I received an arc of this book for an honest review. No spoilers. Age 18+
‘Rebel Hard’ is book 2 of Nalini Singh’s Hard Play series. This series is a spin-off her Rock Kiss series, which is now finished – you don’t need to have read this series to read ‘Rebel Hard’ – this series is a based around the secondary characters of the Rock Kiss. I believe that this series, at least the two books published, happen before the Rock Kiss series, so this book can be read without having read the other series.
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.
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‘Rebel Hard’ was a surprise release, Nalini Singh sent the news on her August newsletter. Books that are going to be release are usually advertised up to a year before, and being told about a surprise book being coming out in a month was very exciting for us fans. So, as someone who’s a super fan of Nalini Singh’s books, this review might be a tiny bit bias.
I loved this book. The romance was so, well, romantic. It wasn’t too cheesy or cliche, just enough to make my romantic side very happy.
I really loved how the Indian culture of the characters was portrayed. It was very real and not too exaggerated. I liked how both, young and older, generations had their say in a way, but specially how Nayna and Raj fought to have their future their own way, while compromising on both sides. Their family and culture was important to them and throughout the book they fought really hard to balance them out, and not let one overpower the other.
Nayna and Raj together were really entertaining to read, specially in the beginning. There were some scenes that were really funny, and I think that those scenes makes them the cutest couple ever. Having have said that, I also did enjoy how their relationship got past that and got more serious and their relationship had more depth.
I loved having a character with the name Nayna, because kinda off the nickname my family has for me. It’s a silly thing to find important in a book but, it just made me feel more connected to the character.
Raj was a bit of a complex character. He’s strong both physically and emotionally but, he’s also very vulnerable and gentle. I loved how he was more than willing to be vulnerable and sensitive for Nayna. There was no question whether him being so vulnerable and sensitive would bring any question about his sexuality or masculinity – it was never about that at all.
That’s what I love about Nalini Singh’s writing, she doesn’t make her characters think that, that is an issues for them to get through – it’s not even a consideration that they have to have. That’s something that many of her male characters in her other series have, and that’s something that I really appreciate – and it’s something that I really wish the romance genre had more of.
Nalini Singh’s writing as always was on point and I just love how it makes me actually forget about everything around me and just be immersed in the story.
Like I said you don’t have to have read the Rock Kiss series to read this book but, I really do recommend it. It has super hot and famous rock stars and hot and adorable ladies with cute Kiwi accents. In fact, just check out any of Nalini Sing’s books, she has many in different genres, so, I’m sure you’ll find something that interests you in her books.