Review: Going Hard by Cari Quinn

Format: E-bookgoinghard.jpg
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Boys of Fall, #9
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Rafe Martinez
Heroine: Hollie Bennett
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: July 08, 2016
Started On: July 26, 2018
Finished On: July 27, 2018

It has been ages since I have read a Cari Quinn. I was so excited, having discovered this book authored solely by hers truly, I even made a note of it when I started reading. Going Hard is classic Cari Quinn, and delving deeper into the story made me realise all anew that very few authors have her ability to combine good sarcasm and undeniable heat in a way that melts your panties off.

Almost 25 year old Hollie Bennett is a librarian, who is looking to experience and sow her wild oats. She refuses to feel guilty and she knows what she wants. Or does she? With Rafe Martinez, her long-term childhood crush having turned out to be a disappointment in bed, Hollie turns her sights to other “prospectives”, and ends up in one hilarious situation after another.

Rafe is determined to give Hollie the space she needs. Having being rejected, and with “good” reason, Rafe keeps his distance until four months later, he turns up to give Hollie the “guidance” she needs in going after what she wants. However, little by little, the iron-clad control of Rafe’s slips away under the enticing package that Hollie has always been for him. Before Rafe knows it, they have both given in, and pleasure comes calling in every single way they could go about it.

Going Hard was an interesting story from the beginning. It was a novelty to begin a romance novel where the hero and heroine had done it before, and the heroine had in fact NOT liked it. Hollie has fantasized about Rafe ever since she had been hit by hormones of puberty. But Rafe had never looked her way, having being her brother’s best friend all the while. Rafe had always considered Hollie to be off-limits, his upbringing having drummed into him to be a man who is respectful and nothing like his philandering father.

It is Rafe’s sister who finally makes him see what he has been doing to himself, by denying one side of his nature because of what has been required of him. Rafe is a man who hides his intense passion behind a facade of control that he has perfected over time. Given that he is not much of a ladies man (unlike most heroes we encounter in books), his foray into the world of women and sex is also limited. But that does not mean he is not lethal and potent when he decides to unleash that side of himself. The torrent of feels when he does decide to let go? One of the best aspects of this story.

Recommended for those who love intelligently crafted stories that makes you laugh out loud one minute and whimper from want the next.

Final Verdict: I have sorely missed the snark and full throttle passion that is Cari Quinn’s signature. Add in Rafe, a man who talks dirty in Spanish when he finally loses control; sign me up for the next one please!

Favorite Quotes

“Rafe,” she said with a startled glare.
He hauled her into the darkened space. She was actually surprised there was one in this place. Everything seemed neon and bright, not to mention filled to the brim with people.
Though it was a weeknight and had to be heading toward eleven. And huh…sometime between game three and four, the pool area had cleared out.
He braced his arm against the wall beside her head and used the rest of his body to block her into the corner. “Why the fuck are you wearing a padded bra?”
Shock muted her for a moment before she managed to sputter out a laugh. “It’s none of your damn business.”

Her fingers went right for his hair and held him there. Not that she had to worry about it, because he didn’t seem inclined to move. He tugged the other, rolling it between two fingers as he sucked strongly on the first.

Her entire body lit up like the jukebox next to them.
No way.
She rolled her hips against him as a restless hunger built in her lower belly. He slid his knee between her legs and she moaned when the seam of her jeans brushed her clit.
His hot breath fanned over her chest and along her ribs as he licked a path under her breast to the one he’d neglected and tasted that one, too.
“Can you come from this?” he asked. “I never have before.” Was that her voice? It was needy and dark, just like she felt.

“I want to see your perfect tits stretching against my shirt while I feed you.”
Eyes wide, she fell silent.
He rooted through the picnic basket and came out with a sprig of fat red grapes. Knowing full well which hand he was using, he broke off a few and set them on his thigh, then reached for the bottle of wine. He held the grapes over the edge of the blanket and splashed some wine on the fruit before he shifted back to Hollie. Her full lips were damp and trembling, so he traced the bottom one with a grape. “Open up for me, belleza.”
She did as he asked, biting into the grape. Once she’d chewed and swallowed, he slipped his finger inside, nearly shuddering at the wet flick of her tongue against his skin.
“Tastes good?” She nodded, and he knew she understood he wasn’t just referring to the fruit.

Without waiting for him to answer, she kicked the remnants of their lunch out of the way and rolled onto her belly between his legs. She reached for his zipper and yanked it down, following the path with little kisses she trailed down his stiff length.
He fisted his hand in her hair to slow her down—he was the one who should be on his knees for her, not the other way around—but she took it as encouragement instead.
“God, yes. Pull my hair.” She shivered and wriggled on the blanket, causing his shirt to ride up her back. Christ. Her firm, bare ass tormented him, and the agony only got worse when she crossed her ankles and flexed her taut cheeks.
When she pried down his boxers and pulled him out, he didn’t offer an admonishment. More like a groan of fucking relief as her warm, wet mouth slid over the swollen tip. His hand tightened in her hair again, almost unintentionally, and she moaned around him, deeply enough that he pulled hard.

“Mojado,” he said against her ear, pushing his fingers deeper until they could go no further. Then he flexed them, moving against that spot inside her that made her shudders intensify.
“What…” She paused and took a breath, tipping back her head until their eyes met. “What does that mean?”
“Wet. All this, for me.” He pulled his fingers out, achingly slowly, and she gasped. He pressed them against her quivering lower belly and they gleamed wetly, damp up to his knuckles with her excitement.

“Touch me,” he growled, nipping her clit.
She hesitated. He felt it, because even her hips retreated slightly. Just enough to let him know she was uncertain.
He’d have to take the lead. Fuck, he wanted to.
“Put your hands on me,” he commanded. “Grip my shoulders, pull my fucking hair. Dig your nails into my skin. If you don’t, I’ll think you’re not liking this and I’ll stop.” He tugged lightly on one of the downy curls between her legs and met her gaze. “Or maybe I’ll just turn you over on your belly and spank your tight little ass. How about that?”
“Is there an option for both?” she whispered, making him cut off an oath.
Fuck, he hadn’t meant to go there, but as always, when they were naked, things got out of hand. But her eyes were so big and blue, and she was quaking underneath him.

She wasted no time in climbing astride him again. “I like to imagine me being on top.” She ran her hands up her torso to her breasts and his cock bobbed against her inner thigh. Even through the latex he could feel the steam coming off her pussy. “Being confident enough to reach down and do this,” she said, grabbing hold of him and guiding his dick to her slit. “To just slide on down and take…ahh, fuck…take what I need.”
He groaned, his hips lifting of their own accord. Remaining still and letting her do what she wanted took all his control and then some.
But the brightness in her eyes, the way her hand shook as she brought him inside—so worth it.
“Cup your breasts and ride me. You took the reins, now use them,” he said, voice low, his hands curling into the sheets to keep from forcing her down harder on his cock. Her show, her way. For now.

He jerked out and drove home again, his stroke smoother the second time. She clawed at the sheets when he repeated the move, then closed his hand around the back of her neck and hauled her up on her knees. He needed a better angle. Had to go deeper. He leaned down and bit the side of her neck and she spasmed around him. Aftershocks, maybe. But then she grew even wetter and hotter and bent her head between her supporting arms, and he realized she’d come again.
Three times. He’d made her come three times.
“Fuck, belleza.” He rammed into her again, unable to check his strength. She went down to her belly on the mattress again, her knees not able to keep her up, and he couldn’t slow himself down enough to correct her position. He just kept fucking her, his fingers branding her skin, his teeth grazing whatever flesh he could reach.
“God, come.” She reached back and dragged her nails down his side. “Come.”
His balls tightened and he tried to warn her. To reel back his aggression. But he couldn’t stop from fisting his hand in her hair and dragging her off the bed to bite down on her shoulder as he jerked and exploded inside her.

He swiped his cock through her folds and hiked her up the bed a little. She tried to maneuver for him, but he tucked his arm under knee and flattened her into the bed as he filled her in one thrust.
If there was a way for her eyeballs to do the slots thing like Vegas, then it was happening. Holy fuck. He drove into her with and unflinching rhythm. Each thrust was long and hard. She curled her other leg around his hip and pulled him as tight as possible.
The heat of him and the heaviness of him was almost suffocating. Or was it the friction?
She couldn’t think.

She hooked her arm around his neck and fused their mouths together. Her shout was buried under his driving tongue and ceaseless hip action that left her shaking around him. He ripped his mouth free from her and his head tipped back.
The veins in his neck flexed and pulsed. She wanted to taste all of that. She latched her mouth to his shoulder and bit down as her entire body clenched around his.
He jerked over her. His cock pulsing inside of her. She could actually feel him swelling and filling her.
Fuck. Stunning.

He gripped her hair. The lick of pain only pushed her closer to the edge. “Hollie I’m going to come down your throat if you keep that up.”
“Do it.” She tighten her grasp around his shaft. “I want you to.”
He groaned. “Are you sure?”
She sucked on him and swayed again. God, she was so close and she hadn’t even touched herself. Her nipples ached with each shift of the material. She took him deeper as her nails spread across his belly for balance.
Rafe hissed out a breath and his body tensed. The veins came out in his arms and neck. She took him deeper. When the splash of warmth hit her tongue she took him deep again.

“Fuck. So fucking beautiful.”
His fingers slid over her slit and she jerked in reaction. “Too much.”
“What?” He rolled her onto her belly and gripped her ass. “Oh, fuck me.” He buried his face between her legs and she rolled onto her knees as he thrust inside her with his tongue.
“Rafe,” she managed to gasp out. He held her still and eased two fingers into her pussy as she screamed. Her body shook as pleasure and pain went to head-to-head in her body. He gentled the strokes and pleasure won out as she found herself in his arms.

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