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Hard Way - Katie Porter Sunny and Liam

Good emotional story but I had some issues with the forced sex. It was consensual rape but it was still made me a little uncomfortable at times.

Full review on Fiction Vixen Book Reviews

Katie Porter seems to be popping up on my radar a lot lately. I have heard some good things and some mixed things in the reviews I have read. I decided to go ahead and try one of her books to decide for myself. I will tell you one thing, there are no lukewarm feelings in me about Hard Way. I am not sure about her other books but this one took me on an emotional rollercoaster.

Hard Way opens in a gut wrenching scene. I can’t remember a time where I was thrown directly in a book and forced to confront unhappy feelings almost immediately. Despite enduring most of their marriage apart and surviving, Sunny has now asked Dash/Liam for a divorce. She is tired of feeling like she only gets pieces of the real Liam and being with him is just too much effort. She has met a normal, comfortable man with whom she can just be and not have to worry about turmoil.

Dash to his contemporaries, Liam to his wife, is shocked by the request. He knows they have grown apart but doesn’t understand how this separation has been any different from all the others. He does know that he will fight, in any way possible to keep his marriage. Surprisingly one of those ways is forced sex that brings out a riot of emotions in both him and Sunny. Along with the forced sex we follow Sunny and Liam as they try to recapture what made them come together in the first place.

I have to admit that Sunny bothered me. I felt like we went into this book thinking that all of the problems were on Liam’s side but, in my opinion, they were not. Liam had issues and we saw him admit to some problems and work to fix them. I was right pissed at Sunny when she unleashed on him for daring to teach a children’s karate class. At no point did I feel like Liam had ulterior motives of showing her how much she might want a baby but Sunny jumped right on that train. She was the one who pushed him to return to martial arts but when he acts on her suggestion it still wasn’t good enough for her. Towards the end of the book, I almost wanted Liam to tell Sunny to go take a flying leap. He was making progress, he was changing for her yet she didn’t even have the guts to tell him her potential future relationship had been in town the whole time. That smacked of betrayal.

My review comes with a big, warning flag. There is forced seduction in this book and at times, it is brutal. Both parties receive something from the sex that they need. Liam feels in control in a way he hasn’t in a long time and Sunny feels like she is finally seeing an honest side of Liam, a side she hasn’t seen in so many years. There is use of a safe word which was well done because some of the scenes made me cringe and had there not been a safe word I would have been very uncomfortable.

Hard Way tested my emotional resolve. Ms. Porter has written a gut-wrenchingly emotional book about two people who love each other but don’t know how to find their way back. While I had issues with Sunny, I still grieved for the potential loss of this relationship. Being romance I knew it had to have a HEA but the path the couple takes to get back to that HEA is fraught with obstacles. If you can read through the violent sex (and I am not exaggerating) then I encourage you pick up this book for the emotional journey alone. Final grade- B-

Favorite Quote:

He’d wanted to break her shell. She fought every day, one way or another- be it law school or legal cases or elections, or smiling her way through a military function where the color of her skin was cause for mistrust. Fighting him was another battle to be won. Nothing new, except for their one-on-one ferocity.

This was ferocious. God, yes. All-consuming. The Ice Queen of Bangalore was a raging, thrashing mass of nerves and desires. She’d always held something back, even from him.

Not anymore.