Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1) by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #1
Also in this series: Cherish Hard, Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1)
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
We were first introduced to Sailor Bishop in Rock Hard, which was released first but comes later in the timeline. Sailor is determined to make his own way in the world and prove that he isn’t like his deadbeat father. He’s been working hard to build his landscaping business and he knows what he needs to give him his next big push is a contract with a big corporation. Years ago he had a crush on Isa, but he lost track of her. When she turns up and unexpectedly starts making out with him at the school where he does landscaping, he’s shocked..and thrilled. She tries to disappear again, but Sailor isn’t letting her go. The timing couldn’t be worse since he needs to focus on his business, but he knows Isa is worth fighting for.
Isa spent her childhood being neglected by her parents while they spent their time building corporate empires. She has no interest in the corporate life, nor does she want to date someone who is married to his job. In a moment of sheer insanity after running into her ex-fiance and his new love, she jumps on Sailor. She can’t deny he’s smoking hot, but she won’t come second to a career again.
When Isa is blackmailed by her mother into acting as the company VP for the summer, she ends up working directly with Sailor as he’s just been hired to kickstart the landscaping on a new project. They have chemistry in spades and Isa really likes Sailor as a person. He wants more than a fling, but Isa isn’t sure she can take a chance on a guy who can’t commit to putting her first.
This book wasn’t as successful for me as others Singh has written. While I didn’t dislike it, necessarily, I didn’t love it. I wasn’t swept up in the story, nor did I connect with either of the main characters. I didn’t really understand Isa’s drive to keep her mother in the lives of her younger siblings. If her mother was that distant, why push to keep her involved? Her hot-and-cold attitude toward Sailor made sense based on her past, but I felt like she used it as a roadblock long after she should have let it go.
I liked Sailor’s ambition and his determination to explore things with Isa. I also liked seeing him with his family, and the way Isa was with her siblings. The friendships they had outside each other were great as well.
While this isn’t my favorite of Singh’s novels, it was well written and I enjoyed parts of it.
Grade: 3 out of 5