Can love really conquer all? Book Six in Katy Evans’s breakout New York Times bestselling series that began with real. Maverick “the Avenger” Cage has a burning drive to rise to the top and become a name to remember in the Underground’s MMA ring. And he’s got a personal score to settle with the Underground’s reigning champion and fan favorite, Remington “Riptide” Tate.
As Mav trains, he meets a young girl and sparks fly. But when things heat up between them, finding out she’s none other than Reese Dumas, cousin to Riptide’s wife, is a dose of cold water. Reese is a girl who’s supposed to root against him, a girl he’s supposed to stay away from.
But Mav fights for the woman in his heart, and to prove he’s better than where he came from. The world’s eyes are on them and the victor will go down in history as the ultimate fighting champion—the ultimate LEGEND.
Read the full excerpt from Legend:
He throws me a set of gloves. I put one on, and then struggle with the other one. “Here. I’ll do yours,” he says.
I’m nervous when we stand so close. I could touch him from here. His hands wrap the glove around my wrist, and I’m vulnerable and feel like rambling, even though I don’t like to talk a lot.
He’s watching me.
He turns away, exhales softly, then stalks to the bags. I see his tattoo again, amazed by how much of his back it covers. A massive bird with its wings outstretched spreads out toward his shoulder blades, the tail trailing down Maverick’s spine. Some sort of ominous black shape sits on the bird’s back, while fire consumes the tips of the bird’s feathers.
I feel as if he’s giving me something. A glimpse of something no one in the gym has ever seen. I stare at it, thirsty for it, my eyes taking in every inch of that tattoo while the muscles of Maverick’s back work beneath it.
He seethes with energy, mounting with every hit.
It’s just me in the gym.
And my dirty thoughts about Maverick.
I hate the thought and scowl at myself.
But there is no extra space in the whole gym. It seems like he takes up more than his body occupies—a world more.
When he shifts to hit the bag on the other side, the bird’s wings flare with every ripple of his back muscles as he slams the punching bag. Pow, wham, pow.
I decide to test myself against a speed bag, all the while wondering where he gets the force that drives him.
I work out on the bag for about half an hour, then come settle down on the bench closest to him and lie down on my side and sigh, close my eyes in exhaustion, and hear silence.
I open my eyes, and he’s staring at me with the most puzzled expression. He looks away and exhales.
When he starts back up, his hits become fiercer. I’m feeling agitated. My brain fixating on the way he moves. The lock of hair that falls on his forehead when he slams. The way he braces his feet and swings. The look on his face that makes me imagine him being this concentrated doing something else.
Doing something to me.
Oh god, this is not what I meant when I signed up for a Summer to a Better Reese.
I get up on my feet, surprised that my body feels as substantial as liquid. “I’m going to leave, I have somewhere I need to be.”
His eyes slide to me in surprise, and suddenly, blatantly, his gaze dips downward and he stares at a spot of sweat under my throat, above and centered between my breasts. He scans my chest and then jerks his eyes upward, with a flash of frustration sparking in their depths. “I’m staying until I’m worn.”
Did he just check out my breasts?
Right in front of me?
“Okay. I’ll . . . see you. I guess. Teach me how to remove the first glove with both on?”
I walk over to get him to show me, but oh. Mistake. He smells delicious. Of sweat and guy. Like he just took a shower and now with the heat of his body, his soap and shampoo smell strongest.
I inhale deeply, looking at his face to see him staring at me.
God, did he notice?
For a moment there, I think I see heat in his eyes.
He speaks then, his voice low. “Use your teeth on the Velcro. Tuck the glove under your other arm and pull your hand free.”
I try it, tightening the glove under my arm as I pull, and manage to succeed. “Oh. Neat trick.”
I go hang up the gloves and hear him start punching again as I leave. I step out of the gym and look inside, but the windows are frosted, blocking him from view.
About the author: Katy Evans lives with her husband and their two children plus three lazy dogs in south Texas. Some of her favorite pastimes are hiking, reading, baking, and spending time with her friends and family. She is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Manwhore, Manwhore +1, Ms. Manwhore, and The REAL series: REAL, MINE, REMY, ROGUE, RIPPED, and LEGEND. For more information on Katy Evans visit her website KatyEvans.net, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter, @AuthorKatyEvans.