Thunder by Susan Fanetti
Series: Capital City MMA #1
Published by Self-published on March 7, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Thorin “Thunder” Vaduva is a journeyman MMA fighter—toiling in the shadows, a set of strong shoulders to lift other fighters toward stardom. After years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he’s trying to get his life on track—be a good father to his teenage son, get his fights in, do his work, keep his head down, keep his demons at bay.
Nina Rodriguez is trying to get her life started. Her days are filled with work and school, slowly climbing toward a meaningful career. Her aspirations aren’t flashy, but she wants a life with purpose.
When Nina comes to the Capital City Fight Center so her brother, Thor’s teammate, can teach her to fight, she and Thor really notice each other for the first time. After that they fall hard and fast, even while they’re taking things slow.
Their love comes easy. But life is hard, and full of storms.
When one of those storms tears Thor’s life apart, only real love can bring the sun back.
An unforgettable emotional read!
Susan Fanetti is one of my favourite storytellers. I knew Thunder would be an emotional read so I waited until I was in a good head-space before I picked it up. Despite the author’s warning, I was totally on board with the idea of a single father story and the MMA aspect had me intrigued.
Thor won me over with his heartfelt interactions with his son David. David in turn was a good kid and easy to like. I relished each of the entertaining ‘can I ask you a question Dad’ scenes. Thor had a troubled past, but I got a vibe that they were an older version of the father and son relationship in Sleepless in Seattle- they had each other’s backs. I smirked when a second movie vibe I got in the story was confirmed.
The heroine of the story is Thor’s friend’s sister, Nina. She and Thor met during a girls’ night out with her needy friend Heather. I was grateful she consumed minimal page time! Nina and Thor hit it off from the start but their relationship was a slow burn full of sweet and caring moments. It was refreshing to read a mature romance. They took a chance on love while protecting their hearts.
Love was at the forefront of this story. The love of family and friends meant they took their romance slowly. The usual roadblocks came up, including Nina’s mother’s habit of interrupting them to her amusement. Her interference came from a good place, but Nina didn’t find it as amusing as her mother did, LOL.
A slow start eased me into a well-paced story that had me reaching for the Kleenex on numerous occasions. The emotionally packed writing moved me enough that this book made it to my 2020 Favourite shelf. Thor’s story grounded me and provided a much needed escape from reality for a beat or two.
Thunder is the first book in the Capital City MMA Series. The secondary characters outside of Thor and Nina’s parents were subtle. I am curious to see what is in store for future books in this series and definitely looking forward to some cameos from Thor, Nina and their extended families.
If you’re a Fanetti fan, you’re going to love this book. Apart from the romance, I loved the father and son moments. The world would be a much better place if there were more men like Thor to share their wisdom with their sons. I recommend you choose a time to read so you can devote your full attention to allow the story to wash over you and process it afterwards. The author’s note at the end of the book confirmed my belief that this book came from the heart.
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