Review: Real by Katy Evans (Spoiler Warning!)


A fallen boxer.
A woman with a broken dream.
A competition…

He even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…

Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life.

He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents . . .

But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me.

I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations.

If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me?

(This review is rated MA for language. There are also spoilers. I usually try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, but I couldn’t figure out how to discuss this one without them.)

Okay. Well. I’m starting to think that maybe New Adult isn’t for me. Maybe I should just scamper right on back to my YA home and stay there.

So our friend Brooke is a brand new graduate with a degree in something vague that qualifies her to do sports rehab for injured athletes. Up until this point she’s only worked on middle school kids, but now that she’s unemployed she’s getting pretty desperate to find work.

Lucky for her, she meets Remington Tate, underground fighter (he was kicked off the pro circuit for fighting outside the ring) and all around hottest guy she’s ever seen. You know those old videos and pictures of crazed, screaming Beatles fans from the ’60s? They’ve transferred their mania to him. Or, rather, their granddaughters have.

She basically creams her pants at first sight.

I stare up at the stage as the guy whips off the satin red robe with the word RIPTIDE on the back, and the spectators stand screaming and cheering as he slowly turns to acknowledge them all. His face is suddenly before me, illuminated by the lights, and I just stare like an idiot from my place. My god.




Dark scruffy jaw.

Boyish smile. Man’s body.

Killer tan.

My panties are soaked, and my pulse has gone haywire.

My legs wobble, and I’m left with the distinct impression this man wants to pound me next. With his cock.


But, no! He doesn’t want to pound her, he wants to hire her! She’ll travel with him for the rest of his tour, stretching out his muscles. What’s an unemployed gal to do but say yes?

As it turns out, he does want to pound her, but first he wants to have days-long drawn-out foreplay. From Seattle to Atlanta to Miami they go. He trains, he eats enough for “three fully grown, hungry lions” daily, she stretches out his muscles, and her sex clenches. A LOT.

Oh yeah, she quickly learns that after every fight he NEEDS sex. With her? Well, no, that’s not why she was hired, of course not! No, this guy has sex with prostitutes. High-class ones, I guess it’s implied. Is that supposed to make me like him? That’s not..attractive. I mean, it doesn’t even seem to bother Brooke AT ALL except for the fact that she’s jealous that he screws prostitutes instead of her. She’s just “oh, sex after competition is super common, don’t you know?”

Then again, I don’t know why I’m surprised. She says, right near the beginning of the book, that her friend Kyle is…

…the brother we never had, and he’s so sweet and shy with other women that he actually had to go pay some professional to take his virginity at twenty-one.

What, he couldn’t get her or one of their other friends to take pity on him?

Now, to be fair, I don’t think Remy actually has sex with any of these prostitutes after he hires her to join the tour. That all happened before he met her, which makes it okay right?


Not in my world, either, Mr. Cosby.

Once he sets eyes on Brooke, I think he’s off taking care of the job by himself, since he’s just as in lust with her as she is with him. Yet for some reason neither one of them is in any real hurry to get to it with each other. Eventually Brooke is ready to get down to it, but Remy still puts her off. I know they’re supposed to be falling in love and waiting for it to be all ~special, but they don’t really have any, you know, conversations. It’s mostly just lusting and sex clenching and dripping panties.

Oh, she hasn’t had sex in a very long time, by the way, which kind of revirginizes her. She’s quick to point out, though, that she ISN’T a virgin, having lost it before a track meet of her own. Which is how she knows it’s good for you to get some before or after competition. Apparently this doesn’t apply to blowjobs, however, because Remy gets her very first one. (This actually makes me question how much experience she’s had. Like was that one virginity-losing experience her only time?)

Remington basically has no personality outside of fighting, raging, and listening to his iPod. He doesn’t even speak much, and most of what he does say is short sentences that he’s able to grunt out, so it took me a very long time to realize that when his handlers call him “speedy,” it means that Remington is in the manic phase of bipolar disorder. Everyone acts like it’s not that big a deal, just make sure to keep everyone out of his way when he’s “getting speedy” or someone might get hurt.

Excuse me, untreated mental illness is a pretty fucking big deal, especially when you have to TRANQUILIZE him to control him.

He’s untreated because he refuses to medicate himself. He’s not in therapy either, as far as I can tell. Medication makes him feel dead and he wants to live his life alive. Apparently he’d rather get speedy and out of control and tranquilized. That’s a great way to live. But as Brooke says, it’s his choice whether to medicate or not. The problem is that he’s violent when he’s speedy.

Then it all happens in a blink of an eye. He turns the entire table with a gigantic crash, and Coach ends up on the floor, with a thousand plates and food over him. In the same move when Remington catapults to his feet, he shoots his cell phone across the room, where it crashes into pieces against the wall as he starts for me, and Pete scrambles to his feet and reaches into his back pocket.

That is NOT okay and it’s not sexy either. He has a disease and it needs to be treated before someone get seriously hurt and Remy ends up in prison.

The thing is, he’s not manic the entire time, but he behaves badly even when he isn’t. He’s an animal pretty much 90% of the time. And it’s just excused away because oh he’s bipolar and he had a bad childhood (locked in a psych ward at 13).

This book has over 20,000 four and five star reviews on Goodreads, so obviously a lot of people LOVE it. I just don’t happen to be one of them. What other readers find sexy, I find repulsive, controlling, and emotionally abusive.

I’m actually disappointed in this book because I thought it was going to be a good one. The basic premise is intriguing, but it’s not well-written and there’s no character growth. The treatment of bipolar disorder is offensive. The sex scenes aren’t bad but they just go on and on and on. I skimmed over a lot of them.

There are a lot of strange word choices in this book.

When we need to stop, sometimes we hear music, turn on the TV, or eat, but most of all, we kiss.

I can hear the deep inhale he takes. Oh, god, he’s scenting me.

He scents me. And I scent him.

My sex pulses when he inhales me, and he keeps scenting me as he rubs his cock along my bottom.

And of course there’s the constant clenching of Brooke’s sex, sex organs, sex muscles, pussy, and womb.

I’m giving this book 2 stars for a few reasons. I did finish it and I only do the 1 star thing on books I don’t finish. I finished it because this book was so ridic I just had to keep reading and see what would happen next. It entertained me, but more in a laughing at it, not taking any of it seriously way. I will allow that it got better once they finally had sex, and that I liked pretty much all of the secondary characters, from Remy’s handlers to Brooke’s friends, not that we got to know them very well.

But if this is what’s out there, and highly praised, I’m going to have think about whether I want to read any more new adult books.