Dirty Boxing

A Blood and Glory Novel 
by Harper St. George and Tara Wyatt
  Publication Date: September 18, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Perfect for fans of emotionally charged, sexy reads, Dirty Boxing, the first installment in the Blood and Glory series, is full of “tons of emotion and heat” (Molly O’Keefe, USA TODAY bestselling author), and reveals that the mixed martial arts battles waged inside the octagon are second only to the battles fought in the name of love. 

 After an unstable childhood, Jules Darcy is very familiar with the risks of falling in love. And as an adult, she’s never let herself forget just how high those stakes can be. That’s why she ran away a year ago after her fling with MMA fighter Nick Giannakis quickly got serious. But when she jumps at the opportunity to reconnect with her dad by accepting a job with his growing fight league, she’s stunned to learn the abs, the chiseled arms, and the rock-solid punches she has to market belong to none other than her former fling. Unable to run away from the sexy middleweight this time, Jules vows to keep things strictly professional. But one look at Nick, and her resolve starts to crumble…. The last thing Nick expects when he signs with the prestigious World Fighting Championship is that he’ll have to work with the only woman who ever broke his heart. Desperate to hide the pain she caused him, Nick vows to keep his distance from his gorgeous ex. But when he realizes their intense chemistry hasn’t faded after a year apart, he wonders if they could have a future together, even if dating the boss’s daughter could complicate his bid for the championship belt. Under the bright lights of Las Vegas, in the world of high-stakes prize fighting, they’ll have to take a risk and decide if their love is worth fighting for.


She was running again. Nick watched as Jules scrambled for the door, amazed there wasn’t a little cartoon puff of smoke trailing behind her.
He pushed out of his chair and ate up the distance between Darcy’s desk and the door in long strides. A year ago, she’d run. Earlier today, she’d run. And both times he’d let her. But he wouldn’t this time, not when they had unfinished business.
He stepped into the hallway just in time to see Jules take a corner down the hall to the right, and he set off after her, memories and emotions tumbling through him, clashing like metal on stone, hard and sharp and abrasive. Three amazing weeks, forever tarnished by the way she’d left. He’d fallen for her, hard, and he’d been a fool.
And fool that he was, he wanted answers. Wanted to understand why she’d left, why she’d pulled the plug just as they were getting started. Wanted to know why she was avoiding him now. He had a hard time believing it was because she didn’t want anything to do with him. Not after the way they’d connected, physically and emotionally. Yeah, it had only been three weeks, but they’d been the best three weeks of his life.
He’d been surprised at how hard he’d fallen. He’d fallen in love with her. She’d seemed to understand him without even trying, as though everything about him had made perfect sense to her. He’d dated plenty, but he’d never experienced that before, that sense of just . . . coming home to someone, the right someone. No other woman had ever gotten under his skin the way she had. But Jules had crawled right in, wrapping herself around his heart right before she ripped it out and kicked it to the corner.
He knew from past relationship experience that fighters weren’t the easiest guys to date. Training took up so much time and energy, took so much focus and ego to succeed. There were injuries, emotional highs and lows, travel, and most fighters didn’t have much money. For a lot of women, once the allure of dating a ripped guy with stamina wore off, they were gone. But not Jules. From the first night he’d met her, she’d just got him, got the fighting, got what it meant to him.
He knew now that part of that came from the fact that she was Craig Darcy’s daughter. But knowing that didn’t change that she’d seen him, understood him, supported him. She’d cared, and that was worth something.
The way they’d laughed together, the way she’d made him feel that no matter what happened, as long as he had her, he’d be able to conquer the world. And he’d thought she felt the same way about him.
He kept his distance, willing himself not to run down the hallway, but instead walk at a leisurely pace as he followed her to her office. Finally, after another turn, he watched her push open a door and slam it closed.
A smile crept across his face. If she was slamming doors, maybe she was affected by seeing him again.
A big maybe, but still. It was something.
He didn’t knock, just walked into her office and closed the door behind him. Jules stood with her back to him, her hands braced against her desk, her head bowed. She hadn’t heard him come in, and he took advantage of his momentary invisibility, watching her for several seconds as she stood there, her slender shoulders rising and falling with each breath. He expected to feel angry, or hurt, or even confused, but if those emotions were there, they were all being eclipsed by his satisfaction at how rattled she was, and the almost overwhelming need to wrap his arms around her.
“Jules.” His voice startled her and she let out a small shriek before whirling around, one hand clutched to her chest. He held up his hands. “Hey. It’s just me. It’s okay. I didn’t mean to startle you.” Her gorgeous blue eyes slammed into his and his heart beat a furious tempo in his chest.
“Jules.” He repeated her name, and she slowly lowered her hand. She caught her bottom lip between her teeth and glanced between Nick and the door, her shoulders rigid.
“What . . .” She cleared her throat and started again. “What are you doing here?”
Her tone wasn’t what he’d hoped for, and he frowned, crossing his arms over his chest. “I thought we should talk.”
She took a breath and paled slightly as she once again met his gaze. “There’s nothing to talk about.”
He quirked his brow, tamping down the impatient anger flooding him. “How could you possibly think we have nothing to talk about?”
She shrugged, and then wrapped her arms around herself, her eyes locked on the floor. “I don’t know what you want me to say.”
He fought the urge to scoff. “Oh, I don’t know. ‘Hi, Nick. Nice to see you, Nick. You look great, Nick. Sorry for walking out on you, Nick.’ Any of those would be a fantastic start.”
She looked up at him, and something in her expression softened, giving him a glimpse of his Jules, the one he’d fallen for. “Hi, Nick.”
The corner of his mouth kicked up and he took a step toward her, hope slowly filtering its way through him. “Hey, Jules.” He took another step toward her, and she scurried behind her desk.
That small gesture, her putting her desk between them, pissed him off. She was the only woman who’d ever broken his heart, and she was looking at him as though he was the enemy here. A spark of resentful anger flared up, burning a path through the center of his chest. For several long seconds they stared at each other, and emotions, one after the other, crashed into Nick, rocking him like waves. Anger. Hurt. Sadness. Hope. Lust. All of them swirled together in a confusing eddy that threatened to drag him under. Finally, after several seconds, he managed to pull himself to the surface, to ask the question he’d wanted to ask since she’d walked out of his apartment.
“Why, Jules?”
She glanced up at him and then down at her desk, her fingers twisted together. “You know why.”
He let out a strained laugh. “No, I don’t. We had a good thing. An amazing thing. And you walked. You wouldn’t even give us a chance. Tell me why.” It wasn’t a question this time, but a demand, and her head snapped up at his tone. But she didn’t say anything, just stared at him, emotions swirling in her pretty eyes.
“I’m not doing this with you, Nick.”
“I’m not leaving until you explain what happened in Chicago.” He braced his hands on her desk, leaning toward her. The scent of her skin hit him like a punch in the stomach, lavender from the pricey French lotion she loved.
Something in her expression shifted, and her mouth hardened. “We had fun. It was time for me to go. I’m sorry you got the wrong impression, but I don’t do relationships. You know that.” She sniffed and wrapped her arms stiffly around herself.
He clenched his jaw, his teeth grinding together. “I don’t believe you.”
“Why would I lie?”
“What is wrong with you? You’re different, Jules.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are. My Jules wouldn’t lie to me like this.” He jabbed a finger into his own chest.
Her eyes widened and her nostrils flared. “I’m not your Jules, Nick.” She sniffed again and straightened her shoulders, her spine ramrod straight.
He stared at her for a long, hard moment, trying to figure out which Jules was the lie—this one, or the one he’d fallen for in Chicago. “No. You’re not.” He sucked in a breath, trying to force some calm into his system.
“We’ll be working together, and we need to leave the past in the past. We had fun, but Nick, that’s all it was. This is my job. Please don’t make this difficult for me.”
He felt as though his veins were filling with ice water at her words, and he forced himself to smile. “That’s all it was? Right. My mistake,” he said, his words heavy with sarcasm as he tried to hide the fresh wave of pain crashing into him.
“Please go.” Her voice was quiet as she cut her eyes from him to the door behind him.
“Fine.” He stopped halfway to the door, jamming his hands into his pockets as he turned to face her. “You know what?” Once again, her eyes met his, and he couldn’t stop the words from spilling out. “I thought you were the best thing that ever happened to me. But I guess I was wrong. So we can work together. We can coexist, but just know there’s a small part of me that will always hate you for the way you left.”

5 Ways Writing is like MMA Fighting

At first glance, it might not appear that mixed martial arts and writing have much in common. One is a grueling, competitive sport that often leaves its participants bloodied and battered, and the other…well, actually, that kind of applies to both.

While researching and writing the Blood and Glory series, we realized that writing can be a lot like MMA fighting. We actually had a hard time narrowing it down to just five similarities. Here are our favorites, and don’t forget to mention in the comments if you can think of other similarities.

1. Your editor is like your coach – Every good MMA fighter has a coach they can rely on to help them improve. The coach is always challenging them to be better, to get stronger, to fight longer, and cheering them on in the cage. It’s the same with writing. Your editor is there every step of the way to make sure that your book is the best it can be. A good editor challenges and pushes you, helps you play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses, and cheers you on when you need it most.

2. Training partners are a necessity – No one can make it on their own. For every great writer or fighter, there is a team of people behind them, supporting them to make them better. Like training partners, critique partners help keep you focused and improve your game. You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with.

3. You need to have a well-rounded skillset – MMA fighters need to be good at a lot of different skills: wrestling, grappling, boxing, and kickboxing, just to name a few. Some have specialties in other martial arts as well. The same goes for writing. Character development, plot, pacing, and voice are all necessary to craft that great novel. If you write fantastic characters, but don’t give them anything interesting to do, you’ve backed yourself against a metaphorical cage.

4. Sometimes you get your a** kicked – No matter how hard you train or write, sometimes you’re going to hit a brick wall. Whether that’s losing a fight or not being able to figure out that plot twist or getting that awful review, it’s inevitable. The important thing is to get back up and keep trying. You only truly lose if you quit, and that applies to both fighting and writing.

5. When it goes to decision, you can’t control what the judges think – So, back to that bad review. Bad reviews happen. Like death and taxes, it’s the one certainty writers can count on. All you can do is your best and hope the judges see it your way, but sometimes they won’t and that’s okay. You just get back up and keep trying. So stay focused, do your thing, and keep going.

And there you have it! Five ways that MMA fighting is similar to writing. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some training to do. Gotta stay sharp for that next fight…er, book! 

About Harper St. George

Harper St. George was raised in rural Alabama and along the tranquil coast of northwest Florida. It was a setting filled with stories of the old days and it instilled in her a love of history, romance, and adventure. By high school, she had discovered the romance novel, which combined all of those elements into one perfect package. She has been hooked ever since. She currently lives in the Atlanta area with her family and loves to connect with readers. She would love to hear from you. Please visit her website at or connect with her on Facebook at

About Tara Wyatt

Tara Wyatt is a contemporary romance and romantic suspense author. Known for her humor and steamy love scenes, Tara’s writing has won several awards, including the Librarian’s Readers’ Choice Awards, Golden Quill Award, and the Booksellers’ Best Award. When she’s not hanging out with your next book boyfriend, she can be found reading, watching movies, and drinking wine. A librarian by day and a romance writer by night, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the world’s cutest dog and a husband who makes all her of her heroes look like chumps. Find her online at

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