Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: Hell on Wheels (Black Knights, Inc. #1) by Julie Ann Walker

Hell on Wheels (Black Knights, Inc., #1)Hell on Wheels 
(Black Knights, Inc. #1)
by Julie Ann Walker 
Mass Market Paperback, 349 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 1402267134
ARC Courtesy of Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | TBD 

He’s the bad boy she’s always wanted...
Nate “Ghost” Weller has loved Ali Morgan nearly half his life. But he’s done something so heinous he’s convinced she’ll never forgive him if she discovers the truth, so he keeps his feelings and his secrets to himself. Then she blows into town with a mother lode of bad guys on her tail and Nate can’t deny she’s in serious trouble. Unfortunately, he’s the only one who can help her.
She’s the good girl he’s kept at arm’s length...
Ali knows Nate as the most solemn, aloof man on the planet. Sadly, he’s also the sexiest. For years she’s avoided him, unable to stomach his dark scowls and brooding silences… especially when she secretly yearns for his touch. Now she must rely on him to save her from the malevolent shadows ghosting her every move. When the bullets explode, so does their passion. But can love really conquer all? Or are some things just too terrible to forgive?

Crystal Thought’s:
BAM! Julie Ann Walker’s Hell On Wheels starts out with a bang and just keeps on rolling.  An excellent read that I did not put down; it grabbed me from page one, threw me in the emotional wringer and refused to let go until the very last word. 

Nate “Ghost” Weller is an ex-marine sniper, who along with his best friend, joined an elite and very covert special ops team, Black Knight’s Inc. Using a custom bike shop as a front, this team of alpha males take the government missions that no one else can handle, off-the-books missions that are both dangerous and deadly.  
When Nate’s best friend, Grigg Morgan, dies and his baby sister, Ali, shows up at the compound Nate’s world is turned upside down. Already fighting the grief and guilt from losing his best friend, now Nate must fight the desire he’s had for Ali since the first moment he saw her twelve years ago. Little does she know that the emotional distance he’s put between them was because of Grigg warning him off. But Ali needs his help and Nate’s not going to let Ali down like he let down her brother. 
Someone is stalking Ali but she doesn’t get really scared until a mammoth of a man in a ski mask tries to mug her. Ali knows someone is after her and seeing as she’s an unassuming kindergarten teacher then it must have something to do with her brother so she turns to the one man she has left, Nate. As they puzzle through the mystery of her Ali’s shadow stalker Ali can’t deny that she feels something for Nate but despite his obvious attraction for her, Nate continuously pushes her away. Will she ever be able to break through his wall or will the secrets he hides end up breaking them both?  

Hell On Wheels is an exhilarating and powerful debut for Julie Ann Walker and the Black Knight Inc. series! This book has everything a romantic suspense fan can hope for; heart-break, loss, humor, action, passion, romance, sex, need, intrigue, along with a tortured bad-boy hero on a kick-ass bike and a sweet but feisty heroine who can roll with the punches. I laughed, I cried, I got all hot and bothered, I cried some more; this novel covers all the emotional range. 

The author’s writing style captured by attention from the get-go. I could literally hear Nate’s voice in my head and I loved it! The pages were brimming with the sexual tension between Ali and Nate. Nate has a lot of inner-demons to face and Ali doesn’t understand why he won’t let her in, he very obviously wants her if you know what I mean. ;) The action was non-stop, the dialogue captivated, the characters were believable, and the plot consumed. So why the 4.5 rating, instead of a perfect 5? A few things with the heroine got to be tad annoying after a while; the constant weak stomach and the ‘h-e-double hockey sticks’. Also, the world building at the beginning of the story jumped around some and it took me a little bit to catch up, but after that initial rough start the story quickly found it’s groove and I loved every minute of it. 

If you think you’ve read ex-military special ops stories with sexy but tortured alpha men, well you ain’t read nothing yet! Pick up Hell on Wheels, you will not be disappointed! I am now an official Julie Ann Walker stalker….err…fan ;) and Hell on Wheels is, without a doubt, one of my favorite reads of the year. Hell on Wheels would stand up to Lori Foster’s When You Dare (Men Who Walk The Edge Of Honor) and the first few books in Maya Bank’s K.G.I. series, it was that dang good! 

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