Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: The Harder You Fall

THE HARDER YOU FALL
Original Heartbreakers #3
Gena Showalter
Contemporary Romance
384 pages
Harlequin
Available Now
Source: Bought

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Millionaire video-game creator Lincoln West has a dark and tragic past. The sought-after bachelor lives by a rigid schedule and a single rule—one relationship per year, lasting no more than two months. No exceptions. He moved to small town Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, with his brothers-by-circumstance hoping to escape the worst of his memories—until a brash beauty dredges up long-buried emotions.

A reformed party girl, Jessie Kay Dillon is determined to walk the straight and narrow. But her love-hate sizzle with West is just too irresistible. They can't be near each other without tearing off their clothes, but the last thing she needs is to be his next two-month dump. Can she be the one exception? Because as any former girl-gone-wild knows: rules are made to be broken.


MY THOUGHTS
The synopsis for The Harder You Fall leads us to believe we'll crack the spine of this book and find a hate-sex fueled relationship that eventually turns into so much more, and while that would have undoubtedly been entertaining, what we uncover instead is a slow burn romance full of delightful banter to offset the baggage both Jessie Kay and West carry.

Jessie Kay has a past she's not entirely proud of, labeled a sure thing by the men in her small town and therefore burdened with their suggestive comments and wandering hands whenever in public, and though she wishes she had made different choices here and there, she's not overly self-pitying or convinced she's deserving of such treatment. She's instead determined to find a man who's willing to give and take with her in equal measure, and while West tests that resolve through the majority of the book, she sticks to her guns and gives herself the respect she's so long overdue. She and West fully admit to their mutual attraction early on (once they take the animosity down a level that is), and what follows is two people taking baby steps toward a future that's not limited by the sins of their respective pasts.

It takes West a little while to recognize how low Jessie Kay's self-esteem truly is, distracted as he is by her ability to make light of any situation, but once it becomes clear that her self-worth is linked to her reputation he does everything in his power to show her who he sees when he looks at her. He knows his offer of a 2-month relationship (which stems from the aforementioned baggage) isn't good enough for her, and he's both frustrated and proud in turn when when she tells him she wants and deserves more. They both push each other at just the right moments, never asking for more than the other person can give and content to wait until they're both emotionally ready to be all in, and the journey they take to get there plasters a smile to our faces throughout.

The intensity of their feelings for one another is over the top at times, but the two of them are just so much fun together it's hard to be too bothered by their boldly possessive declarations. Overall, The Harder You Fall is the perfect read for those (like myself) who love tension and banter in their romances, the chemistry between Jessie Kay and West off the charts from page one as they push each other's buttons, and it only builds as their enmity shifts to lust and finally love.

Rating: 4/5


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23 comments:

  1. Oh, this is totally a book for me. I have a very big soft spot for reformed party girls, and I love me so good banter.

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    1. Then you will love this one for sure Christy!!!!

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  2. Oh, interesting that this one is a slow burn romance. I wouldn't have thought so from the synopsis. I like that Jessie Kay sticks to her belief that she deserves better than a two month relationship.

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    1. I was expecting something different too, but I LOVED how it unfolded:)

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  3. It's been a while since I haven't tried a book by the author and I mainly read her YA series but I should try contempory romances!

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    1. Definitely give her a try Melliane! And you don't have to have read the previous 2 to enjoy this one:)

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  4. Oooooh, this one sounds like an amazing book and one with a good feminist message too! I love me a good slow burn filled with banter, so I think this one goes straight to the wish list!
    Great review Jenny!

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  5. Ahh Jenny! This sounds amazing! I love how he really shows her what she means to him and how he sees her. I've wanted to try this series for a while now, so I'm thinking now is the right time!
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. You would love this one Nick, I have no doubt. Jessie Kay and West were awesome:)

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  6. The slow burn romance is actually a pleasant surprise. I've read a few of Showalter's PRN books which I thought were pretty good, but I think I might like her contemporary ones much more.

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    1. I enjoy her PNR books as well Rummanah, and this was my first contemporary by her. Definitely need to read more!

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  7. I don't mind over the top, actually! Mary Calmes fan here! I enjoy that sort of thing and I think I would enjoy this story very much. Something about it and your review just clicks for me. Also, I've never read any of Gena's adult books and I'm curious.

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    1. DITTO MAJA! I didn't mind the over the top nature of their declarations either, I was able to just roll with it because I adored the two of them:)

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  8. This sounds like a romance that covers a range of emotions and I think I would like it.

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    1. I highly recommend Heidi, it was just what I wanted for this time of year:)

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  9. I like that cover, but then she always has good ones

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  10. I was thinking he was a jerk for the 2 month thing, but loved that she basically told him off for it. Yea, I think I could get into this book. :)

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  11. The 2-month thing will make sense when you read it, but yes, I loved that she let him know that wasn't good enough for her:)

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  12. I was kind of hoping this book would be up on NG, but I suppose I have no choice but to spend money and buy a copy. I enjoyed this series, so I'm glad you loved it, Jenny!

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  13. Glad you liked it! Loved that there was a slow burn. I'm a total sucker for that!

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  14. Slow burn romance is definitely a win in my book! She must write fast and like crazy, it seems like she has so many different books and they seem to constantly be coming out!

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