Hard is definitely different from anything else I’ve read by Cheryl McIntyre. The hero is obsessed with capturing beauty, usually erotic images on film. For many years he worked as a photographer until recently. He hasn’t picked up his camera for some time until he sees her.
The prologue gives readers the horrible insight to Holland Howard’s past, and exactly why she’s so completely broken. The author gives a warning to the possible emotional trigger (view spoiler) which didn’t bother me only because I have no personal experience with this.
Holland left her old life behind and is working in a pub thousands of miles from home. She’s physically going through the emotions of life, but she’s so completely broken on the inside and doesn’t really care what happens to her, which is why she agrees to leave with a customer not knowing him in anyway or where he plans to take her.
Jensen Payne has been watching this beautiful broken woman for ninety-two days. He loves easy, willing and submissive woman, but it’s something more with Holland. She’s a challenge, an enigma and his obsessive desire to photography her, to explore her body, and possibly figure out what’s caused her pain is to strong to ignore.
Most people throw away broken objects, discarding them like trash. As if they are somehow less important, less perfect, less beautiful. I frame them. Stare at them for hours. Enjoy their striking flawlessness.
The two start a very erotic relationship. They spend a lot of time exploring their basis physical needs with each other without crossing into the past. We know why Holland is broken and it’s clear that Jensen has things he doesn’t want to talk about, but they both hold on to their secrets like life vests.
Due to Holland past and the secret Jensen is keeping neither of them want to take their relationship any further than it already is, but something inside both of them has changed and letting go doesn’t seem as easy as it did in the beginning.
Hard is fast paste story. The emotional side of the story is truly heartbreaking however the erotic side of the story over powers the emotional aspect. That could be good or bad depending on what you’re looking for in a book. Personally, if Hard had a little bit longer so we didn’t lose any of the steamy parts and had more depth in the real problems these two have to face I think this book could have been a five star read for me because I enjoyed it, but in the end I just wanted a little more closure.
An advance reading copy of Hard by Cheryl McIntyre was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.