Pat White’s second book about wrestlers, Ring Around My Heart is not as funny and light as her previous, Got A Hold On You, but shows the same genuine caring for her characters and their well-researched world.
Wrestling superstar Loverboy Luke needs to be bad, as being good doesn’t pay the bills. It's a shame then that Cosmo Perini is required to clean up his act. His mysterious silent partner in his pro wrestling company wants it to turn from a sleazy circus into a wholesome family entertainment. And there to help them is Alexandra Hayes.
Alex would do anything for this job. Divorced, with a young boy, an asshole for an ex-husband and an eccentric aunt for a babysitter, the money she’d earn by turning Loverboy from heel into hero would provide her with the security she so desperately craves. How to accomplish the feat though? Not only does the notorious womanizer not want to act like a gentleman, but he also seems to know more about her than she’s revealed.
Luke’s been bad for a long time. He carries it around like a big weight. He believes himself undeserving of anything better and hides his true feelings, his fears and his pains. So what does this new publicist know? She doesn’t even recognize in him her devoted childhood friend. When intimidation doesn’t seem to work, he plays along. Only to get her off his case and to allow him the time to look for another organization.
But of course Alex soon discovers his broken and hurt persona behind his bad-boy pro wrestling high-flyer mask. And she cares. Enough to soothe him and find tenderness in return. Both of them have been hurt and feel insecure and undeserving of love. How they still discover the strength to trust another with their heart is an emotional and touching story written by one very talented new writer. A little more depth to the secondary characters might have been a nice touch, however Ring Around My Heart is very well-paced and doesn’t fail to affect the readers. Keep your hankies ready and enjoy the deeply moving journey.