Title – Hard Beat
Author – K. Bromberg
Publication Date – November 3, 2015
Series – Driven Series Spin-Off, #8
From the New York Times bestselling author of Sweet Ache comes a blistering new novel filled with danger, secrecy, and a desire that can’t be sated…
Foreign war correspondent Tanner Thomas is addicted to living on the edge. Needing the adrenaline rush of his job to help him cope with a personal loss, he throws himself back into the game, concentrating all his energy on getting the next big story. But when he meets his new photojournalist, Beaux Croslyn, he can’t help but feel like he’s losing his focus—and maybe risking more…
With secrets she won’t address, Beaux is far from your ordinary woman. Determined to keep her distance, she’s willing to pull Tanner in closer and hide behind the sparks flying between them. But as Beaux’s past begins to put their relationship—and their lives—at risk, Tanner’s determination to find the truth puts them both in jeopardy.
He’s ready to chase her to the ends of the earth to find out if what they had was real, or if the danger surrounding them was just an exquisite heat fated to burn out….
Whoa…I’m not even sure what the heck I just read! Hard Beat by K Bromberg is a spinoff of the Driven series but has a completely different feel than all of her other books. There was action, suspense, and of course, a healthy dose of romance. The heroine is feistier than previous females, and the hero is more alpha stubborn. Bromberg’s writing has grown immensely, resulting in a gripping story that I was unable to put down. If you read nothing else of this review, take one key line – go one click now because you won’t want to miss Hard Beat!
“Be careful whom you trust – the devil was once an angel, you know.”
Not that Bromberg’s other characters haven’t been awesome, but there was something about BJ that I took notice of. She had moments of vulnerability masked beneath layers of confidence. She was full of sass and spunk that could rival anyone she had a conversation with. Maybe it was the setting Hard Beat takes place in, or maybe I could just relate to her on a different level, but she is by far my favorite female that this author has written. Furthermore, BJ’s counterpart was as equally as stubborn, aggressive, and hot-headed as any of the heroes Bromberg has written. However, nestled away, he had these moments of compassion and softness that we’ve yet to really see in this author’s others. BJ and Tanner were so similar in ways that they couldn’t even see, but it made it even more special for me. They were explosive in the best and worst ways; as in, they loved hard and fought hard. Something about them together really worked for me and I loved to see how that chemistry pulled them together.
“It’s like a drug and a poison to me, pulling me further under its haze and hurting me all at the same time.”
Perhaps the most unique and standout quality about Hard Beat is that it is written entirely from Tanner’s point of view. I will be honest and say that I tend to be extremely hesitant to pick up a novel written from a male’s perspective because I find it more difficult to get into his headspace the same way that I am able to be in a female’s. I was in astonishment and quite pleased with the way that this novel turned out. Hard Beat transformed into more than just a romance, or about getting into Tanner’s head. The storyline, the setting, and the overall arc just made sense for it to be about his experience and his thoughts.
“I could never forget you. Never.”
Overall, I was utterly floored with what I found in the pages of Hard Beat. K. Bromberg always puts little twists in her stories and sets a high bar, but I didn’t know how she could possibly top her previous novel. The way that it made me feel was unprecedented. Yet, this one exceeded it in a whole new, different way. The careers I rarely see in the book world, the setting I’ve never come across in another novel, and just the natural ups and downs in the story really affected me. Hard Beat is riveting, sweet, and torturous all the same. You don’t have to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one, but Hard Beat is certainly above all the others!
“Beaux!” Even when I say her name, I’m cursing myself for it. “Beaux!” She just keeps walking, causing my better judgment to win out over my obstinacy.
“I said stay away . . . and it’s BJ to you.” She stops and turns around, but a passerby on the sidewalk bumps harshly against her shoulder. Her small frame sways from the contact, and I’m beside her in two strides.
“You can’t go that way unless you’re looking for trouble.” I decide to ignore her comment.
She just shakes her head and starts walking away from me, but at least she’s moving in the direction of the hotel. I swear I hear her mutter something about always looking for trouble, but I miss the rest of it when a car passes in between us, the sound drowning out her voice.
My feet kick up the dirt on the street as I try to catch up to her. I lie to myself that I want to talk to her to establish some kind of ground rules about how we’ll work together, try to restore a professional level, but I know I’m just making sure she gets back into the confines of the hotel safely.
The barely chilled air-conditioned lobby of the hotel meets us as we enter, but it feels like heaven in contrast to the stifling heat outside. If she knows I’m beside her, she doesn’t acknowledge it, and that’s fine with me. I just want to make sure she’s nice and tucked away in her room where I don’t have to worry about her for a bit while I try to drum up some leads.
The elevator car opens on cue as we approach. I step in right behind her, lean against the rear wall, and fold my arms across my chest to mimic her posture. The door closes, but neither of us moves in a game of chicken. Just when the doors start to open up again without the car ascending, Beaux steps forward and presses the button for the twelfth floor. She looks over to me and raises her eyebrows in question.
“My room, please. You remember where that is, right?” I angle my head, stare at her, and enjoy watching her cheeks flush with anger.
I wait for the snide comment to come, but she just turns and faces the doors of the elevator without pushing the button for the eighth floor. Tension is so thick in the car, you can all but see it.
“I don’t trust you,” I say evenly, but it cuts through the silence.
“Good,” she says matter-of-factly as the car alerts our arrival on the twelfth floor. “Be careful whom you trust—the devil was once an angel, you know.”
And with that she walks off the elevator without another word, her comment already replaying in my mind.
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Don’t Miss the Original Series!
Driven (Driven #1)
Fueled (Driven, #2)
Crashed (Driven, #3)
Raced (Driven #4)
Aced (Driven #5)
And Don’t Miss the Spin-Offs That Can be Read as Standalones!
Slow Burn (Driven, #6)
Sweet Ache (Driven, #7)
Down Shift (Driven, #9)
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.
She’s a mixture of most of her female characters: sassy, intelligent, stubborn, reserved, outgoing, driven, emotional, strong, and wears her heart on her sleeve. All of which she displays daily with her husband and three children where they live in Southern California.
On a whim, K. Bromberg decided to try her hand at this writing thing. Since then she has written The Driven Series (Driven, Fueled, Crashed, Raced, Aced (releasing 1/11/16)), the standalone Driven Novels (Slow Burn, Sweet Ache, Hard Beat (releasing 11/3/15), and a short story titled UnRaveled. She is currently working on new projects and a few surprises for her readers.
She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media.