Pink Heart Society editor, Ali Williams, is talking about her new addiction to WWE and to fighting heroes...
About two months ago there was absolutely nothing on television, so my fiancé persuaded me to try an episode of WWE Raw - just to see what it was like.
Up until this point I'd been a naysayer, arguing that the results of all the matches are fake, they pull their punches - it just seems like a waste of time.
I had not accounted for the drama.
He's an all out bad guy and the entire world seems to be behind Ambrose as he fights to take the Heavyweight Championship from Rollins.
There's the drama between Lana and Rusev, where the female manager has recently broken up with the wrestler, calling him out on his misogynist "moronic views".
I couldn't have been more delighted to see her kick arse, although in real life they're happily married.
And there's the ongoing feud between WWE-favourite John Cena and new NXT-graduate Kevin Owens. Owens is a veteran of the sport and his clashes with Cena have resulted in two of the best matches I've ever seen.
Within a month, we'd signed up to the WWE Network (like Netflix, but for WWE) and now spend a couple of hours watching Raw, Smackdown and NXT every week.
But what is it that I've fallen in love with?
|NXT's Becky Lynch|
I love the over the top dramas, and how I find myself rooting for someone in every fight. I love how much time I spend wondering which way things are going to go - and almost always being surprised and often infuriated by the outcome.
And I love supporting the underdogs. (At the moment, that'd be Paige in the Diva division of WWE, Neville in WWE itself, and Becky Lynch in NXT)...
And how does this link to my love of romance?
Well, I think that fighters make for fantastic heroes and heroines; they're strong, disciplined and they have drive. and what's sexier than that?
So here's a list of my favourite fighter romances:
Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He’s also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she’s older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon.
Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather’s legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette’s scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he’ll break all the rules to do it…
In this corner is Jenna Wilinski, who’s inherited a rather seedy boxing gym from her estranged father. With it, she can realize her dream of launching an upscale matchmaking business…provided she can take on the very intimidating—and wickedly hot—boxer who stands in her way!
In the far corner is former pro boxer Mercer Rowley. He’s the only who can protect his “home”, even if it is a little rundown, from his determined and feisty little opponent. But, once the gloves are off, his hands just want to touch her everywhere…
This match-up is too close to call. But no matter which contender comes out on top, the other is sure to enjoy every minute of it…
Katie McGarry - Take Me On
Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts an MMA in her honour. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. But helping him fighting for her is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault her family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.
Sarah Mayberry - Below the Belt
To outfit his new gym, trainer Cooper Fitzgerald is looking for fresh boxing talent. Male boxing talent, that is. So what on earth is he thinking by taking on Jamie Sawyer? She's stubborn, difficult, aggressive--and far too hot for the kind of close contact training requires. But her skill in the ring is turning his professional head.
Too bad his isn't the only head that's turning. Jamie and her skimpy little shorts have all the guys forgetting the power she packs in a punch. And when Jamie offers Cooper her irresistible body--no strings attached--he's down for the count. But can Cooper keep the line between trainer and sex buddy...or is he setting himself up for another knockout?
Jennifer Snow - Fighting for Keeps
He's kryptonite. And she needs all her strength…
Noah Parks is the ridiculously gorgeous, motorcycle-riding, cage-match-fighting equivalent of kryptonite for Lindsay Harper. And she's going to need every last ounce of her strength now that she's the legal guardian of her brother's five orphaned children.
For the sake of her new family, it's time to give up her carefree single ways. Stop being the cool aunt and become a parent. And fight this crazy attraction to Noah. Sure, there's a side of him she can't help falling for…the one who volunteers as a firefighter and helps at-risk youth. The irresistibly kind and caring side. But she is a nurse, after all. She can't love an MMA fighter, a man she regularly has to scan for physical trauma… Can she?
Gina L. Maxwell - Seducing Cinderella (Book 1 of Fighting for Love)
Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.
Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.
Soon Reid finds himself in the fight of his life...winning Lucie's heart before she gives it to someone else.
Pamela Yaye - Love T.K.O.
Stunning Yasmin Ohaji is every man's fantasy, but the popular marriage counselor is too busy to bother with romance. Still, Rashawn Bishop isn't giving up. The pro boxer is wooing her with finesse and fancy footwork, and his powerful build makes her weak in all the right places. He's definitely not her type, but she's deliciously tempted.…
Rashawn can't sleep, can't train and can't concentrate—all because of Yasmin. When he's not coming up with ways to show her they're not so different, he's dreaming of possessing every inch of her luscious curves. And when Yasmin finally surrenders, she becomes his everything. But love means making choices. Now, with his career on the line, will he follow the lure of boxing…or the woman he can't live without?
For the past couple years Laurel's been coasting, hiding in the backseat while her life drifts off course. Then one summer afternoon a tall, built bruiser named Flynn strides in and steers her straight into an infatuation she never saw coming.
Flynn introduces Laurel to things she’s never imagined before—to the violent but exciting realm of the underground boxing circuit, to rough sex and even rougher role-playing, and to an attraction she craves even as it intimidates her. As Flynn invites her deeper into his world and his life, Laurel has to make a choice—let fear keep her holed up where it’s safe, or take a chance and fight for the man who makes her feel more alive than she’d dreamed possible.
Reader advisory: Although all of the sexual acts in this story are 100% consensual, it contains role-playing scenarios that may upset some readers who are sensitive about rape, even in a simulated capacity.
Do you have a soft spot for wrestling and the WWE universe? Or are you a sucker for fighter heroes and heroines? Join in the discussion in the comments!
Ali Williams grew up in Croydon and spent her teenage years in a convent girls' school. She then fled to university where she discovered champagne cocktails, a capella singing and erotica.
These days she blogs about perceptions of romance, #StrongRomanceHeroines and women in society, and spends the rest of her time sat at her brand new writing desk, cracking on with her Tunford Trilogy (affectionately referred to as the Sussex Shaggers).
Passionately vocal about the wonders of romance, Ali defies you to slam romance novels within her hearing!