Book Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Book: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Published November 2017 by TKA Distribution|372 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Hard Play #1

Genre: Adult Contemporary

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.

I liked Cherish Hard, but not as much as her Guild Hunter series or her Psy-Changling series.  I really like those series, and thought I’d give some of her other books a try.  This book seemed like a good starting point, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

I had a hard time with the fact that it takes place in the real world.  New Zealand was a great setting, but after reading two really long series that take place in a more magical/futuristic setting, I had a hard time with present time and real world.  I didn’t feel completely invested in Isa and Sailor’s relationship, though I really felt for Isa and the horrible family she has to deal with.  Honestly, Singh is great at writing horrible parents, but cool siblings and friendships.  But I just wasn’t into the romance in this book, and I’m not sure why.

Sailor was a little too perfect, and somehow managed to have his whole life planned out at the age of 23.  I’m 34, and even now, my life is nowhere close to being planned out the way his life is.  And I get Isa’s insecurities- who wouldn’t be with her mother, and the way she was publicly dumped several years earlier- but there was something a little too sweet and angelic about her.  Something about it seemed off, and they seemed a little more bland than some of the other characters Singh has written.

The book didn’t have a lot of drama, and overall, it was enjoyable.  It didn’t have the drama or tension I was expecting, but then again, I don’t usually read a lot of contemporary romance- historical and paranormal are much more my speed when it comes to romance, so that might be part of why I didn’t love Cherish Hard but still enjoyed it.

It was nice to see a romance where the heroine is older than the hero- it was refreshing to see it, because usually, the guy is older.  I wish we saw this more in romance, but maybe it’s there, and I just haven’t come across one that’s memorable enough to stick with me.  Or come across one at all- either one’s possible.

I don’t know if I’ll keep reading this particular series- I believe the series focuses on a different brother, so I might pick one up.  I also might not pick one up, but I am curious to see if I’ll like any of her contemporaries more.

3 stars.  I didn’t love it, but it was enjoyable, and a quick read.  I wasn’t super into the romance, but I did like that Isa was older than Sailor.

ARC Book Review: False Illusions by A. Cramton

False Illusions CoverBook: False Illusions by A. Cramton

Self-Published in April 2015|222 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Series: False Illusions #1

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Blog Graphic-What It's About

Madison had it all: the wealth, the amazing condo and engaged to the boxing Heavy Weight Champion of the World.
But in reality all she had was loneliness.
Until he showed up.

Yoel’s plan was bulletproof.
Get in and get out, win the title.
He did his homework but not well enough.
He wasn’t prepared for her.

One night changes everything.
One lie blurs the lines.

When the lust and smoke clears will everything just be a false illusion?
Or will it be the biggest fight of all?

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I absolutely loved this book!  I made the awesome mistake of starting it during my lunch break, and I was not happy when lunch was over because it meant I had to stop reading and go back to work!

I just loved the characters, and more than that, I loved Yoel and Madison together.  I love the chemistry they had, and when I was finished, I was really sad that I was finished, because I wanted to live in their world more.  I understood why Madison stayed with Marcus, but I was so glad when she broke things off with him and went to New York to do her own thing.  And her going to New York was even better once Yoel was involved!  I just love them together, and how they gave each other space, but also seemed to support each other.  They definitely had their ups and downs, but I loved that they worked it out.

Oh, Marcus!  I wasn’t a big fan of Marcus, but I also want to know what his deal is!  And Madison’s mom…even when she was being nice, I had a hard time liking her.  I definitely got the impression Madison’s happiness wasn’t important to her at all, but I’m glad Madison did what was right for her!  And that she and Yoel had such awesome friends (and that Yoel had a pretty cool family, from what I could tell).

Blog Graphic- My Rating

5 stars.  False Illusions really made me wish I read more contemporary romance.  I think I might have to after reading it!  The characters were amazing, and False Illusions was such a hard book to put down.