Thursday, 17 April 2014

REVIEW - Phenomenal X by Michelle Valentine

Phenomenal X - 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 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.

My Review

“I could do things to your body that most women only dream about while reading their dirty romance novels, and I promise you’d f*cking enjoy it.”

As a lover of Michelle Valentine’s previous series (Black Falcon and Demon at my Door) I had very high expectations of this book and it was a highly anticipated read for me. Although I’ve read many fighter books, those containing Wrestlers are new to me, until Phenomenal X. Here we have Xavier Cold – better known as the infamous superstar wrestler Phenomenal X and sheltered, good girl Anna Cortez. As we come to see, opposites most definitely attract with some force. Opening a Michelle Valentine book you can guarantee that you will be sucked into the story, you will stop everything until you have devoured every page and once you’re done, you will be begging for the next installment.

“There’s something about him that makes me crave to be wild and out of control. He’s like freedom, wrapped up in one sexy package. A package that has me thinking about things that I shouldn’t."

The story focuses on the newest superstar in professional wrestler, Xavier or Phenomenal X. After some heated exchanges with his nemesis in the wrestling world he is on a week’s break to cool down and clear his head. On a flight he meets Anna Cortez, the sheltered good girl who is on the run from her overbearing family trying to dictate her life. She wants to see what life has to offer on her terms. When she meets Xavier she doesn’t have a clue who he is, instantly catching his interest. She’s been raised to avoid this kind of man however, he’d ruin her for others and she knows that it would only end badly for her so she refuses his advances. This only adds fuel to his fire though, making him want her more.

After they part ways from their flight, a turn of events causes Anna and Xavier to once again see each other and an altercation leads to ‘protector’ mode from Xavier and him wanting him to save the sweet girl that captivates him so. There’s a lot of internal dilemma going on with Xavier, he feels things for Anna. He knows that she’s different, she’s innocent and too good for him. A troubled past causes him to only seen darkness and ugliness inside. He doesn’t wasn’t to taint Anna with his demons and so even though he takes it on himself to protect her from real life dangers, he takes a step back to protect her from himself. They can only ever be friends.

“With or without the drink shit, I wouldn’t have allowed you to leave with him,” he growls. “Whether you realised it or not, you were leaving that bar with me tonight.”

Anna however, has never wanted someone as much as this. Screw the just friend idea and their rules. She wants Xavier and she sees the good inside. She wants to break down his walls, wants to be let inside and know the man behind the scars. Why can’t he see himself the way she sees him. With every moment they’re together she falls ever so slightly more for him and her own defences are crumbling. His continuous stating of them being only ‘friends’ slowly adds to Anna’s doubts of never being enough for him and events in the book make her feel that bit more insecure, if he has all the women at the drop of a hat why doesn’t he like her like this?

“There’s more to me than just the persona that the public sees. There’s darkness inside me that no one should have to experience, and that’s what I’m trying to protect you from. No one should have to live with my demons but me.”

There were times throughout the story where all I wanted to do was shake them both and bang their heads together. Why can’t they see what we do?! There where places where you think they’ll be over before they have even. They both make bad decisions and it is quite far into the book before their relationship really takes off. This gives us time to let them develop, understand their intentions, thoughts and feelings for one another, making their connection to one another solid. For me, a rushed relationship in a book usually falls flat. If you gave them the time develop and grow, this makes for a more real and fulfilling read. Something that Michelle Valentine does very well. I love, love, LOVED Xavier and he has fast become one of my favourite book males that I’ve read about. He’s sweet, protective, caring and so damn alpha you can’t help but be drawn to his character.

“I love you, Anna, no matter what happens next,” I whisper. “And I always will.” Tears continue to flow from her beautiful green eyes, but she gives me a slight smile. “I’ll love you forever.”

Phenomenal X is a very well rounded story and shows how two people, so different can become intertwined in each other’s lives and bring down their defenses. Although a book based on a professional wrestler, there is not actually a large proportion of the book spent either wrestling or at the arena. I think with how the book is set out though, this was intended to allow us to get to understand their relationship first and give us the foundations of the series. I hope there is more wrestling action in the second book as I find it quite fascinating. Be prepared for the shocker of an ending. I did not predict at all how it played out but all it has done is make me want the next book now. Cannot wait for the next installment of this series, it will definitely be worth the wait. This book was a perfect blend of romance and action that I would recommend to anyone who loves a very dominant man with that softer side that makes you fall in love with them.

“I close my eyes and pray I haven’t just done something that will destroy us forever.”

*ARC received for an honest review

My Rating

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