Rock Hard by Nalini Singh
Overview by Amazon:
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 invisible 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
This is the first book I have read by Nalini Singh. I know that other bloggers and reviewers love her work, so I quickly snatched up an ARC of this book. Not knowing anything about an author has advantages and a few disadvantages.
It took me a little while to figure out where the location of the story was. At first I thought it was London from the descriptions, but then I clued in that the story was taking place in New Zealand. That was such a pleasant surprise as I have never read a book situated there.
This story fits the trope of billionaire bad boy, but is much more than that. Gabriel comes from a shattered childhood, become a rugby star and then a dazzling business titan. So, like most billionaire books, he has worked his way to the top. He’s bossy, a workaholic and gorgeous. Unlike most billionaire stories, he has a lot more depth. We see this through his interactions with his family, his commitment to the high school rugby team he coaches and his extreme patience with Charlotte.
I just made Charlotte sound like she’s high maintenance. In some ways she is, but she is clearly a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder. After being brutalized at the hands of a sociopath, Charlotte is a meek little mouse. Gabriel sees the keen intelligence and soft woman underneath the ill-fitting clothes and the stammering replies. Lord help an alpha male when he’s intrigued.
What I really liked about this book was the balance of the story. The components that make up the book are really woven together well. Whether it’s the office, their pasts, or their relationship, the story felt like putting together a puzzle with each scene and chapter revealing more of the picture in a logically and sensible way.
While this book had great sexual chemistry and dialogue, it wasn’t all about ‘ramming’ and ‘fucking’. Charlotte’s demons run very deep and she is not even sure she can be with Gabriel. The slow, slow dance of seduction they do is very effective. Like really great foreplay it makes the characters longing and desires seem more real. When things finally move along, it’s a great release for them and the reader as the building momentum is rewarding.
I liked both the characters. I thought I might lose patience with Charlotte’s issues being a roadblock, but Gabriel’s patience gave me some in return. The author refers to Charlotte as the mouse and Gabriel as a T-Rex and I really liked it. It was an apt description of what game was being played.
This was my first Nalini Singh book, but I am interested in getting caught up on what I have missed and reading the rest of her “Rock” series.