Review Tour + Review: Hard Chrome by Vanessa North (w/ excerpt + giveaway)

Hello my lovely readers,

I’m excited to have you here to celebrate the release of Vanessa North’s latest book Hard Chrome, her first book in the American Heavy Metal series. Tanner is inheriting her late father’s car shop – much to the dismay of Duke, a car technician who worked for her father and has doubts she is the suited candidate to do the tough job. Can those two different characters get along and get their HEA?

Check out the post for all the book info plus read the excerpt.
Also don’t miss the chance to win a really cool price in the giveaway. 🙂

Also check out my release blitz post here.

Happy reading. 🙂

Hard Chrome Banner 1


Title: Hard Chrome
Series: American Heavy Metal  # 1
Author: Vanessa North
Genre: M/F Romance, Contemporary, workplace romance
Release Date: October 21, 2019 (ebook), October 29, 2019 (print)
Publisher: Carina Press
Length:  49.000 words

Hard Chrome deals with subjects some readers may find difficult, including domestic violence, animal cruelty, drug use, and teen pregnancy.


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Universal Book Link
Carina Press
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He’s tough. But she’s tougher.

Tanner Ellis left American Heavy Metal in her rearview mirror. She didn’t see the beauty behind the grease stains and the polished chrome until it was too late. Now she’s back, determined to save her father’s legacy—and bring the South’s premier classic-car shop into the new century. Nothing is going to stop her—especially not the sexy tech who refuses to follow her lead.

American Heavy Metal is the only home Duke Wilson’s ever known, and no high-heeled, sharp-tongued princess is going to take it away. He tolerates Tanner’s advice, and it’s fun to push her buttons, but she doesn’t belong in the shop—never has, never will. The sooner she realizes that, the sooner he can find his new normal.

When Tanner falters, revealing the pain beneath her bravado, Duke comforts her the only way he knows how. And when violence from his past threatens their future, she’ll be there for him, offering him the one thing he’s always wanted—a shot at a real family. He just has to convince himself to take it.

This book is approximately 49,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Hard Chrome Graphic 1


I cross the expanse of gravel making up our front lot and pull the key ring from my purse. Dad’s key ring, complete with the football-shaped tag reading Champion Dad. Tyler had given it to him for Christmas a decade ago. I swallow around the lump in my throat and find the door key.

It sticks in the lock.

Dammit. Of course it does. I try twisting it this way and that, and then a blare of country music sounds behind me as a truck pulls into the gravel lot. Is this guy trying to wake the whole town? A door slams, music and diesel engine still loud, and then a rough hand closes over mine. The awareness of a gigantic male body behind me and the touch of his hand make me jerk away like I’ve been burned.

Welp. So much for professional first impressions.

“Slow down, princess. You need an easy touch with this one.” He twists the key gently and the door pops open. “Now open the gate to the back lot so I can get to work.”

I bristle at the nickname, but I swallow my pride and face him, catching the barest impression of a stubbled jaw and flash of brown eyes before he turns his back.

The guy—my employee—strides to his truck, hips swaying in low-slung jeans, arm muscles on bulging display in a white tank top, straight out of the pages of a beefcake calendar. In my years post-college, running a day spa, I’ve never had to deal with an unfortunate attraction to an employee. Holy shit, I need to implement a dress code.

He climbs back into the truck and gestures at the gate, an insolent smile on his face. “Ain’t got all day, princess. I’m a flat-rate tech.”

Nodding, I bolt for the side of the building. Thankfully the padlock there opens easily, and I push the button on the wall to activate the automatic gate.

The tech tips his UGA cap at me and drives through, truck nuts swinging from his trailer hitch. Of course he has truck nuts. The big truck, the condescending nickname, the muscles, and the crude ornament all add up to one thing: a cocky asshole compensating for something.

At the front door, I rip down the sign that reads Closed for Funeral, and I start my new life.

Hard Chrome (American Heavy Metal, #1)Hard Chrome by Vanessa North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*

What an amazing book that totally blew me away.

From the start I was bewitched and I loved the characters. Not that Tanner was amazing, I was equally charmed as annoyed by Duke – Douglas – and I could feel with Tanner when he behaved like a douchebag.

For me the switching POV, told in first person, worked. I got the right insight of both characters, especially Duke is one hard to grasp first when he is almost hostile towards Tanner and her new position. Soon you notice that Duke has every reason to be hesitant to accept changes and that he has to prove that he is worth to stay at the car shop.

The premise of the enemies to lovers, hate to love tropes is well executed although I wouldn’t say there was any hate between Tanner and Duke, more they both are having to deal with grand changes – literally life changing ones – and both are too headstrong to admit when they’re wrong.

Two hotshots as main characters are an explosive mix and I loved how their UST is growing over the length of the book. Of course the book isn’t simply overcoming the first mistrust, as the content warnings say there is domestic violence, animal cruelty, drug use and teen pregnancy. These things are – without spoilering anything – connected to Duke and his past, and with these dramatic turns the book got a heavy dose of suspense. It also showed the reader how devoted Duke is towards the people he loves and cares for – a character trait not just Tanner is charmed by.

This book is – as good ones should – not just coming with two interesting, three dimensional characters with lots of flaws and mistakes (made in the past & still in the present) but has a bunch of side characters you can’t to wait to learn more about – there is already a next couple hinted (and already confirmed by the author) but their story isn’t told in book # 2, I assume we have to wait until book  # 3 then. In any ways I am thrilled to have more time with any of these characters.  I strongly advise readers to check the CW before. I was pretty shocked by the revealings but was prepared because of them and could enjoy the book nontheless.

This book gets my recommendation, 5 out of 5 stars from me.

View all my reviews

Author bio  – Vanessa North

Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. Her works have been shortlisted for both the Lambda Literary Award and the RITA© Award, and have garnered praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Northwest Georgia with her family: a Viking, twin boy-children, and two large dogs.


Author links / get in contact


Vanessa North is celebrating the release of HARD CHROME with a big giveaway! Three prizes are up for grabs: (2) $10 Amazon Gift Cards and (1) Signed Paperback of Hard Chrome + some serious auto-shop inspired swag!

Your chance to win *click*

Please note: the giveaway is not sponsored, administered or endorsed by Mikku-chan / A World full of Words.

Blogtour and release blitz hosted by/through A Novel Take PR


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