In New York Times Bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…
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.
Charlotte arrived at work at seven thirty the next morning to find Gabriel Bishop’s office door open, but no carnivorous predator inside. A fresh suit was hanging on the back of his door, however, which meant he’d been in already.
Deciding to catch up on e-mails that had come in overnight from international suppliers as well as stores involved in a stock take, she was typing a reply when a sweaty Gabriel arrived fifteen minutes later. He was dressed in black running shorts and a faded University of Auckland T-shirt that was currently sticking to his body.
She’d known he was in shape, but now she realized none of it was an illusion created by his well-cut suits. Okay, she’d already known that, but seeing his muscled body in the flesh was a whole different ball game. He was built like a tank, hard and powerful.
Each of his thighs was thicker than both of hers put together, his biceps toned, his shoulders appearing even wider than usual. Everything about him was big. Civilized clothing didn’t make him look better, she realized—it toned down his intense masculinity. Out of his suits, with the ink on the upper part of his left arm exposed, as well as that on his opposing thigh and…
Her skin hot and lower body clenching, she just nodded in response to his “Good morning.”
Disappearing into his office, he returned with his suit pants and a fresh shirt slung over his arm, along with a sports bag. “Push the meeting with Sales to nine, will you, Ms. Baird? I need to talk to HR about something before then.”
“Yes, sir,” Charlotte said almost soundlessly, but he was already gone, heading toward the employee shower one floor down.
The thigh tattoo went all the way around, the design intricate.
Heart rate a rapid stutter, Charlotte got up after he disappeared and decided to go grab him a coffee. He’d bought her one yesterday after all. She was just being nice. “Oh, shut up, Charlotte,” she muttered once she was in the elevator, and slumped her face into an upraised hand.
The truth was she was running away. Only for a few minutes, but that’s what this was: strategic retreat. Gabriel Bishop was overwhelming. Once, before she’d ever met him and under the influence of cocktails, she’d told Molly she wanted to rip off his shirt and sink her teeth into his pecs.
That desire hadn’t waned even now that she knew he was a T-Rex. Of course, the desire was all strictly in her imagination. The idea of actually handling him in real life? So impossible as to be laughable. Charlie-mouse was not about to play with a predator who could eat her alive and not even notice the bones. The good news was that she could admire him in relative safety—there was no chance in hell he’d ever notice her as a woman.
Getting the coffee from a nearby café, she took it back upstairs. He was in his office when she entered, the striped dark gray of his tie hanging around his neck and his damp hair roughly combed. The scent of clean, fresh soap over warm skin permeated the office. Shooting her a smile that turned him from gorgeous to flat-out devastating, he flipped up the collar of his white shirt to get the tie in place. “Thank you, Ms. Baird.”
Nodding, Charlotte escaped, though she really wanted to stay. She’d never realized how erotic it was to watch a man dress until this precise moment. And she shouldn’t be having these thoughts about her boss—especially since she couldn’t keep from quivering like a rabbit in his presence. Sometimes she just annoyed herself.
“Get to work,” she muttered and knuckled down.
Gabriel was fine for the first hour, but then he began barking orders even a six-armed woman with a split personality would have had trouble handling.
Finally, pushed to the edge, Charlotte snapped. “I’m going as fast as I can!” she yelled when he asked her for something a minute after he’d asked her to complete another task.
He scowled and held out a file. “This is a priority.”
Grabbing it from his hand, she said, “Fine,” and slapped it down on her desk.
It was over an hour later that he disappeared for ten minutes. When he returned, it was to put a small bakery box on her desk. “I think you need something to sweeten your mood today, Ms. Baird.”
What she needed was for the T-Rex who was her boss to stop snarling and growling, she thought as he returned to his office. Not opening the box until her curiosity had almost killed her, she found it held a slice of decadent chocolate cake with a white-chocolate ganache topped with curls of both white and milk chocolate. “I cannot be bribed with cake,” she muttered, eating a bite nonetheless.
**Full two-chapter excerpt available on Nalini’s Website: http://nalinisingh.com/rockhard.php
Nalini Singh is my new Author crush! I fell in LOVE with her writing this week! Where the heck have I been that I have never read her before? I am DEFINITELY going back to read the other 2 stories in this series and I can't wait for MORE from the Bishop clan (Sailor really needs a book). Nalini Singh's Rock Hard is everything I love about reading romance novels; there was romance, heat, heart, laughter, tension and fantastic characters that you don't want to let go of! (I miss my T-Rex!) While Rock Hard is book 2 in this Rock Kiss series, Nalini does an excellent job of keeping this book easy to pick up and read as a standalone, I can't wait to go back and read Molly's story though!
Rock Hard, damn. I loved this book! The way this story unfolds is unique for the "office trope" we are used to getting. Gabriel and Charlotte made this story wonderful, really putting the romance back into the genre. Reading their story is like watching your two favorite people fall in love, it is magical and heart tuggingly awesome at the same time. Nalini Singh has crafted two wonderful main characters, they are not cookie cutter characters, they are realistically flawed and gives us a refreshing change from Alpha Billionaire/meek secretary combos that (while I love) are getting tiresome as of late. Charlotte's character is amazing. She is a strong young woman that life has bruised, but not broken. She is self aware, able to talk about what is bothering her, stands up to a T-Rex and while scared out of her mind, refuses to let her past steal her future. Charlotte is a character that I will remember for a while, I loved watching her grow, accept and blossom during this book. Charlotte might be a mouse, but she isn't scared to take on a a T-Rex and I love that about her character! Gabriel (T-Rex) was a wonderful surprise! His character is so different than what I expected that I am still blushing over my assumptions. Gabriel is definitely the man you want to crush on! Nalini Singh created this character brillantly, he comes off at first as cut-throat, self-absorbed and ruthless, but as the story unfolds we realize that yes he is deteremined to get what he wants, however, he is a gentle giant. Gabriel's character was what I wish all these "alpha" males would be more like. He was strong, in control, but understood Charlotte and gave her what she needed (no crazy dramatic male tantrums or pouting). He was selfless with his needs and really awed me with how understanding, patiently romantic and tender he was with his Ms. Baird. Sigh. T-Rex is a keeper for sure!
Nalini Singh's Rock Hard was a wonderful story that had great pacing, it never dragged and kept my attention from page one until the very end (where I kept hoping more story would just appear). The wit, the banter and the snark that comes out of Charlotte had me laughing and Gabriel's flirting and dirty talk definitely had me blushing a few times! Rock Hard takes two people that aren't looking for love and slowly shows them that just maybe a mouse and a T-Rex are the perfect match!
I HIGHLY recommend this book! If you are looking for a romantic read to spice up your weekend I promise you will not be disappointed! I can't wait to go diving into Nalini Singh's backlist and discover all the wonderful stories I have missed. Enjoy meeting Ms. Baird and the Bishop this weekend and I hope this isn't the last we will see of these two!
BUY THIS BOOK:
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1G9oslz
READ THE THE WHOLE SERIES:
Rock Addiction (Book One) Rock Kiss SeriesAmazon US: http://amzn.to/WqA2rj
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1G9piir
Rock Hard (Book Two) Rock Kiss Series
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Rock Courtship (bk 1.5) A Rock Kiss Novel:
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Rock Hard (Book Two) Rock Kiss Series
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1BXhHWB
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1G9oslz
MEET THE AUTHOR:
NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about hot and wickedly tempting rock stars (and one gorgeous ex-rugby player). If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.
Nalini 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 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. Also, don't forget to swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page for the Rock Kiss series, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the books.