Phenomenal X (Hard Knocks, #1) by Michelle A. Valentine
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.
Emma- 5 Crowns
Phenomenal X is Book 1 in the Hard Knocks series.
Firstly let me say I am a huge Michelle A. Valentine fan. I love her Black Falcon series, so I was eager to read Phenomenal X.
This is the story of Anna Cortez and Xavier Cold. Anna is moving or should I say fleeing to Detroit to get away from the control her religious and conservative father asserts over her life. She has just finished college and doesn't want to be forced into a marriage with someone her father deems appropriate but who she doesn't love.
Her cousin and Auntie are happy for her to stay with them and so against her father's wishes she finds herself on a plane, Michigan bound. This is where we meet Anna, crammed into cattle class, she feels a buzz of excitement in the plane when a huge, dark and gorgeous stranger enters locking eyes with her as he does. At once the passengers start asking for autographs, so he is obviously famous although Anna doesn't have a clue who he is.
Mid flight the old man next to her decides to spill his drink over her. Walking through to 1st class with the stewardess, she once again spies the stunning stranger. She is a mess and is unhappy that she will have to sit in Tomato juice for the rest of her journey, but the stranger offers her a seat and she is introduced for the first time to Xavier Cold.
Xavier takes no time it making it obvious that he wants Anna in his bed. An obvious playboy, Anna against overwhelming reaction to him and not wanting to be used, refuses. This however won't be their final meeting....
Anna leaves her bag and phone on the plane and Xavier has kindly picked it up so Anna is left to arrange another meeting with him to get it back.
Will Xavier finally get his own way?
And will Anna be able to resist the strong urges she feel towards this cool and sexy bad boy?
I seriously LOVED this book. Anna is a pretty innocent but not sickly sweet character. She has lived a sheltered and protected life and she is determined to walk her own path with the help of her cousin. Meeting Xavier on the journey to that new life wasn't what she expected and she certainly tries her best to keep their relationship in the friend zone. She is wildly attracted to him and struggles with this as it is totally out of character for her.
Xavier Cold is a total playboy. A professional wrestler (think, The Rock!!) and someone who avoids anything more than a quick role in the bed sheets. He is actually a very complex character and has a pretty hardcore back story. He avoids relationship because he believes himself to be a monster and unlovable. Anna is a first for him, she becomes his obsession and he is completely thrown by the emotions she brings out in him. They have a real chemistry that they both try to keep platonic for their own personal reasons but it slowly smoulders away until the flames are fanned.. and boy oh boy are they...
I loved this venture in to the world of professional wrestling. There are some many MMA books out there so this was a little different. The secondary characters are a great addition without being in the story enough to distract from Anna and Xavier. Rex, Xavier's adversary is just evil and the ex fling Deena is a complete bitch. Michelle's writing really evokes emotions of hatred towards them.
But this book comes with a warning; Cliffhanger!
This is book 1 of 2, so you do have one I'm afraid... I am not a huge fan of them (is anyone?) but it is a great ending and the author has done her job well as I am now chomping at the bit for the sequel :)
Another phenomenal (sorry, had to be done), fastpaced and addictive read by Michelle A Valentine.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!