Fighting Dirty - Lori Foster

Dear Reader,

I’m so excited to finally bring you Armie’s book!

Every ongoing series I’ve written seems to have had that one fan-favorite secondary character—the hero readers can’t wait to see finally get a happy-ever-after. In the case of my Ultimate series, about mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters and the women they fall for, it’s safe to say that Armie Jacobson stole the show. With his cocky charm, strict code of honor, dedication to his friends, and boundless appreciation for the female population (not to mention his awesome T-shirt collection), Armie definitely leaves his mark.

But Armie is more than just a good-time guy. Those of you who’ve read the previous books in the Ultimate series—Hard Knocks, No Limits, Holding Strong and Tough Love—have seen Armie privately begin to grapple with both demons from the past and his fierce attraction to Merissa Colter, the one woman he believes is forever out of his reach. In Fighting Dirty, those internal battles take center ring as Armie is forced to contend with old scars…and come to terms with his love for Merissa once and for all.

His road hasn’t been an easy one, but I hope you’ll find his story was worth the wait.

Fingers and toes crossed that you enjoy Armie and Merissa’s romance. And of course, you’re always welcome to reach out to me. I’m active on most social media forums including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads, and my email address is listed on my website at lorifoster.

Happy reading to all,

PS: Some of you will recognize Jude Jamison from his own book, Jude’s Law. He was the first MMA fighter I wrote, so it seemed appropriate to let him pop in for a few cameos!

Here’s to awesome reader Kizzie Brown,

who allowed me to “borrow” her name so that

she could be one of the more persistent,

outrageous ladies from Armie’s past. Kizzie,

I hope you enjoy your small role in the book. And

please accept my thanks for all the terrific reviews.

I hope my stories never disappoint you!

Contents

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

EXCERPT FROM DON'T TEMPT ME BY LORI FOSTER

CHAPTER ONE

“JESUS, QUICK. YOU’RE A freak of nature. You know that, right?”

Armie Jacobson, known as Quick to his fighter friends, ignored the complaint and threw a few more jabs, then a solid body shot, making Justice, a six-foot-five heavyweight, double over. Stepping back, Armie flexed his hands, bounced on the balls of his feet and waited.

Unfortunately, Justice only put his hands on his knees and sucked air.

Frowning, Armie removed his mouthpiece. “Seriously? Come on, dude. Let’s go.”

“Screw you.” Schlepping back to his corner, Justice grabbed up a water bottle. He doused his head and chest and then started chugging.

Aware of others watching, Armie said nothing. Everyone worked out, trained and sparred in the rec center, but lately, whenever he did, a dozen or more people stopped to watch. He didn’t mind an audience. Hell, he couldn’t be a competitor if he did. For the most part he paid no attention. Once he got in the cage, he went into a zone and the world receded.

But this insane ogling shit, as if he was a damned sideshow, bugged him big-time.

A trickle of sweat tracked down his temple from his headgear, and he swiped a forearm over his face. His muscles burned and more sweat soaked his chest, abs and rolled down his spine. He was figuring out what to say to Justice to get him back in action when he picked up her scent. The faint perfume cut through the rec center air, thick with the smells of sweaty men working hard.

Trying to look casual, Armie stared at Justice but in his peripheral vision he saw her striding across the room. No mistaking that long-legged gait, or that longer dark hair. He swallowed, frozen.

“What?” Justice asked, sounding both suspicious and ridiculously alarmed with the way Armie had locked onto him.

Armie shook his head—and thankfully Merissa disappeared into the hallway leading to the offices.

Releasing a breath, he looked toward the clock and frowned. Yeah, they’d been at it for a while, maybe longer than he’d intended. His cardio was better than most, definitely better than Justice’s, the big lug.

Armie walked over to him. “You need to get more gas in the tank.”

“Go fuck yourself.”

When Armie grinned, Justice eyed him warily. “Stop it.”

That switched his grin to a frown. “Bitchy much?”

Justice slouched against the wall and glared back. “You shouldn’t be able to grin, you prick.