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on 13 August 2012
Nate "Ghost" Weller and best friend Griggs are part of an elite group of ex-military specialists the Black Knights Inc. Captured and tortured for days only Nate survives and he has the terrible task of telling Griggs family of his death without going into the specifics.

Nate has been in love with Grigg's younger sister Ali since forever but warned off by Griggs and now feeling horrendously guilty about his friends death Nate always acts solemn and aloof around Ali apart from one brief moment when they were both consumed by grief.

When kindergarten teacher Ali finds herself in trouble after being followed and then mugged she turns up at the gates of Black Knights Inc to ask Nate for help. It becomes obvious to Ali that Black Knights Inc is not a fancy garage as her brother and Nate had previously told her, knowing Nate and her brother have been involved in something she seeks to find not only the truth about her brothers death but finally resolve her feelings for Nate.

I absolutely loved Hell on Wheels it's my kind of story with a deliciously tortured hero and slow burning heat that simmered on each page. Nate is known as the Ice man he's always cool and collected and never shows his emotions. Ali when faced with Nate's wall of silence has a tendency to blab extensively getting herself more embarrassed she has no idea that underneath Nate's calm exterior he's actually having to try really hard to keep his emotions in check when around her, he definitely has the protective alpha male vibe about him in Ali's presence. I quite liked Ali, she has the worst constitution ever and throws up when faced with blood and moments of extreme stress I could absolutely relate to that as I'm equally as squeamish.

Whilst I loved the hot romance I also loved the action, political intrigue and mystery of why Ali was being targeted. Hell on Wheels also did a fine job of setting out other potential characters for the series I loved the small glimpses of the Black Knight's boss Frank and the wise cracking and mischevious Becky there was real sparks there and I was excited to see their book In Rides Trouble is next.

If you are a fan of Lora Leigh's Elite Op's or Tempting SEAL's series then you should check out Hell on Wheels.
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Julie Ann Walker's debut novel Hell on Wheels is a fast paced and exciting start to her Black Knights, Inc series that left me eager to read the next instalment. After several years of reading mainly paranormal stories I've recently rediscovered my love of contemporary romance and romantic suspense in particular. I can't seem to get enough of these alpha military heroes who are hunky, strong, protective and possessive but also surprisingly sweet and caring towards the women in their lives.

Nate is a perfect example of my favourite kind of alpha and of course I fell for him big time while reading his story. An ex-Marine Nate now works for Black Knights, Inc a group of ex-military specialists who do the kind of jobs that the government doesn't want anyone else to know about. His last mission went badly wrong and ended up with both Nate and his best friend Grigg being captured and tortured for days, Grigg didn't survive and Nate has been grieving and struggling with his guilt ever since. When Grigg's sister Ali thinks she is being followed she turns to Nate for help and they soon find themselves caught up in a web of secrets and lies surrounding a conspiracy that could be the death of them both.

It can be very hard to get the balance right in the first book of a new series, the author has to introduce the main characters, create a believable world, build interest for future books and at the same time give us the romance and action that we are looking for in a romantic suspense novel. Although at times there was slightly too much page time given to the next couple in the series overall I felt Julie Ann Walker did a good job of getting the balance right. I loved all of the characters at Black Knights, Inc and can't wait to see more of them as the series continues. I have to confess to having a particular soft spot for a hunky geek though so of course Ozzie was a favourite of mine and I was very excited to learn from the author that he will be getting his own book. I'm excited about all of these heroes though and have a feeling I'm going to love them all. It's always fun when you can get to know a group of characters throughout a series and I enjoyed the teams banter and the way they all look out for each other.

The main characters were almost complete opposites. Nate is very self contained, he is known as the ghost but is also a bit of an ice man who never shows any kind of emotion. He holds everything very close to his chest and this can make him appear cold at times but when you look past the surface he is red hot on the inside. Ali is soft and innocent, she is a kindergarten teacher who never swears and always tends to look on the bright side of things. She has a tendency to babble when she's nervous or scared and Nate makes her very nervous which leads to some very funny conversations between them. I did find her habit of being sick at pretty much anything got a bit tiresome after a while but in a way it was nice to read about a heroine who had a normal, horrified reaction to violence. What they say about opposites attract is certainly the case with these two, they make a perfect couple and I really enjoyed watching them grow closer throughout the story. What I really appreciated was Ali's reaction to Nate's secret but I can't say why without giving spoilers so you'll have to read the book yourself to see if you agree with me.

One of the things I loved most about the story was the humour, I laughed out loud several times while reading the story but I was also so emotionally connected that the author managed to bring tears to my eyes not just once but twice while I was reading. It's been a while since a book last made me cry and I can't think of a romantic suspense story that ever had that effect on me. Hell on Wheels is a very promising debut and I can't wait to read In Rides Trouble and Rev it Up. I think Julie Ann Walker is definitely an author to watch out for - I'm sure we'll be seeing great things from her in the future.
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on 26 April 2014
HELL ON WHEELS is the first instalment in Julie Ann Walker’s adult, contemporary, romantic Black Knight Inc suspense series focusing on a group of former Navy SEALs, Black Ops, ex military men and the women they love. With their base of operations fronted by a motorcycle repair shop, the men of Black Knight Inc –a covert government defense team- do the dirty work behind the scenes when terrorism and threats to National Security become real and mean. This is Nate Weller and Ali Morgan’s story.

The focus of the storyline is Ali Morgan’s safety and finding the people who have been haunting her daily life since the death of her brother Grigg while on a secret assignment in the Middle East. Gregg’s death has weighed heavily on both Ali and Nate but none more so than Nate who feels responsible for the death of his best friend and ‘brother’. When Ali arrives at Black Knight Inc with a tale of being stalked and followed, Nate makes it his mission to protect his best friend’s little sister knowing that his heart was lost to the woman years before. But someone else is willing to take her out to hide a secret he doesn’t want anyone else to know.

Julie Ann Walker writes an amazing storyline of suspense, mystery and action. The relationship between Ali and Nate begins as friends to lover but along the way Nate will push Ali away believing she holds him responsible for the death of her brother.

The sex scenes are hot, sensual and a release because the sexual tension between our leading couple can be felt throughout the storyline. The storyline is told through a combination of memories, flashbacks and present day where we will discover the truth behind Grigg’s death and the fall out of a war that no body wants to lose. The secondary characters are colorful, heartbreaking and exuberant and, there is a building story between Rebecca (Black Knight’s mechanic) and Frank “Boss’ Knight-the leader of BKI. If you want a storyline that will make you cry, Hell on Wheels is a great start to what should be an amazing series.
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on 14 October 2012
I was surprised by this book, there is some pretty good plot woven throughout the romance and I liked the action even though it was a bit obvious what was going to happen all the time. 'Ghost,' is the strong silent type with lots of buff muscles and big guns, the author explains said guns like she knows what she's talking about and I totally bought it since I know next to nothing about sniper rifles myself. Overall his friendship with Griggs (Ali's now dead brother) was quite touching and the final telling of how he died had me in tears, it was brillantly done. Nate meets Ali again after Griggs has died and she suspects someone is following her, of course she turns to exmarine Nate to help.
I didn't mind Ali, she was a bit weak and conventional at times by being what you expect, however, her reactions to things were hilarious because when someone got shot or she found out something horrible she ended up throwing up all over the place which helped her become a bit more real. After all she's supposed to be a kindergarden teacher!
Overall a good book, lots of fun if you have some spare time and if i could give it an extra half I would :)
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on 6 September 2015
Hell On Wheels takes place in a motorcycle shop owned by Becky Reichert. Not only is it a motorcycle shop but it is home for Black Knights Inc. which is a private agency of ex-military men.

We meet Nate Weller who was attracted to Ali Morgan on the first day they met. Ali is the little sister of Grigg Morgan, Nate's former best friend. Grigg said he would kill Nate if he ever touched his sister so Nate kept his distance from Ali so she wouldn't figure out how much he was attracted to her. Even after Grigg's death Nate wanted to honor his friend's wishes so he stayed away from Ali. Nate was also tortured by his friend's death and thought Ali would never forgive him if she new the truth about it.

Ali has always been attracted to Nate but thought he barely noticed her because he rarely talked to her or spent much time with her. Ali showed up at the Black Knights Headquarters and needed protection after she was mugged and attacked. Grigg was never able to tell Ali anything about what Black Knights did but she knew they could help her. She suspected whatever Grigg was working on had something to do with the attacks and that Nate knew what that was.

The suspense in this novel kept me on the edge of my seat. Who was after Ali and why? I couldn't read fast enough to find out. I liked Ali's determination to get to the bottom of this mess. That was a bit surprising given that she was a kindergarten teacher who was kind and sweet natured. Nate is a wonderful alpha male. He was strong, determined, and very capable but soft to Ali at times.

The rest of the Black Knights team are amazing characters that I can't wait to read more about.
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on 4 June 2016
The story was OK, but the lead female character fell into the 'too annoying' as well as 'too stupid' to live category. She was sick at every opportunity, throwing up at the sight, smell and mere thought of blood, projectile vomiting from the back of a motorbike (really), and 'blowing her chunks' (who wrote this?) even in the White House. Whether this is meant to be 'klutzy' or endearing, it's not, it's just stupid.

She's also emotionally unstable, unable to go a couple of hours without turning on the waterworks at the slightest thing - she cries like a baby, again at the merest mention of things she hasn't seen or been present at. We know her brother's been killed before the story starts, but she's as emotionally incontinent as a small baby on top of that. She blubbers away so much, she'd be dangerously dehydrated in real life.

And of course, she never does anything sensible, she's always 'trying to help', proving what an alpha female she isn't. So she puts her associates in danger by behaving stupidly and not staying hidden or keeping a low profile. When she's constantly trying to out-macho the male characters she just constantly irritates - I was waiting for her to just fall off the motorbike and into a ditch.

Pity as the setup and writing is good, apart from the annoying whiny toddler the author's saddled the plot with. She's meant to be a kindergarten teacher, but she was more like one of the pupils.
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on 29 October 2012
That was an excellent read!!! A refreshing and emotional rollercoaster of a GREAT read!!!!

Great story fast paced and quite emotional I cried a few times it was so heartbreaking I will not spoil it for you though.

Julie Ann Walker has a terrific imagination and such an excellent world builder you truly feel part of the story. Her characters are really interesting and beautifully written.

I loved Nate (Ghost) he was the not so typical Alpha male who although was a big strong silent type could be reduced to such aggrieved pain and tears.
Ali was a perfect compliment to Nate she new him for years and her level of fogiveness and compassion is beautifully written and I found their love to be believeable and refreshing.

I loved the story that much that Ive already ordered the next two installments.

Im not a huge fan of the special ops/military type genres but I loved the cover of this and thought Id give it a go and I was not at all dissapointed.

Its rare to find a gripping story that is so far from your normal genre that you can actually enjoy so I say thank you and keep it up.
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on 1 June 2013
This was my first book from Julie Ann Walker and to be honest I'd have to be twiddling my thumbs to pick up another one. It's a promising idea but for me the characters were all sex obsessed oddities. Really - is anyone that obsessed - never mind a whole book full of them. It detracted from the plot and made the book unrealistic and just a bit laughable. It lacks credibility.
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on 26 September 2015
The storyline is good but the writing style is God awful! So many "punny" discriptors it's just gut wrenching and was hard to finish. Nobody talks like that! Example: main character Has been tortured for days, is breaking out, stands up and "he screwed his old peepers drum tight and swallowed, forcing himself to breathe deep. It helped, if only a little, considering his room -his lovely prison for the last three days- was pretty ripe ..... Finally .. He was able to move forward without the walls going all Tilt-a-whirl". It's like this in almost every single paragraph, props to the author for managing to fit so much cheese into each page! only thing that kept me going was the plot line. Having read descriptions of the follow up books they're all the same, hardened ex soldier won't let himself fall in love with the girl, soft porn moment, fall out, back together. Will read another of these books when hell gets good n chilly like three year old ice lolly at the back of the freezer compartment of a ten year old frigidaire.... That's to say, I won't be.
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on 31 August 2015
Straight from the very first page your pulled into a story that has it all. Sexy Alphas, beautiful feisty women, funny tech guys, action, love and spies. Need I go on? The story certainly held more than I had bargained for!
Nate is too wrapped up in guilt over his hand in his best friends death, he can't see what's under his nose. Until Ali is threatened, then everything changes. There's a few shocking moments and a little too much setting the scene and introspection which dragged on a little bit. The action is over quickly after a long build up but it didn't stop me from loving this book. I'd love to know if Ozzie is getting a story?
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