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Never before published from the New York Times bestselling author Gillian is a PR expert hired to smooth out the rough edges on hot- headed sports club president Drew Black. He's rough, raw and ready for any challenge Gillian throws his way. But which one's going to end up on top?


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Never before published from the New York Times bestselling author Gillian is a PR expert hired to smooth out the rough edges on hot- headed sports club president Drew Black. He's rough, raw and ready for any challenge Gillian throws his way. But which one's going to end up on top?

30 review for Back in Black

  1. 5 out of 5

    jenjn79

    Rating: 2.5 / 5 Hmm, well. This book is by far better than the last book, "My Man, Michael" (which was an atrocity, IMHO), but I still didn't really like this book. And I did not like Drew. Ugh. Series Note: This book can probably be read as a standalone. Summary: Drew Black is the president of the SBC, a sport for mixed-martial-arts fighting. He's sexy, foul-mouthed, crass, tactless, but also a brilliant businessman. Which is why the owners of the SBC send PR guru Gillian Noode to work with him and Rating: 2.5 / 5 Hmm, well. This book is by far better than the last book, "My Man, Michael" (which was an atrocity, IMHO), but I still didn't really like this book. And I did not like Drew. Ugh. Series Note: This book can probably be read as a standalone. Summary: Drew Black is the president of the SBC, a sport for mixed-martial-arts fighting. He's sexy, foul-mouthed, crass, tactless, but also a brilliant businessman. Which is why the owners of the SBC send PR guru Gillian Noode to work with him and make him less abrasive. Drew is appalled, but strongly attracted to Gillian. As she is to him. The two give in and start a secret affair. But with someone out to get Drew, it doesn't stay secret long, and each finds their feelings for the other are stronger than they thought. Meanwhile, SBC hopeful Brett Bullman is hoping to sign a contract with Drew and the SBC when he meets Audrey Porter, leader of WAVS. Women Against Violent Sports. Brett is intrigued by the timid woman trying to destroy the sport he loves. And Audrey is hopelessly drawn to the brawny man, but she's horrified when she learns he's a fighter. She gives him a chance, though, and learns that there's more to MMA fighting than she once believed. Review: Okay then...what to say, what to say...this was a weird book for me. I thought I would like Drew Black, from what I'd seen of him in other books, but as I read him in this story, he came across as an asshole. I like rough and tumble Alpha's as much as most romance readers, but Drew was over the top. He's utterly crass and tactless, says "fuck" at least every other sentence, calls women "broads," is fairly sexist, and is just rude and obnoxious. I didn't find much redeeming about him at all. And the romance...I just wasn't feeling it. Gillian is called in to improve his image and before you can blink, she's thinking his rough guy talk is kinda sexy and before you can blink again she's giving in to his proposal for a secret affair. I didn't feel the romance at all between them...especially when Drew kept telling her what a great "rack" she had. I just did not see where these two connected beyond lust. Plus, that whole PR thing where Gillian was supposed to make him less rude? It pretty much flies out the window when Gillian decides people just don't get him. Whatever. Totally pointless story point that was underdeveloped and useless. What did I like about the book? Well, I liked the part of the story about Brett and Audrey. They are basically co-H/H with Drew and Gillian. Which was annoying...the book is only 281 pages and you've got 2 couples pretty much getting equal time. Way too short, which meant there wasn't enough development for either H/H. But I did like Brett and Audrey. Rather interesting story hook there with him wanting to be a fighter and her protesting the sport. I think these two were all that kept me reading the book at times. I wish they'd been the sole H/H of their own book. Also, what was up with the names? Gillian Noode? Lame. And could Brett's last name (Bullman) have been any more stereotypical for someone wanting to be a fighter? So...by far not my favorite book and I was rather disappointed with it. At least it was better than the last one in this series. I think I'd give the whole Drew/Gillian part 1.5-2 stars, and Brett/Audrey 3.5 stars. I'm not sure if Foster has plans for another book in this series, but if she does, I'll probably still read it. I just wouldn't rush right out to buy it and read it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mojca

    I enjoyed the few Harlequin romances I read by this author, and this is the first book in this series I've read (so I don't have all the details), but it most certainly also be the last. This story had more holes in it than Swiss cheese, but that was only one of the problems... 1. The initial premise was stupid. Sorry, but I don't see a problem with a guy who speaks his mind. It's a breath of fresh air nowadays when everybody is lying through their teeth. Also, I had no problems with Drew's langua I enjoyed the few Harlequin romances I read by this author, and this is the first book in this series I've read (so I don't have all the details), but it most certainly also be the last. This story had more holes in it than Swiss cheese, but that was only one of the problems... 1. The initial premise was stupid. Sorry, but I don't see a problem with a guy who speaks his mind. It's a breath of fresh air nowadays when everybody is lying through their teeth. Also, I had no problems with Drew's language. Yes, it was crude at times, but nothing we don't hear in every action movie out there. Actually, compared to some action flicks he was indeed quite tame...And, as the heroine also learned, he always used language that was appropriate for the moment and/or his audience. So the whole deal about changing his image was ludicrous. He was the president of a fighting organization, so it's normal he expressed himself accordingly. Now, if he ran, let's say, a figure-skating organization, the premise would work. I also didn't see him as a jackass. The author, through the heroine, told me. What happened to "show not tell"? 2. The heroine didn't work. She was much too prim and proper for a PR expert. According to the blurb, she has smoothed out the rough edges of many a man. So she should've been used to all kinds of "antics", so her feminist core (or whatever the term Ms. Foster used) shouldn't have been in peril. Well, she was just the opposite, bristling at everything he said, everything he did, being ashamed of their "relationship"...Sheesh. Also, if I go back to the "feather smoothing", her success was only told, never shown. There were no real examples of what she's accomplished, and even with Drew, she only planned, never executed. He was the one who knew what to do. He never needed her (in the PR department). 3. Their "relationship" was very iffy. I didn't feel the connection, beside in the bedroom, and even there it was all about the sex. I didn't see the love coming, and when it did, it made me rise a severely doubtful eyebrow. 4. The secondary story (with Audrey and Brett) was unnecessary, if you ask me. It went completely over my head, I couldn't care less what happened with the two etc. I guess we needed an additional "relationship", because the main one couldn't feel the requisite number of pages. Let's see, the book looks like a normal paperback, but it has two (2!) excerpts at the end, for two books by two different authors. The original story has only 281 pages, a third of which is used to relay Audrey and Brett's story. If that doesn't tell it all, I don't know what can. 5. WAVS - redundant. I guess the whole item number 4 had to do with item number 5. Women against violent sports. As Drew said, a bunch of old biddies and wallflowers not being against everything they didn't know. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. The WAVS angle was (again) completely unnecessary, but it tied to... 6. The suspense angle didn't work. I don't know why we had to have a suspense angle, if not for the fact it was probably the only way the hero and heroine would declare their (doubtful) feelings for each other. The villain's motive was never explained, so it made for even more unbelievable reading. Those are the major problems I had with this book...And, come to think of it, if those six items weren't present, we wouldn't have had a story. Which is daunting.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms

    This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews Back in Black is filled with hot fighters, strong-willed women, romance and quite a bit of action. Back in Black was like time-travel for me, as I have read all Foster's Ultimate stories, and the SBC Fighters series include some characters that show up there as well. Gillian and Drew were both great characters, and I loved the chemistry between them. However, there was another couple that started their romance as well, Brett and A This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews Back in Black is filled with hot fighters, strong-willed women, romance and quite a bit of action. Back in Black was like time-travel for me, as I have read all Foster's Ultimate stories, and the SBC Fighters series include some characters that show up there as well. Gillian and Drew were both great characters, and I loved the chemistry between them. However, there was another couple that started their romance as well, Brett and Audrey, and the fact that I had to follow two couples instead of just one made me feel like I didn't really get fully invested in either of them. Don't take me wrong - all four characters were great, and I enjoyed their interactions as well as the way they evolved throughout the story. There was a lot of tension in Back in Black, both because Drew, the president and face of the SBC was told he needed to reign in his antics and got Gillian as a publicist and sitter. Also because a group of women were protesting very loudly against the SBC because they found MMA to be a far too violent sport, and that it should be banned. Of course, part of the intrigue was that Audrey was the founder of that group, but she didn't know Brett was one of the fighters when they first met. The story is quite fast paced, and there is a bit of mystery mixed in with the romance and the hotness. Of course, the writing is really good, and the flow of the story was great. And as always, Foster knows how to make the sexy scenes, well, sexy. Written in third person past tense, I got drawn into the story from the start, and I really enjoyed the ride.   Good looks, great body, intelligence, enthusiasm, and money... Drew Black would be quite the catch if he wasn't such a sexist, foul-mouthed jerk with the tact of a mountain goat. It was her job to clean up his act, to make him a more presentable figurehead for the SBC franchise. Daunting, but maybe not impossible. She always enjoyed a challenge. Brett preferred not to judge. Over the years, too many people had drawn conclusions about him, and found him guilty by association. He hadn't liked it, so he tried not to do it. 

  4. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    Not my favorite of the SBC Fighters series, but definitely better than My Man Michael (gosh, even the thought of that one makes me shudder). This book actually has two couples in it - Drew and Gillan as well as Brett and Audrey (and I would say each couple has equal time in the book). Drew, as anyone who has been following the series, is the head of the SBC. Gillian is hired to help "tone" down his image (he has a tendency to say what he feels with no filters). It's instant attraction for both o Not my favorite of the SBC Fighters series, but definitely better than My Man Michael (gosh, even the thought of that one makes me shudder). This book actually has two couples in it - Drew and Gillan as well as Brett and Audrey (and I would say each couple has equal time in the book). Drew, as anyone who has been following the series, is the head of the SBC. Gillian is hired to help "tone" down his image (he has a tendency to say what he feels with no filters). It's instant attraction for both of them and sparks soon fly. Brett is one of the new fighters that the SBC is trying to recruit. He meets Audrey at Roger's Rodeo and it is also an instant attraction. Audrey is a leader of an organization called Women Against Violent Sports (i.e. the SBC Fighters) which causes her some emotional turmoil regarding her relationship with Brett. If the book would have been all about Drew & Gillian, I would have rated it higher. I enjoyed their little love spats, lots of lusty tension going on between them. Brett & Audrey are what brought this book down for me. They were totally cute and believable, I just didn't enjoy them as much. Liked them, just did'nt 4 star enjoy them. Oh well, still a good book and a quick, easy read!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lover of Romance

    This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance In Back in Black we have the fifth book in the SBC series. Now I saw this at my library so I just grabbed it up because lately I have been in a MMA Fighter romance mood and I just became so endeared by the sound of this one. Now what was unexpected that I didn't see coming was the two romances. We have Drew and Gillian. Now Drew is the head of his business, he has turned the sport around to be highly respected. But he is crude and doesn This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance In Back in Black we have the fifth book in the SBC series. Now I saw this at my library so I just grabbed it up because lately I have been in a MMA Fighter romance mood and I just became so endeared by the sound of this one. Now what was unexpected that I didn't see coming was the two romances. We have Drew and Gillian. Now Drew is the head of his business, he has turned the sport around to be highly respected. But he is crude and doesn't care about being politically correct in any situation. Gillian is sent to teach him to be more "polished". It soon is obvious how much chemistry they have. Despite the career opposition they have with each other, they act on their feelings for each other. And I found that to be so refreshing. Drew is a hoot, I love how unashamed he is of himself. He doesn't apologize for anything and I liked seeing that in a hero. And boy in how he is with Gillian is quite funny and outrageous at times. He is a alpha male and makes decisions without even talking to her. Adds some unique conflicts they have with each other that prove to be very very amusing. Our next couple is Brett and Audrey. Now Brett is a fighter and knows that he wants to know Audrey the moment he sees her. Audrey has no clue that Brett is a fighter. She is bitter against fighters since she lost her brother in a fight. She is against violence and so we see how different these two are in some ways but we also see how strong they are together. They have some issues to overcome but I loved this couple so very much. I probably got into this couple more than Drew and Gillian. I just had more "feels" when reading their story than I did with Drew and Gillian. And what also surprised (but shouldn't have considering that Foster liked to add this in her books) is the sense of a villain and quite frankly I never saw this villain coming until the end. I also love it when a author surprises the reader in different ways. Although this is far from my favorite book this author has written since the romance between Drew and Gillian fell flat for me I truly enjoyed all the other aspects of this series and can't wait to read more of this series. Click To Buy On Amazon [foogallery id="25981"]

  6. 5 out of 5

    SheLove2Read

    Re-read Oct 2011 I think this was even better the second time around. Drew is a highly intelligent but brash kind of guy. He's good at what he does, takes his business seriously and doesn't put up with the BS. My kinda guy. Gillian is equally smart, put together, sexy and a real woman and Drew can't get enough of her. They are both attracted to each other from the get-go and we're not forced into the back and forth "will he/she or won't he/she" that some authors put you through. They admit their Re-read Oct 2011 I think this was even better the second time around. Drew is a highly intelligent but brash kind of guy. He's good at what he does, takes his business seriously and doesn't put up with the BS. My kinda guy. Gillian is equally smart, put together, sexy and a real woman and Drew can't get enough of her. They are both attracted to each other from the get-go and we're not forced into the back and forth "will he/she or won't he/she" that some authors put you through. They admit their attraction, act on it and don't delve into the 'stupid misunderstanding' trope that separates them for half the book. Great HEA and this time it's going on the keeper shelf. Originally read March 2010 Loved it! Once again Foster gives us a meaty story with lots of action and REAL people. Drew is brash, direct and at times even caustic but it works. Gillian is smart, sexy and gives as good as she takes. Multiple Kudos to Foster for (again) giving us a heroine who isn't a size 0! Gillian is beautiful inside and out, confident in her skin, curvy and irresistible to Drew. Watching the two of them work together and fall for each other was fantastic. And the cover hottie is just icing on the cake. ;-)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    YES!!!! Did ya hear that?? I must profoundly thank Lori Foster for returning my faith in the SBC series after the atrocity known as My Man, Michael. I shudder in remembrance of the pseudo sci/fi mistake that was. Anyway, moving on! Foster has redeemed herself with the story of Drew Black, president of the SBC fighting organization. Gillian Noode (pronounced Nude) is a PR genius who has been hired to help clean up the act of Mr. Black. Her job is to make him seem less misogynistic and rude and to YES!!!! Did ya hear that?? I must profoundly thank Lori Foster for returning my faith in the SBC series after the atrocity known as My Man, Michael. I shudder in remembrance of the pseudo sci/fi mistake that was. Anyway, moving on! Foster has redeemed herself with the story of Drew Black, president of the SBC fighting organization. Gillian Noode (pronounced Nude) is a PR genius who has been hired to help clean up the act of Mr. Black. Her job is to make him seem less misogynistic and rude and to tone his language down from profanity laden to gentleman like. Ha, she has her work cut out for her. Now.. I would just like to thank Foster for saying what every woman REALLY wants to say. I am of course a feminist. Equal rights, equal money, peace and love makes the world go 'round. BUT... just because women would like to be treated equal does not mean that this also should extend to the bedroom. Jeeze, how boring would that be?!? Please may I kiss your.... well you get the picture ;). So yes... I will man up and say that this book just made me shiver and Drew Black is fantastic. 5 stars I say... and to Ms. Foster, keep 'em coming! Pun INTENDED! :)

  8. 4 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    1.5 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Very cute story, more like 3.5 start. I love how strong Gillian was and how Drew came to actually listen to her, instead of trying to find ways to circumvent her work. They were a very dynamic pair. The side story with Brett and Audrey was interesting as well and it tied in well with the main story. Millie was crazy! This book seemed a little more sinister than the previous 4, but in a good way. It was head and shoulders above My Man Michael, which I did not like. This was much better; it brough Very cute story, more like 3.5 start. I love how strong Gillian was and how Drew came to actually listen to her, instead of trying to find ways to circumvent her work. They were a very dynamic pair. The side story with Brett and Audrey was interesting as well and it tied in well with the main story. Millie was crazy! This book seemed a little more sinister than the previous 4, but in a good way. It was head and shoulders above My Man Michael, which I did not like. This was much better; it brought back the love that I have for this series and for Lori Foster as an author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Barbara ★

    This particular romantic trope is my absolute least favorite and didn't work in this book at all. I hated both the hero (what an oxymoron) and the heroine. Drew is as neanderthal as they come being rude, crude and downright abrasive to women. Gillian is supposed to be a professional image fixer, however, she falls under this jerkoff's spell the first day and allows him to manipulate her into a relationship. I had zero respect for Gillian and even less for Drew. Sure he is somewhat redeemed by th This particular romantic trope is my absolute least favorite and didn't work in this book at all. I hated both the hero (what an oxymoron) and the heroine. Drew is as neanderthal as they come being rude, crude and downright abrasive to women. Gillian is supposed to be a professional image fixer, however, she falls under this jerkoff's spell the first day and allows him to manipulate her into a relationship. I had zero respect for Gillian and even less for Drew. Sure he is somewhat redeemed by the end but he's such an asshole for most of the book that his redemption is too little too late for this reader.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tina Alicea

    I loved that Drew and Gillian were both such strong characters, which made them perfect for each other. Brett and Audrey were great as well especially with the difficulties they had to overcome from their pasts and their relationship. Great story!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cindi

    I had forgotten what fun Lori Foster's SBC books are! This book follows two pairs of folks who become romantically entangled, and due to the extra love-struck couple, the book sizzles but also flies by. There is no shortage of action, and even so Ms. Foster manages so show so many different sides to so many different opinions about SBC fighting. Because that is a really horrible sentence :) I'll explain. Gillian is hired to remake Drew's public image as President of SBC. Drew kinda has a little te I had forgotten what fun Lori Foster's SBC books are! This book follows two pairs of folks who become romantically entangled, and due to the extra love-struck couple, the book sizzles but also flies by. There is no shortage of action, and even so Ms. Foster manages so show so many different sides to so many different opinions about SBC fighting. Because that is a really horrible sentence :) I'll explain. Gillian is hired to remake Drew's public image as President of SBC. Drew kinda has a little temper problem and a bigger foul language problem and of course the public image of a playboy. So Ms. Foster shows both the good (he truly cares about his fighters and keeping kids out of street fighting) and the bad (he needs to learn to stop and think before jumping into a situation or using foul language). But she also "teaches" Gillian that some of his word choices are intentional for his audience to relate to him and that there is more to this guy than what she or the public sees. Brett is a SBC-hopeful, a shaggy-haired fighter who comes from a horrible family background that he doesn't want anyone to know about, even tho it makes him look good for surviving it. He also worked his way thru university (he has a business degree!) and currently lives in a small but clean apartment in the 'hood, even tho he can afford better. He meets Audrey, who is the leader of Women Against Violent Sports, and because she intrigues him, he does mention he is a fighter and helps her pass out flyers in a sports bar that the SBC fighters hang out at. As they get to know each other, she learns that PROFESSIONAL fighters are trained and regulated, with spotters and referees and rules to protect them; she learns there is nothing about MMA (mixed martial arts) that resembles street fighting, which is what Audrey thought it was. She's shocked to hear Brett call the police to let them know about an illegal street fight scheduled in his neighborhood. She learns that her preconceived ideas aren't exactly correct, so she learns how to FOCUS her protest and gains the support of the SBC. Of course this book has lots of flirting, seducing and loving so the learning part of it didn't overwhelm the romance. Lori Foster is good that way!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lynsey

    I did enjoy this and it was an entertaining couple of hours worth of read. I love Lori Foster and after 'My Man Michael', I had everything crossed that the last in this series wouldn't be a disappointment. Unfortunately for this book, 'Simon Says' (SBC Fighters 2) is one of my favourite books EVER and in comparison this book doesn't really compare, but... I liked it well enough. Drew is the blunt talking, hot headed president of the SBC. Both him and his temper could do with a little scensoring a I did enjoy this and it was an entertaining couple of hours worth of read. I love Lori Foster and after 'My Man Michael', I had everything crossed that the last in this series wouldn't be a disappointment. Unfortunately for this book, 'Simon Says' (SBC Fighters 2) is one of my favourite books EVER and in comparison this book doesn't really compare, but... I liked it well enough. Drew is the blunt talking, hot headed president of the SBC. Both him and his temper could do with a little scensoring and so PR expert Gillian Noode is brought in by the owners of the SBC to reign him in. Gillian is confident and self assured and will not let a man like Drew intimidate her, but she can't quite fathom her immediate attraction him. Along side this, we meet Brett who is about to sign on with the SBC. He is hard working and level headed and has fought hard to get where he is after a troubled upbringing. He is immediately entranced by Audrey , who is holding a protest with her group WAVS - Women Against Violent Sports, outside of Roger's Rodeo. She doesn't immediately know that Brett is a fighter and has a personal interest in fighting against this sport after losing a loved one in tragic circumstances. As always, Lori Foster writes gorgeous men that you absolutely can't help but fall in love with. This is definitely the case with both Drew and Brett. Drew, although pig headed and full of himself, is actually quite loveable. You can't help but respect the man for saying what's on his mind. He straight away feels a strong attraction to Gillian and is quite sweet in his seduction of her. Brett is just wonderful, he is very much the strong silent type. He really reminded me of Dean from 'Causing Havoc' (SBC Fighters 1). His relationship with Audrey is very sweet and tender, they are just adorable together. It was great to have appearances from Dean, Simon, Gregor and Jacki and there was a very small mention of Barber - but I was disappointed that there wasn't more. They are such great characters and I was really hoping to hear of the pitter patter of tiny feet from any of them. All in all an improvement on the last instalment, but not as good as some of the others. Still worth a read for series completion.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Willow Brook

    Back in Black is the story of a highly successful president of a mixed martial arts organization and the PR hotshot who is supposed to improve his image. Drew Black is rude, crude, foul mouthed and sexist. He's also a genius at what he does and has a softer side he hides. For that matter, he seems to want to hide his highly decent side but he is a good man. Though appalled by much of what he says and how he does things, Gillian is nonetheless drawn to Drew who is likewise attracted to her. They Back in Black is the story of a highly successful president of a mixed martial arts organization and the PR hotshot who is supposed to improve his image. Drew Black is rude, crude, foul mouthed and sexist. He's also a genius at what he does and has a softer side he hides. For that matter, he seems to want to hide his highly decent side but he is a good man. Though appalled by much of what he says and how he does things, Gillian is nonetheless drawn to Drew who is likewise attracted to her. They soon decide to have a secret affair while working together. Meanwhile, there is a stalker (there always seems to be a stalker in romances these days) who seems set on causing problems or worse for Drew. There is also a second romance between a fighter who wants to become part of Drew's organization and a woman who has very strong, personal reasons for protesting mixed martial arts. Brett and Audrey's story probably took up as much of the book as Drew's and Gillian's. I liked both couples and found both stories interesting. However, it felt a bit like some anthologies where you enjoy a story but wish there was more to read. Lori Foster often includes secondary love stories in her books but Back in Black seemed to be two novellas whose plots intertwined. So neither story was as fully developed as if they'd had their own book. Stil, it all worked for me even if it did take some adjusting to hopping between the couples. I liked Brett and Audrey's sweet romance best, but also enjoyed Drew and Gillian. I can't say Drew was a hero I could love (he just was a bit too brash and crude too much of the time) but I liked him and liked reading his story. Keeping in mind I am a Lori Foster fan and so very disposed to like her books, I give Back in Black a solid 4 stars. If you haven't read other SBC books, I'd start with first of the SBC series, Causing Havoc. You don't need to but I think the series is more enjoyable that way. Be aware that #4, My Man Michael is a huge departure into a futuristic/fantasy plot and made many fans howl with outrage. Approach with caution. :-)

  15. 5 out of 5

    PepperP0t

    I don't believe I'm giving 2stars to a Lori Foster book! Already so much better than the previous book of the series (shudder violently) but definitely not the best of the series. That unfortunately isn’t a recommendation or a difficult statement. This time out PR expert Gillian Noode takes on the assignment to makeover SBC president Drew Black who isn’t exactly PG rated nor respectful of others. He’s rude, he’s crude and quite manipulative. Shock value and single minded purpose have gotten him t I don't believe I'm giving 2stars to a Lori Foster book! Already so much better than the previous book of the series (shudder violently) but definitely not the best of the series. That unfortunately isn’t a recommendation or a difficult statement. This time out PR expert Gillian Noode takes on the assignment to makeover SBC president Drew Black who isn’t exactly PG rated nor respectful of others. He’s rude, he’s crude and quite manipulative. Shock value and single minded purpose have gotten him this far and he doesn’t see a reason to change things now. Gillian on the other hand is tops in her field and appreciates the qualities of the rougher sex. She has her eyes on her prize and will do what she needs to do get reach her goal. Drew comes up with an idea that he thinks will get him everything he wants if he can convince “Ms. Nude” to go along with it she’ll come out with what she wants as well. The secondary romance of Audrey Porter and Brett Bullman was more sweet natured but dishonest to begin with. Sweet and innocent Audrey protesting the very violence that charming and gentlemanly Brett that is the core of his dream career. The connection to the earlier series entries is slight and the relationship of the story is more distant cousin than sibling. I didn’t like this – mainly because Drew was too abrasive and crude for my taste. It was a case of making a character reprehensible so his redemption can be impressive but IMO didn’t work. For a savvy & independent woman Gillian came across more as a woman willing to do anything to have a man – so I ended up with no respect for her character.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    In many respects you can never go wrong with Lori Foster. My mom (who doesn't read romances) might argue that Foster's work is formulaic and therefore expected. This might be the case in very general terms with the plot (boy meets girl, something must be overcome, HEA) but really she puts out a lot of very different stuff. I mainly love her stuff because of her characterization. I think she writes people well. Her characters are different from book to book, and for me this is what makes me come In many respects you can never go wrong with Lori Foster. My mom (who doesn't read romances) might argue that Foster's work is formulaic and therefore expected. This might be the case in very general terms with the plot (boy meets girl, something must be overcome, HEA) but really she puts out a lot of very different stuff. I mainly love her stuff because of her characterization. I think she writes people well. Her characters are different from book to book, and for me this is what makes me come back time and time again. This book for me was a lazy read. I did not read it cover to cover. I read the first bit, met Brett, stopped reading and checked goodreads to find his book, couldn't find it, went back to reading, had a sneaky suspicion that Brett would have a subplot in this book. Basically name searched him and read (almost exclusively) his contribution to the novel and then never went back to catch up on the main characters. Man, I liked Brett. I wanted to know about him and see what he did. I felt like I spent some time with him, you know? Almost like a day spent shadowing the man - and I liked it. So I can't really tell you how this book was overall, because I don't know. But I can tell you that I loved the secondary romance in this novel is really enjoyable and cute and a bit unexpected. Buy this book to look at the cover, read it for Brett.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Excellent read. Gillian Noode a PR expert is hired to smooth over the rough edges of Drew Black, president of SBC fighting organization. Drew is having none of the make over and instigates conflict at every turn to throw Gillian off track. Gillian is hired because Drew's bosses feel that his harsh ways are running off potential profitable connections. Life heats up for the two when threats start coming in targeting Drew. Drew is typical alpha male when Gillian in caught up in the cross fire and Excellent read. Gillian Noode a PR expert is hired to smooth over the rough edges of Drew Black, president of SBC fighting organization. Drew is having none of the make over and instigates conflict at every turn to throw Gillian off track. Gillian is hired because Drew's bosses feel that his harsh ways are running off potential profitable connections. Life heats up for the two when threats start coming in targeting Drew. Drew is typical alpha male when Gillian in caught up in the cross fire and he will stop at nothing to protect her. Secondary characters are Audrey and Brett Bullman "the Pit Bull" and they are the sweetest couple ever. Audrey is leader of the group WAVS: Women Against Violent Sports and has an agenda to educate people about the importance of protecting those participating in violent sports. Brett SBC hopeful, neglects to inform Audrey of his partication in the sport of MMA until their relationship is underway. He is a loveable, tortured hero, with a horrible past that is working on being the best man he can be with an (view spoiler)[adopted orphan cat named spice (hide spoiler)] Brett and spice are so cute together. I challege you to not fall in love with him. This is a fast read filled with romance, danger, and sweetness.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bookmom

    Two romances for the price of one. PR consultant Gillian is hired by those financing the SBC to steer Drew Black, the man who created and lives for the SBC, into a more personable figure. He wants nothing to do with it, but is intrigued and turned on by her looks and her brain. Someone wants to discredit him in the worst way and will do anything to bring that about. The other romance is between an up and coming fighter, Brett and Audrey, the woman who created WAVS; Women Against Violent Sports. S Two romances for the price of one. PR consultant Gillian is hired by those financing the SBC to steer Drew Black, the man who created and lives for the SBC, into a more personable figure. He wants nothing to do with it, but is intrigued and turned on by her looks and her brain. Someone wants to discredit him in the worst way and will do anything to bring that about. The other romance is between an up and coming fighter, Brett and Audrey, the woman who created WAVS; Women Against Violent Sports. She has a change in attitude once she gets to know Brett and learns that there are rules in place to prevent the type of fighting that killed her brother. I enjoyed the dual romance, especially as there was enough ink devoted to each that you don’t fill gypped on the second one. Prior fighters met in the series are on hand but have a smaller role than in the earlier stories. The characters are all likeable, but Drew does take a little getting used to. The threat involves a bomb threat, hit and run, arson and a shooting. The perp is interesting and wow, what a nutcase. A nice escape for a few hours.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maura

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’ll be frank, this story pissed me off. It took everything I had not to DNF from the 20% mark because I just kept disliking things more and more. The only redeeming factor in this story was the secondary romance between Brett and Audrey. Other than misrepresenting himself, Brett is honorable, respectful and treats Audrey like she’s precious. He poses a very distinct contrast to Drew and is in in all ways his opposite. And I’m not sure if that was the author’s purpose or not, but it made Drew lo I’ll be frank, this story pissed me off. It took everything I had not to DNF from the 20% mark because I just kept disliking things more and more. The only redeeming factor in this story was the secondary romance between Brett and Audrey. Other than misrepresenting himself, Brett is honorable, respectful and treats Audrey like she’s precious. He poses a very distinct contrast to Drew and is in in all ways his opposite. And I’m not sure if that was the author’s purpose or not, but it made Drew look even worse in comparison. I didn’t mind Drew’s crudity and tendency to speak his mind. Honestly that isn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was his misogyny and his manipulative ways. Drew honestly believes there’s nothing wrong with the way he sees women...even when he remarks to himself how surprised he is that he likes talking to this particular woman. He remarks that enjoying conversation with women has rarely ever happened to him before. That’s because he doesn’t see women as anything but sex toys. And that’s what he sees Gillian as too. Time and time again in this story he looks at her and envisions sex. He doesn’t care about her as a person, only when he can have sex with her. Every damn time she tries to have a serious conversation with him he turns it into a sexual come on. He doesn’t LISTEN to her because he’s so damn focused on having sex with her at every given minute. Later, when Gillian loses her job because he simply had to have her in bed (and it’s interesting that he started out seducing her so she wouldn’t be able to accomplish her job) Drew never thinks about his own part in the outcome. He gets angry for Gillian, but he never stops to think that maybe he shouldn’t have, especially since he knew about the conflict and the possible repercussions. And he continually runs roughshod over her, refusing to trust her or let her do her job. Even when he’s “in love with her” he doesn’t back down and let her run the PR show. And that attitude bothered me quite a bit. Because the author had established him as sexist, I saw it in every behavior throughout the book. And the author seems to take the view that, just because Drew donates to charity and gives his time to worthy causes, that it overrides his attitude towards women and sex. A guy can be charitable and misogynistic...still makes him a prick. Gillian is a complete idiot. She begins the book certain that she can resist Drew because he’s a pig (and he is). She tells herself that he’s a sexist prick and then she ends up thinking it’s sexy - and it’s so not. Apparently she can forgive all that misogyny because “he really knows her -- as a woman, and as a sexual being.” Bullshit, he’s a horndog and he’s therefore seductive. That’s it. He doesn’t know her, he doesn’t care about her. All he wants is sex. And clearly Gillian is an easy mark and a gullible fool. But she tells him she doesn’t want to be a notch on his bedpost and he offers her a SECRET sexual affair. And she jumps on it, because not wanting to be a notch on a bedpost is about how humiliating it would be if others found out, not for her own self-respect apparently. She tosses self-respect right out the window. And the effect would still be the same...whether anyone knows or not, she’d still be a notch on his bedpost, wouldn’t she? So she gives into him sexually pretty damn quickly. Embarrassingly quickly. And when all I get between them is a sexual connection, the “love” feels rather sudden, out of the blue and pretty confounding. I mean - these two think of nothing but sex. Gillian gets fired from her job and Drew doesn’t care, he just wants to make it and that’s what he focuses on. And Gillian earned no respect for me when she was willing to trade sexual favors to get him to behave at public events. How does she respect herself if that’s how she conducts business? Flexible ethics for sure. And then she starts an affair with her client, fully knowing what the consequences would be. She deserved to get fired. She threw her career and her dreams of a private practice in the trash because she felt horny around her client. She barely put up a fight. I could have understood it if she’d fallen in love and then sacrificed her career, but she did it for some sex. Hardly seems worth it. What’s worse is that Gillian is a complete failure at changing Drew’s ways - he ends up rewarded for his behavior because she he gets exactly what he wants. And it’s clear, after her behavior, that Drew doesn’t respect her as a professional either because he schedules interviews without the purview of his PR person. She wonders, “Was it their intimate relationship that made him think he could overrule her business acumen without even the consideration of a discussion?” Gee, you think. Could it be that you showed him that you didn’t care one wit about your precious career because you were willing to hop in the sack with him? Could it be he saw you for a woman without any professional dignity? Or could it maybe have been that he realized right off that he could walk right over you with just a little bit of seduction and get whatever he wanted? Ugh. And of course I had to laugh at the irony of Gillian saying that Millie Christian was completely unprofessional. Turn that judgement right back round lady. I’m not sure she even remembered she had a job after she started sleeping with Drew. I’m getting fed up with this author’s idea that men have to be misogynistic pricks in order to be masculine and moreover, that being treated like a piece of meat is what women actually want in their bed partners. Fuck to the no. A guy can actually respect a woman, see her as more than a pair of walking breasts and still be a completely desirable and masculine man. Brett was a perfect example of that. I would have no problem keeping an asshole like Drew out of my bed, no matter how sexy he was and I can’t understand what Gillian’s draw to him was. For me personality is so much more a factor in sexiness than appearance, and Drew’s personality was pretty damn ugly.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    i have just finished this book today and i loved it!!!!! this book is about gillian and drew they meet and as soon as she sees him she thinks he is just another playor looking for some ass to nail. but later she finds out he's different but only with her. as soon as drew sees her he thinks she is just some up tight broad with a stick up her ass. but he finds out she's more different than most women like she dosnt put up with his language, she'll be bold when she wants to, and that she has one he i have just finished this book today and i loved it!!!!! this book is about gillian and drew they meet and as soon as she sees him she thinks he is just another playor looking for some ass to nail. but later she finds out he's different but only with her. as soon as drew sees her he thinks she is just some up tight broad with a stick up her ass. but he finds out she's more different than most women like she dosnt put up with his language, she'll be bold when she wants to, and that she has one hell of a body. soon he finds out that she is his publicist and has to fix his image he says he'll act good if he can be himself with her well soon he cant get enough of her and gives her a propesion that they have no strings attached sexs and she surprises him by saying yes. in my opinion this was a great book but it was suspenful like when he is threatned with a bomb.i suggest this book if you like suspenful hot romance novels but i should warn you it does include steamy hot sex scenes so if you dont like that dont get this.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    After a bad last book and 2 so so before that I was a little hesitant to read this one. But I am happy to say that this one was really good and lived up to the promise that was the first book. I liked Drew, yes he was crude, but not in a way that set out to offend people until they crossed him. Did I think he could use those rough edges polished, yes, so I was happy to see that Gillian was hired to do just that. You knew right from the start that sparks would fly and the two would end up together. After a bad last book and 2 so so before that I was a little hesitant to read this one. But I am happy to say that this one was really good and lived up to the promise that was the first book. I liked Drew, yes he was crude, but not in a way that set out to offend people until they crossed him. Did I think he could use those rough edges polished, yes, so I was happy to see that Gillian was hired to do just that. You knew right from the start that sparks would fly and the two would end up together. I did like seeing how that ended up happening. But what was more interesting was you saw a side of Drew that he kept more hidden, instead relying on the crude image as his public persona. I also really loved the secondary storyline with Brett and Audrey. They both were so cute and honorable in their actions. It was more interesting as they were at odds part of the time over violence in sports. The ending was great for both couples involved, just what needed to happen. I hope there will be more books in this series that are like this one.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kerry sullivan

    This book was reviewed for Musings of a bookworm The Blurb Gillian is a PR expert hired to smooth out the rough edges on hot- headed sports club president Drew Black. He's rough, raw and ready for any challenge Gillian throws his way. But which one's going to end up on top? My Thoughts How much did I love this book? I thoroughly enjoyed this instalment of this series. The story was exciting and hot and the plot tight and kept my interest. I would have liked to know why Millie This book was reviewed for Musings of a bookworm The Blurb Gillian is a PR expert hired to smooth out the rough edges on hot- headed sports club president Drew Black. He's rough, raw and ready for any challenge Gillian throws his way. But which one's going to end up on top? My Thoughts How much did I love this book? I thoroughly enjoyed this instalment of this series. The story was exciting and hot and the plot tight and kept my interest. I would have liked to know why Millie was as she was but I was still happy with the tie up. I have to say I loved Drew and I hope we get more books so I can see more of him.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I have to say that this one was a bit of a disappointment. I found myself putting off reading (which I don't normally do) and watching TV. I thought that it might get better as time went on but I was wrong. The main characters were only alright. I thought that the real story was with the new fighter that the main character was trying to recruit. I can only give this one 3 out of 5 stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think this books was quite good. I enjoyed the Drew/Gillian aspect of it a lot more than the Brett/Audrey plot. Audrey's interest in 'non-violent' sports didn't hold up 100% of the time but I did love the bantering and no one does love like Foster. 4 stars for me. After 'My Man Michael' it's such a relief...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This book was just so awesome!!! I loved everything about it. I really enjoyed Drew and Gillian. One thing though, all through the story I kept feeling like I shouldn't be liking Drew so much because of his of his raw personality and his way with words, but, I just loved him regardless.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Monroe

    Back in Black is the 5th book in Lori's series on MMA fighters as protective, Alpha, sexy heroes (yum, you know how much I love those!). I read this back in 2010, but it is a book that I can read and read again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    laurie stith-tenney

    I loved it. I want more PLEASE!!!!!!!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    I wanted to like this book/story. I was looking forward to learning more about Drew. I still am. I wanted a bounce back from the huge let down of My Man, Michael (which I still haven't gotten over). I didn't get it. This was a joke. It really was. This was 2 novellas shoved into one book to make a novel. Brett and Audrey were great, but I got more out of their story than I did from Drew and Gillian, the main characters. I know nothing about either of them. I don't know why they work or why they I wanted to like this book/story. I was looking forward to learning more about Drew. I still am. I wanted a bounce back from the huge let down of My Man, Michael (which I still haven't gotten over). I didn't get it. This was a joke. It really was. This was 2 novellas shoved into one book to make a novel. Brett and Audrey were great, but I got more out of their story than I did from Drew and Gillian, the main characters. I know nothing about either of them. I don't know why they work or why they made the choices they did or who they are as people. I feel like this was written as a afterthought, or because fans asked for something so they got thrown a bone. Just a disappointment, a let down, and a bit of an insult. I was happy with the first 3 entries in this series, but books 4 and 5 really went off the rails. Sorry I wasted my time.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    2.5/5* Meh. I didn't love this book and found Drew to be incredibly annoying to read about. There were simply no characters in this book that stood out to me (I actually forgot that there was a secondary romance happening until I reread the book - these characters are just so bland!). Drew Black has been a fairly annoying background character in previous novels, so I was surprised to find that he became the main character in this book. He's abrasive, loud, and I just didn't ever connect with him 2.5/5* Meh. I didn't love this book and found Drew to be incredibly annoying to read about. There were simply no characters in this book that stood out to me (I actually forgot that there was a secondary romance happening until I reread the book - these characters are just so bland!). Drew Black has been a fairly annoying background character in previous novels, so I was surprised to find that he became the main character in this book. He's abrasive, loud, and I just didn't ever connect with him (or necessarily care about his "happy ending"). The secondary relationship between a new fighter and an anti-violence protest leader was equally dull. Literally nothing about this relationship is surprising. I've read this book twice now to give it a second shot and both times found my mind drifting while reading. It just doesn't stand out when compared to the first books of the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ochie

    Honestly, it took me awhile to warm up to this book. I don't know why.. Maybe I'm not into MMA or something? Or maybe it's something else? It just didn't sit well much for me.. I didn't like the side-story much at the beginning - the one of Audrey and Brett. I was hoping the story would have focused more on Drew and Gillian. Oh well... I kinda liked the ending though... And as to how Gillian and Drew admitted their feelings for each other. :)

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