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Friday, January 31, 2020


My first two Nalini Singh books! I have lovely book pushing friends who have been trying to get me on this fanwagon for the longest time it seems (my apologies, I'm such a snail). I really need to start one of her paranormal books but the series count intimidates me ahhhhh. I'm glad I could familiarize myself with her writing style via contemporary romance first. Did I say that I dig it yet? BECAUSE I REALLY DIG IT. When I look at the covers, I assumed they were a part of the same series, like book one and book two. Nope. I rarely read out of order but it didn't bring down my enjoyment level at all. I look forward to reading the other books in these contemporary series heheh.

Title: Rock Hard
Author: Nalini Singh
Rock Kiss #2
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he'll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she's a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.
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"Strength doesn't mean never relying on anyone."

Gabriel Bishop is our macho ex-rugby star turned business CEO with the biggest heart ever. I loved how gently he was with Charlotte yet also wickedly sinful with his words *turns fan on at full blast*. Their relationship grew wonderfully and their interactions often had me chuckling and smiling. I absolutely loved how his nickname is T-Rex. Very on-point hahahah.

Charlotte starts off as her nickname goes, very mousy. She tries her best to stay under the radar, remains quiet and finishes her job in quick and accurate efficiency. Her person [did you catch the Grey's Anatomy reference] is her best friend Molly who is a total sweetheart. I wish we could of seen more of her throughout the novel. I felt the book was very much focused on Gabriel and Charlotte with only a few glimpses of other characters. I think I would have fallen deeper into the world and been more invested had there been more exposure to the surroundings and people.

I honestly wished we had more family interactions in the novel because I absolutely LOVED Gabriel's brothers. They were probably the highlight for me! They only popped up for a few pages but these characters really shine and caught my interest immediately. Especially Sailor! He and his wife are too darn cute. I'm very much looking forward to reading his book next woot woot. My emotions burst in glee to learn Jake will have his own book as well. Hallelujah!!

Rock Hard is a lovely contemporary story about a woman rising from the trauma of her past. The novel beautifully emphasizes how communication and love can play such a big role in moving forward. I was rooting for Charlotte from the get-go and for her to take on her past the way she did...ugh *wipes tear* YOU GO CHARLIE!  Doesn't hurt that she had a sexy CEO to back her up and verbally spar with in the office too :')

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Title: Cherish Hard
Author: Nalini Singh
Hard Play #1
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Sailor Bishop has only one goal for his future—to create a successful landscaping business. No distractions allowed. Then he comes face-to-face and lips-to-lips with a woman who blushes like an innocent... and kisses like pure sin.

Ísa Rain craves a man who will cherish her, aches to create a loving family of her own. Trading steamy kisses with a hot gardener in a parking lot? Not the way to true love. Then a deal with the devil (aka her CEO-mother) makes Isa a corporate VP for the summer. Her main task? Working closely with a certain hot gardener.

And Sailor Bishop has wickedness on his mind.

As Ísa starts to fall for a man who makes her want to throttle and pounce on him at the same time, she knows she has to choose—play it safe and steady, or risk all her dreams and hope Sailor doesn't destroy her heart. 

"I say we don't run, we don't hide. We try." 

I LOVE ÍSA AND SAILOR. I love them separately, as individual characters. I love them together, as a couple. Seriously, every. single. interaction. had me in a giggling happy-go-lucky smiling fit. I read this after Rock Hard and after learning that this cutie coupe had their own book. Of freaking course I hopped right on it (shout out to Lisa my romance sister for telling me they had their own book)! Both their characters are so likable and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about how this OTP came to be.

Cherish Hard was a fun and delightful read. Sailor Bishop is a hardworking and big-hearted hero. He's working his butt off to jump start his business and wants to do it all on his own. He's a huge family man (cue my awes and swoons because family is everything to me) but doesn't wish to burden anyone with any of his financial problems, despite knowing they would help him in a heart beat. Ísa Rain wants nothing more than to teach poetry. She holds the huge responsibility of keeping her family together. She's on the lookout for a man that will lover her and not put work before family which was what tore her own parents apart.

Both Sailor and Ísa have playful personalities (Sailor's is just on full-power always). I think what I enjoyed most about this novel was their dynamic. Then to learn they had known each other (however briefly) when they were younger made my heart warm and immediately cry "This is fate! You were meant to be together!". There's a scene [highlight for spoiler(?)] involving water and nakedness kind of in the first quarter of the book, that Sailor's sweet manner really shines. He's so caring and willing to go along with any antics Ísa wants to try but continually looks out for her safety *clutches heart*. I love how Ísa is an intelligent person but her brain short-circuits when it comes to romance. Hello, my twin. Like in Rock Hard, the heroine has a super awesome and supportive friend. You get a glimpse of Nayna's (the bestie) love life as well which has be eager to read her book.

I enjoyed getting chapters here and there that highlighted Sailor's and Ísa's professional/business-mode side. Despite Ísa's reluctance to work as VP at her mother's company, she has qualities of a good leader with strong instincts. She doesn't bend to her mother's every demand, and I enjoyed her verbal spars with Jacqueline (aka the Dragon). It has already been established that I love the Bishop famjam but turns out I really like Ísa x Catie x Harlow family too. Their relationship was equally endearing and supportive.

Cherish Hard will be one of those books I know I'll keep going back to and rereading when in a slump. I've been reading a lot of mystery/thriller lately, and this novel reminded me why the contemporary romance genre is my absolute top favorite. It makes me feel happy and warm inside! 

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