The Harder He Falls (Kick #1)

img_5159Author: Lynda Aicher

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel in Series 

Provided by Publisher

 

Blurb: RITA Award finalist Lynda Aicher fires up a thrilling series featuring rugged men who play hard for a living. When it comes to one another’s hearts, they never back down—because behind closed doors, the games they play are very different.

Expert whitewater-rafting guide Grady Kelley lives for that rush of adrenaline: at work, as the newest employee of a Portland-based outdoor-adventure sports company, and off the river, where liaisons with anonymous men keep him satisfied. Grady prefers no drama and no strings attached, but when tragedy strikes, fate leads him to Micah Swaine. He’s hot, masculine, distracting—and offers the kind of deeper connection Grady has sworn off, no matter how badly he craves it.

Working at a leather bar, Micah meets a lot of guys, but Grady’s different—and he seems to feel the same way. The trouble is, anything beyond casual sex is too risky for Micah. He’s got secrets he doesn’t know how to share, secrets that would make any relationship a battlefield. No man, even one as compassionate as Grady, would stick around for that kind of trouble. And yet, as physical desire melts the walls they’ve put up, Micah and Grady discover that trusting each other is the most exhilarating adventure of all.

 

Review: Lynda Aicher has hit it out of the park with this m/m romance. It was smooth and sensual with an edge of danger and kink. The development arc gave the reader a lot of insight into the two men’s intimate lives as well as how the past had made them into what and who they were today.

Grady already had issues from his past, so it didn’t help when in his first month in his new job at Adrenaline Kick Adventures (KICK), he’d piloted a whitewater rapids course that had gone horribly wrong. One KICK partner (Chris) had died, and a second, his cousin Finn, was left in a coma. He’s feeling all kinds of guilty and almost acts like he wants to punish himself for surviving. That’s the attitude he’s got at the beginning at least.

Micah was paying forward the help he’d received while sick by reading to coma patients in the hospital. Being an acquaintance of Finn’s, he’d picked erotic male/male fiction to read to him, and that’s what Grady walked in on. Sparks flew! Micah played off his attraction by inviting Grady to the leather bar he worked at, and surprisingly, Grady took him up on it.

But Grady’s got some big hangups about both his submissive kink, his feelings of worthlessness that stem from his father’s abusive behavior towards him, and from a domineering ex who’d abused his trust while keeping him trapped in a downward spiral of self-doubt.

Micah’s got some physical issues of his own. Surviving the virus that had ravaged his brain in his early twenties, he’s limited in both where he can be and who he can trust to be with him. While he feels safer with Grady than he’s felt since the coma, there’s still the questions about what Grady’s going to do…and if he intends to leave Micah behind. Can he convince Grady that he’s not to blame for the accident that happened? Convince him to give them a chance?

Fighting their attraction was impossible, and as they slowly slid into a relationship, there was a hint of anguish and some “I’m not good enough.” This usually bugs me, but in this book, it was brief and worked well in the story line. This was an interesting and fun read and I really enjoyed it. Thanks

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