Blitz: Fierce by L.G. Kelso

L.G. Kelso
(A Whatever It Takes Novel)
Publication date: April 3rd 2018 (re-release)
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Three years ago, Tori beat the wrong man. Her MMA training partner, nursing a bruised ego, snapped—shattering her trust and confidence.

Now, she’s putting herself through college, avoiding all things fight related, and keeping her fists to herself. That is, until her uncle’s failing health draws her back to his gym and her old pounding grounds. With her demons still haunting the cage, she’s determined to keep up the wall she’s so carefully constructed between the past and present.

Until pro-fighter Max Estrada saunters into her life.

The temptation to go glove-to-glove with the sexy Columbian is too much, drawing her back into the world of MMA—a world where her ex-partner reigns as current Middleweight Champion. The secret they share is a liability to his career, and he’ll do anything to keep her quiet. If she wants her old life back, and a future with the fighter she’s fallen for, she’ll have to do more than just survive. With her life on the ropes, she’ll have to face her past and fight like she’s never fought before.

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The alcohol probably wasn’t helping. The side of the bathtub, cool against the back of my legs, felt as if it would fall out from under me as I stared at the water pouring from the bathtub’s faucet and over the cuts on my leg.

I went to scrub the soap into the cuts, but my wet shirt kept getting in the way. Every time I moved, it stuck to my skin.

Wrapping the hem of my long shirt around my fingers, I lifted the shirt up, over my head—

“Woah, there, Tori. What are you doing?”

“It’s in the way!”

“No, it’s not,” Max said as he yanked my shirt back down.

“It’s wet.”

“Well, yes, it is. You can go change in a second. Tori, put your shirt down.”


He sighed. “Because you’re drunk.”

“You’ve seen me in a sports bra.”

“Which you are definitely not wearing right now.”

His reaction was making my skin burn again, but this time, I couldn’t figure out why. Was it because he so didn’t want to see me without a shirt? Was it that bad? I mean, compared to Cheyenne sure, but still.

“The idea of seeing me shirtless is that awful, huh?”

He tugged. I rolled forward, giving up the shirt.


“I know I don’t look like your lingerie model of a girlfriend, but jeez.”

“Tori.” The conviction in his voice made me stop blabbering like a damn idiot. His fingers found my chin and tilted my head. He was so close. The brown of his eyes were darker in this light, making his eyes look like black pools.

“Should you ever wish to yank your shirt off in front of me when you’re sober, I definitely will not stop you. It would be the opposite of awful.”

Had he gotten closer? And what did he mean by opposite of awful?

His lips were swollen; he must have taken one hit to the mouth before knocking the other guy out.

The alcohol didn’t do as much to my brain as being around Max did. Everything about him teased me in some way. His adrenaline teased out my own. I wanted to pull him against me. I wanted to find someone to fight in an octagon. I wanted to be me again, whoever that was, and I wanted to be it with Max.

“Tori,” he said again, and I tore my gaze away from his mouth and back to his eyes. A wave of shivers started at the top of my spine, my skin prickling as it passed through the rest of my body. The look in his eyes…it was quite possibly the best thing I had ever seen.

He continued a moment later. “But right now, you are drunk. So your clothes are staying on.”

Author Bio:

L.G. Kelso writes authentic sports fiction about characters falling in love with combat sports and also each other. She’s a fan of anything that bashes gender stereotypes, and she can be found in her MMA gym when not writing.
Visit her website at for more information about her and upcoming projects, including another book in the Whatever It Takes universe.

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“He doesn’t see you for you.” He hunched his shoulders forward. “Man, orange and frills for that prick?”
“Is that why you were grumpy? Why you’re sulking? Because I wore all this?”
“You can wear whatever you want.”
“Yes, I can. Now talk.” A breeze blew into the courtyard, and my skin chilled. I scooted closer to Max. His jeans scratched against my bare skin above my knee. More goose bumps erupted.
“Tell me you’re wearing that for you? Because you wanted to? Because you like it?”
Why couldn’t I lie to Max?
“I don’t like it, but what’s wrong with that? I wanted him to like it.”
“Everyone wants appreciation. Appreciation is good. But you deserve appreciation for you. For how you look every day, whether you get dressed up or not. If you do get dressed up, do it for you. Not for some punk who doesn’t deserve your appreciation.” His words were quick, and with each one, his accent slipped in more and more. “I know I’m being a total asshole, but he’ll never understand you.”
“You seem a little stressed about this.”
He grunted.
“You’re right,” I said. “I know that I shouldn’t change for someone who couldn’t change for me. And for the record, I really do hate frills.” I pulled at the frilly fabric that draped down the neckline of the dress.
Night was falling and leaching the sunlight from the sky. In the narrow courtyard, tucked between a building and an apartment complex, only a hint of golden light drifted down.
“Yes, you look beautiful, but you look beautiful all the time, and if he doesn’t see that, he doesn’t deserve you.”
“Max, I…what are you saying?” When he didn’t respond, I admitted, “I didn’t want to impress him.”
His head cocked to the side, and his eyebrow arched.
“Seriously. I just wanted to be accepted.”
“You’re an adult. If someone doesn’t accept you for you, well, fuck them.”
Dang. This really riled him up. It was getting harder and harder to understand what he was saying. His accent intensified with each word. He kicked at the gray rock again. This time it skidded across the dirt trail and hit a turquoise pot. The pot’s plant had just started to bud and turn green.
“If you haven’t noticed, I don’t exactly have a line of guys waiting for me. Unlike you.”
“I have a line of guys waiting for me? I hate to break it to them, but they’re going to be waiting for the rest of their lives.”
I smacked him in the shoulder, and he finally grinned. “You know what I mean. Fighting attracts women to men for whatever reason. Not so much the other way around.”
This time, he didn’t come back with some witty quip. Instead, his face turned serious.
“I know being a female in this sport can be hard. Well, I don’t know since I’m not one, but I’ve seen it. I gather Trevor doesn’t like the fact you could kick his ass?”
“Most guys don’t.”
He shrugged. Finally, movement. Seeing him sit so still freaked me out. “It seems like you have a lot of guy friends. Obviously, they’re okay with it.”
“Friends is the key word, Max. It’s one thing to be one of the guys. It’s another to take one of the guys home to Mom.”
“I’d take you home to Mom.” His words sounded serious, too serious for someone who had bailed on me for his ex. His knee, perfectly still a moment before, bumped into mine.
Damn it. There was no breeze for which to blame the chills that ran through my body.
“Tori, what did he mean when he asked you what would happen when a friend tries to kill you? When he said what if you didn’t wake up?”
I tried to imagine Max’s reaction if I were to tell him. There were a few possibilities. He could decide I was a baby and that he no longer wanted to train with me. He could decide I was a liability, like Will tried to make it sound. Or he could pity me.
I wasn’t ready for either of those responses.

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