Fighting for Freedom by Joelle Lynne

In the Fighting for Love MMA combined universe we find all sorts of queer people take their shot for love. In Fighting for Freedom we find one man finding the courage to be free at last with the help of a friendly stranger. Levi finds a safe haven in August a self-defense instructor. But even their swift ramp up of feelings doesn't solve all their problems, and they have to work at being together.

From the blurb:

Trying to get free shouldn’t be this hard.


I shouldn’t still be trapped in hell. But with every hit, he takes something else away from me. All I wanted was to find my way home, but I ended up finding a different type of safe haven. One that came with a different set of dangers. August doesn’t seem to understand that I can’t just give in.


When Levi stumbled into the gym looking beaten and confused, every part of me said I should help. But he wasn’t going to make that an easy task. While he slowly lets me in, all I want him to do is to fight for his freedom. He says it’s not that simple, but why won’t he help me understand?

Fighting for Freedom is a standalone MM romance novel in the multi-author series Fighting for Love. All the stories take place at the shared gym, Knockout MMA Training Facility. At the Knockout Gym, happily ever afters are hard-won.

Molly Otto's review:

3.5 rounded to 4
I'm not entirely sure how to rate this one, to be honest. Parts were done beautifully, while others felt rushed. One of those things with novella length books is that you are either completely entranced or so. The connection of Levi & August you felt the their need for one another, and could understand August hesitation for being older as well as someone trying to help him from a bad situation. Whereas I would have liked other parts to he more developed, but with the length of the book, I could see why they had a shorter timeline than I found to be completely believable.

Nedra's review:

I am still at a loss for how to feel about this one. Kind of bummed considering I didn’t attach with the characters at all and even more in shock that I wasn’t drawn in right away, but I have nothing. Novellas are always difficult to capture the moment and maintain their interest throughout. Character development was bare minimum, resulting in no connection between the two MCs. There were a lot of unbelievable scenes and some wtf, face palm occasions. Even more bummed this was my last arc of the series 🥺

SNik's review:

Part of a multi-author series (Fighting For Love), but can be read as a standalone. Quick read. Dual POV. Heed content warnings. 

Levi is struggling with a difficult home life when he stumbles into the Knockout gym and meets a self-defense teacher that takes his breath away. August wants to help, and reaching out to the bruised younger man is easy, if Levi will trust him.

This is a quick and short story where August and Levi develop a relationship rapidly at the same time as dealing with some trauma and heavy issues, and it worked for me given that I knew it was going to be a novella so not expecting anything deep. Acknowledging that they were mature for their young age and having financial difficulties they worked on together, I appreciated that their problems didn’t just vanish overnight. I enjoyed that they got their HEA and a lovely epilogue.

Angel's review:

This story was so sweet and so beautiful. A book that really encompasses good intentions, accepting help, standing up for yourself, and realizing you can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves.

Levi's character is such a pure soul stuck in a horrible situation with his alcoholic dad, and his mom who cowers down to his dad. He's always tried to protect his mom, to take the hits that are intended for her... But after meeting August, and his dad getting even more aggressive, he realizes that he can't stay there anymore. He can't help his mom out of that situation when she doesn't want his help.

I absolutely adored August's character, upon meeting Levi his curiosity was piqued, and he wanted to know more about him. Then after he finally gets to meet the man, he wants to know him better. Not only that but he wants to help him get away from his situation, and because of his support, Levi gained the strength to leave his situation.

I thought this book was written really well, I enjoyed the characters that are mentioned and of course I liked our main MC's. I do think their relationship progressed quite quickly but the way it was done made sense to this story. The gym wasn't as much of a background in this story as it has been in this series, it was mentioned and had a scene or two take place there but that was it as far as the gym goes. I liked how these two checked in with each other and made sure to communicate their wants and needs with one another. They did what they could to help and support each other, and I found that really sweet.

Overall a really cute read, that shows helping those in need, standing up for yourself, and learning how to overcome your fears.

Fighting for Freedom is currently available as an e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription