Book: Take Me On, Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits Series, #4
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: May 27th, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
The Pushing the Limits series is one of my favourite series. Katie McGarry injects each of her books with such intense romantic storylines as well as sexual chemistry that you can’t help but be drawn in to the story, and she is able to write about a variety of different themes and hobbies that the reader may not know anything about and yet can still make the reader interested in what the characters are doing.
This book is no exception. It wasn’t always easy to read at times as Katie deals with very serious and heart-tugging situations, and it broke my heart hearing about West and Haley’s predicaments.
Haley’s a fighter. She goes to the same school as Abby and Isaiah and is from the wrong side of town. After her father got laid off work last year, Haley’s life has fallen apart. They lost their home and their car and were forced to move in with her uncle who is described as the devil incarnate. She feels that she’s lost the right to call anywhere home and doesn’t have anywhere where she feels protected and safe. After coming out of a bad relationship, Haley’s heart is left as broken as her home life. She stopped believing in love and gave up the one thing she took pleasure in: fighting. While she believes she’s protecting her brother and cousin by giving up the only thing she ever felt passionate about, she won’t tell them why and instead retreats into her own head whenever she feels overwhelmed as she doesn’t want anyone worrying about her when her family is falling apart.
West is Rachel’s older brother, and is one of the wilder Young siblings. He goes out partying every night, is a total player and is constantly causing fights. When the latest fight causes West’s expulsion from his fancy private school, his father has had enough of his antics and kicks him out. By arriving on the bad side of town, West meets Haley and his fate is sealed forever. West was a very deep character. He constantly felt like a failure in the eyes of his family because his father always seemed disappointed in him and never had a good word to say about him and he felt he was always letting his brothers, sister and mother down no matter what he did. It was heart-breaking to read how badly he felt about himself.
When West and Haley meet it’s because Haley was having trouble with some druggies and West happened to be driving past. By trying to defend her honour and do something right for a change, he inadvertently makes things worse for himself and Haley and the only way to make things better is to challenge the guys who jumped them to a cage fight in two months’ time. So Haley agrees to train West so he won’t get pummelled. And of course, amazing chemistry ignites between the two. They’re undeniably attracted to each other but Haley is afraid of getting involved with someone new after he heart was so pulverised by her last relationship.
Haley was such a fantastic character. While she had her moments of weakness, they were completely overshadowed by her moments of utter bravery. While Haley stopped fighting in the ring; she never gave up on her family or on West. She had so much strength and she was constantly portraying just how strong she was even when she thought she was being weak. By protecting her father, brother and cousin from her uncle’s abuse and saving them from being kicked out to seeing West for who he was inside and not because he was a Young, she never gave up, and I loved her for it.
West’s story just broke my heart. From his very strenuous relationship with his father to his low self-esteem and his belief that he was worthless, I always felt like giving him a big hug. But he comes out fighting in the end, and I was cheering along with everybody else in the crowd.
This book had great character development and wonderful side characters. Katie McGarry wins again with this instalment in her fabulous series, and I look forward to reading more stories about the characters in her world (Abby please please please!!)