This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Dmytro Holmes. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Eye on the Prize by Dmytro Holmes
Genres: Romance, Sports
Release Date: February 12, 2017
Publisher: Independently Published
Source: Author, Dmytro Holmes
Purchase at: Amazon
The story of Mikai, a talented young boxer, and Caitlyn, the beautiful woman he falls in love with. Full of action and passion, the fast-moving plot, with its twists and turns and cast of dramatic characters, all connected in intriguing and unexpected ways, keeps the reader guessing right to the end. The obstacles Mikai faces in the boxing ring mirror the difficulties he (and Caitlyn) have had to overcome in the past, and the continuing struggle that faces them in their desire to have a future together.
*There is an alternate cover to this novel
Eye on the Prize was a gritty read that traveled a rollercoaster of highs and lows. The story follows Mikai, a young man with dreams of being the best boxing has to offer. Mikai has risen from the ashes of a terrible childhood with the help of his trainer and father figure Joe. Now with the help of Miles, Joe’s brother, as Mikai’s agent things seem to be heading in the right direction.
Growing up as Mikai did he was more of a loner by nature and had little interest in relationships. When he bumped into Caitlyn at his new job he was smitten with her and that was quite unusual. She also was quite taken with him. Mikai tried to deny his feelings for Caitlyn because she was engaged to another man. Caitlyn however not willing to leave her fiancé more or less still perused the relationship. They connected and their chemistry was such that they both fell in love with each other. Or so Mikai thought.
I adored the whole “man bumps into woman and sparks fly” romance portion of this story. That quickly detours for me when it turns out that Caitlyn is not available and their relationship is actually an affair. Her current relationship is with a man who’s a real jerk off and doesn’t create the same spark of flame that ignites within her like Mikai does. The connection she has with Mikai is amazing but she is just not willing to follow her heart and when Mikai gives her an ultimatum, things go very badly.
This utter heartbreak is more than Mikai can bear and over time he makes a series of terrible downward spiral choices that lead him to the brink of ruin. With the help of Joe, Mikai gets his life on track only to have it derailed again by someone that Mikai trusted to have his back. Mikai, through his own stupidity becomes indebted to the mob and things quickly go from bad to worse.
It is during this time that Caitlyn comes back into his life. She is still married, apparently in a loveless marriage, but still unwilling to leave her husband. The fierce connection that they shared is still alive and I think they both were a little surprised at that but nothing has ever been simple for them. As things escalate for both these characters are torn in ways that they had never anticipated but must endure. In the end they both need to decide what it is they really want and what they are willing to sacrifice to have their prize.
I loved the ending of this story! It is everything that these characters deserved! It was a good story with plenty of conflict, tension, and swoony moments. My biggest issue would be that of the plot transitions. At points, it was not clear that there was a transition happening and it was a bit confusing, especially as some of the transitions spanned over time. It is not something that ruins the story only leads to moments of “what?” but then you figure it out. This is a great true to life read with gritty characters and a swoony romance woven throughout. It might not appeal to all readers due to the cheating aspects but it was a good read.
*Thank you to Dmytro Holmes for this complimentary copy of Eye on the Prize*