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Genre: Adult | Contemporary Romance | Second-Chance
Series: Rock Kiss #1
Series Reviews: Rock Hard (#2)
Pages: 363 pages, Paperback Edition
My Rating: 5 stars!
Description: New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh kicks off her new Hard Play contemporary romance series with a sizzling story that’ll leave you smiling…
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 Ísa 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.
Nalini Singh books are my favorite!! I haven’t read a book of hers yet that I haven’t loved. You may have been able to tell, as I’ve now read 5 different Ms. Singh books within a week-and-a-half. Yes, I’ve read other books, too. No, I don’t intend to stop.
In this book, we follow Sailor Bishop, brother to Gabriel Bishop in Rock Hard (it’s worth a note that the events in Cherish Hard come before the events in Rock Hard). First of all, I ADORE Sailor! He’s such a sweet guy. Both characters were completely lovable and sweet and just stole my heart. They were so completely perfect for each other, and I was so invested in their story.
We start with Isa meeting the hot gardener of her school where she teaches poetry… if you can call a surprise make-out session with a stranger “meeting someone.” Sailor was caught off guard, but not upset at this change in events. Further, it turns out that the spunky redhead who “assaulted” him was the One Who Got Away from a party several years ago, in a night that happened to be one of the worst in her life. She doesn’t remember him, but he remembers her, and he’s not happy when she gets away a second time.
“When I catch up with you, spitfire, it’s going to be all about revenge.” Sweet, slow, erotic revenge.
But they bump into each other again, in the most surprising way. Isa makes to help her mother – the CEO of Crafty Corners, a wildly successful chain of craft stores – and become VP of the company over the summer, in exchange for something that’d be spoiler-y to share 🙈 But Isa was caught completely off-guard when she was put in charge of the new location … and guess who was the gardener / landscaper put in charge of the project? YOU GUESSED IT!!
Not only are we working with one of my favorite tropes, a second-chance romance, but we’re also working with a workplace romance! And everything just got sweeter. Sailor had a hard time in his early childhood, and it marked him, ingrained a sense of hard determination and independence towards what he wants. He has an idea, a plan, towards a gap in the market, and he’s working with everything he has to get to the point where he can become the business to close that gap. But he’s working from nothing and it will be hard way, especially when he’s not willing to accept financial help.
Isa had a troubling childhood, too. It wasn’t bad, just neglectful as she got passed around two people who cared more for their businesses than their family. She really love Sailor, and it’s hard for her to choose to love a man who loves his business. She struggles with it, but ultimately decides that she can’t go without Sailor, and decided to try and make it work. They were always perfect together 😭
“I’m no poet, Ísa. I can’t give you fancy words.
But I know what we have is special. It’s worth a fight.”
I loved this couple way too much. Isa had such a strong heart, as she regularly tries to hold the torn pieces of her family together, if only for the sake of her youngest brother and sister. And she decides to love Sailor and try to make their relationship work, even she’s getting deja vu and the situation makes her want to run for the hills. I love that she didn’t let Sailor’s ambition get in between the possibility of them, but I love more the Sailor saw the struggle and made the decision to choose her.
It didn’t take shouting and fighting and tears and screaming for him to see it. He saw it all on his own, and he didn’t like it one bit, and he made moves to fix it. Our hero put his priorities straight without someone needed to tell him to, and my heart melted. This is my favorite part of Ms. Singh’s romances and with this family in particular – the men in the story are capable and more than willing to show their devotion to the special woman in their life. It’s not “weak” or “pussy-whipped,” but an exhilarating delight from a gorgeous, sweet, muscled man with an even larger heart.
Ms. Singh just has a completely stunning writing style, and her stories always steal my heart. Is there anything else more I need to say? It’s a super sweet romance that has a great plot line as well as great characters. There are many side characters that just made this story even deeper and more intricate. Ms. Singh’s books soothe and energize my romantic-side (which is my whole side when it comes to books), but her stories are always so soul-stirring and sweet and warm. I’m completely in love with the Bishop-Esera Clan 💕
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Have you read any of Nalini Singh’s books? What are some of your favorite second-chance romances? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!