Review: Rock Wedding

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Rock WeddingRock Wedding (Rock Kiss #4) by Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #4
Published by Tka Distribution on July 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
five-stars

FINAL DECISION:  As the final book in the Rock Kiss series, this book is a beautiful gift to fans of the series while also providing a compelling second chance at love story.

THE STORY:  Abe Bellamy and Sarah Smith’s marriage fell apart under the weight of Abe’s drug and alcohol problem.  Their relationship almost destroyed Sarah, but she has learned to live without Abe and has become more confident, more independent and more mature.  After finally achieving sobriety, Abe realizes that he alone was at fault for the end of his marriage and he wants the woman he loves back.  Sarah, however, doesn’t know if she wants to risk herself again with Abe.

OPINION:  ROCK WEDDING is truly a wedding bonanza with multiple weddings in the book.  Fans of the Rock Kiss series will be pleased.  ROCK WEDDING lives up its name as it has four rock weddings in it.  As the final book in the Rock Kiss series, this book is a beautiful gift to fans of the series while also providing a compelling second chance at love story.

Organized around the weddings of the other couples in the series.  Making the weddings of the other couples central to the story makes them not only a treat for fans but also a lens through which Abe and Sarah take stock of their relationship.  Serving as both reminder of their own broken marriage but also the promise of a new life together, the weddings serve as important tent poles in Abe and Sarah’s relationship along with giving series fans the joy of seeing their favorite couples married in their own unique ways.

Abe and Sarah have a rocky past to overcome.  Abe was mired in grief and drug and alcohol abuse during their marriage.  Unable to love Sarah as she deserved but unwilling to be apart from her, Abe made Sarah miserable until he broke her heart with his verbal abuse and forced her to leave him.  Sarah knows that she should not trust Abe again because he only endlessly disappointed her, but he now claims to be sober and know that she is the woman for him.

Abe is a recovering addict who used his addictions to hide his grief about the death of his baby sister. After losing his wife, he begins the long road to sobriety.  He now recognizes that he needs Sarah and that their breakup was his fault.  Now that she is free, he doesn’t intend to lose his chance with her.  I liked that Abe took complete responsibility for his actions.  It is often difficult to make an addict a hero but Singh has done a good job reforming Abe and the length of the time period covered by this book can give readers some security that Abe has turned the corner.

Sarah has completely changed since her marriage.  She wanted her marriage to succeed so much and believed herself so unimportant that she allowed herself to be completely malleable.  Once her marriage was over she allowed herself to be swept up in another relationship that she really didn’t want.  But then she began to become her own person.  She opened her own business and began to use the strength that allowed her to survive her difficult childhood.  I love that she no longer takes any gruff from Abe.  I loved her sweet vulnerable character with a spine of steel.

This couple is hot together as is true of all the couples of this series.  Plenty of really sizzling sex scenes that are always accompanied by an emotional component that makes them relevant.

I give this book an extra credit because I love that all the couples of the series are involved in Abe and Sarah’s journey.  It’s like one of those great summary epilogues but expanded into a giant buffet of goodies for fans.

This book was so good that I immediately went to each of the other books in the series to read my favorite parts and I completely re-read the first book in the series ROCK ADDICTION to remind myself of how far these characters have traveled.

I’m going to miss these characters (although Singh has promised a spin off series about Gabriel Bishop’s brothers) but I am thrilled that they got such a great send off.

WORTH MENTIONING: A bit of a spoiler for those who might have sensitivities as ROCK WEDDING discusses the aftermath of a miscarriage and stillbirth.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ROCK WEDDING is the fourth book in the Rock Kiss series.  It can be read as a standalone although Abe and Sarah’s story is mentioned throughout the series and various characters from the series make significant appearances here.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

five-stars

Archangel’s Heart Cover Reveal

by Nalini Singh
Genres: Paranormal

Simply gorgeous cover for the next book in the Guild Hunter series!  I’m especially excited that this book focuses again on Raphael and Elena.  How amazing does Elena look here?

Archangels Heart Cover

Archangel’s Heart is the 9th book in the

Guild Hunter

Archangel’s Heart releases November 1st!

Now Available for Pre-order HERE: http://bit.ly/28P4Qel

Add it to your TBR: http://bit.ly/GoodreadsArchangelsHeart

Blurb

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

Author Information

nalini Singh

Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.

If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review: Rock Redemption

Review: Rock RedemptionRock Redemption (Rock Kiss, #3) by Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #3
Published by Tka Distribution on September 18th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 413
Goodreads
five-stars

Dark, Powerful, Haunting But with Hope and Light as Its Promise

“She still had forty-five minutes before she had to leave for the studio. Plenty of time for her to become Kathleen Devigny again, sophisticated, talented, and far too intelligent to have her heart broken a second time by a rock star who had never loved her like she’d loved him.”

FINAL DECISION: Never an easy book to read, ROCK REDEMPTION is painful and difficult but ultimately a tribute to the redemptive power of love. Kit and Noah have a twisted journey but the happy ending is well earned and even more satisfying for that journey.

THE STORY: Kit and Noah appeared to be heading toward a classic friends to lovers stories. Noah St. John is a member of the famous band Schoolboy Choir. Kit Devigny, an actress, met the men in the band when they were all struggling to make it in Los Angeles. From the beginning, there was something special between Kit and Noah although both had avoided the connection for years. Finally, the two became friends. They could spend hours together talking. Kit knew that they were moving toward something more when Noah betrayed her in the worst way possible. One night after a concert, she came to Noah’s hotel room and found him having sex with a groupie. Even worse, she knew that he had created the scene on purpose because he had known she would be there.

Now several years later, a late night call from Noah who is in distress brings Kit back into close contact with Noah. When gossip threatens a breakthrough role or Kit, Noah agrees to act as her boyfriend to protect her. Thus begins a journey into the pain of Noah’s past and his motivations for hurting himself and others who want to care for him. The question for Kit is whether she is willing to open herself up to the possibility of allowing Noah to break her heart again.

OPINION: I have written a lot of online reviews of romance books. Usually I take notes and have a plan of where I want to go with the review from the blurb on the back. From the prologue of ROCK REDEMPTION, however, I could only read the pages before me. I knew that I would have to reread the book in order to formulate any articulate review. This book is heartbreaking and painful and incredibly beautiful and redemptive.

Anyone who has read the prior books in the Rock Kiss series know Noah and Kit’s story. They had developed a relationship that was friendship but was clearly slipping into something more when Noah orchestrated Kit walking in on him having sex with a groupie. He purposely devastated Kit and for over two years the two have been on barely speaking terms.

Readers also know that Noah has dark demons. These he both smothers and fulfills by engaging in serial meaningless sexual encounters.

I have had a feeling what might be at the root of Noah’s self-destructive behavior from what was described in prior books. I was right but this book is just devastating. There are no easy answers for these characters. Their relationship is painful and difficult and at times appears hopeless.

Noah is a man who hates himself and has wanted to protect Kit from himself by driving her away. But even so he also desperately loves and wants her but has no voice to be able to tell her what haunts him day and night.

Kit is amazingly strong. No one could blame her if she never forgave Noah for his purposeful betrayal of her. Readers should know that he continues to hurt her for a long time in this book. The beauty of the writing of this book is that ultimately, Noah’s betrayals are understandable and Kit’s forgiveness comes from strength and not weakness.

Singh is a master character writer. Knowing Kit and Noah’s backstory from the prior books in the series, it was hard for me to imagine that Noah could actually be redeemed. Singh knows how to dig deep in the characters and make them real and understandable and capable of being forgiven and even more incredibly realistically giving forgiveness without appearing weak and ineffectual.

Even as painful as this book sometimes is, I was also attracted by the sweetness and sexiness of the relationship between Kit and Noah. The demonstration of how much these characters love and need one another brings the light and joy into the story.

This was a book that I finished reading but could not walk away from. The pain, the redemption, the ultimate joy and peace and love that this book expresses is haunting. This book is not an easy read. It is not a book that one walks away from with all smiles, but it is powerful and a story that is not forgotten.

WORTH MENTIONING: Content warning and spoiler!

This book deals with the aftermath of serious sexual abuse.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ROCK REDEMPTION is book three in the Rock Kiss series. It can be read as a standalone although I recommend reading at least the first book in the series and the first novella to truly understand the relationships between the members of the band which is important to this book.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.

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five-stars

Review: Rock Hard

Review: Rock HardRock Hard (Rock Kiss, #2) by Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #2
Published by Tka Distribution on March 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 351
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“Trust me, Ms. Baird?”
“Not when you smile like that.”

THE STORY: Charlotte Baird has hidden herself in ill fitting clothes and a mousey personality. After a horrible incident in her past, Charlotte set about protecting herself in as many ways as possible. Her steady date for the past year is more interested in talking about his hobbies than getting physical with Charlotte and that is the way she likes it. When the failing company she works for hires a new CEO to turn around the company, Charlotte is intimidated by the large athletic strong man. She nicknames him T-Rex as he chews up the upper ranks of the company.

Gabriel Bishop is an ex-professional rugby player who has made a name for himself as a turnaround artist for failing companies. Gabriel is protective of the mouse he sees in Charlotte but it intrigued at the glimpses of the strong woman that he sometimes sees.

OPINION: I loved this book because of the strong, complex characters of Charlotte and Gabriel. Their relationship is incredibly beautiful and I really like that their relationship takes time to develop. I appreciated that the book allows the characters to acknowledge the dangers of office romances and especially boss/employee relationships. While those issues are quickly dismissed, the characters at least do acknowledge those issues.

Charlotte’s story is incredibly sad and yet she has survived and managed to create a decent life for herself. I don’t want to give away the exact nature of her past as information is disclosed to readers in the same way that Gabriel learns the truth. The scenes are powerful and heart wrenching.

Gabriel is my favorite part of this book. He is an alpha hero and yet is incredibly thoughtful, caring and protective. He is patient with Charlotte and places her peace of mind above his own desires. For sexy good guy heroes, he is one of the best.

Strong characters and relationships are a hallmark of Singh’s books. Her characters, including those here, are complex multifaceted people. The relationship between these two people is adult and mature. Charlotte and Gabriel talk through their issues and relationship. They are also sexy and sensual. This book is about Charlotte embracing her own sexuality.

For fans of the Thea and David sexy and funny email exchanges from ROCK COURTSHIP (the series novella) will be pleased that there are similar exchanges of written correspondence in this book. While not as extensive or clever as in ROCK COURTSHIP, there are some sweet and funny moments between Charlotte and Gabriel that made me smile.

WORTH MENTIONING: The events of ROCK HARD take place at the same time as those in the first book in the series ROCK ADDICTION.

FINAL DECISION: I loved this book because of Charlotte and Gabriel. Their story made me smile and cry. They are fully realized complex characters. Gabriel especially is a wonderful alpha good guy hero who is sexy and patient and caring.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ROCK HARD is the second novel in the Rock Kiss series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give ROCK HARD 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in order to provide an honest review of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: Rock Courtship

Review: Rock CourtshipRock Courtship (Rock Kiss, #1.5) by Nalini Singh
Published by Tka Distribution on September 30th 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 125
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The Gentleman of Rock Is a Hero To Cheer For

ROCK COURTSHIP continues the intense, adult relationships that Singh started in the first book in the Rock Kiss series. This novella is less intense than the first book, but her strong characters make this a page turner as the two create a relationship that can withstand the intense and difficult rock music life.

THE STORY: David Rivera is known as the “Gentleman of Rock”. He is the drummer of the Schoolboy Choir but prefers a quieter life than his band mates. David has wanted Thea Arsana since he met her. The only problem is that Thea is the band’s publicist and Thea has a rule never to get involved with clients. David is devastated when Thea rejects his overtures. Four months later, Thea’s half sister (the heroine from ROCK ADDICTION) tells David that he should write Thea a memo about the reasons Thea should give David a chance. Thea can’t help but respond, and thus the relationship between the two begins.

OPINION: I loved this story. David is an unusual hero. He is shorter than Thea and he is more subdued, cerebral and quiet than one might expect of a rock star. That being said he and Thea are really hot together and I loved how David is completely accepting of Thea. It is Thea who has the trust issues in this relationship courtesy of an ex-fiancé who cheated on her and demeaned her as a woman. David accepts Thea’s soft side but also loves her aggressive hard-assed side. From the beginning, he is so dedicated to her that a reader can’t help but root for him to overcome all of Thea’s fears and insecurities.

I loved seeing the guys from the band again and I look forward to reading more about them in future books. This novella wasn’t as compelling as the longer ROCK ADDICTION, but I loved David and Thea and thought their story was sweet and sexy.

WORTH MENTIONING: I absolutely loved the literary device of having David and Thea communicate via memos emailed back and forth. It was incredibly sweet and sexy.

FINAL DECISION: Rock Courtship is a great addition to Singh’s Rock Kiss series. The story is more conventional than the first book, but the romance is incredibly sweet. For me, the highlight was David as a hero. He is not a beta hero but a girl has got to like a man who can blush.

CONNECTED BOOKS: This is the second in the Rock Kiss series. Rock Addiction, the first novel, was the story of Molly and Fox and takes place concurrently with the events in Rock Courtship. It can be read independent of the first book, but ROCK ADDICTION is so incredible, a reader should start there.

STAR RATING: I give this one a 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in order to provide an honest review of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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four-half-stars

Review: Rock Addiction

Review: Rock AddictionRock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1) by Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #1
Published by Tka Distribution on September 9th 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 312
Goodreads
five-stars

Determined to Dislike It But Won Me Over Completely

I never would have chosen to read ROCK ADDICTION if I hadn’t gotten a free review copy. Each of us have books that we choose to read because we know and trust the author or the blurb on the back appeals to our archetypes or themes or situations we prefer. The rake/wallflower romance, the angst filled storylines, the friends to lovers trope. Then there are those archetypes or themes that we prefer to avoid. This book would not have appealed to me. Hard rocker, heavily tattooed guys are not my thing and nothing else suggested that this would be a keeper for me. Lately, however, I have been trying to expand my reading horizons and when I saw that Nalini Singh, who I have seen mentioned as an author to read, had a new book that could be read as a standalone and when I could get a preview copy for free, I decided to give it a try.

THE STORY: Molly Webster is a librarian and fulfills all of the stereotypes of the profession. She lives a blameless and boring life. As a teenager, her family was shattered by her father’s publicized affair with an underage girl and as a result, Molly is determined to live her life out of the limelight of the press. But then she goes to a party her sister is hosting and sees him…

Zachary Fox is everything that Molly is determined to stay away from. He is a bad boy rocker with a sexy reputation and a tattooed body. He lives in the light of the press. Fox and Molly have one of those lust at first sight moments and Molly decides to agree to a one-night stand before settling down finally into her quiet life. Fox has other ideas. He is determined not to let Molly go.

OPINION: I absolutely loved this book. The story is all about how Molly and Fox learn to live together and trust one another even as they love. It is a personal book delving deep into the give and take of their relationship. Fox falls for Molly quickly and it is he who is determined to not let Molly go. I loved how mature their relationship is. As obstacle after obstacle is tossed in their path, the two talk to one another, admit their fears and faults and build a strong trust between them. There are no magic solutions. The two struggle with their pasts and fears, but are determined that their relationship is more important than anything.
This book is super sexy. Hot, hot, hot! Scorching in fact, but there is such a wonderful balance between the sex and the emotional relationship that the sex does not feel gratuitous – even as it is quite plentiful!

WORTH MENTIONING: The secondary characters are clearly set up for books of their own. Molly’s half sister and her best friend have romances that are concurrent to this one and I expect will be the subject of the other books in the series.

FINAL DECISION: I recommend this book. It was not at all what I expected. The book was complex and the characters were mature and I loved that the book dealt with the working out of their relationship. I will definitely be reading the subsequent books in this series and now I am definitely going to check out Nalini Singh’s other series for which she is well-known.

CONNECTED BOOKS: This book is the first book in the Rock Kiss series.

STAR RATING: I give this book a 5 star rating which means that it is a definite re-read for me.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in order to provide an honest review of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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five-stars