Author ~ Lynda Aicher
Publisher ~ Loveswept
Published ~ 7 June 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, BDSM
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
The Harder He Falls is the first book in a new series by author Lynda Aicher entitled Kick. Upon discovering that this series was about gay Marine Doms who own and operate an outdoor adventure company, I knew I would be all over this. Seriously, who wouldn’t? Certainly a very promising and very sexy premise for a series.
White-water rafter guide, Grady Kelley, hasn’t been the same ever since he led a rafting expedition that caused the death of one friend and put his cousin in a coma. Now Grady spends his time by his cousin, Finn’s, side hoping that he will awake and forgive him for the tragedy he feels he caused. Grady meets Micah Swaine at the hospital that Finn is a patient at. Micah has his own reasons for volunteering his time with comatose patients. While their first encounter is anything but smooth, both men are certainly attracted and intrigued by each other. As they get to know a little more about the other, Micah is determined to help Grady overcome the guilt he is carrying over the rafting accident. Grady runs hot and cold and is equally as determined to put roadblock after roadblock in Micah’s path. As both men venture down the road of lust, BDSM and kink, do they have what it takes to open up, share their secrets and take their fragile relationship deeper and beyond the physical?
The overall story arc was definitely one that I found very enjoyable. I am a sucker for damaged men who need a little love or, in this case, a little rough and tumble. I loved Micah as he tried so hard to break his way into Grady’s heart. Grady, on the other hand, was someone that I really disliked for almost the entirety of the book. Yes, he has his reasons for being the way he was; BUT, I could not handle just how much of a jerk he was with Micah. He was so antagonistic and pushed Micah away every chance he got. The push and pull between them that takes place got a little much and eventually turned out to be too cumbersome for me. Despite all of this, I still did want Micah and Grady to reach for a happy forever.
The ending wasn’t necessarily rushed but I do wish the author gave a little more page time to Grady and Micah finally being in an open and healthy relationship. It would have certainly solidified their connection a lot more in my mind. Grady only really comes around near the end and by then I simply wasn’t interested and also wasn’t as emotionally connected to the couple as I would have liked to be. By the time we get the Epilogue I was at least hoping to get a little sweetness and tenderness one would expect from two people in love. Eh, it didn’t really happen. I suppose my romantic heart needed more gushy love and hearts to get over the overdose on all the angst that was thrown at me throughout the story.
All in all, The Harder He Falls was a good start to what I think is a very promising new MM series, despite my issues with it. I will be reading book two, The Deeper He Hurts, when it is released.