Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

This is a book that Carolyn threatened to un-BFF me if I didn't read and AztecLady gushed over on her blog and well, it sounded awesome and I need to caveat that I really don't do reviews so going from there...

I finished the book this morning and found it extremely well written and so very good in many ways. But I had a really hard time throughout the book because I kept asking myself: When did a hard cock become synonymous with falling in love?

Charlotte Baird is damaged. Very badly damaged. She's a self-proclaimed mouse hiding from the world and then her new boss, Gabriel Bishop (aka: T-Rex) shows up and throws her world in turmoil. He sees how smart and competent she is and despite the fact that she can only squeak when around him, he makes her his PA and sets about changing her life.

There was a lot to like in their relationship but there were some troubling things too. Such as, the book begins and Charlotte is a terror filled rabbit but then a few months later she's holding her own against the mighty man. We're not shown the change, we're told it happened.

And then Gabriel really likes Charlotte. He knows she's damaged but he has all these erotic thoughts and fantasies about her so he pursues her. The flirting is fun and Gabriel is an alpha hero without ever turning into an alpha-hole. The problem I had was that while he flirted and said outrageously sexy things to her and constantly got hard imagining her in sexual situations... I was supposed to understand that they were falling in love.

I understood her falling in love with him. He was understanding, gentle, patient. He was all man and sexy and great in bed. But his POV was consistently about fucking her and fixing her but where was the love?When did his dick become the love barometer?

Carolyn and I talked about it on the phone this morning and she felt that his protectiveness and care showed love and perhaps it did. However, would he have been the same with her if he didn't want to fuck her? Also, where were the thoughts he had of her that were tender and not erotic? I missed those.

He admired her mind as his PA, he wanted to do everything erotic under the sun to her and ultimately he was the perfect hero. But I missed the romance. And then I wondered if my view of romance hasn't changed in all the years and the world's view has. But then, I know how I felt and I just felt the romance was missing. And this book could have used a little more.


  1. I always find it interesting how we can read the same book and yet it's a different book for each of us. I found Gabriel incredibly romantic myself (yeah, I gushed a lot about him already, heh)

    He finds her sparkle (when she's not terrified of him) intriguing during the interrogation on his second day on the job.

    When he 'forces' the promotion to PA on her, he admires her guts and her temper, even as it makes him angry that she's so careful around him.

    By day four, he's teasing her about her relationship with Ernest (calling him Ermine, offering her advice in the form of "there's a pill for that" etc)

    He overhears Charlotte talking with Molly on the phone and enjoys her dry wit.

    However, he's also aware from day one that she's afraid of me, which makes him biding his time for weeks (which eventually turn into a couple of months) before he pursues her openly, romantic to me.

    He finds her attractive from pretty much the beginning, but I find that pretty normal, frankly--more, in a real life relationship, that would be a dealbreaker for me. If the other person is not very much into me physically, and I into him...well *shrug*

    Sorry, gushing again, I fear.

  2. It (whatever 'it' is) wouldn't let me post over on Karen's, so I'll state here that yes, I read it and OMG, I loved it!

    I can see where Lori is coming from, but perhaps because the men in my life don't have a romantic bone in their bodies, I appreciated Gabe and his patience with Charlie.

    It's an almost well known fact that romance is connected to peni, where men are concerned. And other body parts. Show romance, show you like her - squeeze a boob, lol.

    Basic biology 101.

    However, many men have become half civilized I feel Gabe is one of them. His fantasies are typical man-love and actually, Charlie is no slouch in the fantasy department herself.

    Perhaps Lori would have felt the romance more if the passage of time had been more delineated? I don't know ... I just know I loved this book, loved the characters and agree with everything AL said. :-)

  3. Btw, I love the cover too. I know it's a headless man and no executive would wear his suit like that, but consider the positives:

    1. Chest hair! Attractively dispersed. Yum

    2. That suit looks damn good worn like that ...

    3. That is a fine figure of a man, displayed attractively.

    Oh yeah .... <3

  4. Nah, we don't objectify men around here ... LOL!

  5. I hear you. I suspect this one wouldn't be my thing.

  6. I confess that it makes me a bit sad that I enjoy this book (and the series as a whole) so much, and so far it's been more miss than hit with both of you ladies :-(

  7. Just me AL. Carolyn loves the series. I'm a little sad that it doesn't work for me.

  8. (((Lori)))

    I've been meaning to ask you ladies if you have read Sarah M Anderson's Rodeo Dreams or any of her Men of the White Sandy books? They are category, but also available digitally. I think you might like them.

  9. Not I. (Sorry it took me so long to see this, I'm not on the computer as much anymore. :-( ) But I'm always willing to try new authors, as long as the price isn't too high - I'd never 'try' Nora Roberts as a new author these days, lol.