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Against the Ropes (The Unbridled Series Book 4) [Kindle Edition]

Cindy McDonald
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 234 pages
  • Series: The Unbridled Series (Book 4)
  • Prime members can borrow this book and read it on their devices with Kindle Owners Lending Library.
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Book Description


When the West’s good-hearted farm manager, Punch McMinn, stumbles upon Eugene Strom, a down-on-his-luck fighter threatening to jump from an old bridge, Punch takes him under his wing and convinces the patriarch of Westwood Thoroughbred Farm, Eric West, to give him a job.

But when the gun-toting mob shows up at Westwood, it’s quite obvious that good ol’ Eugene is hiding a secret—a big one. Punch finds himself questioning his good intentions when the ex-fighter puts the people he loves against the ropes—and at the edge of disaster.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack. Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is more…racy. The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do; but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction. I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid. Turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did! In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with you. To read excerpts from future books, view book trailers, and keep up with everything that is Unbridled, please visit Cindy’s website at:

Product Details

  • File Size: 3807 KB
  • Print Length: 234 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Acorn Book Services (May 26, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D1DL9ZS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #979,318 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
After reading and reviewing "Dangerous Deception" by Cindy McDonald last year I wondered aloud how she could top the non-stop action on and around the race track and in the bedrooms of this romance thriller.

In "Against the Ropes" we return to Westwood Thoroughbred Farm, run by patriarch Eric West in Rosemount, PA and I can assure readers that this -- the fourth entry in the "Unbridled Adventure" thoroughbred-themed romance suspense series -- is just as exciting as "Dangerous Deception." ("Hot Coco" and "" were the previous entries in the "Unbridled" series: I haven't read them.)

If this is your first exposure to this series, a caution: Cindy's writing is quite explicit when it comes to romantic encounters. I'm not a specialist in romance novels, but I understand this is not unusual in today's "bodice (and other garments) rippers"!

The action in "Against the Ropes" begins when Punch McMinn, the African-American farm manager at Westwood rescues Eugene Strom from what he believes is a suicide attempt from a rundown bridge spanning Reardon's Run near the farm. Strom is a boxer on the run from a group of bad guys headed by a guy named Burke, who believes the boxer has stolen money from the mob.

Punch takes the burly boxer under his wing and convinces Eric West, the owner of the farm, to give him a job. It turns out to be a poor decision since it draws the attention of Burke and his cohorts, but Punch is a good-hearted man who is virtually a West family member; he grew up with Eric West's kids, Mike, Shane and Kate after his father abandoned the family.

There's plenty of action of all types in "Against the Ropes" involving members of the West family, including Kate West, her love interest, hunky veterinarian Dr.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Against the Ropes June 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Against the Ropes: Cindy McDonald

A young man is on the edge and is about to jump off of a bridge when someone encourages him to change his mind. Just why did this man want to end it all and what caused him to be at the end of his rope? Punch McMinn is the farm manager of Westwood Thoroughbred Farm and saw this young man while on his way into Rosemont to pick up blocks for the broodmare shed. Punch is a great character with a solid background for wanting to always help others and an important person for the West family. Convincing Eric West, the prime owner to hire this young man came with some strings that involved Punch make sure that he worked and that he was honest. But, something does not ring true and Eric is about to come to the end of his rope when certain incidents and information comes to light.

Kate West is a veteran assistant and the girl friend of Holden Reese. Strong willed, smart, beautiful yet at times insecure Kate has been working with Dr. Ben Spears for quite some time. But, enter in Ava West, her brother's ex-wife and the sparks fly, the competition soars and the queen of manipulation, Ava manages to create more than just a degree of doubt in Kate's mind about Holden. Ava is Holden's vet assistant and cannot imagine why he actually treats her as an assistant and nothing more. But, things start to heat up when we learn more about Holden's hidden secret, mistakes he made in the past and the one man who seems to be holding all the cards and pulling his strings. Just when you think you have heard it all wait until you learn more about Chip Walker and his connection not only to Holden but also to the mysterious young man who appeared out of nowhere and is now part of the West extended family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read! July 7, 2013
This book is full of characters that will really get to you- good or bad. Cindy has a great way of creating characters. I really love Punch. But it isn't just the people, but even the animals. If you wanna get to know the characters and find out who they are, then Cindy is the writer for you.

It also leaves you wanting more. You want to know what happens next. So know in advance that you're walking into a series when you pick up this book- who doesn't like to read lots of books anyways!

The setting is great and the way Cindy uses descriptions makes you feel like you're right there with them. Not to mention the fact that because you love her characters, you'll feel like they've become part of your extended family.

It's a good book that lots will enjoy. Not just one specific genre.

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
McDonald has her series in an on-again; off-again theme which I'm greatly enjoying. By moving into the lives of different characters, she has built the story around that particular individual and allowed her main characters, the Wests to become background. It's very effective in not only introducing her secondary characters, but, I would think, is used beneficially to keep the series moving ahead in a strong and engaging fashion...I'm greatly enjoying each and every one!

This book spotlights Punch who is now the Farm Manager, but who has been on the Farm since he was young, growing up with the family as if a member...

Now the West family members, as well as another blond in the book, Zoe, are all trying to play matchmaker but so far, Punch is avoiding the issue, usually quite successful...LOL In fact, he had just come from talking to Zoe who had quickly confirmed he was going to the dance that week! On the way home is when he came across a car smashed again a tree and then the man who obviously had been driving it on the bridge looking down at the water. Punch realized and then confirmed that the man might be thinking about suicide and quickly took action...

By the time he was finished, he had talked Eugene into coming back to the ranch with him and even Eric into letting his stay a little and do some odd jobs. Punch was used to bringing home strays--animals including humans, but the Wests weren't so sure about this guy, especially since he knew nothing about horses and already had caused confusion with the animals. Actually, there is a group of men looking for him and his real career was on the ropes as a fighter...literally... and Eugene was keeping everything about his past away from the family!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining & Engaging Mystery
I discovered after reading Against The Ropes that this was Ms. McDonald’s fourth book in a series. I was quite surprised because it read beautifully as a stand-alone book. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Peggy A. Edelheit, Author of The Samantha Jamison Mysteries & French Memoir
4.0 out of 5 stars No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
I did something I rarely do, because of time constraints and obligations to my book review blog. I grabbed this book during its free kindle promotion when I came across it on... Read more
Published 15 months ago by TMDG
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Action packed adventure and part of the series that keeps your interest. Never know what will happen next or what twist and turn it might take.
Published 17 months ago by Susan D. Gracie
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Suspense at its Best!
Farm manager, Punch McMinn is a good guy. He takes in strays and is always ready to help anyone in need. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Yvonne Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspeneful
Cindy McDonald has created another suspenseful book about the West family and their Farm Westwood. Punch the farm manager thinks he is helping a guy from jumping off a bridge . Read more
Published 23 months ago by Linda Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome again cindy
Definately a page turner . . . Can not wait to see what happens in the next book. I have suggested this series of books to everyone that I know who reads and they all loved them... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars People you feel like you know...
What can you say about the West family and their extended family, but they are starting to feel like your own. Read more
Published 24 months ago by donna bee
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More About the Author

For 26 years Cindy's life whirled around a song and a dance--she was a professional choreographer. She taught ballet, jazz, and tap. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. Most recently, she has retired to write her novels. She resides with her husband and Cocker Spaniel, Allister on their Thoroughbred farm know as Fly By Night Stables near Pittsburgh. To learn more about her book series' and to read excerpts from her upcoming books, please visit her website:

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