January 14, 2016

#TalkSupe & Bookworm Brandee Loved: Fighting for Devlin by Jessica Lemmon

Series: Lost Boys 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Devlin Calvary makes his own luck. Orphaned as a young child, he was taken in by a crew of bookies and gamblers—and they became his family. They’re the reason Dev’s running a trendy bistro, living in a high rise, and enjoying the good life with a string of women who never ask for too much. Until, one night, he finds out how much it hurts to trust the wrong people.

Rena Lewis sticks to the straight and narrow, determined not to slip up again . . . like the terrible night of partying four years ago that ended in tragedy. A waitress at Oak & Sage, she knows that sleeping with her boss is not a smart move. But when Dev shows up on her doorstep, beat up and clearly shaken, Rena’s not about to turn him down . . . or kick him out of bed.

Dev reawakens something primal within her—a need to go wild. And Rena soon finds out that the heart she’d sealed away years ago still has the power to fight for love.

Brandee of the fantastic book blog, Bookworm Brandee, is a dear friend of mine. This buddy review was a spur-of-the-moment request on my part because I had no idea that Jessica Lemmon's FIGHTING FOR DEVLIN is New Adult. And as I'm not the best reader for the genre, Brandee is so I twisted her arm and asked her to virtually hold my hand as I read this. I sure need some perspective to appreciate the grittier parts and Brandee is the perfect person to guide me. I can be such a cold-hearted bitch sometimes.

BRANDEE: Hey Braine! You read it fast! I hope you enjoyed it. You're not missing any hair, right?? ;)

BRAINE: LOL! I'm so happy it wasn't angsty! I read New Adult and I start hiding sharp objects. They have a certain "effect on me". And yes, I did enjoy it, thank you very much!
BRANDEE: LOL I'm glad no sharp objects were required for Devlin. I'm glad you enjoyed it because I did as well and I wouldn't have known to read Lemmon if it weren't for you.

BRAINE: The pleasure is all mine ;)

BRANDEE: I admit that Lemmon immediately drew me into this story. I had to know Rena's and Devlin's full stories. How did this compare to other stories you've read from Lemmon? Does she always pull you in directly?

BRAINE: If I were to compare it to colors, Lemmon's Bad Boy series are like primary colors, red, blue, and yellow. FIGHTING FOR DEVLIN is like a spread of monochromatic gray and black. It's like a quickening of sorts you know? I felt the passion of that first true love. In that sense, it's similar to her Bad Boy series in that it's earnest and doesn't toy with your emotions.

BRANDEE: I like the color comparison. I liked how Lemmon made that first love passion so palpable. And that this story didn't toy with my emotions. And I'm even more eager to read more from Lemmon now.

I liked the chemistry - which was so electric it was palpable. And I enjoyed seeing how they brought out each others' strengths.

BRAINE: It must be so awkward to be so sexually attracted to a coworker. I bet that freezer's temp rose up several degrees! (There was a hot scene in the walk-in freezer, so tense!)

BRANDEE: LOL Yeah, hopefully nothing was ruined or got freezer burn! ;)
I thought Lemmon did well with the gambling plotline. I felt like Devlin was a strong person to have lived with that sort of temptation for so long and to have abstained. What did you think?

BRAINE:  The gambling was a good backdrop, it lent the story a sense of danger. I felt it skimmed the surface though because Devlin was in-deep with Sonny in their "honorable illegal gambling" gig. I found that clause funny btw, the irony! As for not participating, I'm surprised he didn't use his skills for gain, at the same time I also get why he abstained. It brought too much tragedy already.

Did you feel like there's a missed opportunity though? Like with a backdrop like that, she could've taken it a step further and made it more romantic suspense?

BRANDEE:  Irony, indeed! I thought that was funny as well. I was glad that Devlin abstained from using his particular skills for his own gain. He had seen so much tragedy already. And, of course, if he had used his skills, that'd make him a completely different sort of character.

It definitely could have been taken a step further with the gambling backdrop. Lemmon had the 'bones' for it but I guess that wasn't the story she wanted to tell. Since I've not read her before, I don't know if she could have delivered. But still, I liked the story as it was.
Lemmon also did a great job with introducing supporting characters that I'm eager to spend more time with. This is something I really appreciate in a story, as you know. Is this typical of her? And what did you think of the supporting cast?

BRAINE: Oh yes, definitely! She has a habit of introducing the next couple to avoid insta-love scenarios. 

BRANDEE: Ooh, I'm going to like how she introduces the next couple then. :D

BRAINE: What do you think of Cade and Tasha? I know Cade's book will be rife with issues, the boy's got a lot of shit to deal with.

BRANDEE: I like Cade and Tasha and I'm eager to see exactly what they're back story, together, is. Yeah, it's definitely going to be a story rife with issues. I can't imagine wading through all Cade's going to be wading through...

BRAINE: Cade scares me. He's so angry! Not that I can blame him, but there's a lot of things he needs to sort out. I'm scared for Tasha, it's not going to be a smooth road for sure.

What about Sonny in particular? I wasn't too sure of him at first. But I liked the direction Lemmon went with him. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but she redeemed him in my eyes.

BRANDEE: Oh yes, Sonny was a surprise! He might be a betting lord or something like that, but he is honorable. Different, but I appreciate Lemmon not making his character into a stereotype.

I was so happy he ended up being honorable. I, too, liked that she made him her own, so to speak, rather than putting him into a certain mold.

BRAINE: Yeah it's great when a "bad guy" turns out to be one of the good guys.

BRANDEE: Lemmon really brought the feels and the heat with Rena and Devlin. I didn't feel like there was any unnecessary angst or that anything was contrived even with some of those things Devlin did towards the end. I felt like it was a very satisfying story. What did you think of it overall?
BRAINE:  I appreciate the realistic level of angst. Their conflict was believable, natural and expected even. Devlin just pulled a lot of jerk moves, you know? Sure it was "necessary", but his little ditty with Melinda was too callous, and the usual push back towards the end was also not surprising considering men are dense and are usually emotionally handicapped when faced with their HEA.

BRANDEE:  I also appreciated that it wasn't too angsty - I felt their decisions were realistic. Devlin did pull some really jerk moves though. I didn't like it at all, honestly. And the push back at the end was a bit predictable. In fact, those two things probably got to me the most because they were sort of typical and created drama that wasn't all that necessary. But Devlin *did* come to his senses...with some help. ;)

BRAINE:  I'm happy Rena gave him a hard time, I just felt like she took the gambling part too well. Sure she might be a "bad girl" underneath, but she's trying to "change" or something. I'm just surprised that she didn't freak out enough. Sure it didn't happen, but what if it got super messy and unraveled and she found herself in the middle of it? Maybe I'm just being such a hard ass, I just felt it unconsistent with where Rena's character is going.

BRANDEE:  I was also happy she gave him hell. That felt realistic. Maybe she did handle the gambling a bit too gracefully but I guess I felt maybe she thought she *knew* Devlin on some deeper level that helped in her being understanding. But you're right - things could have gone south and she could have been wrapped up in it tight. Sure she was trying to be 'good' but wanted the bad boy and all, but it really could have backfired in her face. You're absolutely right in that she was trying to distance herself from how she felt she was when she was with her previous boyfriend, so accepting a life with a guy involved in crime, no matter how limited, was inconsistent.

What did you think of FIGHTING FOR DEVLIN seeing as NA is not one of your favorite genres?
BRAINE: I can read NA, I just pick authors I can trust won't shred me to pieces. LOL It helped that I've read Lemmon's contemporary romance so that familiarized me with her style. I just wished the MC's doesn't have these messed up backgrounds. But heck, it's NA, I shouldn't expect any different.

How about you? Is this your first Lemmon? Did you find it sweet or tangy?

BRANDEE: LOL True, messed up backgrounds are standard issue in NA, it seems. FIGHTING FOR DEVLIN is my first time with Lemmon but it won't be my last for sure. I guess I'd say it was a little sweet and a little spicy. :D

BRAINE: You should definitely pick up her Bad Boy series. If you think this is good, that one's even better!

Devlin runs a restaurant, Oak & Sage, there were a lot of tense scenes inside his joint and a few mentions of mouthwatering food! Here's a good visual for you: 

Benny was one of the regulars, his shirt buttons nearly popping as he polished off the end of a very large piece of chocolate cake.

I hope this inspires you to get yourself a treat today.
Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts
a weekly meme hosted by Unconventional Book Views

Talk Supe


  1. Technically the book I am reading now has been classified as NA, but it's no different from any other books I have read. SO I still have not read a real day

  2. What a fun review! I know Braine that it's complicated to have a good NA because of the angst but I'm glad this one was well done like that!

  3. LOL Cold-hearted bitch?? Nah! But I am glad I was able to hold your hand through this NA reading experience, Braine. And I'm happy to have popped my Lemmon cherry with you! ;) *mwah*

  4. I still haven't read a book by Jessica Lemmon yet!! And here it is, another series started. I may start with this one soon. Awesome mashup guys!

  5. I just recently read my first Jessica Lemmon book, the Bad Boy Christmas one! Enjoyed it. This one looks awesome! Great book chat, ladies!

    1. So happy you love it, I am in love with that series!

  6. I'm the same about NA. I don't generally read the contemporary romances as they just aren't my thing. I get so frustrated. I'm glad this one worked for you though!

    1. I like my romances happy for the most part. That's the fantasy that I'm going to buy because we all know relationships are hard, I don't want to escape to more hardship

  7. I sometimes wish I had someone to get me through a NA. I don't read many but this is one I could read. Thanks for the fun chat and for sharing your thoughts on this one.

    1. You're welcome, and yes, it helps unless you're ready to lose your mind

  8. I haven't read this author before but it sounds like an interesting book.

  9. Enjoyed the back and forth review, ladies! I still need to read this author. I tend to be hesitant in my New Adult choices, too. I don't mind angst, but it has to make sense to me. I'm curious about this book. Thanks, again!

    1. You too? Damn, if one of her books goes on 99c sale, I'll gift it to you guys. Break that Lemmon cherry!

  10. *gasp* a NA that wasn't angsty? I'm in! :P

  11. Replies
    1. Girl, you need to feature her. A lot of people haven't tried her! Shame!

  12. I've found NA depends on the author. Some are all nerves on fire because of angst. Others are perfect blend. This sounds like its well done. :)

  13. Oh you know me and NA. We get on like oil and water. Lol. But I'll trust you, ladies. :D

  14. I haven't really read much NA; I think it depends on the author/story. I like books with people around that age, but I think NA has become TOO focused on the same old stories. yay for a fun buddy read/review. Glad you enjoyed this one overall.


  15. Awesome buddy review, ladies! Glad this wasn't all angsty for you, Braine, and that it was a standout NA read!

  16. I loved reading this! Awesome! And now I want some chocolate cake...minus the popped off buttons if I can help it haha :)

  17. I love it when NA novels don't fall prey to too much angst, so I think I'll try this one. I also really like your Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts quote, Braine, thanks for sharing.
    Buddy-reads with Brandee are the best, don't you think?
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  18. I was like waittttt a minute, Braine read a NA?!?! :P I'm glad you enjoyed it though!

  19. Fun buddy review and sounds like a good NA, with realistic level of angst

  20. Haha glad you liked an NA, Braine! I love Lemmon's other series, but this one didn't do it for me.

  21. LOL, you girls are hilarious. Braine with her weird dislike of NA. NA is awesome!

  22. Not only does this book sound really good, but this is a fun and unique way to do a review! Love it! Hugs...


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