Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hard Knox by Nicole Williams ~ Review & Tour Stop

The Outsider Chronicles, #1
New Adult/Adult Contemporary
Released August 12, 2014

Source:  Received an eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Knox Jagger. The name inspires resent in every male at Sinclair University, want in every female, and contempt in Charlie Chase.

Charlie can be summed up in three words: independent, independent, and independent. To Charlie, Knox epitomizes everything that’s wrong with college males: prolific one-night stands, drunken senseless fights, and a body that hints at prioritizing gym time over study time.

As an up-and-coming writer for Sinclair University’s newspaper, Charlie’s tasked with getting to the bottom of who’s been dropping little white pills into girls’ drinks at parties. In an ocean of All-American boys sporting polo shirts and innocent smiles, Knox is the obvious suspect. As evidence piles up against the bad boy of Sinclair, Charlie becomes more and more certain it isn’t Knox. But when her drink is dosed at a party and she wakes up on Knox’s couch the next morning, Charlie’s left with more questions than answers when it comes to Knox Jagger.

How can Charlie ever hope to uncover the truth behind a guy so closed off he’s become . . .

Hard Knox.


Knox Jagger.  Confident and charming but, oh, so misunderstood.  Bad boy and womanizer is the word on the street.  It might have something to do with the panties girls are always tucking in his back pocket.  It might have something to do with fights he's always getting into.  But Knox is not those things.  He's more.  A bad childhood and lots of anger issues, he's beating himself up for mistakes from his past.  But he's trying to do the right thing today to make up for it.

Charlie Chase is the slightly over-zealous campus reporter looking for the scoop.  She's judgmental of those around her and pretty darn sure that she's got things all figured out.  Of course, she doesn't especially when it comes to Knox.  He tells her point blank that people aren't always how they appear.  Then he proves with his actions that he's different that his reputation.  But, of course, there are those who make her doubt and circumstances can condemn a person.  Charlie needs to figure out what's up without falling for Knox.

There are a couple of quotes from Charlie that really are telling.

I loved it when he looked at me that way, like there were no secrets between us--of if there were, none of them would make a difference anyway.  It was the intimate and wonderful and made me feel all warm and light.  I reminded myself that I shouldn't love, or even like, the way he was looking at me. (Kindle location 2758)
"How you can fit every single stereotype and yet not be the stereotype is beyond me." (Kindle Location 2917)

I love some of the secondary charters and hate one of them too.  Always nice when they invoke emotion.  Harlow is wonderful - she's Charlies roommate.  Neve, Charlies Journalism prof, has me beyond ticked off.  See, I started out in college as a Journalism major.  I know the drill and her prof needs to be drop kicked for her man bashing, unethical ways.

This book is long - almost 400 pages but I so loved it.  I wanted to savor each page.  The banter between Charlie and Knox is so fun.  At first, I wasn't a Charlie fan but that faded as their friendship developed.  I wasn't sure what was coming and Knox shocked me a couple of times with how he responded to things.  It was clear they were attracted to each other but they fought it.  I enjoyed that so much.

Nicole Williams is a "automatic want to read" author for me.  I've loved every book of her's I've read and this one was no exception.  If you're looking for something a little different in the New Adult genre, then this one is great choice.


About the author...

I’m the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the CRASH series (HarperTeen, S&S UK), LOST & FOUND series, UP IN FLAMES (S&S UK), The EDEN TRILOGY, and a handful of others. I write stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. I tell love stories with happy endings because I believe in making the world a better place, and that’s one tiny way I can make it so. I’m one of those people who still believe in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep my head in the clouds any day over having my feet firmly on the ground.

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  1. Nicole Williams is one of my all time favorites so I am really looking forward to this one. So glad to hear you enjoyed it! Great review =]

  2. I love Nicole's books! So glad you enjoyed, Pal!

  3. The cover probably wouldn't have attracted me if I saw this on a bookstore. But the blurb -- and your review -- piqued my interest. Knox sounds so mysterious! I hope I can get a copy of this soon. :)
    - Joy @ The Bookshelf Intruder

  4. I love Nicole Williams. I am going to have to pick this book up, especially after reading your 5-star review.