Phenomenal X by Michelle A. Valentine- My Review & Excerpt

Posted April 21, 2014 by Holly in Reviews / 0 Comments

Michelle A. Valentine
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Book #1 in the Hard Knocks Series

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

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.

Phenomenal X is Phenomenal! X is Michelle’s best work to date. She gives us a headstrong feisty heroine; a broken yet lovable alpha male, and a tension filled love story that will have you fanning yourself from the moment Anna first lays eyes on Xavier. Phenomenal X will have you rooting for this couple and begging for more. To see this book go from “So I have this idea for a book, the guy is a wrestler…” to what it’s become, I could not be more proud of it or Michelle. She took her time in crafting book one of her Hard Knocks Series and it shows; she’s given us well developed characters and an unforgettable story. We have feisty, stubborn Anna who’s determined to live her life on her terms, starting over in Detroit, breaking free from her over controlling parents and Xavier “Phenomenal X” Cold, the newest wrestling sensation with a past so broken, who’s still haunted by nightmares of his childhood leaving him feeling unworthy of anyone’s love. According to him he’s a villain and would taint and destroy anyone that got close to him. His story makes your heart ache for him. As far as book boyfriends go, he’s up there with Travis (Beautiful Disaster) and Trip (from Michelle’s Rock The Beat).


 These two meet by chance on a flight to Detroit; Anna is starting over, Xavier is taking a mandatory vacation from wrestling, and the minute these to come face to face the sexual tension is instant and the heat between them is hotter than the hinges on the door way to hell. Some of the stuff Xavier says makes ME blush, and believe me that’s not easy to do.

“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 just want a little taste.”

Anna may have led sheltered life, but she’s no dummy, she’s not falling for Xavier’s game.

“Why do I have the distinct feeling that this man has just propositioned me after sitting next to me for less than ten minutes? No one, other than me, gets into these jeans that fast.”

Buuuuttttt Xavier isn’t giving up that easily, this sexy man beast is determined to get to know Anna, he can sense this goodness in her that he just can’t walk away from. Just as Xavier sees the good in Anna, Anna sees the genuinely good man that lies beneath Xavier’s hard exterior. After finding a way to see Anna again, their tension filled friendship begins…with three rules…

1. No getting naked in his bed. 
2. No kissing. 
2a. No open-mouthed kissing. 
3. If either one starts developing feelings for the other person, they have to tell them. 

 Watching them become friends that slowly developed into more was a nice change of pace; there is no insta-love here. At first they think they’re so different but they learn that they both have suffered, in their own ways, due to the beliefs of others. I liked the way Michelle subtly weaved that commonality between them. I loved seeing them build a friendship and I was excited when they finally decided to smash their rules and make things official.
“If we smash these fucking friendship rules there’s no going back. Once I have you—that’s it, you’re mine. I won’t allow another man to take what’s mine. Do you understand?” My mouth drifts open and I whisper, “Yes.”


 Mother fuc*ing squeeeeeee!!! I jumped up and whispered yelled a big fat YES myself here! This is where my heart started to race, I was running around in circles, excited to see my beloved Xavier push his past baggage aside and follow his feelings for Anna. My heart pounded in my ears and I swear I felt sweat forming on my own forehead the first time Anna and X got together.  

 Total. Tummy. Flutters. I fanned myself, I swooned.

 I absofriggingloutely love this story. I’ve love this book from the beginning concept to the final product and I cannot wait for book 2!
 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.

About Holly

I'm a born and raised Jersey girl (not as seen on TV) who loves escaping in books. I Google everything and I hate rain. I have a deep love for Starbucks, shopping, and HEAs. Stay as long as you'd like. Stalking is highly encouraged :-)

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