Synopsis from 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 . . .
It’s no secret that I love Nicole Williams writing. One of my favorite things is her ability to write the cutest, sweetest bad boys there are (yes I know it’s an oxymoron but it’s true). Knox Jagger is the product of all my fantasy book boyfriends all rolled into one, think Jude Ryder and Lucas Maxfield mixed together *fans self* OH MY
I’m not going to go into details about the plot because it would seriously spoil it for you, lets just say that not everything is as it seems. There are so many things going on below the surface, both with the characters and the nuances of the plot. The clues are there to pick up on, don’t forget that information can be manipulated
Told in first person narrative from Charlie’s point of view. Boy did I love her, she is exactly my sort of female character. Strong, independent, snarky and sarcastic She knows who she is and doesn’t make apologies for it; she is a WYSISYG girl. Despite the differences between Knox and Charlie they truly bring out the best in each other. You can’t help but become invested in their relationship as well as them as individuals. With Charlie targeted as a victim of ‘roofies’ and Knox as her unlikely protector the tension is high throughout the book.
As a parent the whole concept of the ‘date rape’ culture was even more frightening, add in the fact that it can be put in anything not just alcohol added to my anxiety. In fact it made me want to ban my girls from ever going to parties
I’ve got to be honest and say that there was one aspect of the plot that I didn’t particularity like – in fact it caused me to have an eww moment – not to give to much away but it has to do with Charlie’s resemblance to a person from Knox’s past, for me felt a bit skeevy. However, it was a minor detail and one I can overlook in respect to the story as a whole.
Believe me when I say that I’ve had my fair share of hard knocks in my life but if they were HARD KNOX then I would be a happy woman This is the only kind of Hard Knox you want in your life