The Harder He Falls by Lynda Aicher (Kick #1)
Released: June 7, 2016
M/M Erotic Romance (Light BDSM)
Reviewed by Mandi
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 blurb drew me into this one – I perked up when I read “whitewater-rafting guide” – however, while rafting has an impact in this story, there isn’t much page time (okay, really zero page time) devoted to actual rafting. It worked for me though! Because instead of rafting down a river we have a sex scene on a mountaintop. We have a lot of sex scenes – and they were really hot and dirty and intense.
Grady worked for an adventure company, and his specialty was being a whitewater rafting guide. His cousin was a partner in this company and Grady loved it – until there was a rafting accident with Grady at the helm. His cousin Finn ended up in a coma, and another co-worker died. Grady is devastated and is carrying around a huge amount of guilt. When the book starts, Finn is still in the coma, and Grady forces himself to go visit. When he arrives one day, a man is there reading Finn a book. This man is named Micah, and besides volunteering to read to coma patients at the hospital, he is also a bartender at the local BDSM club. Grady isn’t one to mince words, and because he is so stressed out over Finn, he has a big attitude problem. He doesn’t come across as nice to Micah, but during their initial meet, Micah mentions that he was in a coma, and he could provide a little insight if Grady wanted to meet him later at work.
Grady decides any information about coma patients, especially from a person who has experienced it and woken up, would be beneficial and he heads to the leather club to meet Micah. And oh boy do they meet – they end up having really hot sex in one of the rooms. But…Micah has a little secret.
He went into the coma because of a viral infection in his brain. While he has pretty much recovered, when he has an orgasm, something triggers in his brain and he forgets where he is. He can’t recognize any landmarks or anything. This also happens sometimes spontaneously, or stressed induced. It happens a lot. It make him panic and he is kind of ashamed of it.
Micah isn’t heavy into the BDSM scene, but he does like to be in control. He doesn’t need it to get off and he isn’t heavy into kink, but he does like to be the dominant when having sex. Grady was once tricked into being a sub and had a very bad experience, so the mention of subbing upsets him. This is something they have to work through in their relationship. This may have been portrayed a little dramatically – a good sit down conversation about their fears and their past experiences could have cleared all of this up quicker than it happened in the book.
I liked Micha and Grady together though. I felt their chemistry. Poor Finn had to lie in a coma the whole book while Micah and Finn humped each other on mountain tops and stuff, but damn it I liked it. Take the first time they kiss:
Micah lunged and Grady met him. He grabbed Grady’s face and their mouths slammed together in a desperate clash of lips, tongues, and teeth. The heat was instant, the hunger consuming. There was no room for finesse, no desire for soft, and he wasn’t about to slow down.
In a series of quick steps, he swung Grady around until his back hit the wall. He crashed in, his whole body coming alive when it met Grady’s hard, muscled length.
See? It’s so intense (and that scene is nowhere near done).
It’s definitely an erotic book – there is a lot of sex. It’s how they come to know each other in a way. They may not communicate great and they may get a little whiny and poor Micah doesn’t know where he is every time he has an orgasm (and wow he has a lot of orgasms in this book) but it worked for me pretty well. The BDSM stuff caused a little over-done conflict, but overall this is a fun read.