Review: Hard by Cheryl McIntyre

Title: Hard
Author: Cheryl McIntyre
Genre: Erotic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual


A personal tragedy led to the crumbling of Holland Howard’s life, leaving her a walking shell of her former self. She left everything she knew for a clean start in a new city, with a new life, hoping to leave her pain behind.

Jensen Payne was a photographer who was slowly losing passion in the art. That was until he found his muse in the sadness that surrounded Holland. They both found the comfort they desperately looking for in each other. But relationship didn’t come easy when one was running from the past, and the other dreading the future.

When I first read the blurb, I was enticed by the idea of a stalker story with a hint of darkness. But it turned out to be not the case at all. The book had BDSM elements but it wasn’t dark per se.

When you no longer care if you live or die, life becomes surprisingly…simple.

I like Holland’s character with how her grief was portrayed. She deflected her emotions by numbing herself to it. It made her do potentially dangerous thing without much thought.

I don’t want to be responsible for someone else, or worse, someone be responsible for me. I already know how my story ends. I am not trying to confuse that.

I like Jensen too. It’s interesting with how his affliction led to his condition. It was totally understandable why he was that way. He was afraid with the possibilities in his future.

Being an erotic romance novel, there were a lot of scorching sex scenes in this one. I especially love the ones that involved bondage. One of my favorite scene was when the table was turned.

Story wise, Hard had a huge potential of being a poignant erotic romance. However, I felt it fell a little short. The first 50% of the book was too slow especially considering the book is not long. The first half was filled with mostly sex with minimal story development. It only picked up in the second half of the book.

I’m jealous of the moonlight. Of the way it kisses her body and holds her tight. Of the way it embraces every piece of her that it possibly can. The way it sees her in ways I cannot.

The second half was more into the emotional aspect which I really love. I think I would love this book more if this aspect was given a little extra attention because each of their individual issues had potentially heavy hitting direction.

Overall, I did enjoy the two aspect individually, but would love it if they were merged stronger.


As many of you already know, our friend Sasha on Goodreads is battling brain tumor and struggling with her life. I’m dedicating this review in honor of her. It couldn’t be more appropriate considering the title and the underlying issue of the book. This is a hard time for all of us. No matter what the outcome, we will stay strong for her because she has always been the strongest one, suffering in silence. We love you Sasha!


This review is also available on Goodreads.


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