Tuesday 14 April 2015

Review: Rock Hard - Nalini Singh

In New York Times Bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past . . .

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.

Rock Kiss Series:
Rock Addiction
Rock Courtship (Novella)
Rock Hard (Crossover with the Hard Play series)
Rock Redemption
Rock Wedding

Hard Play Series:
(Spin off from the Rock Kiss series featuring the Bishop brothers)
Cherish Hard
Rock Hard (Crossover with the Rock Kiss series)
Rebel Hard
Love Hard

Visit Nalini Singh's website for more information

It wasn't easy for Charlie to put her life back together after escaping from an abusive relationship but she has worked hard to get where she is now and although she is still painfully shy she is good at her job and is independent. When Gabriel is brought in to completely overhaul the company she works for Charlie is terrified she's about to be fired but instead she finds herself promoted and working directly for Gabriel as his personal assistant. Gabriel is a terrifying T-Rex of a man, he demands a great deal from his staff and puts Charlie under a huge amount of pressure but at the same time she feels incredibly safe around him. No matter how scary she finds him she knows without a doubt that he would never hurt her and she finds herself gaining confidence in herself with him at her side. Gabriel wants Charlie from the moment he sets eyes on her and it doesn't take him long to realise just how special she is. He can see she's been hurt in the past though and he is more than willing to take his time stalking his prey.

This series really does get better and better with every single book, I've been looking forward to Charlie mouse and T-Rex's story for such a long time now and it was totally worth the wait. I've always been a huge fan of Nalini Singh for her paranormal romances but with this series she's proving that she's just as good at writing contemporary and this book was utterly perfect. I don't think I would change a single thing about it and just thinking about how much I enjoyed reading it has me wanting to pick it back up and devour it for a second time.

We all know that alpha heroes have become a huge trend in contemporary romances recently and I love strong, dominant heroes as much as the next girl but I'm often disappointed because some authors seem to think that alpha male is equivalent to domineering, abusive arse. If you want to meet a REAL alpha let me introduce you to Gabriel. Yes the man is grumpy and domineering at work, he knows what he wants and he expects his staff to do it immediately - he isn't known as the T-Rex for nothing - but he isn't unreasonable. He expects hard work from everyone else because he works hard himself, he puts in longer hours than anyone and wouldn't ask you to do something that he wasn't willing to do too. Outside the office Gabriel is the nicest guy you could ever hope to meet, he is sweet, kind, funny and thoughtful. He has a take charge attitude but he also knows when to take a step back and hand the reigns over to someone else.

I have a lot of respect for the way Gabriel treated Charlie, he set his sights on her very quickly but he could see that she was skittish and nervous and he respected her need for space and to take things slowly. He takes time to get to know her, to build trust between them and to just show her what a great guy he is before he even hints at wanting anything more than a business relationship between them. When he finally makes his move he knows just how far to push her so that things start to move forwards but he backs off immediately the second she gets nervous.

I absolutely loved seeing Charlie's confidence in herself increase, even before they're in a relationship Gabriel has a way of building her up and showing her just how special she is. She starts the story very mousy and almost afraid of her own shadow, something that isn't too surprising when you find out about her history, but by the end of the book she can really fight her own corner. I thought Nalini Singh handled her past sensitively and Charlie's progression was perfect, she wasn't cured of her fears overnight - nobody who had survived what she did could be - but she makes steady progress because she has the support of a guy who is willing to listen to her needs. Gabriel's instincts make him want to protect Charlie but he understands how important her independence is to her and he helps her live life on her own terms.

The whole Rock Kiss series has been brilliant but Rock Hard takes things up to a whole new level and Charlie and Gabriel are definitely one of my favourite Nalini Singh couples. I know I'll be reading this story again and again while I wait for the next book in the series to release and I'm really hoping that we're going to get stories about Gabriel's brothers that will allow us to catch up with these two too. I can't recommend Nalini Singh's books highly enough, she never lets me down and always, always makes me fall head over heels for her characters.

Source: Received from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
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  1. Great review, Sarah! Nowadays nice and sweet alpha hero is a rare commodity among abusive ones.

    1. Thanks Ksenia, it's so unusual to meet such a sweet alpha isn't it - I wish there were more of them out there because they're my favourite time :-)



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