Series: Hard Play

Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Posted November 21, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1) by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #1
Also in this series: Cherish Hard, Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Rebel Hard (Hard Play, #2)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 363
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

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.

For some reason I didn’t read this book when it first came out. I thought it was part of the Rock Kiss series, which I didn’t have any desire to read at the time. So I skipped it. Holly, Rowena, and I started discussing it and they enlightened me that it was not part of Rock Kiss, so I gave it a try. It wasn’t my favorite Nalini Singh book. It’s honestly one of those books that I didn’t have very many feelings about one way or another.

Ísa Rain first sets eyes on Sailor Bishop where she teaches poetry. For some reason or another, she decides to walk up to a complete stranger and kiss him. It could have been for a variety of reasons. She feels that her love life is in stasis. She thinks she’s frigid. She wants some action. Or all of the above. Anyhow, Sailor doesn’t object. What man would? Before he can do anything, she takes off. His landscaping job at her school isn’t complete, so he’s sure he’ll see the sexy redhead again.

The thing is, he’s actually seen Ísa before, when he was a teenager. He was just in high school when he was dragged to a college party. One of his friends friend dumped Ísa is the most humiliating of ways and Sailor was witness to it all. When she ran off in tears, Sailor ran after her but she wouldn’t stop. For seven years he hasn’t forgotten her and he can’t believe his luck when she picks him to kiss. He only knows that he’s not going to let her go a second time.

Ísa does have a say in that however, and she’s not sure what she’s feeling. Sailor is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. Except for the fact that he doesn’t put her first. She can clearly see that he is falling in love with her, as she is with him. Still, he wants to get his business off the ground and that supersedes everything in his life. Including her. Ísa accepts that she will never come first in anyones life. It’s just a fact.

That was very sad to me. Ísa just didn’t think much of herself. After the way her parents treated her growing up, she really didn’t have a reason to. They both loved her, but they would forget her too. They would be there if she needed them for something, but they weren’t there day to day. Ísa was just sad. A sad woman. Sailor eventually pulls through which was really heartening to read. The problem with this book is that I just didn’t really get invested in these characters. Which is a bummer to me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hard Play

three-stars


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Review: Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh

Posted October 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rebel Hard by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Rebel Hard (Hard Play, #2) by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #2
Also in this series: Cherish Hard, Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published, Nalini Singh
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 409
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Hard Play series with a sweet, sexy romance featuring big, fat, OTT weddings, a meddling grandma, and a too-serious hero who needs to be unbuttoned…

Nayna Sharma agreed to an arranged marriage in the hope it would heal the fractures in her beloved family… only to realize too late that a traditional marriage is her personal nightmare. Panicked, she throws caution to the winds, puts on the tiniest dress she can find, and ends up in the arms of a tall, rough-edged hunk of a man who has abs of steel—and who she manages to mortally insult between one kiss and the next.

Abandoned as a child, then adopted into a loving family, Raj Sen believes in tradition, in continuity. Some might call him stiff and old-fashioned, but he knows what he wants—and it’s a life defined by rules… yet he can’t stop thinking about the infuriating and sexy woman who kissed him in the moonlight then disappeared. When his parents spring an introduction on him, the last woman he expects is her. Beautiful. Maddening. A rulebreaker in the making.

He’s all wrong for her. She’s all wrong for him. And love is about to make rebels of them both.

Rebel Hard is the second book in Nalini Singh’s Hard Play series and it follows the best friends of the couple in book 1 as they journey toward their own happily ever after with each other. We first meet them in Cherish Hard when they meet each other and kiss and kiss and kiss and then Nayna runs away. In Rebel Hard, we find out where Nayna went and what happened with Raj.

I didn’t think that I would like this book as much as I did because Nayna low key got on my nerves in the last book. I didn’t really connect with her running away after every encounter she had with Raj. It felt childish and I didn’t really want or care about reading her story. I’m glad that I changed my mind and read this book because I ended up really enjoying getting to know both Raj and Nayna. Raj was everything and even though Nayna frustrated me throughout this story, I ended up really liking her.

Raj Sen is a traditional man that wants to live a traditional Indian life. He wants a wife and a family to come home to every night and he thinks he found that partner in Nayna Sharma but Nayna is just realizing that living her life being the good and dutiful daughter to her parents has chipped away at her identity. She doesn’t want to be the dutiful daughter. She doesn’t want to live her life for her parents, so that her parents don’t hurt the way that they were hurt when Nayna’s older sister ran away and eloped but she also doesn’t know who she is without family obligations holding her down. So it’s really unlucky for her that she comes to this decision to strike out on her own when she meets the man that she does see a future with.

Getting both Raj and Nayna’s background, their backstory brought their relationship and their romance together for me. I connected with the ties that their culture binds them with. I saw a lot of the Polynesian culture in the Indian one (haha, even the whole kava stuff) and the sneaking around even though you’re a grown ass woman reminded me of the times that I did the exact same thing with my friends. The pressure to marry the right person for your parents, to be the perfect daughter, to not shame your father’s name, I connected with all of that and made Nayna’s story real for me.

I thought Nalini Singh did a great job of writing characters that understood and loved each other, supported each other enough to want them to chase their dreams. I thought Raj was the perfect hero for Nayna and I really, really loved him. Nalini Singh did her thing with this book and I can’t wait to read more of her stuff. She’s one of the good ones.

4 out of 5

Hard Play

four-stars


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Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Posted February 27, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly
Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1) by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #1
Also in this series: Cherish Hard, Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Rebel Hard (Hard Play, #2), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 372
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

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

three-half-stars


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Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Posted December 5, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1) by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #1
Also in this series: Cherish Hard, Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Rebel Hard (Hard Play, #2), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1)
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Publication Date: November 14th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 372
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

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.

Nalini Singh has a new spin-off from her Rock Kiss series called the Hard Play series and Cherish Hard is the first book. It features Gabriel Bishop’s younger brother, Sailor Bishop and Sailor is out to get the girl that got away from him when he was 16 years old and she was running away from a party.

Years later, Sailor runs into that same pretty redhead at her place of employment and a second chance presents itself…he’s not going to let her get away a second time. He’s busy as hell trying to build up his landscaping company but sometimes life hands you a love that you just have to find room in your life for.

Isa is a grown adult these days and a far cry from the humiliated young girl she used to be but when she hears from her ex-boyfriend that did the humiliating back in college, she’s thrown and then she throws herself at the sexy landscaper on her walk to her car after work. Once that happens, her life changes big time.

Nalini Singh really shines at writing paranormal romance and she’s really doing her thing on the contemporary romance front as well. I have enjoyed every single book that I’ve read by this author and after reading this one, I’m super anxious for more. I’m crossing my fingers that we won’t have a long wait for Nanya and Raj’s book and I’m also really excited that we’re going to be getting a diverse romance from Singh. I just know that she’s going to knock their romance out of the park and I’m so here for it.

But back to Sailor and Isa. What a sweet romance theirs turned out to be. I enjoyed getting to know both Isa and Sailor and seeing them overcome their insecurities and finding a way to be together despite their doubts.

Sailor was a great hero who just kept getting better and better as I turned each page. I loved his determination to be better than his father and set his own mark on the world without the help of his friends or family. He had goals and a dream of building something on his own and that was admirable. I loved seeing him try to figure out how to have it all. The business, the family and the love. It wasn’t an easy ride and he spent a lot of time trying to convince Isa that they belonged together and when all was said and done, I was super thrilled that all of his hard work paid off.

Isa had a lot of things that she was dealing with over the course of the book. She had parents who were never really parents to her and she was doing her best to keep her family together by forcing her parents to act like parents to her younger siblings. She was her sibling’s champions and I loved that Sailor saw how she spent so much time taking care of everyone in her world and he wanted to be the one to take care of her.

Nalini Singh wrote another wonderfully entertaining romance about two people who wound their way right into my heart and set up shop. I’m super excited about the next book and am wondering who else will get their stories told. I’m hopeful for the teenagers in this series to grow up and get their stories told because Isa’s sister and Sailor’s brother? I’m low key shipping them.

I seriously want Singh to write forever and ever. She has the writer’s touch and I just love her work to pieces. I definitely recommend this one, it’s a good one.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Posted November 16, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini SinghReviewer: Tracy
Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #1
Also in this series: Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Rebel Hard (Hard Play, #2), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1)
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 372
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

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.

Isa Rain is a school teacher who was raised by parents who had no time for her.  Each of her parents (now divorced) run successful businesses and her mother, especially, would love to see her working in the corporate world.  Isa wants nothing to do with it.  She was neglected as a child and doesn’t want that for her children.  When she gets married she wants her husband to cherish her as much as she cherishes him.  She gets a wild hair one day and on her way out of the school decides to kiss the hot gardener she’d been ogling all afternoon.  She loves it, but she knows immediately that it’s a mistake.

Sailor Bishop is a man on a mission. He wants nothing more than to be a good person and have an incredibly successful landscaping business.  His family backs him in everything he does but he wants to do this himself without leaning on anyone.  When a hot redhead kisses him outside of  a job site he’s thrilled, but she soon disappears on him.  He can’t get her out of his mind after that.  When he finds out that she’s his contact for the corporate job he managed to secure he knows it’s fate – he just needs to talk Isa into believing it’s fate as well.  Isa, however, is not sure that with Sailor’s work hours they can make a lasting relationship, well, work.

This is a bit of a prequel to the Bishop family series.  This is book one in the Hard Play series about the Bishop brothers but we got Sailor’s brother Gabe’s book, Rock Hard, in the Rock Kiss series.  I loved Gabe and the Bishop family in that book so happy to read about them again in Cherish Hard.  The family is loving and wonderful and raised incredible men. Of course in this book Sailor’s brothers are in their teens but still good guys.

The relationship between Isa and Sailor was an odd one but it grew on me as the book went on.  Singh had me rooting for the pair and I was extremely satisfied with the end of the book.  This ended up being a great first book in a what seems like it will be a wonderful series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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