Title: Phenomenal X
Author: Michelle A. Valentine
Series: Hard Knocks #1
Release Date: 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.
I heard so many good things about this book, so I was excited to meet another hot alpha fighter. Phenomenal X aka Xavier Cold did not disappoint. He is every bit the alpha I’d hoped he would be and more. Anna is young and naïve and heading out into the world on her own for the first time. This combination is definitely combustible and Michelle A. Valentine doesn’t hesitate to set off some fireworks between these two. From the moment they meet, Xavier does his best to make Anna blush. I enjoyed the back and forth between them. Their banter and awkward moments of honesty were so much fun to read. There was a good balance of humor, heat, and emotion coloring this story and bringing it to life. Michelle really gave this story depth, making sure it felt genuine and substantial.
“I’ve never felt this wild and free – like I could do anything and everything.”
Character development was a key component of this book. We got to see Anna begin to grow out of the rose colored bubble her sheltered upbringing has provided and Xavier’s walls of steel began to come down. I especially loved Nettie and Carl. Their presence in Xavier’s life provided so much insight into the type of man he truly is. As we reached the second half of the book, Michelle began to show us more of Xavier’s softer side. The vulnerable and damaged man beneath the mountain of muscle was incredibly attractive in an entirely different way. There is so much more I am dying to know about Xavier, and I’m hoping more of who he is and what his past holds will be revealed in the next book.
“We all have things that haunt us – things we’d like to forget. The key is to not allow them to get in the way of our happiness.”
As far as the storyline goes, this book is a whirlwind romance. Our characters fall hard and fast when their two very different worlds collide. Anna became Xavier’s anchor to reality outside of his celebrity status, while Xavier forced Anna out of hiding and into the limelight. The convergence of their respective worlds was entertaining and full of drama. The excitement mounted as the book drew to a close, keeping me on the edge of my seat. The suspense was driving me crazy and we were left with a cliffhanger that practically requires you to read the next book. I have to know what happens next! This couple still has a long way to go and Michelle A. Valentine has left me wondering one thing: where the heck is book 2?!
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Don’t miss book 2 in the Hard Knocks series:
Xavier Cold (Hard Knocks #2)
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