Originally posted at http://twlibreviews.comAleksandr Voinov writes a gritty story about Brooklyn Marshall who is serving a life sentence for a crime. Instead of incarceration in prison, he is sold to an anonymous organization simply named as the Management as a slave. His main purpose for management is to win boxing fights and has a side duty performing services for the highest bidder on the night after the fights. It’s another way for Management to capitalize on their investment. The action, intentionally or not, also serves to remind the slave their status in the world. They are merely tools to be used.In Brooklyn Marshall, the author creates a strong character of dogged determination and a strong body to match. Imbue with conflicting emotions of his former freeman identity, slave treatments, and the crime he commits, Brooklyn is a consuming ball of rage. Rage he must keep in check at all times. He has no other place to release except inside the boxing ring against his opponents.What I enjoy about Brooklyn is his stark, unapologetic attitude. This is me. Can you handle me. Brooklyn projects an attitude in total conflict to his station in life. So imagine his feelings when he must give over control of his body to those who think they’re entitled to it. Nathaniel Bishop on the other hand, is too reserved and too accommodating. Not once do we have the pleasure of accessing his inner thoughts except through dialogue and actions. My interest in this character rises when he seeks to give pleasure to Brooklyn. Why? Freemen aren’t under any obligation to make a slave feel good. It’s just not way of freemen and because of what he does for Brooklyn throughout the story helps create suspicion and tension. I became truly invested in learning about him. Counterpunch is not a typical romance. You will not find sweet talk or sentimental wordings or phrases. Brooklyn and Nathaniel are two men who satisfy the needs of the other. To all m/m romance readers who love HEA endings, Counterpunch offers a strong HFN, a perfect ending that fits well within the story content. Known for dark and violent stories, I find Voinov’s Counterpunch on the lighter side of darkness. I highly recommend Counterpunch. If you ever wanted to read but been afraid to read Voinov’s books because of content, I think despite the boxing fight scenery and the light BSDM, this book will be perfect for you.