Footwork by TA Moore

Newly released from prison, Bode has more than his share of problems to deal with. Since his parole officer is also the one who runs the local illegal fighting club, she also is able to force Bode into fighting. When more problems cause him to address how to stay out of prison while taking care of a younger brother and making enough money to get by, he finds himself in over his head.

From the blurb for Footwork:

Bode Harlan has never claimed to be a good guy, but he’s trying to keep his nose clean and his head down these days.

After a year in prison for assault--and to be fair, he did it--he isn’t looking to go back. Admittedly, his pretty face being the star attraction in an illegal underground fighting ring seems to run counter to that goal, but he’s gotta pay the bills and there ain’t much else he’s good at.
And it keeps his parole officer off his back…since she runs the place.

Then his mom skips town and her boyfriend kicks Bode’s 14 year old brother out on the street. Bode grew up in and out of foster care, he doesn’t want that for Danny. It’s not like he can take the kid in, though. He’s an ex-con who gets beat up twice a month for money. That’s how he ends up on his good-natured ex-boyfriend’s doorstep. Sonny is a soft touch. At least he always was for Bode. All he wants is somewhere to crash for a couple of nights, nothing more. Sonny’s got his life together now--a home, a boyfriend, even a dog--and it would take a real asshole to want to blow that up.
…of course, Bode’s never said he wasn’t an asshole.

Reedkaye's Review:

Footwork is the first story I’ve read by this author and it sure held my attention.  

Bode recently released from prison is on probation so he has to do what he can to not be sent back.  There are a few problems with that. One, he needs money and has no good options for legally getting any and second, his parole officer also runs a illegal fighting club. He fights for cash, but his parole officer wants him to move up in the standings because he will draw more money.  

In the meantime, his mom has disappeared, leaving his younger brother with her latest guy. His brother Danny has more than a few issues, but then why wouldn’t he? Both kids have been raised by a mom who is totally irresponsible. 

Bode can’t take Danny to the halfway house where he is living, so he thinks about his ex who has moved on. Bode’s ex, Sonny, has also been his bff since they were young. Bode knows Sonny is a softy for him so he asks Sonny for a place to stay until he can line something up.  

There are quite a few twists to this story and it sure kept my attention. So much of the story is heartbreaking. The way the author puts it all together and answers everything is fantastic. I loved this story and look forward to more from this author.

Rating: 5 Stars

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Second chance. Slow burn. Dual POV. 

Being on parole, involved in an illegal fight ring, and having a young brother to look after, Bode goes to the one man he knows won’t turn him away. Sonny loved Bode for years, but when Bode broke up with him and went to jail, Sonny forged a new life, and has a new boyfriend that he believes he can be happy with. However, whenever Bode asks for help, all Sonny’s past feelings get in the way. Sonny always wants to help, but Bode knows he can only bring trouble into Sonny’s life. 

I wish there had been more about Bode and Sonny when they had been together before, experiences and feelings, but it is very clear that both men can’t escape the idea of being together and keep trying to be together. 

I’m glad we got to see that Bode tried to self-sacrifice to give Sonny a better life, and even though Sonny knows it's hard being with Bode, he still chooses that relationship for himself. 

There are quite a bit of harsh life circumstances and violence, with some horrible secondary characters, and Bode and Sonny don’t entirely overcome every hardship but most things are resolved and they get their HFN.

Rating: 4 Stars

Footwork is available to buy as an ebook.