ARC Review: PHENOMENAL X (Hard Knocks #1) by Michelle A. Valentine

ARC Review: PHENOMENAL X (Hard Knocks #1) by Michelle A. ValentinePHENOMENAL X by Michelle A. Valentine
Series: Hard Knocks #1
on April 22, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, New Adult
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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 woman 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 KNEW IT! You can’t go wrong with a book cover like that! Michelle has outdone herself with this one! I just found me a new series to obsess over. Get ready ladies because Xavier will ROCK YOUR FUCKING WORLD! Michelle delivers with this beautiful, gut-wrenching, sexy story about a man who believes he is broken, and the woman who tries her best to prove him wrong.

New to the game, pro wrestler Xavier Cold is a force to be reckoned with. Professional Wrestling might be scripted, but lines can get a little blurry when you are going up against a man who wants to see you fail. Xavier is used to having women falling all over him, so you can’t blame him for being surprised when he meets a beautiful woman who doesn’t even know who he is. Constantly fighting demons within himself, he tries to stay clear of any type of relationship, but with Anna Cortez, something inside him is fighting for something more. He sees a light in her that he is drawn to, and he has a visceral urge to claim her and protect her from the outside world.

Anna Cortez is sick and tired of living by her family’s rules. Her conservative family wants to marry her off to the man that they think is right for her, but she will have no part in it. Not being able to stand it any longer, she sneaks off to live with her aunt and cousin in Detroit. At the beginning of her new journey, she finds herself in the presence of this beautiful hulk of a man. She is stunned by the fact that he finds her attractive and actually wants to talk to her. Her past and her morals are telling her to run away and never look back, but her instincts and her heart tells her this could be something spectacular.

They both knew that just being “friends,” was never going to work. Their connection is too strong and their chemistry is too hot to keep that kind of wall between them. When they end up sharing one scorching night with each other, EVERY SINGLE ONE of those walls come tumbling down. Nothing will be able to tear them apart. NOTHING and NO ONE will ever take away what’s HIS.

Ever since Michelle revealed the cover of her new project PHENOMENAL X, I have been freaking out to get my hands on this. I mean, have you seen the cover? COME ON! It’s fucking gorgeous. If the name Michelle A. Valentine wasn’t enough pull to suck you in, just look at that man! It is perfect for XAVIER COLD! Xavier is your perfect damaged soul involuntarily seeking out the woman who will heal his heart. Anna is the perfect bright light that Xavier needs to help erase his demons. I’m very familiar with this author’s writing style, and it’s as expected, written pretty much to perfection. The emotion is there, the angst is ridiculous, the sex is smoldering, and the storyline is brilliant. Now, I should know better, since this is only Book One in the Hard Knocks Series, but I still cursed up a storm at the ending. Cliffhanger warning people! I still love ya Michelle!





His lips pull into a tight line, and I fully expect him to release me, but he doesn’t. Xavier’s fingers stay in place, burning into my skin. “It’s fine if you don’t want to say what’s on your mind. I get that. But no more frowning for the rest of this trip, or I might be forced to find other ways to make you smile just to piss your boyfriend the fuck off.”

His finger traces down my neck and across my collarbone, leaving a trail of fire in its wake.

My mouth drops open and I can’t stop myself from asking, “What kind of ways?”

Damn my stupid curious brain. That just set him up for all kinds of dirty talk.

He tries to fight back a smile, but it doesn’t work. It comes at me in full, glorious force. “More ways than that sweet brain of yours could ever imagine.”

He leans into me, and I can’t do anything more than tense because his hand slides up the side of my neck in a very intimate gesture. He’s close enough that, if I pushed forward a couple of inches, our lips would meet in what I imagine would be an earth-altering kiss.

“I could do things to your body that most women only dream about while reading their dirty romance novels, and I promise you’d fucking enjoy it.”

I stare up at him speechless. Wow.


I can’t believe he just said that to me.

Xavier licks his plump lips. “No strings attached, and your boyfriend would never have to know.” He leans in and whispers in my ear, “I just want a little taste.”


About Michelle A. Valentine

Michelle A. Valentine is a Central Ohio nurse turned New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of erotic and New Adult romance. Her love of hard-rock music, tattoos, and sexy musicians inspired her erotic BLACK FALCON series.

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