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Phenomenal X (Hard Knocks #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  13,630 Ratings  ·  1,477 Reviews
Good Girl. Notorious Bad-Boy. One Phenomenal Love.

From the mean streets of Detroit rises the newest superstar of professional wrestling, Xavier Cold, better known as Phenomenal X. His muscular physique makes men cower before him and women lose their minds with desire.

Anna Cortez is fresh out of college and naive to the harsh realities of the real world. Tired of living un
335 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 (first published April 19th 2014)
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Lailynx There are quite a lot of similarities. You have the same fresh out of college innocent girl going on a tour with a fighter, who is a typical bad boy…moreThere are quite a lot of similarities. You have the same fresh out of college innocent girl going on a tour with a fighter, who is a typical bad boy feeling undeserving of love because of mummy/daddy issues and a rival fighter who would like to use the girl to ruin her man. Oh, and don't forget the obligatory outgoing best friend/cousin. But I would say that the "Phenomenal X" is a watered down version of the "Real", and I much preferred the latter one.
To me the characters in "Phenomenal X" just feel plain and fake, with no real personalities. All in all, the whole story reads like a repetition of plenty of the new adult books out there and if you read "Real", I doubt you'll get anything new out of this book.(less)

Community Reviews

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5 Phenomenal Stars!

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Good Girl. Notoruoius Bad-Boy. One Phenomenal Love.

Phenomenal X was a fabulous read. X really does hit the spot! I love Michelle Valentine’s Black Falcon series and I wasn’t sure if any guy she wrote would top Riff for me. Well, Xavier Cold pushed his way to the top! This is by far Michelle’s best work yet!

Anna Cortez is a young girl trying to make her own way in life. After being raised a controlling and overbearing father, Anna leaves her home in Portland to live with her
Anna Banana
2.5 disappointing stars

I cannot believe how much I disliked this book. I knew from the synopsis that this book was going to be a bit cliche but I loved Michelle A. Valentine's previous books so I gave it a shot. Just no. This book is a cross between Real by Katy Evans and every other New Adult book out there. Not original at all.

Anna is this super innocent 21 year old who is essentially running away from home and living with her Aunt and cousin across the country. She meets Xavier on
Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
Anna is on the way to her Aunt's house to get away from her over controlling father. During the flight, she meets Xavier, aka Phenomenal X, and he is a force to be reckoned with. Although she declines his advances, Ana can't quit thinking about him and the "what-ifs".

First, I have to mention the cover...


after seeing that, I had to read this book! I was a bit disappointed in all the similarities to the Real series by Katy Evans. But...I also enjoyed it and hey, the more, the merrier!

Anna was in
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
*I received an ARC from the author's assistant in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*



Holy sexpot, this was a hot read!! I’m already salivating over Xavier Cold, a.k.a “X”/Phenomenal X.

Being a fan of Michelle for a while, I already knew that this was going to be good and I was RIGHT!

Anna Cortez had her life made for her. With an overbearing and controlling father running her life, Anna finds herself running away to live with her aunt and cousin to Chicago. However, while on the flight f

Title: Phenomenal X
Series:Hard Knocks #1
Author:Michelle A. Valentine
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Rating:1 star
HEA: (view spoiler)

I hate to be harsh, but there was nothing I found original or exciting about this book. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I really don't think that was it. This is New Adult at it's worst and it didn't make a believer out of me.

With total honesty, I must say that there were several factors that didn't do it for me.

1)The abso
Michelle Valentine
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Fan-made book trailer!

Book Two, XAVIER COLD (Hard Knocks, #2):


I don’t even know where to begin with this. This was one of the most ridiculous books I ever read. It felt so immature and everything was over the top, and the whole insta-forever-i am gonna kill myself if i loose you-love was happening in like 10 days they known each other.

The writing style... dear God... well I can scratch Black Falcon Series by this author from my to-read shelf that's for sure...

The characters... sweet Jesus ... idiots, such idiots that I am speechless.
Emily Snow
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
X is just . . . WOW. I'm lucky enough to be Michelle's beta reader, and this book is f*cking amazing. <3

*Full review to come closer to release
Blacky *Romance Addict*

This book is absolutely ridiculous and over the top. Sweet Jesus. Horrible.
Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads
Katy Loves Romance ❤️
5 Phenomenal stars*****

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Anna Corez is starting a new life, a fresh start moving a way from her controlling father she's been sheltered her whole life living in a good ole Christian home but there's religion and what's right, what's wrong and loving our family unconditionally, what Anna lives is not that at all, she's scared of her father and has not had a happy home so she's leaving to learn how to experience life, make friends and make mistakes too.

Anna is travelling on the plane finally gett
I went into reading this book with lower expectations than my last read, and I can honestly say that I was entertained but I did miss the "wow" factor that I get with some books. I will give this a 3.5 stars as I did remain interested in what was going on; but a big reason that I am not going to give the four stars is that I DO NOT LIKE CLIFFIES!!! I felt like the ending literally cut right off at a critical part in the scene. I actually thought maybe I was missing a few pages. *sigh* That has t ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 Phenomenal Stars


Anna knows one thing, she wants a fresh start. A life that is not controlled by her father on a leash that is far too short for a woman of twenty-one. Leaving Portland behind and on a flight bound for Detroit to live with her aunt and cousin, Anna is ready to finally start living her life.

Xavier is the kind of man that catches a woman's eye. So locking eyes with the hot brunette on the flight, it wasn't a surprise that he caught her devouring him with that look. But what wa
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.75 Stars!

Well…what can I say…It was an okay read! There is nothing wrong with the story (besides the annoying heroine and the cliffy) but it just lacked the ‘WOW moment’.

"You’re everything to me. I’d trade my very soul to protect you, because you’re worth it.”

So…Anna is running away from an overprotective and controlling father who is also very religious. She wants NEEDS a change so she decides to go live with her aunt and cousin in Detroit. But what she doesn’t know is that her life will t
MELISSA *Mel Reader*
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
4 You're My Addiction Stars!
(BR with Sharon)

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Anna Cortez is a 21 yr. old woman that has always lived a sheltered, controlled life. Her overbearing father runs every aspect of her life, including choosing the man she is to marry. Leaving everything she's ever known, she sneaks away one evening, and catches a flight from Portland to Detroit where she will stay with her aunt and her cousin who is also her best friend. She is excited to start her new life, where she can be free to make her own deci
Dorsey aka ❤️ Wrath Lover Reviews  ❤️

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4 Phenomenal Stars!!

Xavier "Phenomenal X" Cold, is a bad boy, who meets good girl, Anna Cortez on a plane from Portland to Detroit and the chemistry between them was off the charts from beginning to end!!!

Sheltered 21 yr old Anna leaves home and abandons her fiancé, a fiancé her father has chosen, because of her controlling and abusive father. Little did she know how much her life will change.... Xavier Cold is Wrestling’s resident playboy bad boy. He knows his appeal and has no problem usin
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-beta
Best book by Michelle Valentine, so far! I was pulled in immediately. Anna Cortez & Xavier Cold, 2 different people with a totally different background, great storyline with a blend of romance and action. Can't wait to read book 2!

Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
What?! Michelle Valentine has a new series... well sign me the fuck up!



Wrestlers on TV. Hot. Sexy. No need to say more - I am sold.

Solid writing. Solid characters. FUN story.

Can't wait for book 2!

Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
X gon' give it to ya!!! (Insert girly giggle, I liked this book.)
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-adult
This book was amazing. I loved the characters (but Xavier a little more than Anna), the way Anna and Xavier met, the steam and Xavier’s (few and short but important) chapters. Xavier is damaged. He immediately likes Anna and he wants her. Anna is ready to start a new life and to be independent. She’s attracted to Xavier, but she wants to focus on her own life for now. Xavier doesn’t give up on Anna without a fight. Xavier is so caring, protective and sweet to Anna. Anna loves Xavier just like he ...more
Kim Person
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Admittedly I know NOTHING about the world of professional wrestling. So going into Phenomenal X the only thing I had going through my mind was......

Yes, that's what I thought about. Admittedly, there was a time or two while reading the book I seriously considered standing on the back of my couch as if it was the top rope of the ring and fling myself off. Alas, I'm not really into broken bones so I refrained. That's a guaranteed one way ride in .....

and that my friends would interrupt my reading
TJlovestoread Blog
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Oh Dear. This is going to be a though one. 3 stars is being good to the author. … I usually don’t do gifs, but this is worth the effort!

When I think of professional wrestling this is what I see: (because it totally sucks!)EEEEEEEK!

Maybe if I can picture X, this guy would do:

I was expecting more, really…. This book was one cliché after another and I almost made it a DNF.. and then a cliffy….. *yawns*

A naïve girl, 21 years old leaves her controlling father to “live life”. Meets X in plane, X comes
L*Take Me To My HEA*
No stars since it's DNF 30%

I tried. I really tried to finish this but I just can't anymore.
I'm not even sorry.

Melissa ***BITCH, I'M READING!***
blah blah... we're just friends... blah blah
"I don't wanna be just friends, I love you"
Hell brakes loose
2.5 stars

I call foul on there being no real entertainment wrestling until the 70%! We learn that his entrance song is X Going Give It To Ya by DMX but never learn his signature wrestling move. Come on, give the people what they came here for!!!!

Look, middle school me who gasped when Stephanie McMahon decided to stay with Triple H, cheered for the Hardy Boyz, and named a gold fish Lita, kept reading this book and rated it. This honestly read like middle/high school entertainment wrestling fan fic
Kei • lovelypagesreviews •
*ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

2 stars


Well if you ever wondered how many clichés can fit into one book then this book is the answer.

A lot!

Bad boy a.k.a. fucks everything that moves because he has a dick and why not use it.

Good girl a.k.a so fucking naive it's called stupid not good anymore.

Phenomenal love a.k.a all the drama is pouring down on them and they're surrounded by bitches and assholes.

So, there, that pretty much sums it up.

Will properly review
Apr 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2.5 good start, daft ending stars.

This started so well, I was really into it. And then I wasn't. *big sigh*

Anna meets Xavier on a plane. She's moving away from her crazily strict father. He's a ripped and gorgeous s'leb wrestler she's never heard of called Phenomenal X. She's attracted to him but also scared of him because he represents everything she's been denied by her dad and her upbringing.

Some cute and flirty banter later and he's popping up wherever she goes, wanting to become friends. T
Alaina Meserole
Phenomenal X definitely has my flipflopping all over the place for this damn review. There were some parts I liked, others I didn't, and a whole lot of boring ass parts in between. Now I will admit, while drinking lots and lots of wine, I liked the book.. but when I went back and looked at my BR comments.. yeah I didn't really love the book like I originally thought.

Oh looky, another Anna character. Well she was annoying for a lot of the book. UGH she annoyed me to no end. I did like her when th
Stephanie ~
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Today we got a Cover Reveal and Excerpt from Michelle A. Valentine's upcoming book Phenomenal X and I can't wait for this book!

#1 - I LOVE Fighter guys
#3 - We got an excerpt!!!

Cover Reveal Promiscuous X


From the mean streets of Detroit rises the newest superstar of professional wrestling, Xavier Cold, better known as Phenomenal X. His muscular physique makes men cower before him and woman lose their minds with desire.

Anna Cortez is fresh out of college and naive to the harsh realities of th
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**Please direct all inquires to my website as I don't check messages on this site: **

New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author Michelle A. Valentine is a Central Ohio nurse turned author of erotic romance and New Adult novels. Her love of hard-rock music, tattoos and sexy musicians inspired her BLACK FALCON series.

Follow Michelle on Facebook: https://www.facebook.
More about Michelle A. Valentine

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“You’re special to me, Anna, and I want to keep you forever,” he whispers.” 8 likes
“I could do things to your body that most women only dream about while reading their dirty romance novels, and I promise you’d fucking enjoy it.” 8 likes
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