Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Blog Tour: Hard Knox by Nicole Williams {Review+Giveaway}

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Hard Knox (The Outsider Chronicles #1)
   by: Nicole Williams

Publication Date: August 12, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by AToMR Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 310 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

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.

Having really enjoyed Nicole Williams' Lost and Found series, I was psyched to find out she was writing another New Adult series. I was especially intrigued, as it is more than just your typical college romance. The college party scene is no stranger to drugging girls' drinks, so I liked that Williams incorporated this realistic element to the storyline. I also really liked how much of this story was set on a college campus. I've been craving some more college driven NA's lately!
Pacing: I felt the pacing went okay. There were a few times I felt like the story was dragging a bit, but it wasn't to the point where I felt the need to put the book down and come back to it. I was engaged in the storyline and the mystery surrounding who was guilty of drugging Charlie's drinks (even though I called it from the very beginning, lol.) The pacing between Charlie and Knox worked out really well though. Their relationship developed at a good clip and I felt Williams did a good job with the build up and tension between them.
Storyline: Again, I really liked that we are transported to a college campus and spend so much time there setting up the romance and storyline. Williams has created two strong characters in Charlie and Knox and I liked that Charlie is quirky and not the most beautiful, most popular girl on campus. Knox, on the other hand, is the token bad boy who gets girls panties with their numbers scribbled on them stuffed into his pockets at parties. The two couldn't be more different. Yet, he takes notice of Charlie and it's refreshing that she doesn't throw herself (or her panties!) at him like all the others do. After she is drugged and wakes up in his care, she has to wonder- is he the knight in shining armor in the story... or are his motives less than honorable?
Characters: Charlie is definitely her own person. She marches to the beat of her own drum and does not let herself get dragged down by the 'elite' sorority and fraternity guys and girls. She is headstrong and a bit stubborn, which explained why some of her decisions were not the smartest, especially with someone running around dropping roofies into drinks.
Knox definitely surprised me. I like that he is a bit of a mystery and we don't find out exactly what his past holds until nearly the end of the book. There is a lot more to Knox Jagger than meets the eye, that's for sure. He is known to be a huge womanizer, which is why he and Charlie's partnership is so out of place, considering the big article she wrote about still holding her V card. Charlie is blunt and is quite sarcastic, unafraid to say what's on her mind, and yet Knox rolls with the punches. I like that their friendship and trust is built first before they jump into a relationship and even after they do, that Charlie feels comfortable enough to ask Knox some really difficult questions without him going off on her. I have mad respect for the guy!
I also loved Charlie's best friend Harlow. She didn't play a huge role, but I love that she has Charlie's back no matter what. She doesn't like Charlie going off to do her investigative journalism alone and I'm glad she makes her check in, so she knows she's ok. That's true friendship right there.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I enjoyed the first book in Williams' Outsider Chronicles. I liked the characters, the storyline, as well as the development of both. I am looking forward to book two, Damaged Goods!
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.

To follow the rest of the tour, click HERE.

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  1. I called it from the beginning too! But I still had a good time trying to figure it out with Charlie and Knox. I loved this book, I felt like it was a true NA and exactly what the genre should be. Great review Jessica!

    1. Thanks chica! I'm glad you enjoyed it too! I love that we got something more realistic and telling of NA!

  2. Great review, Jessica. This ones on my tbr list. I'm so glad you liked it so much. SO EXCITED to read this one.
    Jackie @ No Bent Spines

  3. Sounds like a promising start to a new series! I haven't read any Williams - I'll have to check her out!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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