Friday, April 15, 2016

Reading Assignment Challenge: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

Reading Assignment Challenge: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

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 invincible 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.

Wow!!  This is my favorite book in the Rock Kiss series so far (and it would take something truly magnificent to knock it out of first place! although this is Nalini Singh so it could definitely happen...) by far.  And I really loved the first book and the novella, but this entry, just yum!  I knew from the hints we received in book one that I would love Charlotte and that her back story would be heart wrenching.  And T-Rex?  Just as growly and sexy as advertised!

Charlotte experienced a horrible relationship in college and the emotional scars still impact her life everyday.  She is often fearful and timid, only really letting her true personality out around those she loves (which isn't very many people--really just Molly at the beginning).  When Gabriel takes over the company Charlie works for, she is overwhelmed by his forceful personality.  However, it isn't long until she is letting a little of her snark out at him.  She even throws things at his head on more than one occasion.

Gabriel is a sexy beast--yummy, yummy, yummy and while he isn't a fan of Charlie at first, she is way to intimidated and mouse-y for his tastes, there is something about the small woman that pulls at him.  When she starts to give as good as she gets, even just a little, he is intrigued and determined to pull her out of her shell.  The more the true Charlie comes out, the more determined Gabriel is to have her for his own.  

What I loved about Gabriel is that right from the beginning he was serious about Charlie.  He didn't want her just to say he'd had her or for a one night stand or even for a short while.  When he laid eyes on her, he wanted her in a serious relationship--meeting family, dating, long-term plans, the whole-nine-yards.  He held a lot of himself back in the beginning in order to give Charlie a fighting chance against his dominating personality.  And every time she shot back a comment, silently insisted on her way, or otherwise made her point clear in spite of his attitude he loved it.  

Over the course of the book, Charlie fights to reclaim bits and pieces of herself and her life.  She hates ordering red roses after Gabriel's dates with women who are her physical opposite but figures that she would never be his type, even without the baggage that she is trying to shed.  However, the more time she spends around Gabriel, the more the real her begins to come out and it feels good.  She loves who she is able to be which only makes her recurring panic attacks all the more frustrating.  She has made up her mind to heal so why won't her mind let her?  

There are so many things to love in this book: Gabriel's family (please let there be a book for Jake!!! PLEASE!!), the sexy banter, bitchy character's getting their comeuppance, fun, sexy banter, two people who fight for what they want but also know how to compromise when necessary, and some really sexy banter.  I loved it from start to finish and am really sad it's over, I can only hope I get glimpses of Charlie and Gabriel in future books.  They overcame so much for their HEA and I want to see it play out, plus I want more sexy banter!    

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