UNDISPUTED by A.S. Teague
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2016
— SYNOPSIS —
I live a life most could only dream of. Parties, women, fame—what more could I want?
As the undisputed MMA light heavyweight champ, I’ve faced the world’s toughest men. But, with a single glance, I knew that the five-foot-five redhead with a smart mouth and innocent eyes would be my hardest opponent yet.
Sidney O’Neil isn’t my type. While I spend my nights out drinking at the trendiest clubs in town, she spends hers taking care of her sick nephew. She lives for those she loves, and I only love myself. She is nothing I thought I wanted, yet she’s somehow become the one thing I need.
But what happens when the world is tipped on end and I’m no longer who she needs?
How do I convince her that we’re worth the fight when all she knows is defeat?
I’ve never lost a match, and I refuse to start now.
But, sometimes, the toughest fight of your life is outside the cage.
****4.5 Emotionally Unforgettable Stars****
As a reader, I love to feel the books I read. I want to feel like I’m in those books, with those characters, living and breathing and experiencing it all with them, while feeling and connecting to all of the emotion behind what I’m experiencing with them. Getting those true and authentic feelings with characters while I read is what I live for as a reader, and when I come across a book that gives me that and more, I shout my love for that book from the proverbial rooftops.
This is my shouting my love for this book from the rooftops.
Undisputed by A.S. Teague was an utterly phenomenal debut novel that I loved every single word of. After reading the blurb of this book, I went into it thinking I was going to get a romance with some serious fight and some serious feels. Well I definitely got that and then some in this completely magnificent book. I got the fight and the drive and the sheer determination of these characters. I also got a helluva lot of feels that pulled at my heart on every single page of this book, along with a love story that exemplified what happens when you meet that one person who changes everything.
This book was well written, had engaging and memorable characters that completely charmed their way into my heart, and it had the level of authentic and all-feeling emotion that I crave when I read. Undisputed had so much to love within its pages, and whether this story was making me laugh with the charm and antics of the personalities within this book, or fall so hopelessly right along with these characters, or bringing tears to my eyes with all that they went through, I loved what it so phenomenally gave me.
Undisputed is the definition of a good, wholly enjoyable, and all around fantastic and fulfilling read, and it is one that I know I won’t soon forget. What I got within the pages of this book was a story of fight, feels, and true, honest to goodness love, and the completely life changing and upending things that can happen when you have all three. Breccan and Sidney’s journey and evolution together in Undisputed is real, completely enrapturing on every level, and honest in the most heart melting way.
What I loved about Undisputed:
- Holy hell of a debut novel. Let me start this rest of this review by saying had I not known this was A.S. Teague’s debut novel, I would have never guessed that it was. Her emotionally laced writing, her thoughtfully crafted storytelling, and the dynamic characters she created screamed like they were coming from a seasoned pro of a writer who’d published many books. This author has a true talent, and the way she completely put me in this book whole heartedly with these characters and everything they experienced connected me to this story in every way, and made it so enrapturing that I had to know what would happen next. I couldn’t stop reading and feeling every bit of this story, and the way that A.S. Teague brought these characters, their personalities, and their journeys to life felt so completely real, which invested me in them so so much.
- Not your average fighter romance. I am a huge lover of sports romances in general, and I have read my fair share of fighter romances, so I knew that I would most likely love getting to experience being with Breccan and his passion for MMA. But I think what I loved the most about this book, and especially Breccan, was that the fight in this love story wasn’t just inside of that ring. I not only got to experience what drove Breccan to fight, what it was like for him to fight in that ring, and why he wanted the things he did so badly, I got to experience what it was like for him outside of the ring too. Over the course of this novel you get to see Breccan at his most vulnerable, you get to see how that fight outside the ring starts to take precedence over what’s happening in that ring, and A.S. Teague puts you with him through every emotionally gripping moment of that. I loved getting to experience that with him, and that completely sent my heart to him, while simultaneously showing me the meaning behind everything that man was fighting for in this story.
- The evolution of Breccan and Sidney. Breccan and Sidney are two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried. He loves to go out, and she is a homebody who is perfectly comfortable on the couch catching up on Netflix. She’s a bit of a control freak in a fun and easy to love way, while he is a go with the flow kind of guy that might be getting a little bit too lax on some of his choices. Neither of them is looking for anything serious, but after a turn of events sets them on a path to one another, they can’t help but be swept up in one another. Over the course of Undisputed you get to go along with both Breccan and Sidney as they start to evolve a bit, and as they start to really feel and determine what it is that they want, what they really need, and what’s truly important to them. I loved getting to be there through every phenomenal step of the way as these two pushed each other to want more, fight more, and try more, and experiencing what it was like for these two to journey together was everything. It was emotional, it was believable, and it felt right for them. Even in the moments when my heart broke for them and everything they experienced on that evolution, I knew that those two were on the right path to exactly where they needed to be, and I connected and felt with them through all of that because of what A.S. Teague gave me with them.
- A love worth fighting for. The love and connection that Breccan and Sidney share in Undisputed exemplifies what it means to have a love worth fighting for. What those two grow to share, how they overcome the hurdles that come their way in this book, and how they give it their damndest to fight to where they want to be with one another will sear your heart to them. A.S. Teague completely allows you to understand their characters, to understand where their fears and doubts and hesitancies come from, and she allows you to be there with them as they attempt to make it work and fight for that undeniable connection they share. How these two affect one another, how they push each other to be more, and how their passionate and spark filled feelings emanate from the pages of this book will have you loving and rooting for them with all that you have. Trust me on that.
- Feels and feels and more feels. As I said, I love to feel the books that I read. I love to feel as if I am right there with them through it all, understanding and experiencing every lick of emotion they do, and I got that through every single extraordinary page of Undisputed. I felt what Breccan experienced as he started to realize and feel that Sidney was someone who would change everything. I felt what it was like for Sidney to pour her heart over to something unknown and how life starting that was. I experienced what it was like for each of these characters to feel the emotional toll and journey, along with every ounce of feeling and emotion that came with this story and its events. I was there with them in the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and in some moments that broke and melted my heart more times than I could count. I felt it all. I lived it all. I understood it all. And that is a true testament to what A.S. Teague so wonderfully created in this book.
Undisputed was an outstanding and memorable story about many things. It was a story about fight. The fight in the ring, the fight for what you feel and want and so desperately need, and the fight of the heart that happens when you meet that one person who changes it all. It was a story of powerful emotion. What that emotion can bring you, how it can break you and open you up in ways you never knew possible, yet heal you in the same beat too. It was a story of life and love too. How the two of those things can weave together to create something truly meaningful, heart squeezing, and unforgettable.
This is a story of what happens when two characters are placed on a path they never thought they’d be on, yet can’t seem to get off of no matter how hard they might try. It shows what happens through every emotional up and down and twist and turn along that path, and it puts you on that path right alongside them as they journey through it all. It shows them, and you, that with the right people, a true emotional and heartfelt connection, and with that one person who changes the game, that path can lead you to some of the most extraordinary places of your life.
Through it all, even in the moments when that path attempts to hurt and break these characters just a bit (or a lot), you know that it is so beyond worth it because of everything it so authentically gives them and their hearts. And that is worth all the fight in the world.
Undisputed was a story that encapsulated a love story full of fight, meaningful emotion, and an undeniable connection between two people that couldn’t be denied. Told through phenomenal writing, with fantastic supporting characters, this book gave me a story and two characters I know I won’t soon forget. I loved every single moment of this book, what it gave me along the way, and how it opened my heart to everything Breccan and Sidney shared.
A.S. Teague hit it out of the park with this debut novel, and I have no doubt that I will love whatever she writes next. Fingers crossed that next book happens sometime soon because I truly can’t wait for more from this new author!
— EXCERPT —
I’m nervous about what I’m going to say. I’m not sure how she’ll react or if she will even believe me. Afraid I’ll chicken out, though, so I start talking.
“I’m sorry.” The words were surprisingly hard to get out. Apologizing is not something I’ve done often, and I’m not even sure I know how to do it properly.
Sidney raises her eyebrows and presses her lips together. I study her face for any indication of what she’s thinking and notice that her eyes are pink and puffy, like she’s been crying.
The guilt I’ve recently begun experiencing returns. I’m sure I’m the reason for her tears, and the thought of her crying because of me kills. I cup her jaw in my hand before lightly rubbing her cheek with my thumb.
Her eyelids flutter shut and she sighs while tilting her face into my palm. Her reaction gives me the fuel I need to keep going. I pull my hand away, but I’m not ready to stop touching her, so I grab her hand.
“I’m an asshole, Sid. I’ve always been a selfish prick. I’ve never had anyone care about me though, so I’ve always had to be the one to care about me the most. I’m used to doing what I want, getting what I want, and taking what I want. I don’t know how to care about others.” I scrub my palm over my thigh.
“That’s not true, Breccan. I’ve seen you—”
I cut her off with a shake of my head. “I’m a virgin, Sidney,” I say solemnly.
A short burst of laughter escapes her mouth, and she shakes her head. “Yeah, right, Breccan. Do I have ‘dumbass’ stamped on my forehead?” She laughs again.
I rush to explain myself. “Well, I mean, not a virgin virgin. I’m a relationship virgin. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing here. Hell, I had more finesse the first time I had sex than I do with this whole boyfriend thing.”
Her eyes widen at the word boyfriend, but she only says, “Oh.” Then she takes her hand from mine and brings her thumb to her mouth to chew on the nail.
Disappointed at the loss of contact with her skin, I pull her hand out of her mouth and lace my fingers through hers once again. “After you left, I went to my favorite club.” I purposely leave the part about destroying my kitchen out. “I couldn’t even get out of the car, Sidney. I sat there staring at the people dying to get inside and all I could think about was that I was dying to get out of that life. I don’t want to go to the clubs anymore. I’m tired of that shit. I just want to be with you. Here. On this couch. Eating fucking sushi if that’s what you want.”
I grimace, and she giggles.
It’s the fucking truth. Sitting in my car outside of Raw, all I could think about was how desperately I wanted to feel Sidney’s lips on mine and have her scent in my nose. I would have gladly choked down a pound of that crap if it meant I could go back and undo our fight and what I’d said.
“I’m sorry I freaked out when you called yourself my girlfriend.”
Her face falls.
I use my free hand to tip her chin up before I confess, “I don’t know how to do this. I have nothing to compare this to.” I use my hand to gesture between us. “But I can tell you that I want you. I want to hear you laugh. I want to make you smile. I want to hold you when you cry.” I run my thumb across her cheek. “I can tell you that I need you. I need your mouth on mine, your hair in my hands, your skin under my fingertips” Taking a chance, I lean in and place a light kiss on her lips.
She doesn’t pull away, so I continue speaking.
“I can tell you that no one else makes me laugh the way you do. No one else makes me feel stronger than you do. I miss you all the fucking time, Sid. Every minute of the day that I’m not with you, I’m dying to see you. My phone dings and I hope it’s you. When it’s not, I’m always so fucking bummed.” Lifting my shoulders in a shrug, I admit, “I’ve never felt this way about another person before, and I’m fumbling around like a kid trying to cop his first feel in the dark. I didn’t realize until tonight that I want you to be my girlfriend. I want to do all the cheesy couple things that people do—with you. And, Sidney, I’m really sorry I didn’t remember you from the club. I don’t know how I could have possibly forgotten you. But it’s not because you are forgettable. Because, ever since you fell down your fucking stairs, I haven’t been able to get you out of my head. And I don’t want to.” I blow out a breath when I finish and glance away from her penetrating gaze.
— ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A.S. TEAGUE —
A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.
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