Overall rating – 3 silken sheets
Cade’s always taken risks…
Cade takes cares of his sick younger sister by doing what he does best–cage fighting and starring in adult movies, his newest harebrained moneymaking scheme designed to pay for his sister’s growing medical bills. But when his latest gig finds him admitted to the ER sporting an erection from hell, thanks to the little pill given to him by the director, he can’t get the pretty little nurse who treated him out of his head, even though he knows she’s so far out of his league it should be illegal…
I was drawn to this by the sexy image on the cover and I have to say, I loved the premise.
Cade, ex-cagefighter, now construction worker and part-time porn star, has to go to hospital to treat his 4-hour erection after taking some little blue pills on set. Once there he is treated by Alexa, the cutest, most innocent-looking nurse, and he has to explain his predicament.
“So, you’re a porn star?” Alexa asked, her eyes flicking up to mine briefly before darting away again.
She was as nervous as a field mouse in a stampede. “Does that bother you?” I bluffed. She didn’t need to know that this was my first ever film and I hadn’t even followed through. Besides, she’d already judged me. No sense in trying to defend my honor.
He is embarrassed and humiliated, but she is soothing and caring. Once home, she can’t resist seeking out his ‘material’ on the internet and of course, telling her friends about it.
It’s only the night after, that Alexa meets Cade again in a bar. She s drunk, terribly drunk, and inebriated enough to make a pass at him – asking him to take her virginity. Being a gentleman, he refuses, but the stage is set and their relationship starts.
“Just so you know, I wasn’t trying to embarrass you, or take advantage. I was trying to preserve your dignity. Your one friend was practically auctioning you off, and your other friend was ready to whip out his dick and take you right there. You should be thanking me.”
Cade is only doing the porn work as a quick way to make money, to help care for his disabled little sister, Lily, of whom he has sole custody. Once Alexa learns this, her impressions of Cade are irrevocably changed.
Slowly, they begin to circle around each other. Two steps forward, one step back. Every time they make some progress, something happens to push them back again.
My stomach dropped. Was this Cade’s girlfriend?
Shit. Did porn stars have girlfriends? That would require a lot of trust. I mean, geez, he slept with other women for a living.
I liked that they didn’t have Insta-Love, they really had to work for their happiness, but there was something a little off.
I felt for Cade. I thought his POV was realistic – I could hear his voice in my head, feel his frustration and empathise with his decision-making. Even when he screwed up, I could forgive it – he seemed real. And hot * fans myself *. Real Hot.
Alexa though? * ducks for cover * I didn’t like her. Her behaviour annoyed me. She was more of a child than Lily (who, by the way, behaved a LOT older than 6-years. Who takes a 6-year old for a Spa afternoon?!? Really?). She couldn’t decide whether she wanted Cade or not and I kept expecting her to stamp her feet and throw a crying fit.
Her initial behaviour screamed Stalker, it was just creepy the way she insinuated into Cade’s house while he was out, and despatched the useless baby sitter, so that she could have time by herself with Lily. WTF? A child she hadn’t even been properly introduced to yet.
I wondered if it could be a simple infatuation, like the kind you developed for a movie star. I’d watched him in the most intimate of moments, so maybe my brain had created some type of freaky fascination that wasn’t based on anything but his sexy body sending my sexless one into overdrive.
I harboured a few hopes that Alexa might turn out to be a serial psychopath, and that Lily – and Cade – might have to be rescued by one of his porn-co-stars, but nah. That was just wishful thinking.
Was she here caring for Lily and hanging around me because she felt bad for us? We were not a f*cking charity case for her to take pity on.
Having said all that, in the overall context, Alexa was just an irritant. She didn’t stop me from reading and enjoying this book, she just made me cross on occasion. Cade was big enough (no pun intended!) to carry the story by himself. On reflection, if this had been written entirely from Cade’s POV, it might have been magnificent.
As badly as I wanted Alexa, she deserved better, especially for her first time. It wasn’t right for her to just look for someone to get it over with. She wasn’t that kind of girl. She deserved roses, candles, that kind of shit. And I was not that kind of guy.
There was plenty of sensuality, as Cade tried to seduce Alexa. Correction, as Cade seduced Alexa, although the actual sex scenes were not as explicit as I’d been expecting. They were steamy and sexy, and could have been longer, but that is purely a matter of taste.
I have to say though, every time I started grumbling to myself about Alexa, Kendall Ryan would throw some words together on the page that made me stop and gaze in awe.
I hated that his presence alone had the power to stop my breathing and send my heart lurching in my chest, like my body knew we were sharing the same oxygen and was rebelling against the idea.
Her writing has an easy to read style that sucks you straight into the story, but she has a beautiful, lyrical way with words and they shone and gleamed throughout. Hard To Love might not have set my world on fire, but I liked it enough to buy 2 more of Kendall Ryan’s books, and I look forward to getting acquainted with them soon 🙂
Overall rating – 3 silken sheets
Plot – great
Characters – good
Warnings – none
DETAILS: Genre: contemporary erotic romance Published: January 2013 Price: $2.99 (Kindle)