Review: “The Brawl” by Willa Nash

Series: Calamity Montana #5

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: October 6th, 2022

Add to Goodreads | Amazon.in (Available on KU)

CW: mentions of divorce, attempted murder (past), child abandonment (secondary character)

On Ronan Thatcher’s first week in Montana, he spots the most beautiful woman in the world. Love at first sight? Nah. He doesn’t believe in love. But he wouldn’t mind a date or two with the local beauty. Ronan is the type of man who gets what he wants, and he wants Larke Hale.

Except Calamity’s sweetheart has sworn off men. The last time Ronan was rejected was, well . . . never. Yet Larke dismisses him without even batting those pretty brown eyes.

Bruised ego in check, he’s about to walk away when a teenager marches into his office and asks to hire Ronan as her lawyer. Something about a bad grade and a ruined grade point average that will inevitably destroy her future. He’s about to lecture the kid for being melodramatic until he learns that the teacher she wants to sue is Larke.

Suddenly this frivolous lawsuit seems like a bright idea. Ronan wants Larke’s attention and this is guaranteed to snag it. So let the brawl begin.

 

Devney Perry (writing as Willa Nash) always comes up with the most unique and interesting storylines to put her characters through the wringer. And with The Brawl, that’s no different. This book was fun, sexy and cute; but it also tackled some pretty hard topics and was handled so well. By the end of the book, I was tearing up and just so happy. Plus, she also writes awesome heroes who go above and beyond for the women in their lives.

The Brawl has:

✨ new guy in town

✨ single mom with such a cute kid

✨ strangers to neighbours to lovers

✨ a totally wild lawsuit

✨ a caring, swoony, charming hero

✨ small town Montana

✨ sexual tension, great banter

Ronan Thatcher was truly a great hero. Everything from his charming personality to his relentless pursuit of Larke and even the way he was with her daughter, Wren, made him all kinds of special. I usually (like Larke) don’t like characters who pursue and push their (future) partner to go out with them over and over, but there was something about the way Devney wrote Ronan and projected that part of him that really worked for me. As a lawyer from California, Ronan sees Larke in his first week in Calamity and he’s drawn to her in a way that he can’t quite explain. But she’s got no time for him and she doesn’t have the patience or the interest for romance. Her life revolves around raising her daughter, Wren, and surviving her days as a high school teacher. But he worms his way into her life and it was so beautiful watching Larke drop her walls for him and let him. Larke Hale (sister to Kerrigan from The Brazen) is such an interesting heroine too! She’s a great mother and a pretty good teacher, even if teaching high school students is not her idea of a good time. I loved how passionate and driven she was despite all the things working against her. Her relationship with Kerrigan was so great and seeing Nellie (from The Bully) again was so great.

“Ronan was a tornado, twisting me in circles. From confusion to hate to lust to admiration to this budding crush. He’d left me reeling. And somehow, I liked his crazed, reckless spinning.”

The main storyline with the lawsuit was quite interesting. It went beyond being just about a teenager being angry with their teacher, and more about struggling to fit into the world and have what you want when there’s so much more to deal with. I loved Ronan’s connection with Ember, even if she was incredibly difficult at first. I liked that the lawsuit both brought Larke and Ronan together and added an element of stress to their relationship. Plus, I am obsessed with Gertrude and would love to see her again.

And let’s not even get me started on Wilder Abbott! I love me a good grump and his tenuous relationship with Larke at school made me very aware that he’d get his own book (and this was before I’d read the blurb for The Brood even though I saw the cover). I cannot wait for more of him!

Thanks to Valentine PR for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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