Title/Series: Rock Hard (Rock Kiss #2)
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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.
Nalini Singh knows how to write enticing, sexy, funny romances, and this book is proof of that. But more important still, Nalini writes fully-fleshed characters and deep, meaningful relationships. This is an author who doesn’t stop at ‘Girl meets boy and falls for him because he’s hot; Girl is gorgeous so boy loves her back’.
Charlie was incredibly shy and might have seemed submissive, but she also had a fire inside her that was pretty impressive. For starters, she could hold her own against a very overbearing man, which was no small feat. More importantly, she experienced Hell at the hands of a monster who verbally, emotionally and physically abused her, and still she found the strength to go on with her life and be able to trust and love and experience happiness again. Bravo!
I also lmao at her unexpected potty mouth: “He was such a big man when he ambushed me, had me alone, that pencil-dicked, scum-sucking fuckwit!”
Gabriel was a snarly, bossy, arrogant, overbearing and often high-handed T-Rex. I won’t lie... sometimes I wanted to shake the heck out of him and tell him to “cool it, dude!”. And yet... he was smart, driven, gorgeous and could be a real sweetheart sometimes. He ended up winning my heart.
There was no question that Charlie and Gabriel were attracted to each other from the get-go - their chemistry was off the charts! -, but their relationship progressed and deepened through the book. They had to get to know each other and learn to trust each other with their secrets. I loved that each of them had their own pasts weighting them down, their own lives outside each other (family, friends, hobbies). One of my favorite things about Nalini Singh's books is the emphasis she puts on family and loyalty. Falling in love doesn’t mean losing a sense of self or that the other person becomes the only important thing in your world, and I greatly appreciate that this author gets that.
That being said… this book had more than enough juice for the lovers of sexy-times (me, me me!). Rejoice! Deliciously dirty fantasies, exquisite foreplay and hot dirty talk are in the menu!
In a genre where ridiculous and eye-roll worthy sex scenes are all too common, Nalini distinguishes herself by writing hot, intimate, consensual sex.
And for the romantics at heart (again: me, me, me! What? I am a complex individual :P) there were also butterflies-in-the stomach moments when we saw how tender T-Rex could really be. The epilogue left me with a goofy smile on my face.
One last note on cool stuff from this book: there were some really hilarious chapter titles!
“In News That Surprises No One, Anya Is a Bitch”
“Half-Naked T-Rex and Ice Cream (Sadly Not At the Same Time)”
“T-Rex Gives Good Orgasms”
“The Unforgettable Night of Porn”
The reason why I didn’t give this book 5 stars is that it was a little bit too long in my opinion. Whaaat? Yes, I did just say that. I usually wish my favorite authors would write longer books so I could stay with the characters for just one more page (or perhaps a hundred), but maybe there’s something to the “less is more” adage. Rock Hard seemed to drag on and became a tinsy bit tedious sometimes, with scenes that didn’t really add anything to the story.
Last tiny complaint: one of my pet peeves made an appearance at one point and I didn’t appreciate it, but at the same time I understand it’s something very personal: Grown-ups feeding each other. Ugh! No. Just no. Toddlers need to be spoon-fed. And sick people. Not at all sexy!