such a short time?”

David Levy thinks he knows the story when he steps into the Triple Hit Mixed Martial Arts gym to shadow a fighter. But he expected a mean-looking brute, not the painfully handsome, ginger haired hunk Connor Ryan. As the reporter is drawn in he discovers the surprising soft side of the alpha male with the killer fists, as well as an unexpected side of himself. While Connor prepares for the fight of his life, David faces a struggle of a different kind in which his heart and career collide as hard as a punch to the face.

But even if they win their own battles, will they lose each other as a dark secret and a fatal mistake conspire to ruin both lives?

Bearding The Lion is a standalone gay romance short with a HFN and no cliffhanger. It contains mixed martial arts fighting, explicit sex scenes, coarse language and conflicts that may be difficult for some readers. All characters in the book are over eighteen years old.

Reviewer: Shee Reader

The story opens with David (the journalist) arriving at the gym to interview and ‘shadow’ a fighter. Connor Ryan has drawn the short straw as the gym owner’s nephew, who owes the older man a favour or two. The introduction to the characters was interesting if a little clunky. I’m not familiar with MMA gyms but have read plenty of MMA fighter romances!

There is a curious feel as David wrestles with himself in his head (and the POV flipped back and forth which got on my nerves a little) but there was plenty of interest in the story. Connor is closeted and the conflict and hot passion between the two men is pretty tangible at times. This novella packs plenty in to a short page count and kept me turning the page.

This is a nice quick read with a pretty cute HFN ending. The style wasn’t my preference but I’m sure it would appeal to plenty of readers!

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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