Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Hard Knox by Nicole Williams

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

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.

4.5  Suspenseful Stars

Review by Lisa Kane

Charlie Chase is a little different than most sophomore college students. She's not your typical sorority sister, she doesn't party non stop and she doesn't drop her panties when confronted with the perfect set of abs. She's a journalism major who likes to stir the pot. A lot. Under the tutelage of her journalism professor, the renowned Neve Landry, she investigates controversial things at Sinclair University and posts them in the Sentinel. Her last article about how she still has her V- card and how sex seems to define women, made her a little infamous on campus. Her current article is on drinking and the effects it has. She's not trying to change the world, maybe just open up some eyes to see things a little differently. She drags herself to frat parties so she can get more writing material, usually accompanying by her best friend Harlow. But this time, she is busy with her Air Force boyfriend Jake, who is home from leave, so Charlie goes it alone.

As usual, the normal bump and grind, make out sessions and binge puking are all around. She does run into Beckett Farrell, the campus hottie, whom she dated for 6 months last year. In spite of the fact that this guy seems to be the typical Frat brother that girls cream over, he had no wow factor for her and she broke up with him. He seems really glad to see her, but considering they haven't talked in months she's not sure why. She asks him if it's true that he is running for president of his fraternity, Sigma Nu and he tells her he put in his nomination at the beginning of the year. When she asks what occasion he must rise to before he can wear the title of president, he tells her that's it's not so much about rising to the occasion as it is completing a challenge. All this frat nonsense and self importance  confirms she made the right decision when she broke up with him. They really have nothing in common. He lets her know her virginity article surprised him. Even though they dated for 6 months, he assumed that she had had sex before. She laughs it off, they part ways, and she goes off to observe the shenanigans that are all around her.

That's when she spots HIM. Yes, the famous Knox Jagger walks over to her and starts to talk. And he seems to know who she is. The two banter back and forth, while constantly being interrupted by girls shoving their panties with phone numbers in his back pocket. Charlie asks him if what they say is true-does he collect the underwear, and pick out the lucky pantyless hottie of the night from the collection and call them. He tells her she has it wrong, he calls all of them! Really, this guy must have some stamina. She makes a few accusations about his character, he counters with,

"One of these days, you're going to realize you can't explain the whole damn world and everyone in it with a few paragraphs and few minutes of observation. The day that happens, let me know so I can be sitting in the front row."  

And she goes back to her research. But when she suspects two frat guys have put something in a couple of girls' drinks, she breaks up that fun. The resentment and anger from the guys causes her to hide out for a little. She makes her way through the crowd, takes a few sips of her drink and begins to feel funny. It doesn't take her long to realize she's been drugged and she tries to talk, tries to get someone to help. But two girls end up tossing her out. The last thing she remembers is Him leaning over her.

When she wakes up to Knox's face she can't remember anything that  happened, but she's convinced he drugged her. She goes off on him and he tells her he isn't  the one that roofied her, he's the one that saved her. He has valid arguments and she slowly realizes he didn't  do this to her, but then who did?

Charlie calls Harlow who takes her to the hospital, where it's confirmed she was drugged, but not raped. When she goes to see Neve requesting more time for her journalism assignment, she gives her the third degree about why she couldn't  get it done. When the truth comes out, Neve lets her know that she thinks Knox is behind the drug dealing for the Rohypnol that is rampant on the campus and she wants Charlie to investigate Knox for the next semester. Charlie doesn't think Knox has anything to do with it.

When another incident occurs Knox steps in to protect her. These two are drawn to each other, but Knox tells her repeatedly he is a bad person and she needs to keep her distance. Part of the protection involves her moving in with Knox. He seems to have quieted down his campus prowess since hanging out with Charlie Can these two ever be more than friends? Can the virgin tame the Campus Man whore? Meanwhile, someone is definitely out to get to Charlie.

"But now I care. Instead of being just some girl, you're some girl I care about." His fist hadn't stopped pounding the steering wheel. "Right now, me caring about you has got me so f*#king scared of what's going to happen to you, I'm about to throw you over my shoulder and run you to the hospital whether you want to go or not." What's changed is that I care about you." 

Knox is book boyfriend material. This guy is so alpha when it comes to Charlie. He will go to any lengths to protect her, even from himself. He makes most of his money from betting on his own skills, mostly from arm wrestling. Behind that gorgeous, ripped body, is one smart guy studying forensic science. But he has serious baggage. And is full of secrets. These secrets will prove to be dangerous for Charlie. The storyline really centers around date rape drugs which are prevalent at Sinclair and who is behind them. What is good is really evil and what is bad may not be so bad. Nicole Williams has taken a serious subject and written an interesting story with multi layered characters to support it. Not to mention, Knox is one of those males that linger in your mind. He's a take charge, take no prisoner kind of guy and is the perfect compliment to Charlie's dominant personality. Hard Knox is a very good read.

"The only piece I wouldn't want you to use is my heart," he said, almost like it was a confession. "Why?" I asked around another yawn. "Because it's the only part of me I'm afraid could hurt you." He shifted, almost as if he was trying to put some distance between us. "Why?" Another yawn. I knew that before another one could creep out, I'd probably be asleep. "Because it's hard-so hard that no one can get inside it anymore. What the...? Was I having a conversation with The Knox Jagger about hardened hearts? "Is that why they call you Hard Knox?" "No." His pinkie finger looped around mine as he shifted a bit farther away. "It's why I call myself that."

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.
Blog | Twitter | Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment

How to Configure Numbered Page Navigation After installing, you might want to change these default settings: