Published: October 4, 2012
Goodreads Summary: Trinity has given up everything to reach her dreams as a professional wrestler in the national spotlight; even though it's breaking her heart to stay away from her trainer, Derek.
Derek knows the road Trinity is walking and wants to be there for her to see her succeed, but he wants so much more than that for them.
After having a wrestler break her heart once, Trinity isn't willing to jump back into another wrestling-relationship. That doesn't stop her heart from pounding at the sight of Derek or her hands from trembling with their touch.
Convinced she has to focus on her dreams, Trinity leaves the safety of home and wrestling federation,(Epic Force Wrestling), and heads out for the chance of a lifetime. The things she sees don't make her more sure of her goals, but they do make her sure of something else - she can't outrun her old wrestling school or the trainer that holds her heart in his hands.
Sometimes true love is an epic force all its own.
Secret time: I used to watch Raw and Smackdown back when I was like, 13. My main interest? The Rock. What a beautiful, beautiful man. I quickly grew out of the wrestling thing, never really got into the logistics or technicalities of it. I just saw it for what it was: strong dudes beating each other up and sometimes they looked like The Rock and those were my favorite times.
So I get a review request for Epic Force, a book about an independent wrestling federation and a girl who is busting her butt to make it. To be "one of the guys." This just reeks of Catching Jordan. Except...it's better than Catching Jordan. Not only because Trinity, the protagonist, is more grown up than Jordan was. But she's more real. She's down to earth. She's tough. Epic Force would not typically be my kind of book, but the author is a wonderful person and I know what kind of fab writing she's capable of. I was not proven wrong.
I was not expecting to like Epic Force as much as I did. The camaraderie between Trinity and "her boys," (Derek, Dave, Fist, Seth, and even Nate) was awesome. I truly believed these guys loved her like a sister (even though they all called each other "brother," which made me laugh and think of Hogan Knows Best!) and seriously wanted her to succeed. It's amazing to see a female lead so driven, so devoted to her cause, yet be depicted as so flawed so that she's relatable. No one is perfect and I sure as heck don't want to read about someone who is written that way. Alexi Raymond knows that Trinity isn't perfect and not only is struggling with herself, but also her pride, her integrity as an aspiring professional wrestler, and a serious blow to her love life.
The mystery between Derek and Trinity (and the alternating POVs, YAY!) kept me on edge and I kept cheering for these two to find their happy ending. BFF Teegan kept Trinity in line. My favorite line was, "you have no idea who you are." Because seriously, don't we all need that best friend to smack us back into our place? I hated Nate, but wanted so badly to know what it is that caused he and Trinity to fall apart. Closure is so important and I think that this story had a PERFECT ending. The love scenes: explosive. You might blush. And by "might," I mean it's virtually unavoidable.
Despite not understanding the vast majority of the wrestling terms (and there being quite a bit of violence--hey it's wrestling), I couldn't help but smile on the inside at this close-knit family that Raymond has created in her characters. Don't let the idea of wrestling turn you off! Epic Force is a quality book with many, many sweet and fun moments. It reads just like what it is: a sassy (oh yes, I said it) new adult romance with some good lovin' and a whooooole lot of boys.