Blog Tour + ARC Review: Hard Knox by Nicole Williams

Welcome to today’s stop on the Hard Knox blog tour!
You can follow the tour here.

A New Series by NYT Bestselling Author Nicole Williams

Hard Knox by Nicole Williams

The Outsider Chronicles #1 (full reading order below)
New Adult/Adult Contemporary
Released August 12, 2014
Add to Goodreads

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.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes and Noble


I’m a huuuge Nicole Williams fan. I totally fell in love with her Crash series, and then her Lost and Found series. So when I found out she had a new book releasing? I pounced on it. Nicole Williams is definitely one of my go-to authors because I know I’ll no doubt enjoy her books. And while I didn’t LOVE Hard Knox, it was a quick, fun read, and fans of Nicole shouldn’t miss it.

Charlie Chase is a writer for her university’s newspaper, and she’s, well, the glass-half-empty kind of girl. She wasn’t the most likable heroine for me, even with her quirky, deadpan sense of humor. I didn’t connect with her much–she’s a bit pretentious, buuut it worked for the story. She’s the type of person who has preconceived notions of people without getting to know them, and the second she meets Knox Jagger, he blasts all those preconceived notions away.

Knox Jagger is the ultimate bad boy at Sinclair University. He’s who every guy wants to be, and every girl wants to have. Except Charlie, of course. When Knox goes to parties, and endless stream of girls put their panties with their numbers on them, and apparently he calls every one of them.

Other than knowing he was a junior, probably majoring in Single-Handed Bra Removal, the notes scribbled onto just about every woman’s bathroom stall on campus told the rest of the story. Gems like For a good time, call Knox, 1-800-BIG-DICK or Add to Bucket List: Get Fucked by Knox Jagger.

Based on all that, Charlie doesn’t have the best opinion of Knox. Charlie wouldn’t want to get near Knox if it weren’t for the paper she needs to write. Her job is to find out who at the university has been dropping date-rape pills into drinks at parties. And Knox would be the number one suspect, if it weren’t for the fact that he saved her after she herself got drugged.

Charlie and Knox work together to get to the bottom of this, much to Charlie’s chagrin. The best part about the book was Charlie and Knox’s banter. The two of them are hilarious together–Charlie is full of wit and sarcasm, which would usually just shoot a guy down, but Knox definitely shows her up and offers his own quips. There’s also an undeniable tension between them that the two of them try so hard to ignore, but can’t.

“What’s changed is that I care about you.”

I loved that the two of them gradually moved from friendship to something more. The way they fell for each other was realistic and once they fell, they fell so hard. Their relationship blossomed into something so wonderful (and hot) once the tension exploded between them

“What I feel for you scares me, Knox. It terrifies me.”
“Why?” … “What terrifies you?”
“That the person I thought I’d have to search the world and a lifetime for might be standing in front of me right now.”

Knox and Charlie are so adorable together. I was definitely glad when the two of them got together! They open up more to each other, even though Knox does keep things hidden. But I loved that as Charlie learns slowly more about Knox, she also learns more about herself. She’s not quick to judge anymore–she’s not the same girl as she was from the beginning of the book.

Overall, I liked Hard Knox, but I just didn’t love it. It was missing that spark that usually makes me love a Nicole Williams book. Still, I enjoyed it–it has Nicole’s great writing, a couple with hot chemistry, and some witty banter that’s sure to make you smile.

3 hearts

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: The Outsider Chronicles

Hard Knox by Nicole Williams Damaged Goods by Nicole Williams

#1 ~ Hard Knox: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Damaged Goods: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

about the author

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.

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