Strong Hold

· Redemption Book 5 · Sourcebooks, Inc.
15 reviews

About this ebook


For the longest moment Zack's brain couldn't process the sight in front of him.

Seven years, ten months and twenty-seven days. That was how long it had been since he'd seen her. That was how long it had been since he'd lived a life without regret.

Fight promoter Zack Grayson is on the prowl for a rising star. As the top recruiter of a prestigious MMA promotion company, he wants to take someone where he will never be able to go again: the top of the professional league. He didn't expect that someone to be the woman he loved...and left.

Top-ranked MMA amateur fighter Shayla "Shilla the Killa" Tanner built walls around her heart when Zack left her seven years ago—and again when her husband turned violent. Now, seeing Zack is nearly enough to send those walls crumbling. But she can't risk the exposure of the limelight, and she definitely can't risk another heartbreak.

As Shayla and Zack grow closer, though, business turns personal. And once their passion unleashes, there's no going back...

What People Are Saying About Sarah Castille's Redemption series:

"Powerful. Gritty. And sexy beyond belief. Sarah is a true master!"—Opal Carew, New York Times bestselling author of His to Claim

"Emotionally charged, amazingly sexy, and flat out fantastic."—Fresh Fiction for Full Contact

"Castille continues to introduce characters who are both intense and vulnerable. The females are more than a match for the men in their lives, and these guys are worth their efforts."—RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars for Full Contact

Ratings and reviews

15 reviews
Sandy S.
June 29, 2018
4.25 stars--STRONG HOLD is the fifth instalment in Sarah Castille’s contemporary, adult REDEMPTION erotic, MMA, romance series focusing on the men and women of the MMA Club Redemption. This is thirty-year old MMA fighter and promoter Zack ‘Slayer’ Grayson, and twenty-five year old, former ballerina turned MMA fighter Shayla Tanner’s story line. STRONG HOLD can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Told from first person point of view (Shayla), and third person perspective (Zack) STRONG HOLD follows the second chance romance between MMA fighter and promoter Zack ‘Slayer’ Grayson, and former ballerina turned MMA fighter Shayla Tanner. Zack and Shayla were childhood best friends, and high school sweethearts but on the night Shayla gave Zack her most prized possession, Zack walked away without a second glance. Fast forward to present day, wherein Shayla will come face to face with the man that broke her heart, and destroyed her soul. Enter MMA fighter and promoter Zack ‘Slayer’ Grayson, and the man with whom Shayla was still in love. What ensues is the rekindling romance between Zack and Shayla, as Zack takes control of Shayla’s training, in an effort to get closer to the woman he loves. Zack had no idea that Shayla Tanner, his Shayla Tanner, was on the amateur circuit of the MMA. Heading into Redemption to recruit possible new talent, Zack will have to face the wrath of the woman from whom he walked away but a woman who has lost and suffered more than Jake could ever have imagined. Shayla struggled in the years following Zack’s ill-timed escape but none more so than into the arms of an abusive man who all but destroyed what was left of our heroine’s life. The relationship between Zack and Shayla is one of second chances; a rekindling romance between former best friends, and sweethearts but a romance that suffers with too many memories from the past. Zack is determined to prove himself worthy of Shayla’s trust and respect even if it means protecting her from herself. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense but, once again, I take issue with a certain four-letter word that I find unnecessary in a romance story line. Used only once, I felt it was more for shock value than descriptive narration. Most of the previous story line couples and characters play secondary and supporting roles, some byway of mention or cameo appearance: Blade Saw, Renegade, Rampage, Torment, Homicide Hank, Fuzzy and Doctor Death (all of the nick names must be used in the arena and at the gym), as well as the only other female fighter at Redemption Sandy, and Shayla’s nemesis in the ring Carla Gordon. STRONG HOLD is a dramatic, intense and captivating story. The premise is energetic and impassioned; the characters are dynamic and vigorous; the romance is provocative and fated. Sarah Castille writes tantalizing romances, strong heroes, and sassy heroines.
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July 4, 2018
Seven years ago Zack left Shayla so she could follow her dreams. His plan was to return to her once he had made a name for himself and secured his and her future. However, things didn’t work out that way. Shayla was heartbroken when he left her and she moved to begin her career. A year later she was married and still trying to get over Zack and the way he had destroyed her. After her marriage leaves her even more damaged, she sets out to build a new better Shayla. Now she’s only months away from possibly accomplishing her new dream and Zack has reentered her life. Despite his explanations, Shayla can’t seem to let the past go even while she clings to Zacks sweet kisses. I enjoyed the fighting background this book is set against. The guys in the gym really helped to push this story along. I did have some issues however. Zack had always planned to return to Shayla but he never told her before he left what his plan was. He assumed she would go to New York and wait for him although he had given her no indication to do so. He thought their love (that he had broken to smithereens) would hold her to him. Shayla did so much pushing away it drove me crazy. One minute it was “this is just professional” and the next she was clinging to him before pulling away and telling him no. A little would have been understandable but it went on for most of the book. I felt like this had a slower pace to it but I didn’t skim anything. The steam was sizzling and the outside relationship drama was nice because it took me away from all the pushing. The fighting was also well done and I especially enjoyed that this couple found strength to face their own weaknesses and fears and dealt with him appropriately. Overall, if you enjoy a hero that is jealous and possessive along with the push and pull from the heroine, you’ll enjoy this one. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and Sourcebooks. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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linda quick
July 3, 2018
I LOVED learning Shayla's story and what she went through to land at Redemption. I had thought she was an interesting character in prior books, but had no idea just how compelling her history would be. When Zack walked into Redemption, I was prepared to hate him, but the author made me care about him and his story as well. I felt invested in their story and found myself turning pages just as quickly as possible. When you pick up a book by this author, you are assured of compelling characters with depth and sexy romance. For fans of the genre, this is a must read. While this is part of a series, this is a stand alone novel. The series is so good, though, you really owe it to yourself to read them all. The author is on
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About the author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha males and the women who tame them. A recovering lawyer and caffeine addict, she worked and traveled abroad before trading in her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home in shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Readers can find her at

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