Sunday, May 25, 2014

Group Review: Phenomenal X by Michelle Valentine

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 have some mixed feeling about this book. On one hand, I really loved it. Let me tell you what I liked first. As expected, Michelle Valentine's writing was very good. She sucked me in from the very first page. I connected with Anna and Xavier right away.
I thought this might be one of those insta-love books, but it's not really. Anna and Xavier cultivate a friendship. While they have an undeniable "connection" they are both unwilling to ruin what they feel is a good friendship by giving in. This, I really enjoyed. I liked seeing them as friends first. As friends, even with the underlying sexual tension, they had a fun, easy going relationship. They brought that with them when they crossed the romantic line.
Anna is running away to her aunt and cousin from her very controlling father. Xavier is overcoming a past that still haunts him. He doesn't want to share his horrible past with anyone, especially not with Anna. She wants to help him break free from the demons that follow him. We get glimpses of Xavier's past through his nightmares. Yikes! It can be somewhat disturbing. Regardless, I'm glad I got those snippets, as they helped me to understand him better.
I loved the friendship/romance aspect of the story. I even enjoyed all the characters. I think the author did an awesome job at developing it as a whole.
As to what I really didn't enjoy... When I first read the synopsis, I was intrigued that this book is about a professional wrestler. We have MMA and boxing heroes but I can't recall when I've read about wrestling. So, like I said, I was curious. I guess I just don't understand professional wrestling. Yes, I know it's fake and scripted, but I found myself a bit confused. I don't understand the rivalry and wanting to win the Championship belt if it's scripted. I don't get why they have to "work" so hard at pretending, but at the same time somehow move up in the ranks. All in all, I guess I just don't get professional wrestling at all. When we entered into this aspect of the story, I just couldn't connect. I don't know if it wasn't presented well, or if I just plain don't get it.
Then, there is Anna. I get that she has a controlling, overbearing father. But she's supposed to be all "damaged" or something. I found myself wondering if he was abusive, and if so, to what extent. She felt she could connect to Xavier because of this and I had a hard time buying her poor me act. Okay, maybe not an act, that's how this character felt. For all the pushing she did to Xavier about talking about his past, we don't really learn anything about hers and that irked me.
Getting past these two issues was really easy. As I said before, this is a well written book with great characters. Fans of Michelle Valentine will be happy with this.

When I first heard of this book, I immediately knew it was right up my alley. Couple that with loving Michelle Valentine and I knew I had to have it.
Xavier Cold is a professional wrestler (think WWF). He is big and muscular and sexy as all hell.
“And that body…. Yowza!”
Anna is a woman running away from her over protective, very judgmental father. Oh and her fiancé she is being forced to marry. She travels to Detriot to stay with her aunt and cousin. Xavier is on the same plane and comes to the rescue after a tomato juice accident. Anna has no idea who this gorgeous man is and isn’t falling at his feet like all the other women.
Xavier and Anna are immediately drawn to each other. The spend as much time as possibly the first week Anna is in Detroit. Xavier is fiercely protective of Anna and wants to push her away so save her from him but he can’t. Anna knows he will break her heart but she can’t walk away.
After a rocky start to their friendship, Anna goes on the road with X as his personal assistant. She is thrown into the world of wrestling and meets X’s nemeses Rex.
I fell for Xavier hard. He was so protective of Anna and sweet with her while keeping his sexy alpha male persona. Anna was really great with Xavier too. She really made him feel love and kindness after a lifetime of feeling just the opposite.
I really like this book but the ending dropped the rating down a little for me. It was a cliffhanger per se but it definitely left you wanting more but at the same time felt a tad anti climatic for me. I will however be tuning in for book #2. I want more of this couple and their journey together. 

I have been seduced by Michelle Valentine…and I loved it. She has taken the popular alpha male and breathed new life into him. His name is Xavier Cold and this refreshingly addictive novel is Phenomenal X. This is the first book in Michelle’s Hard Knock Series and I was both satisfied and left (impatiently) wanting more. Regardless of my obsession for the rest of Xavier’s story, this novel had me captivated from start to finish.

The contrast between Anna Cortez and Xavier Cold is like night and day, but there’s something so electric about their chemistry that you can’t help but want them to rip each other’s clothes off and get wicked. Anna isn’t completely innocent and naïve just as Xavier has vulnerabilities and weakness. Their characters are dynamic on their own but together they are explosive.

I am a MMA book boyfriend junkie, so I was enticed by Phenomenal X and interested to see how a professional wrestler stacked up against some of my favorite book boyfriends. Michelle absolutely killed it. The drama. The rivalries. The angst. I refuse to leak any details about the plot and at the same time it’s hard to express in words how truly fantastic this story is. You must experience the roller coaster that is Phenomenal X. Since finishing I find myself constantly drawn back to this story wondering what will happen next for these characters. It’s truly maddening that I can’t pick up the next installment and find out (yet), and obviously I live for a story that tortures me long after I’ve finished reading it. 

Michelle Valentine has delivered a smash hit with Phenomenal X. This first book in her Hard Knocks Series ensnares readers and introduces them to the complex life of professional wrestler Xavier Cold. Book one has laid a promising foundation to be one of my all-time favorite series, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next installment.

Michelle Valentine did it again with Phenomenal X. I love her writing style and this book wasn't any different. I felt love, hate, and passion. There was so much passion in this book.
Anna Cortez is leaving the life that she hates behind and making a fresh start. Her father is a controlling asshat that makes her life miserable. I would have left too if I was her. Anna heads to Detroit to live with her aunt and cousin. What she doesn't realize is that her life is going to take a complete 360 on that plane ride. I liked Anna and I felt for her for everything that she went through. I was also jealous of Anna because X is HOT!
Xavier "Phenomenal X" Cold is a professional wrestler that is a sexy alpha male. This man is sex on a stick HOT. Aside from being physically fit, he has a mouth on him that will make panties melt. X doesn't have a great past and it makes him very cold at times. I understood why he didn't want to talk about it, the memories it brings up were awful. I felt for him.
The relationship with Anna and X seems to happen quickly yet it was drawn out for the entire book. I know everyone has been talking about the cliff at the end of this book but I don't know if I would consider it a cliff. It is a more of ending that leaves you wanting more. I definitely can't wait until the second book comes out so I can see where their relationship takes them.     

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

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