Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Well, she did it. Layla Hagen outdid herself with her newest book, Fighting for You. I haven’t fully read the Bennett series. However, I’ve been invested in the Connor family from the start. First, she made me fall in love with Landon and Maddie in Anything for You. Then, she outdid that book with Lori and Graham’s tale in Wild with You. I fell in insta-love with Will and Paige in Meant for You. Then, I swooned over Carter in his story with Val in Only with You. All along though, there was a Connor who intrigued me: Jace. In all of the Connor stories, he sits in the periphery, lighting up their stories with his joy, humor, and compassion. And he finally earned his story: Fighting for You. With that, comes a new honor: my favorite Connor sibling to date. For a soccer god, I’d like to think he’d be happy to know his place of distinction.
Why, you might ask? Well, Jace is everything you love in a romance hero. For one, he’s incredibly attractive. His love interest in this book, Brooke, likens him to a “god.” With that level of hunkiness, how can you not fall in love with him? He exudes heroic attraction, something that Brooke struggles to combat. This makes their burgeoning attraction a problem, at least for her. Secondly, he’s kind and thoughtful and intentional and respectful when he really doesn’t want to be. From the moment he lays eyes on Brooke, his coach’s daughter and the new sponsorship business development person for his professional soccer team, he is attracted to her beauty and her brains. Given his attraction to her, he uses the traits that make him the MVP of his soccer team, tenacity and determination, to woo her. Sadly, Brooke’s past brings with it heartbreak when it comes to dating and friendships. Given this, she has constructed a wall that Jace must penetrate to earn her affection. This tenacity and adoration makes Jace my favorite Connor. He stops at nothing to make her believe in herself and him. He does this through the specter of friendship, building a stronger foundation for their relationship. He is kind, loving, funny, and thoughtful as he woos her, making him one of my new favorite heroes.
The Connor family’s stories bring me back time and time again to Layla Hagen. Their connection and dedication to each other draw the reader into this series and Hagen’s writing. What I tend to struggle with is the contrived drama in each of the stories. For Jace and Brooke, this was no different. I thought she overreacted to a change in her situation (you need to buy the book — no spoilers here), and it jeopardized her relationship with Jace in a meaningless way. I didn’t feel angst for them, more like annoyance. I’d like to see Hagen really create some angsty drama, so that we can feel the significance of their love for each other.
That being said, Layla Hagen’s stories provide comfort within the arms of the Connor family. If you read her books, you come away feeling as though you are part of their family. She evokes a familial love as she woos you with her romance. Jace and Brooke’s story is no different. If you love a handsome, funny, determined hero in love with a strong-willed, independent woman, then you’ll want to buy and read Fighting for You. It’s a nice reprieve from something heavier.
In love and romance,