Fighter - PlaneJane As the GR rating concurs (at the time I am writing this review, at least), Fighter is a solid four stars. In fact, it is unexpectedly awesome.

Spotting this book on one of my GR friends updates at 10:30 PM one night, I saw it was free, synopsis engaged me and it was only 124 pages. Figured I would give it a go for a few minutes, you know, just see what I could expect from it. I ended up going to bed well after 1:00 AM, only to wake up promptly at 6:30 AM the following morning to shower, dress and finish Marcus and Esca’s short, but delightfully diverting tale.

For a free, hundred page fan fiction, the quality exceeded what I expected and the story arc delivered what I was looking for to get me out of the sea of three star books I seem to be floating in of late. Projecting a Shades of Grey meets Stockholm Syndrome feel to it, Fighter delivered emotionally scarred heroes to root for in a dark underground world. The criminal world building is solid, but what shines in this novella is the trust building between Marcus and Esca. The author is able to make the awkwardness of their situation palpable and the reader can feel Marcus and Esca tiptoeing on eggshells around each other even as they are drawn to each other. Both responded cautiously and logically despite the brevity of their story. The plot and UST were so satisfying that I was not phased that there were only one (and a half) lightly detailed sex scenes. The intrigue was in their emotional coming together not their physical one.

Fighter is listed as a fan fiction of a movie, The Eagle, and a series, Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff - I am unfamiliar with both. Reading the synopsis of this movie (without ever having seen it) and the series, it appears to me that the only thing in common with the fan fiction are the names of the characters. And maybe the image of the, for me, very unexciting actors in the author’s head that are placed on the cover. For those of you that are familiar with the movie and series, I’d love hear your thoughts on how this fan fiction equated to the stories from which it is drawn. I did not feel I needed to have been familiar with either of them to enjoy the Fighter and have the impression that it stands alone well.

The writing was very passable, well done for a non- professional writer with only a beta reader. My only real complaint would be that the end was conveniently tidy for the main characters and loose ends for secondary characters could have been more defined.

Fighter was a random find that I expected nothing from and have found myself pleasantly surprised. Fully recommend to add to your free shelf for a few hours read one day when you are looking for some intrigue and tension - just not in your own life.

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