Title: The Harder He Falls (Kick, #1)
Author: Lynda Aicher
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Page Length: 224 pages
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Expert whitewater-rafting guide Grady Kelley lives for that rush of adrenaline: at work, as the newest employee of a Portland-based outdoor-adventure sports company, and off the river, where liaisons with anonymous men keep him satisfied. Grady prefers no drama and no strings attached, but when tragedy strikes, fate leads him to Micah Swaine. He’s hot, masculine, distracting—and offers the kind of deeper connection Grady has sworn off, no matter how badly he craves it.
Working at a leather bar, Micah meets a lot of guys, but Grady’s different—and he seems to feel the same way. The trouble is, anything beyond casual sex is too risky for Micah. He’s got secrets he doesn’t know how to share, secrets that would make any relationship a battlefield. No man, even one as compassionate as Grady, would stick around for that kind of trouble. And yet, as physical desire melts the walls they’ve put up, Micah and Grady discover that trusting each other is the most exhilarating adventure of all.
Right off the bat we’ve got a fascinating story of hurt/healing/comfort. White water rafting guide Grady is living with extreme guilt after leading an expedition that caused the death of his friend Chris and put his cousin Finn in a coma. He is wound up incredibly tight and suffers from panic attacks.
Bartender Micah is still recovering from being in a coma 5 years ago and the side effects are interfering with his ability to enjoy life to its fullest. (His side effects are incredibly fascinating but you’re going to have to read the book to find out about them. Too much to spoil!)
Micah and Grady are drawn to each other and quickly start a sexual relationship which is smoking hot. The more time they spend together, the deeper they feel for one another and the deeper they feel for one another just makes the sex that much hotter.
So, sounds pretty good, huh? A recommended read for sure?
Not so fast.
This book missed the mark so many times for me I lost count. Grady was a whiny asshole until the end of the book and Micah frustrated me for putting up with Grady’s douche-baggery behavior. I really felt their hurt and I could see the healing, but the comfort on Grady’s part was practically non-existent. He would constantly think one thing but pull a 180 and do another. He was actually a pretty decent guy if he would have gone with his gut, but of course he did not.
I’m on the fence about recommending this one, but I’m going to go with a yes because of Micah. He was delightful and I felt every bit of his pain.
As for the upcoming books in the series, am I going to read them even though this one didn’t blow my skirt up? Oh, fuck yes! A bunch of dominant ex-military men working in the great outdoors? Sign me up!
Advanced Review Copy
Asher Ruggiero, a partner at Adrenaline Kick Adventures, is living a lie. As a control freak whose big Italian family thinks he’s straight, Asher likes his encounters concise, dirty, and discreet—until his company’s new rafting guide walks into work, dripping with brooding, intense sexuality. Sawyer Stevens is a mystery man with secrets and rough edges, and he makes Asher want to get to know him inside and out.
Ever since the tragic death of his parents, Sawyer has dedicated himself to the rush of adrenaline that comes from pleasure and pain. Moving from one guy to another, hiding when life gets too complicated—that’s all he can handle. So why does Asher make him long for something lasting and honest, when the gorgeous geek can’t even be true to himself? Sawyer wants to give Asher his heart, but he just doesn’t know how. After all, a life without integrity is a life without passion—and that’s the one thing Sawyer craves.