Doing it at: 59%
Catnip: Opposites Attract; Deep Dark Secrets; Sexual Healing; Boxers; Alpha Hero
Shame Scale: Medium shame, that cover is all about them abs, and my brain kept wandering to My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding casting
Fantasy Cast: Kate Hudson circa Almost Famous; young Gerard Butler
Emily McCarthy is living in fear of a dark and dangerous past. A gifted mathematician, she is little more than a hollow, broken shell, trying desperately to make ends meet long enough to finish her degree. Through an unlikely friendship with the aging, cantankerous owner of an old boxing gym, Em is thrown into the path of the most dangerous man that she has ever met. Cormac “the Hurricane” O’Connell is cut, tattooed and dangerous. He is a lethal weapon with no safety and everyone is waiting for the mis-fire. He’s never been knocked out before, but when he meet Em he falls, HARD. Unlike any other girl he’s ever met, she doesn’t want anything from him. Just being around her makes him want to be a better person. They are polar opposites who were never meant to find each other, but some things are just worth the fight. ***Warning*** This book contains adult language and subject matter, including some flashback scenes of abuse and rape, that may be disturbing for some readers. This book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
I have some serious mixed feelings about The Hurricane, on one hand the story had some really strong elements and some great, clean writing. On the other hand, it dragged a bit and made my brain drift off towards My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (I don’t think we can blame the author for that one, my brain is a well-known scumbag). I would recommend Em and O’Connell’s story to people looking for main characters with some serious demons and an incredibly devoted hero.
Cormack “The Hurricane” O’Connell spots Emily working at a local greasy spoon close to the gym where he does boxing training and is instantly smitten with her. He bided his time to introducing himself because even from afar he can tell she’s a skittish little* bird. And he’s a rough neck boy, well over six-foot, with tattoos, and what I imagine is not a particularly refined accent (my apologies to the author, my brain she does what she wants); who hangs out with Danny her favorite customer. Danny is the closest thing Em has to a friend because she’s hiding a dark past and is incredibly slow to trust. Especially men.
Emily is in hiding from her stepfather, Frank, who spent her formative years beating the crap out of her and almost killing her before she escaped. This book comes with a trigger warning and it is a necessary one. The flashbacks to the abuse are tough to read, though they don’t dominate the narrative and give a clearer picture of why Emily has been so incredibly hesitant to have a relationship of any sort. When Danny asks her to come work for him and be his bookkeeper – Em is a math major – she reluctantly agrees not knowing that he runs a boxing gym. When she walks into work her first day to see all the giant, sweating, aggro guys its more than a little shock to her system.
Luckily, the boxers Danny has gathered together all seem to be like adorable over grown puppies. There’s so much adorable boy bro behavior in The Hurricane. I found O’Connell and his best friends Kieran and Tommy ultra charming together, and I’m hoping they get books of their own. The ruffians take right to Em and fawn all over her while maintaining respect because O’Connell has basically peed a circle around her, telling the boys that this one is his.
Emily tries to fight his claim at first, because she isn’t ready for a relationship, she’s learning to trust people and not sure how her body would react to the physical demands of a romantic relationship after the previous trauma. O’Connell is very sweet and tells Em he’s more than pleased to just be her friend and will wait until she’s ready for him, there’s no pressure or posturing, he’s a genuinely nice guy with her. Only trying to sneak the occasional liberty:
“Come and give your man a good luck kiss.”
“Friends don’t kiss each other good luck,” I teased. He smiled, opened the door with the hand that wasn’t wrapped around my waist, and shouted through it.
“Kier, do friends kiss each other good luck?”
“Hell, yes,” he replied in mock seriousness. “I gave Con a good bit of lip loving this afternoon to cheer him on.”
It doesn’t take too long for Emily to realize that she wants to be way more than friends with O’Connell and they’re loved up before our sacred not at all arbitrary 65% mark. The couple took it slow, and had to wait even longer than they would have liked because Danny imposed a no doing it before fights rule on O’Connell. I thought this was an old wives tale, and would have googled, but was a little scared of the search results I might get from “Does holding it in help you beat people up better?” or “Blue balls = fighting wins?”
The book did start to drag for me a little, there was a lot of mundane oh we’re such a happy couple stuff before we hit the big conflict. I don’t want to be too spoiler-y, but the third act drama in The Hurricane was harrowing. Please go into this book knowing that the trigger warning is there for a reason.
Check out The Hurricane on Amazon if you’re in the mood for probably the sweetest Alpha we’ve come across in our scores of romance reading.
Check it out on Amazon:
*I had to text Mary because O’Connell kept exclaiming over Em’s “miles of leg” even though she’s petite. Short girls don’t have mile long legs, ok? Just let us giants have this one thing. We don’t get to be dainty dolls who men want to carry around and protect, but we get to have legs for days. We can’t find pants long enough for them, but we get to have them.