Review: Without Doubt by CJ Azevedo

Released On: January 3, 2014
Without Doubt (Without, #2)
Without Doubt 
by CJ Azevedo

3.5 stars

This rating is not that bad in my book because honestly I enjoyed the story. It just didn't resonate in me personally, but that's not the author's failing; it's mine. It is really well-written and the story is engaging, which is why it averages 4.11 stars at Goodreads as I'm writing this review. So I'm just in the minority folks!

Ok so let's get down to it!

The main characters, Declan and Ava are really likable. Ava is a dedicated, hardworking and extremely loving young woman who was forced to take on a huge responsibility when she was only 18 years old. So far she's doing an excellent job of it though. In addition to that responsibility, she goes to school in hopes of finishing her PhD, ya hear that, her PhD in Psychology AND she works as a bartender in the evenings. Talk about being superwoman! But of course, such responsibilities and priorities leave her with zero time for socializing much less having a relationship. 
I live a life that you wouldn't possibly be interested in. I have responsibilities and obligations that made me grow up way too quickly and I've adjusted to that. Certain circumstances keep me from having fun. I don't party. I don't have friends; not really, anyway. I go to school and work around the clock and I have... I have other things that take up whatever time is left over. Which, trust me, is not much. I don't know what you're looking for from me, but I'm certain I can't deliver.

Ava was kind of okay with her life--until she met Declan.

Declan... what can I say, he is movie-star handsome, sexy, tatted, pierced, OCD, a class-A alpha male and an MMA fighter. You'd think he's all tough and caveman-like (which he sometimes is) but really... he is a sweetheart! I daresay he is the sweetest hero I have ever encountered. This doesn't make him a sap at all, just all the more lovable. He's had girls flocking to him, he's never had to work hard to "get" them. Until he met Ava. Ava, who's responsibilities are foremost in her life, had to turn him down.
Can I ask why you can't go to dinner with me? I'm not really sure how to handle this situation. I never expected to get shot down the one and only time I asked a girl out. I'm not going to take no for an answer, but I don't know how to proceed without being a pushy prick either.

They become friends and text buddies for months. Of course, such closeness and attraction cannot remain platonic for long. Jealousy against fans and the ex-turned-bff eventually had them both realizing that they want more than friendship from each other. Well, Ava needed to realize it anyway. Declan was already sure from the beginning and he had made his intentions known.
I'm going to get you, Sunshine, I promise you that. And when I do, you won't be able to deny me. Not only that, you won't fucking want to. 

The secondary characters provided comic relief. Greyden in particular was a hoot! Dec's parents and sister were all very supportive, as well as the rest of his boys in the MMA business. I laughed a lot in this book, mostly because of the boys' antics.

The way the story went from beginning to around 60% I think, it was all smooth-sailing and I did wonder if there will ever be a conflict in this story. Finally it did arrive, and the succeeding events confused me so much and endeared Declan to me even more. Did I already say he was a sweetheart..? Oh yeah, I did. It merits repitition. LOL! Anyway, I think the twist is obvious to many readers. Others may have even been devastated by it. For me though, I was just relieved because I imagined a much, much, much worse scenario. I can't tell you how glad I was that things didn't happen that way! So by the time the big secret was revealed, I was so glad, so happy, which is ironic really considering the confusion that was going on. I was too relieved to dwell on the final conflict. Besides, I knew things would turn out ok. Declan would never let his relationship with Ava fall apart, I was confident about that! :)

This is the kiss from all romance movies when the girl finally gets her dream guy or the guy finally pulls his head out of his ass and picks the real girl--their kiss is always explosive, just like this one. I'm floating and I'm nowhere hear ready to come down.

The majority of the story, we have Declan promising his devotion to Ava. It's Ava who's a harder nut to crack. She doesn't believe in marriage and doesn't like the thought of the state meddling in a committed relationship. Declan on the other hand is keen on marriage, mostly because his parents are wonderful examples. He would rather not be married and be with Ava though more than anything else, so he let's his claim be known in another way. It's actually quite funny what he does! In the end though, I really  liked it when Ava herself felt the need to stake her claim on Declan.. in ways more binding than a monstrous engagement ring.

I recommend this book to those looking for a semi-light read, an uber sweet and ideal and perfect MMA-fighter hero, and an HEA that will make you smile so wide!

Buy links: Amazon | Smashwords



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