Meet Gabriel (sexy rugby player turned CEO) & Charlotte in this fantastic addition to the Rock Kiss Series!
Title: Rock Hard (Rock Kiss #2)
Author: Nalini Singh
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Source: e-ARC from publisher via TRSoR
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | B & N | Kobo
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.
Why did I want to read this book?
I’ve read Books #1 and #1.5 in this series and I’m falling more and more in love with the series with each installment. And this particular installment, I’m truly vested in. We’ve ‘met’ Charlotte, Molly’s best friend and only ‘heard’ of T-Rex in Book 1 but in the few pages that they were mentioned there, I just knew that there was something special about these two. So when I learned that they were finally getting their own story, gosh, I couldn’t swoon fast enough.
What worked for me?
Nalini Singh offers us a new couple, which didn’t have that insta-love vibe that Rock Addiction kind of had nor the long-standing one-sided affection that Rock Courtship had. What she gave us in this book are two people who gradually fell into each other. Yes, there was that attraction. But sooner or later, a couple needs to find more than that as common ground, right? And what Charlotte and Gabriel had was friendship, and then trust, and then something much more.
I love Charlotte. I just simply felt for her the whole time, throughout the book. She had a traumatizing event in the past that made her feel cautious of and a little removed from people but you can’t help but admire her tenacity, her strength, her bravery. I love that although she doesn’t view life through rose-colored panels but that she still realizes that life should be lived and not merely survived. Her belief in Gabriel was so sweet and just left me with all kinds of swoon-y feelings and you just can’t help but go in endless ‘awww’ every time you think how awesome it is that somebody like Charlotte is capable of bringing a rugby-turned-ruthless-businessman man like Gabriel to his knees.
Gabriel was such a sweetheart. He’s big and powerful in more ways than one. But he’s decent and a good person. Yes, he has his issues but thankfully it’s not all unnecessarily super heavy and dark. A lot of my favorite parts of the stories are those that are told from his POV. I love discovering all the ways he sees Charlottes, admires her, and of course, gradually falls for her.
What I will distinctly remember about Charlotte and Gabriel’s story is how, even though obviously there were pivotal moments in the plot of the book in general and in the development of their romance, there is that subtle quality in the transitions, a sense of quietness in the important shifts in characterizations, that leaves you slightly bewildered but thoroughly amazed, especially when you realize that something had already happened. And it definitely is a plus point (or a gazillion points) that they had an amazing chemistry.
What did not work for me?
I just felt that the ending was a little disjointed, but only a little. And by the time it was the end, I was pretty much still in love with those two.
My over-all take on it?
Charlotte and Gabriel gave me an amazing romance. I love how they met. I love how they were whenever they’re in the same room. I love how patient Gabriel is. I love how brave Charlotte is. I basically loved reading this book. And if you would give it a try, you might fall in love with it too.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.
Charlotte arrived at work at seven thirty the next morning to find Gabriel Bishop’s office door open, but no carnivorous predator inside. A fresh suit was hanging on the back of his door, however, which meant he’d been in already.
Deciding to catch up on e-mails that had come in overnight from international suppliers as well as stores involved in a stock take, she was typing a reply when a sweaty Gabriel arrived fifteen minutes later. He was dressed in black running shorts and a faded University of Auckland T-shirt that was currently sticking to his body.
She’d known he was in shape, but now she realized none of it was an illusion created by his well-cut suits. Okay, she’d already known that, but seeing his muscled body in the flesh was a whole different ball game. He was built like a tank, hard and powerful.
Each of his thighs was thicker than both of hers put together, his biceps toned, his shoulders appearing even wider than usual. Everything about him was big. Civilized clothing didn’t make him look better, she realized—it toned down his intense masculinity. Out of his suits, with the ink on the upper part of his left arm exposed, as well as that on his opposing thigh and…
Her skin hot and lower body clenching, she just nodded in response to his “Good morning.”
Disappearing into his office, he returned with his suit pants and a fresh shirt slung over his arm, along with a sports bag. “Push the meeting with Sales to nine, will you, Ms. Baird? I need to talk to HR about something before then.”
“Yes, sir,” Charlotte said almost soundlessly, but he was already gone, heading toward the employee shower one floor down.
The thigh tattoo went all the way around, the design intricate.
Heart rate a rapid stutter, Charlotte got up after he disappeared and decided to go grab him a coffee. He’d bought her one yesterday after all. She was just being nice. “Oh, shut up, Charlotte,” she muttered once she was in the elevator, and slumped her face into an upraised hand.
The truth was she was running away. Only for a few minutes, but that’s what this was: strategic retreat. Gabriel Bishop was overwhelming. Once, before she’d ever met him and under the influence of cocktails, she’d told Molly she wanted to rip off his shirt and sink her teeth into his pecs.
That desire hadn’t waned even now that she knew he was a T-Rex. Of course, the desire was all strictly in her imagination. The idea of actually handling him in real life? So impossible as to be laughable. Charlie-mouse was not about to play with a predator who could eat her alive and not even notice the bones. The good news was that she could admire him in relative safety—there was no chance in hell he’d ever notice her as a woman.
Getting the coffee from a nearby café, she took it back upstairs. He was in his office when she entered, the striped dark gray of his tie hanging around his neck and his damp hair roughly combed. The scent of clean, fresh soap over warm skin permeated the office. Shooting her a smile that turned him from gorgeous to flat-out devastating, he flipped up the collar of his white shirt to get the tie in place. “Thank you, Ms. Baird.”
Nodding, Charlotte escaped, though she really wanted to stay. She’d never realized how erotic it was to watch a man dress until this precise moment. And she shouldn’t be having these thoughts about her boss—especially since she couldn’t keep from quivering like a rabbit in his presence. Sometimes she just annoyed herself.
“Get to work,” she muttered and knuckled down.
Gabriel was fine for the first hour, but then he began barking orders even a six-armed woman with a split personality would have had trouble handling.
Finally, pushed to the edge, Charlotte snapped. “I’m going as fast as I can!” she yelled when he asked her for something a minute after he’d asked her to complete another task.
He scowled and held out a file. “This is a priority.”
Grabbing it from his hand, she said, “Fine,” and slapped it down on her desk.
It was over an hour later that he disappeared for ten minutes. When he returned, it was to put a small bakery box on her desk. “I think you need something to sweeten your mood today, Ms. Baird.”
What she needed was for the T-Rex who was her boss to stop snarling and growling, she thought as he returned to his office. Not opening the box until her curiosity had almost killed her, she found it held a slice of decadent chocolate cake with a white-chocolate ganache topped with curls of both white and milk chocolate. “I cannot be bribed with cake,” she muttered, eating a bite nonetheless.
Check out a full two-chapter excerpt on Nalini’s website HERE.
The Rock Kiss Series
Rock Addiction (Book #1)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | B & N | Kobo
Rock Courtship (Book #1.5)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | B & N | Kobo
NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about hot and wickedly tempting rock stars (and one gorgeous ex-rugby player). If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.
Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Also, don’t forget to swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page for the Rock Kiss series, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the books.
Connect with Nalini Singh:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
More Nalini Singh on the blog:
Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss #1)
Rock Courtship (Rock Kiss #1.5)
Archangel’s Kiss (Guild Hunter #2)
Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changeling #5)
Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling #10)
Have you read any of Nalini Singh’s awesome books? What are your favorites?