TITLE: Fighting for us (Bailey Brothers Series book 2 of 6)
AUTHOR: Claire Kingsley
GENRE: Contemporary romance
PUBLISHER: Independently published
PUBLICATION DATE: May 28, 2020
TROPES: Second chance
TWs: mental illness (PTSD)
NARRATORS: Aaron Shedlock, Samantha Moore
Fighting for us is book #2 in the Bailey Brothers Series and concludes Grace and Asher’s story. When we left them in book 1 – Protecting You, Asher was sent to prison for committing a crime while defending Grace. After being suddenly released from prison, Asher is forced to find his footing in the world he left behind several years ago. And Grace will be damned if he thinks he can push her away in the process.
How long would you wait for the love of your life?
The Asher Bailey who comes home to his quirky small town isn’t the same man who put a ring on Grace’s finger. He’s bigger, harder, haunted. Forced to give up Grace and everything else that was good in his life for a prison sentence he barely survived.
Now that he’s home, he finds himself aggressively welcomed by his brothers and gleefully gossiped about by his neighbors. He’d counted on both. But he never expected to see Grace still wearing his ring.
Grace’s fairy tale didn’t end. It was interrupted. She’s spent the last seven years living her life while waiting for one man. Now that he’s back, she’s got her work cut out for her. He’s scarred and angry, and stubbornly convinced they can’t be together. She’s more than happy to educate him otherwise.
Every beer, every prank, every kiss brings him closer to where he’s always belonged. In her life. In her arms. In her heart. Asher fears the darkness inside him can’t be contained. But Grace won’t give up on him without a fight.
The relationship between Asher and Grace is put to the test. And while their romance was realistically shown, I do think the character development was rushed in the end.
My heart broke for Asher. Though he wasn’t physically in prison anymore, he was mentally stuck inside that jail cell, constantly looking over his shoulder and gearing up for a fight. The PTSD that grips inmates after being released back into the real world is beautifully shown. His struggle to protect Grace from his demons while resisting their inevitable love created the necessary tension to keep reading in anticipation of their happy ending.
Grace is a strong female MC, and I’m glad she was written to be a hopeful character rather than a cynical one, especially after everything she has been through. The way she fights for their love is inspiring and moving. She embodies what it means to love someone big enough to help them save themselves.
GRAM remains one of my favorite characters in this series, and I am always looking forward to reading her scenes for her infinite wisdom. How she disciplines 5 grown-ass men is hilarious and makes you wonder whether she’s secretly a genius or just plain crazy.
CARA is introduced in this book as Grace’s best friend, and she is an interesting character who tends to be over the top, but you can’t help but love her fierce loyalty to Grace.
The rest of the BAILEY BROTHERS and their shenanigans provide the necessary comic relief with enough glimpses into their personality to have you reaching for their individual books. Add this to how they look out for each other, and you’re pretty much a goner for these rowdy boys.
The book progresses a bit too slowly for my liking. There are many unnecessary scenes that could have been replaced with more emphasis on character development. The ending is sweet and swoon-worthy, but their conflict resolution is a bit rushed. I wanted more details on how they dealt with their inner demons in therapy instead of simply stating that they were in therapy together and everything was getting better.
But I did appreciate that the book didn’t portray the message that “love is enough” and that you have to work on yourselves to better commit to your partner.
There’s also a mystery subplot surrounding the town’s history that gets introduced, and I look forward to seeing it unfold as the series progresses.
My only issue with this book’s writing is that the inner monologue of both characters was a bit over-explanatory and repetitive, prolonging the book more than necessary.
Aaron Shedlock and Samantha Moore continue their narration from book 1, proving once again how well they complement their characters and each other. I recommend checking out this book in audio format.
Fighting for Us by Claire Kingsley is a painfully beautiful love story about fighting for the love that you can’t live without. If you love headstrong, authentic characters with a funny supporting cast and quirky townsfolk, then this book is for you.
Check out the rest of the series!
Book 3: Unraveling Him – Evan Bailey (grumpy/sunshine)
Book 4: Rushing In – Gavin Bailey (forbidden love, boss’ daughter)
Book 5: Chasing Her Fire – Logan Bailey (enemies to lovers)
Book 6: Rewriting The Stars – Levi Bailey (forbidden love, feuding families)
Would you like to know which Bailey Brother is most likely to be your book boyfriend? Take the short quiz in this Bailey Brothers Series Guide to find out now!
If you’ve seen a different cover for this book and are wondering if it’s the same novel, I have included the original and updated cover below to avoid any confusion.
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