Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Are you guys surprised that Nalini Singh is being featured on this blog? You shouldn’t be because we absolutely adore everything that this woman releases. She writes our favorite kind of romances in both the contemporary and paranormal worlds and today we’re featuring her latest contemporary romance, Hard Cherish.
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.
Sailor Bishop and Isa Rain are fabulous characters that will worm their way right into your heart. You’ll fall in love with them, their romance and still have time to look forward to their best friend’s story.
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SAILOR HAD A TERRIBLE NIGHT’S sleep. He’d been home from the party before eleven—and he hadn’t even had to ditch Raj. His friend had been in a hell of a mood, with no desire whatsoever to interact with any other humans.
The other man wasn’t a big talker, but Sailor figured it had something to do with the pretty woman in the bandage dress. The depth of Raj’s reaction might’ve intrigued him on another day since his friend wasn’t known for his temper, but last night Sailor had been distracted by the promise of seeing Ísa again, probably within the hour.
He hadn’t worried too much about how she’d literally run across the grass and away from him, figuring her rush had something to do with the message she’d received from her friend. Some female emergency. After all, he hadn’t done anything dastardly in the seconds before she’d run—he’d literally just asked her to wait so he could walk her to the car.
Like a gentleman. And so he could sneak a final, scorching kiss.
After dropping Raj off at his place, anticipation a knot in Sailor’s gut, he’d waited. And waited. And waited. And finally realized that there wasn’t going to be any cookie-bar date. He’d been stood up.
The redhead had gotten away from him a third time.
And he still didn’t know her name.
Aggravated, he’d gone online and ordered a pair of fur-lined handcuffs. The next time he saw his curvy little conwoman, he was going to lock her to some immovable object—namely himself—until he figured out why she kept leaving him in her dust.
Unsurprisingly, he’d dreamed of the cute, lying redhead all night long, woken up with a cock so hard it was painful. He wondered if his perfidious redhead realized he hadn’t finished his job at the school. One of these days he was going to run into her again. And when he did, he was going to bring out those handcuffs. Then, when she was stuck and unable to run, he’d tell her what he thought of cute redheads who promised a man a night of sweet heaven and delivered a night of frustrated aggravation.
Snarling at the memory of how soft she’d been under his hands, how lusciously responsive, he tried to convince himself it was a good thing she’d stood him up. Sailor had a plan for his life, and a cute, sexy redhead didn’t figure into it, not when his dreams depended on obsessive focus on a single overriding goal.
Neither his brain nor his body were convinced by the argument.
Rising in a black mood, he showered, then got himself ready for work. Just because it was Sunday didn’t mean he didn’t have things to do—he wanted to put in a few hours on a small project he was fitting between bigger ones. And today was a good day for it; he had no other commitments—definitely no kissable redhead in his bed as he’d hoped for last night—and the weather was holding beautifully.
Once at the site, he put his back into it, worked like a demon, and was done by seven that night—an entire weekend ahead of schedule. Gabriel had invited him over for dinner with a couple of other rugby buddies, but Sailor told his brother he couldn’t make it.
He needed time to brood.
Which he did until he fell exhausted into bed.
Waking the next morning with his mood not appreciably better, he showered and shaved with care before dressing in the single business suit he owned. He’d bought it a couple of years back, taking Gabe’s advice and getting one good suit rather than three cheap ones; it was his go-to outfit for meeting with his loan manager at the bank. And today, for what might be his first major corporate client.
He paired the dark gray suit with a blue shirt that “made the most of his eyes,” according to his mom, who’d given him the shirt on his last birthday. He made sure his hair was neatly combed and his dress shoes polished. For a second, as he looked in the mirror, he could almost touch it, the goal that drove him, the need to prove himself a gnawing on his bones that wouldn’t stop until he’d done it.
Until he’d shown the world that he wasn’t anything like the man whose face he bore.
“Keep going, Sailor,” he told his reflection. “No excuses. No distractions.”
Especially not a redhead who’d already haunted him for seven years.
Copyright © 2017 by Nalini Singh
Hard Play Series
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About the Author
I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.
I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).
So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.