Title: Hard Knox
Author: Nicole Williams
Series: The Outsider Chronicles
Genre: Adult - New Adult
Publisher: Nicole Williams
Release date: 12th August 2014
Everyone at Sinclair University knows the name Knox Jagger. Either they resent him or they want to be with him. Well, all apart from Charlie Chase.
Charlie thinks that Knox is everything that's wrong with guys at college. He drinks too much, sleeps around and seems to think with his fists. Unluckily for Charlie, she's been set the task to find out who is dropping little white pills into girl's drinks and all fingers point to Knox. She thought everyone could be right too until her own drink was spiked and the one person there to save her was the last person she expected.
Nicole Williams has fast become one of my go-to authors for New Adult books. I can generally always pick up one of her books and know that I'm going to really enjoy it. I haven't found one I haven't liked yet.
Charlie Chase was a fantastic female protagonist. Right from the off she's sassy, smart and independent. She doesn't like to rely on anyone other than herself and she knows who she is. She won't be changed by the pressures of being at college and she knows what she wants out of life. Charlie is a budding journalist and tells it how it is. She doesn't sugar coat any subject but that doesn't leave her in a very good standing with her fellow classmates.
When Charlie takes on the task of finding out who is slipping date rape drugs into drinks at parties, the story doesn't phase her at all. However, when she gets her own drink spiked someone completely unexpected is there to help her; Knox Jagger the guy with the biggest reputation on campus. He's actually the prime suspect of Charlie's story but when she wakes up on his sofa and realises he didn't touch her, she begins to think he might not be who everyone thinks he is.
Knox really does have a reputation. Guys would say it's a bad one but girls don't mind it at all. In fact, Knox is the guy who gets girls pants put in his pocket during parties with their phone numbers written on. Knox was also a fantastic character. The first time we get to really meet him is during a party and yes, he comes across in a bad way but the moment he opened his mouth was the moment I realised he was something else entirely. There's a hell of a lot more to Knox than he lets on to most people and I loved the slow reveal of his true self.
Together, Charlie and Knox are hilarious. This is what happens when you get a girl willing to give as good as she gets with a guy who is used to getting what he wants. The banter going back and forth between both characters was so much fun. There is a lot of give and take over the course of the book as Charlie and Knox get to know each other and the passion each of them show was pretty awesome. Both characters are extremely likable which made me route for them even more.
Not only is Hard Knox a steamy New Adult romance but it's also a thrilling mystery story as well. While the plot focuses on Charlie and Knox getting to know one another, revealing secrets about the past, there is also the mystery of what is going on with the date rape drugs. This book has a lot more to it than the general girl meets boy, falls in love eventually and then has hot, steamy sex like some New Adult novels are. I really enjoyed the built up of the plot and then the dramatic conclusion to what was happening.
Hard Knox was definitely different from Nicole Williams' other New Adult novels but for me, it's one of my favourites.