I love Laura Kaye and her heroes. Not only does she write great male characters, but so many of them are soldiers and warriors who have truly earned the title of hero. Worth Fighting For just so happens to add two heroes to her collection.
If you haven’t heard of the Warrior Fight Club books, I highly recommend you check out Fighting For Everything and Fighting For What’s His, as both were pretty freaking wonderful stories about soldiers finding their way through the haze of post-war life. Worth Fighting For is a lovely little story that started as a novella, but simply could not be contained.
Tara Hunter is just trying to push past her accident. Her time diving in the military might be over, but the trauma she suffered on the job still comes back no matter how many ways she’s found to cope. She’s living her life and pushing forward, she just needs to clear a couple more hurdles.
Jesse Anderson might be new to DC, but he’s found a job doing one of his first loves, diving. Maybe it will help him to get past his losses and get his focus back on figuring out what to do with the rest of his life.
A fateful meeting, two plates of appetizers, and a nighttime stroll later, these two have a lot more on their minds than getting through the next day… until they find out they have even more in common than they thought.
I devoured this story in a single evening. I have been head over heels for the Warrior Fight Club series since the beginning, so this shouldn’t have surprised me, but I found myself cuddled up with a warm blanket and the perfect ambiance to just be completely absorbed into this story. Laura has so delicately weaved Worth Fighting For together with threads of fun and seriousness in a pattern that reveals the weighty impact of this story.
You see, I had a ton of fun with Tara and Jesse. Their first meeting is so playful and lighthearted and soon turns into one of those one night things that happen so smoothly and easily in books. And then you get this splash of reality when they realize this blooming relationship is definitely not gonna be so simple. Things take a turn for the serious when Tara needs to be realistic about what their interactions could mean for her safety and sanity in the real world, and I love that Jesse immediately understands and doesn’t belittle her concerns.
Mostly, the thing I walked away from this story loving the most was Jesse’s not needing to put himself first. Tara had a life built around her that was secure and keeping her from falling into scary states of mind that an accident like hers could have easily triggered. Jesse seemed to get that on another level. He was in the position to make changes to his own life without massively overhauling his sense of self, so he did. He knew that having Tara in his life would make everything about being alive better, so he figured out how to keep her there.
It doesn’t always seem real when characters are willing to give everything up to be with their true loves. And we don’t need it to seem real because we read books to be swept away to places where unreal things happen. But sometimes you come across a story like this one where the characters are going through real tragedies and traumas and it’s so wonderful to see them sacrifice only what is necessary to get to a new happy.
And happy is definitely what both of these people deserve. Hearing about the horrors and tragedies they have both overcome to get to who and where they are now is heartbreaking, but only until you realize how perfectly their histories make them for each other.
And knowing that this pair sort of nudged themselves to the forefront of Laura Kaye’s mind makes it all the more enjoyable. You could feel the immediacy of these two. It doesn’t surprise me that when they became a fully formed idea for a story, that they sort of forced their way into the world early. Jesse and Tara are definitely the kind who know to get while the getting’s good and they weren’t gonna wait another minute to get their happy ever after out into the world.