Micah Rinaldi is the ultimate bad boy!
He’s an underground fighter who drinks too much, gambles in high-stakes poker games, and isn’t afraid to flaunt the rules.
He is all that Gisele Shelton wants, yet everything she vows to avoid. But Micah has other ideas.
“Gisele had been in Micah’s arms, his lips grazing hers, yet she hadn’t let him kiss her. That would have been too much. If she’d allowed that, there would have been no possibility of leaving. That one kiss would have swallowed her up, and all her good intentions would have evaporated. But she couldn’t forget what it felt like to be with him. Gisele had spent one unforgettable evening with him, and could have had more. But she’d blown it. Her friend Abby had been right. She must be crazy.”
This bad boy fighter romance has unexpected twists and turns. Gisele swears off bad boys, until one sexy fighter captures her heart.
Micah Rinaldi is the youngest brother in the powerful Rinaldi family. He is the wild one, and a bad boy fighter who lives on the edge. He is smitten with Gisele Shelton, a woman who vows to stay away from a risk-taker like Micah. This Rinaldi Romance (Fighting for Gisele) includes 4 sensual romance novels:
UNLEASHED, UNTAMED, UNBROKEN and UNDEFEATED
Wow what a start to Emily’s new series. You can tell right from the start this is going to be a on the edge of your seat experience. I could not put it down. Great job Emily you did it again. Terri
OMG Emily has done it again this first book has it all. We have some drama and supence and a whole lot of sexy Ness. Can’t wait for the next book. You will fall in love with Micah and Gisele with this very first book. jackie
WOW!!! Another great romance for a Rinaldi boys! I couldn’t stop reading this one either. Micah fights for the thrill of fighting. He has his choice of women but when Gisele appears at his fight in Hollywood, he is drawn to her like no other woman has drawn him in. They meet again in Vegas at a high stakes poker game by chance and he will not let her slip through his grasp again. He is a tough guy in and out of the ring, but he is gentle and loving with her. sheally
Gisele Shelton wasn’t a woman willing to pass up a thrill, and the fight-night event promised excitement. It was amateur boxing at its best in Hollywood, a mecca for tourists and movie stars alike. She was only in the city for the week, after her friend insisted that it was the ideal place for a vacation.
That was doubtful, especially since Gisele envisioned something tropical, with white, sandy beaches and blue waves rolling in, while she languished in the sunshine. Certainly, there was plenty of sunshine in California, but it was too busy and touristy for her tastes. After all, she lived in Las Vegas, a town consumed with glitz and glitter. A vacation was supposed to be a getaway, not more of the same.
But Abby Nichols had been a good friend, having more than once opted to do something of Gisele’s choosing, so it was only fair. And really, the buzz of Hollywood wasn’t that bad. It was early February, with the holidays over and summer far enough in the future that the hum of activity was tolerable.
They stayed at a five-star hotel, as neither of them cared to slum it. The trip was luxury all the way, the lifestyle they were used to. Even if they weren’t technically wealthy, for a few days they could pretend. So far, they’d frequented many of the highly touted restaurants, shopped on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and caught some rays on Santa Monica Beach.
Not a bad vacation at all. Now Abby was grinning like a little girl on her way to a birthday party. “How do I look?” Her friend was tall and slender, so looked great in just about anything. She wore a rhinestone-studded sleeveless top with white pants that looked painted on, paired with leather pumps. Her long blond hair fell in waves down her back.
“You look like you’re on your way to the Strip,” Gisele said. “This isn’t Vegas, you know. This is a beach town. Everybody wears jeans and t-shirts, especially to watch a boxing match.”
“How am I going to catch the eye of one of those swoon-worthy fighters wearing scruffy jeans?”
“Did I say scruffy?” Gisele took a moment to rethink her choice of outfit. The skinny black jeans did show off her svelte figure, and the t-shirt was really more than a cotton shirt. It was baby-blue satin, sprinkled with rhinestones. Now that ought to catch someone’s eye. But she drew the line at high heels. In a crowded venue, she’d kill herself in those things. Her leather boots made more sense. And they were sexy.
“Okay, well, let’s go,” Abby said, heading for the door.
The event was held at a nightclub out by the beach, which, when the occasion arose, doubled for sporting events. It was a huge room with a high ceiling. The boxing ring was in the middle of the room, rimmed with row after row of seats. When they got there, the place was packed.
Music played so loud, it successfully drowned out the roar of the crowd. The ring looked busy with staff preparing for the fight. There were photographers lining the front row, already snapping shots, though it wasn’t clear what they found newsworthy. Maybe they needed some pre-fight atmosphere for their stories.
Abby managed to find their seats, and Gisele followed her. They’d paid extra for good seats. There was no point in going to a fight unless the fighters were visible. That was the real show. It had been a while since Gisele had been to a fight. It was really Abby’s thing. The raucous crowd and thirst for blood weren’t her favorite form of entertainment. And if she wanted to see sexy guys, there were plenty of shows at home in Vegas.
But Gisele couldn’t ignore the thrill. There was something about two guys with bronzed bodies, duking it out, that sent adrenaline shooting through her veins. The noise level, as well as the music volume, rose before the fighters entered.
Abby bounced up and down in her chair, then reach over and hugged Gisele. “It’s about ready to start.”
With all the noise, it wasn’t easy to hear the announcer. Plus, when the fighters strutted into the ring, the crowd roared. Gisele had forgotten how out of control a fight crowd could get. It wasn’t like other sports where the audience followed the game, only enlivened when a player did something notable. Fights were different, and the audience was composed of avid fans that looked ready to rip apart the boxing ring if the main event didn’t get going.
Without much delay, the fights started, and Gisele watched the muscled men pound on each other. There was a certain skill involved, deft footwork, and tactics. Lots of testosterone in that ring, with each contender doing his best to knock his opponent to the mat, or at least get in some good punches that the judges would count appropriately.
Gisele was caught up in the enthusiasm, and leaned forward in her seat to get a better view. She missed the introduction of the next fighter, but his hand was still pumping the air when she looked up. The announcer turned to another fighter standing on the other side of the ring, calling out his name, height, weight, and where he was from.
The information fell on deaf ears, but not due to the hoots and hollers of the rowdy crowd. Gisele stared at the man in the ring, letting the scene around her blur into the background. It was as though time had stopped, all had gone still, except for the fighter before her.
The announcer screamed, “Micah Thu-u-under Pu-u-unch Rinaldi!” and the stud nodded to the crowd while pumping his fists in the air. He had dark, spiky hair, just enough scruff on his jaw to be sexy, and captivating eyes. Even from a distance, his presence affected her. He owned the stage, his opponent, and the crowd.
Micah turned to face the other way, showing off to his fans. The back of his royal-blue robe said THUNDER PUNCH in bold gold letters that glittered under the lights. He turned back, letting the robe slip off his shoulders then tossing it away. Shedding the covering revealed his striated abs that appeared to be carved from steel. The boxer shorts he wore drew her gaze downward, as she drank in the sight of his muscular legs.
His shoulders were like granite and his biceps were pumped, though he’d yet to deliver a punch. Gisele’s mouth was dry and she licked her lips just as Abby turned to her. “Oh my God, do you see that guy?”
Without waiting for an answer, her friend turned back toward the ring. Gisele’s eyes remained glued to Micah. The referee performed the ritual of starting the fight, then backed out of the away. When the bell rang, Micah moved agilely, bouncing on his feet and stepping forward. His demeanor was confident, his stance threatening.
Taking the bait, the other guy went in for the punch, missing when Micah sidestepped. In the next second the guy staggered back when Micah’s glove swung up with enough momentum to throw him off balance. Gisele didn’t know boxing technique, but she knew a capable fighter when she saw one.
The opponent got in some punches, but took more than he gave. Micah’s control didn’t waver. For every attack, he countered, causing more damage than he received. The fighters moved around the ring in an un-choreographed dance, each unexpected move drawing gasps from the crowd. Every punch netted another round of shouting.
When Micah prowled around his opponent, like a panther anxious for the kill, his back was toward Gisele. She ogled the wide vee of his shoulders, the rock-hard muscles of his back, and his perfectly rounded ass, a little dizzy from the sight. Then he did a hop and a skip, facing to the side, getting in an unexpected blow to his opponent.
The first round sped by, and when the referee sent the fighters to their corners, Gisele let out a breath. Blood dripped down Micah’s cheek, and his trainer dabbed at it with a cloth. He guzzled water and nodded. Sweating, with his chest heaving from exertion, he was the sexiest thing Gisele had seen. He was all muscle and testosterone pump, the sight making her weak.
When Abby jumped up, shouting, “Micah…Micah…Micah,” an entire fan club of women joined in. Or maybe they had been yelling, and her friend was just screaming along with them. Neither fighter acknowledged the crowd during the recess.
But when the fight resumed, Micah pumped up his chest and played to his female audience. That irritated Gisele for no reason she could fathom. He wasn’t hers, after all. He was a hunk, so it made sense that every woman in the room would be drooling over him. And that he’d enjoy the admiration.
Still she felt what could only be described as jealousy, and took a deep breath to get it together. Okay, he was drop-dead gorgeous, and a damned sexy fighter. That’s exactly why Gisele was glued to the action, unable to avert her eyes for even a second.
The thump of punches came one after the other, in a bit of a blur. All Gisele focused on was whether Micah was in good shape or not. She flinched when a punch caught him on the jaw, but breathed a sigh of relief when Micah got in a good hit to his opponent’s gut.
The guy doubled over, but reacted quickly and was upright before Micah got in another hit. Gisele knew the amateur match was based on a point system, but it was difficult to tell who was ahead. She didn’t have to wait long to find out, as the second round ended and the score revealed that Micah was down by one point.
He dropped onto the stool in his corner and his trainer mopped his face and chest with a towel. Micah took out his mouth guard and slugged down more water. His trainer spoke animatedly and Gisele wished she could hear what he was saying. She clenched her fists, tensed up for the last round, concerned for Micah. He’d taken a punch in the eye, an injury that might require stitches.
Abby hardly noticed Gisele or her interest in the buff fighter. She seemed high on adrenaline, shouting out Micah’s name and jumping with her hands in the air, as if he’d see her. The women in the audience shouted for Micah to fight. “Whip his ass,” one woman screamed. She wore a tight tank top with short shorts, and had the body to make that work.
Gisele was no prude. In Vegas, the dress code was daring, the more risqué and sexual the better. But it irked her that the woman had worn that attire to gain Micah’s attention, and it just might work. As she leaped in the air, yelling like a groupie at a concert, her ample breasts nearly came free of her skimpy top.
“What are you looking at?” Abby said, elbowing her. “You’re missing it. They’re coming out again.”
Micah strutted back toward the center of the ring, and Gisele was glued to every move. He was a mass of beefy muscle and pure aggression, which turned her on. As the seconds ticked by, she was more and more aroused. Her nipples strained against the lace of her bra, and her panties were wet. Seeing Micah stalk toward his opponent sent her hormones raging.
She envisioned grabbing the white waistband of his black satin shorts and yanking them down, nearly delirious with desire. She’d had plenty of men in her life, but not like this one. He had a rugged charm that was a magnet to her. The more she tried to push aside thoughts of him naked, the more turned on she became.
She had to focus, get her mind off of a fantasy that wasn’t going to happen, so she didn’t miss what was happening. Micah did some fancy footwork around the other guy, annoying him so that he swung and missed. In a flash Micah’s fist struck, punching hard enough to knock the guy to the ground. He must have hit him just right and with enough force, as his opponent stayed down from the thunder punch.
The crowd chanted in unison, “Micah…Micah…Micah.” The referee began to count. The opponent stirred but didn’t rise. With all eyes on the opponent, the count finished, signifying Micah’s win. The crowd exploded with shouting and applause, as he jogged around the ring pumping his fists.
Gisele stood up, being close enough to get a good view. She was in awe of him, her heart pounding. Micah went from one side of the ring to the other, grinning at his fans as if he’d hardly worked up a sweat. He looked out into the crowd, then he looked right at her.
She must have imagined it, but Abby waved her hands wildly to get Micah’s attention again. The trainer slipped the shiny blue robe over Micah’s shoulders, but before he left the ring he turned toward her. He looked out, but not at Abby. She could swear that he was looking at her again. A charming smile crossed his lips, and the crowd went wild.
Gisele cautioned herself against believing he’d smiled at her. She must have lost her mind. The thrill of the fight, the effect Micah had on her, had left her delusional. In a sea of women, there was no way that he had singled her out, or even noticed her. But after he hopped down from the ring, he glanced back before heading toward the dressing room.
Gisele let out a breath she hadn’t realized that she was holding. She stared at the empty space Micah had just occupied, as he vanished toward the exit. Staring after him, Gisele put her hand over her chest, making an effort to calm her breathing.
“Wow, that was just amazing,” Abby said, bringing Gisele back to reality. “Aren’t you glad I had this idea? I could stare at that guy all day. He is a stud.”
Gisele looked at Abby, but couldn’t think of a response. She could say, “I’m so hot for him that I’m about to run after him.” Or she could say, “I’m dripping for that fighter, anxious for his thunder punch.”
Yet she didn’t make either comment. Not that Abby wasn’t a close friend, because she was. Nor would such statements shock her. After all, they both worked in Vegas and were fairly immune to even the crudest remarks.
It was really just that what Gisele felt was private, which seemed crazy. She was insanely aroused by a man she didn’t know, and wouldn’t know. Was fighting that much of a turn-on? Was that why all the women screamed until they lost their voices, like the female fans of a rock star?
But Micah wasn’t just any fighter. There was something different about him, and special. Gisele wanted to treasure that a little longer before sharing with her friend…if she ever did share it. The revelation of Micah’s allure was personal, and a little embarrassing. Gisele wasn’t prone to swooning, although she liked men as well as any other woman did.
“What’s wrong with you?” Abby said, gawking at her as the crowd began to filter out of the room.
“It’s stuffy in here, too crowded. I can’t breathe,” Gisele said. “I need to get outside.”
“Okay, let’s go, then. There’s an after-fight party I heard about. Come on.” Abby took her wrist to drag her down the aisle.
Gisele looked over to the exit row where she’d last seen Micah, as if half expecting that he’d reappear. If only he would. Then what? It wasn’t like she could do anything about it. She’d just make a fool of herself. Better that she not see him again. She didn’t think her heart could take the stress.
Outside, the darkness was lit with the glow of city lights. On wobbly legs, Gisele headed for the car with Abby. It was a rental, good enough to drive around the city. “You drive. I’m still a bit dizzy.”
Abby grinned at her. “What happened in there? And don’t tell me it was the lack of ventilation. I saw you staring at the fighters. One of them got to you, didn’t he?”
Gisele took a breath. “You could say that.”
“Which one?” Abby put the key in the ignition and started the car. “Come on, you can tell me. I was hot for all of them.”
The image of Micah’s naked body filled her mind, and heat flooded her veins, making Gisele slow to respond to her friend’s question.
As Abby backed the car out, she glanced over. “Whoever it was really got to you. And that’s saying something.” She stopped for another car heading for the exit. “Don’t tell me a man did that to you, my snooty girlfriend.” Abby smiled.
At last Gisele found her voice. “I’m not snooty.” She waved her hand. “I just haven’t found a man that affected me like…” Her voice faded.
Abby giggled. “Like that fighter, whichever one it was.” She headed down the street. “Okay, well, let’s party. The concierge at the hotel set us up with these tickets and told me not to miss the after-party. There might even be some celebs there.”
Grateful that her friend was focused on something besides a fighter that had caught her eye, Gisele watched the city flash by the window. So a sexy guy got her attention; it wasn’t the first time. It wouldn’t lead to anything; it was only a hot memory, a scene she could dream about later. Yet her body refused to let it go. Gisele was unable to push aside the vision of Micah’s sweaty chest, his bulging muscles, and…his glance at her as he exited.