Review: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

Cover to Cover Book Blog Kat snark book blog blogger reader books bookish Rock Hard Nalini Singh favorites 5 starsBuy linksGoodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | B&N
Genre: Adult | Contemporary Romance | Sports
Books: Rock Addiction | Rock Hard | Rock Redemption | Rock Wedding

Read Count: 11
Published: March 10, 2015
Pages: 386 page paperback

Average Rating: 4.06 stars
My Rating: 5 stars – a million stars!
Description: 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 Hard is one of my all-time favorite reads ever. You’ve heard me talk about it enough… somehow I think I recommend it at least once it all of my recommendation posts. The book is about the CEO and ex-professional rugby player Gabriel Bishop, a smoking hot and deceptively sweet alpha male who contrives and schemes to win the heart and hand of his mild-mannered and paralyzingly shy employee, Charlotte “Charlie” Baird. 

1. Charlie’s journey and growth

The book follows Gabriel Bishop, who is *stealthily* pursuing the cripplingly shy Charlie, who he recently promoted as his executive assistant when her previous job became obsolete. We get to watch sweet Charlie, who, at first, locks up, shaking and unable to talk whenever Gabriel is near, slowly become a woman who can hold her own against the fierce Gabriel.

“He really was a T-Rex, stomping through the company, chewing up people and spitting them out left, right, and center. But the T-Rex wasn’t looking Charlotte’s way, and that was fine with her. She’d just be a quiet, industrious little mouse in the corner, not worth bothering with but too useful to fire.”

It takes a few weeks, but soon she’s giving back as good as she gets, throwing muffin’s at her boss’s head when he becomes too growly and intolerable. Watching Charlie grow from a place where a tiny step outside her comfort zone sent her scurrying into the corner, to a woman who continually exists outside her comfort zone and learns to live with her reactions is empowering even to me.

2. The Writing Style

Rock Hard straddles the line perfectly between it’s fast but steady-paced plot and slow-burn romance that is absolutely perfect. It’s very much a contemporary romance, but this is no fluff piece. It’s got some romantic suspense in there, and deals with very deep issues. But the writing in it is so subtle, you don’t notice how much you love it or how engrossed you are until you have to put it down. 

3. The characters are hysterical

The characters are funny. I laughed my way through this whole book. Charlie-Mouse and the T-Rex’s interactions (T-Rex meaning Gabriel) always made me grin and giggle just a little bit. As serious as the book is for the topic’s it handles, the overall tone is a flirty and sweet one, with a side of constant banter that just made my heart melt. 

To be honest, I think everything about this book is perfect 🙂

4. The characters are so dynamic!

The dynamic characterization is typical of a Nalini Singh book, but it really shines in this one. The characters do everything but sit up from the pages and walk around. Every time Gabriel growls a sexy “Ms. Baird,” I can’t help but shiver and burrow a little bit further into my blankets with a smile on my face. 

“Ms. Baird, no one is good or bad at sex by themselves,” he drawled. “It’s a team effort, and you know I’m a team player.”

5. The superb handling of sensitive issues

The best part about this book is that it’s not a woman-meets-man-and-he-changes-her-and-saves-her deal. Gabriel gives her the tools to help her heal herself and is there to continually support her during her journey, and while he may have been the catalyst, he by no means is the one who ~heals~ her and Singh makes that very clear in her beautifully written book that I ADORE <3.

6. And the troubles aren’t one-sided

I don’t want you to walk away with a misconception about this story. It’s the tales of woe for Charlie-Mouse who is trying to fix herself for her T-Rex. Gabriel has his own problems and issues, and the book is a journey that the two of them are taking together to help each other. This is no one-man journey, and it perfectly highlights Singh’s understanding of human nature and her on-the-nose interpretation of human interaction. Which is lovely and perfect, as always. 

What are you currently reading? What books have snuck up and surprised you in the best way? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

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