Thanks once again to Monika, who sent over her review for Nalini Singh‘s latest Rock Kiss book, Rock Hard. Personally, it was one of my most anticipated reads after first meeting Charlie and T-Rex in the first book. And, like Monika, I wasn’t disappointed…
Ever since they appeared as secondary characters in Rock Addiction I wanted to read Charlie and T-Rex’ story and their dance turned out to be a very entertaining and funny read that I devoured in less than a day.
The company Charlotte works for is in trouble as a result of mismanagement. For this reason the owners hire Gabriel Bishop, former rugby player turned manager as a troubleshooter, since he specializes in turning around floundering businesses. He cuts a swath through the firm, weeding out incompetent staff. Since under the previous management her skills have been greatly undervalued, Charlotte is convinced she is going to be next. But when her new boss calls her to his office, it is not to fire her but to offer her a new job as his personal assistant. Though Charlotte is timid at first, she is also intelligent and possesses a quick wit, and as she is growing more confident the two of them begin to lock horns, in the office and outside of it.
From her conversations with Molly in Rock Addiction we know that Charlie secretly lusts after her new boss and his hot body (there just it something about tattoos). And although Charlie doesn’t match his usual quarry, the T-Rex is quite taken with her and starts to gently pursue her. But before their blossoming romance can progress, they both have to overcome the shadows from their past, in Charlie’s case those are intimacy issues she has since a relationship turned horribly wrong and for Gabriel it’s the fear of being poor and coming to terms with his father…
As all of Nalini Singh’s books this one is well written and well-paced, with witty dialogue, interesting and likable main protagonists and fleshed-out secondary characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. Also, Singh manages to add just the right amount of local color to make you want to visit New Zealand. I am not a big fan of rugby, in fact know nothing about the game, but her descriptions make me want to learn more about it.
Molly’s and Fox’ story started with a big bang, and though Charlie’s and the T-Rex’s first encounter is also memorable, their relationship develops at a much slower pace. It takes quite a bit of time until they have their first date and even longer before they end up in bed together. Some readers complained that there was too much sex in Rock Addiction: they will not have much to complain on that score in Rock Hard. Not that that is necessarily is a bad thing, especially since it makes sense within the logic of the story.
For me Rock Hard is a bit too light and lacks the emotional intensity that is characteristic for Singh’s Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter stories. It’s a sweet office romance but one that follows rather conventional lines.
Overall I would give this book 4.5 stars for an entertaining and carefree read that will leave you with an upbeat feeling.
What was your take on Rock Hard? Did it live up to expectations for you, too?