PHENOMENAL X (Hard Knocks #1) by Michelle A Valentine-a review
About the book: April 22, 2014
Good Girl. Notorious Bad-Boy. One Phenomenal Love.
From the mean streets of Detroit rises the newest superstar of professional wrestling, Xavier Cold, better known as Phenomenal X. His muscular physique makes men cower before him and women lose their minds with desire.
Anna Cortez is fresh out of college and naive to the harsh realities of the real world. Tired of living under the thumb of her conservative family, she defies them when she accepts a job as the assistant to wrestling’s most notorious bad-boy. Phenomenal X has an animalistic nature that even good girl Anna finds hard to resist.
One night forced to share a bed in a sold-out hotel, lines blur between them and they quickly learn that one lustful night changes everything and neither one of them will ever be the same.
REVIEW: PHENOMENAL X is the first instalment in Michelle A Valentine’s contemporary, new adult, erotic romance HARD KNOCKS series focusing on professional wrestler Xavier ‘Phenomenal X’ Cold and the woman that he loves-Anna Cortez. This is a good girl/bad boy storyline where our hero believes he is not worthy of happiness or love. The story begins when Xavier meets Anna on a plane heading to Detroit. What neither one realizes is that they are both running-Anna from her controlling father and Xavier from his life.
Told from alternating first person POV (Xavier and Anna) the focus of the storyline is the building relationship between Anna and X but also on Xavier’s past-a past that is mired in drugs, alcohol, neglect and abuse. Xavier’s past is what drives him forward in the wrestling ring and in the bedroom. Meeting Anna will begin to put everything into perspective when he is unable to let go of the only good thing in his life.
Xavier (X) is a serial womanizer but his attraction to Anna finds him wrestling with his conscience although his need for sex wins out every time. Xavier is not a one woman man and in this he make a grievous error in judgment knowing that Anna will not accept the lifestyle in which he has grown accustomed. As Anna and Xavier’s relationship turns from friendship to love, there will be people in the wings waiting to tear them apart.
Michelle A Valentine has written a gritty, in your face storyline where one man’s past controls his days; where nightmares control his sleep; and where the competition could very well destroy any chance at happiness for Xavier and Anna.
The reader is pulled into a storyline that flashes from the past using dream sequences to the present. We begin to understand the dark and dangerous aura that haunts Xavier’s every thought and why he is reluctant to allow anyone into his heart. The world building continues to focus on the professional wrestling circuit-both in front and behind the scenes-as well as the people who ‘manage’ the athletes and the control the script.
PHENOMENAL X is a seductive storyline where two people from different backgrounds will find one another in a storm of controversy and heartbreaking circumstances. The traumatic events of the past control so much of the present that Xavier’s future prospects are appearing less than phenomenal at the end of book one. There is a dramatic cliffhanger that will leave the reader wondering how Anna and Xavier will ever survive the fallout and aftermath of a wrestling match that has all gone terribly wrong.
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy