Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Blog Tour: The Last Round by Emmy Montes

In the ring, I’m trained, powerful, and in control.
And that’s exactly how I built my legacy.
For years I’ve trained to fight, but no championship title in the world has prepared me for the most important fight of my life.
Out of the ring, I’m untamed and reckless.
Which is why my wife of nine years has filed for divorce.
I’m done with living up to the bad boy image my middleweight titles come with. Boxing is my life, but the money and the fame mean nothing to me without her by my side.
This fight is for the woman that I love.
And I can’t lose.
I won’t lose. 
Release Date: December 28th

4 Stars
Review by Lisa Kane
Julian Rios has just gotten out of rehab and is doing an interview with the press. When asked about his marriage he lets the papparozzi know his marriage is intact. But then one smart ass reporter lets him know his wife, Natalia is set to file for divorce. He's shaken up but then she hasn't been in touch with him for the last 3 months. 

"I can't keep doing this. I'm unhappy. You're unhappy. What do you want me to say? Do you want me to just give us another chance? Well I have. I have given us numerous chances and I have no more left in me to give."

Since The Last Round is told in both POV's we quickly learn what is going on with Natalia. A rising actress, she has thought long and hard about her marriage. She's been with Julian since high school. Twelve years to be exact-nine of them married. But it's been a long time since the two of them had any real marriage. As Julian became more and more successful as a fighter he pushed her away and let other things become his priority.

Julian's life spiraled out of control as his partying and drug use became more rampant. It didn't help that he was constantly photographed with women hanging all over him. He and Natalia rarely talked; she was off working and he was travelling for appearances and fights. It became harder to ignore the break down of her marriage and she didn't trust him anymore. 

"I wanted to grow old together, to have children. I used to see it so clearly. But now my future isn't certain at all. I have no clue what it holds, and I'm not sure if you're in it."

This is the wake up call that Julian needs. He's trying to clean up his act, make amends to those he's hurt and he wants his wife back. Easier said than done. He might think wanting to make up for all the hurt is going to do the trick, but Natalia has had enough. Julian is going to have to work his ass off to get her back. 

I need to remember why I wanted this career to begin with, because I'm losing everything and without the love of boxing and my wife, what's the point?

The Last Round is a beautiful love story. There are one or two stomach plummeting moments (when Natalia finally gets Julian to answer a question she has been asking him ever since he came out of rehab and he admits the ugly truth-I wanted to throat punch him in this scene!) and those moments keep the momentum up as the two try to work out their problems. 

"You broke that. You broke us with this trust. I don't know that we can, that I can..." She raises the back of her hand to her mouth and presses it against her lips. Natalia's shattered stare bores into me. "I can't ever come back from this."

There was no instant reconciliation, and that made this story that much more believable. People lose their way-some marriages recover and some fall apart and become just another statistic. Julian and Natalia work hard to get their HEA and do they ever deserve it! 

The thing about The Last Round was that it was fun, angsty and not overly dramatic. There was no drama for dramas sake. The angst was for those pivotal parts that were necessary to the story line, not conjured up just to create heartache. This may be Julian and Natalia's story, but it could be the story of any couple who have lost each other and have to fight that upward battle to regain what they've lost.

"I wish I had never broken your heart. I wish we could spend the rest of our lives together and get past this hump. I wish you could allow me to show you what a true marriage can be. I want to show you the better part of me."

FLASHBACK of Julian and Natalia (High School Years)
My smile brightened with each step. This should be fun. His head was bent low as his fork stabbed into a baked potato. 
Placing my tray down, I took a seat across from him. “If that was a living being lying on your plate, I’m sure you’d be charged for aggravated assault or even attempted murder. What has that poor potato done to you?”
He lifted his head, eyes meeting mine with a raised brow. He seemed both amused and annoyed I interrupted his train of thought.
“I eat alone,” he said, eyes tensed. Then he shoved a fork full of the loaded starch into his mouth. His tongue darted out and wiped clean his perfect lips. I wonder what it would be like to kiss Julian Rios.
“So do I!” I sounded a bit too bubbly, even for myself, but with a wide grin, I nestled further into the seat, crossed my legs, and reached for my apple. “We can eat alone together.”
“Why do I have the feeling you’re gonna make my life miserable?”
“But quite the contrary; by the time I’m done with you, you’re gonna want me part of your life every waking second.”
He scoffed. “I find that very difficult to believe.”
“Listen. I’m a freshman. You’re a junior. We have two long years together. Unless you switch schools, I’m all for bugging the hell out of you until you fall irresistibly in love with me.”
He pointed a plastic fork at me. “I’ve seen girls like you on The First 48. You’re one of those psycho obsessed chicks, right? I’m gonna have to get a restraining order, aren’t I?”
I never laughed so hard in my life and for a moment the cafeteria went quiet. Only the sound of my hooting bounced in the space. I froze and looked around along with Julian. I focused my gaze back on him, leaned in and whispered, “Everyone is staring at us.”
Julian moved in closer. “Because you’ve just crossed over dangerous grounds.”
Squinting, I mouthed, “You don’t scare me.”
“You scare me.”
A soft grin touched my lips. “Good.”

Book Inspiration
My inspiration for the story:   I always said I wanted to write about a married couple. I guess I can say the inspiration stems from my marriage. I met my husband when I was sixteen. We have been married for seven years, and although we are in a really good place in our relationship, it wasn't always that way. But I feel the best part of a marriage is all the obstacles you face, yet through it all you stick by one another no matter how difficult it may be. And although in The Last Round the story is fiction, I believe a lot of females can relate to the struggle of how a marriage can fall apart, yet how easily you can rekindle and fall back in love.

The Last Round by Emmy L. Montes from Becca the Bibliophile on Vimeo.

Author Bio and Links
USA Today Bestselling Author, E.L. Montes (Emmy Luz Montes) lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Alex, and their English Bulldog name Butters. She has a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies.

Ms. Montes worked several years as a paralegal for a mid-size law firm. She had always loved the legal field and found it to be interesting. She more so "secretly" loved to write. Disastrous was her debut novel which was released October 2012. After the release of her second novel Ms. Montes took a huge leap, by leaving her fulltime job to focus on her writing career. She has and continues to write characters with flaws. Ms. Montes said, “No one is perfect and neither are my characters. It makes the storyline a bit more realistic, in my opinion. But I also feel no matter who you are or the life you have lived, everyone deserves someone to love and be loved. I’m a hopeless romantic, and enjoy writing a story where my readers feel like they’re living and feeling every emotion.”

  Emmy L. Montes THE LAST ROUND Release Week Event

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