Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh


Title: Cherish Hard (Hard Play #1)
Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 14 Nov 2017
Genre: Contemporary romance 

Author's links:

My rating: 3 Stars


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. 


This was a nice and sweet story but I had some issues and in the end, there was nothing memorable about it.

Isa is young woman who longs for a family, looking for a balance between work/time with family/friends. Writing a heroine like her carries the risk of her being seen as a cliche and anti-feminist, yet she didn't read like either to me and I appreciated the effort Nalini Singh took in presenting a heroine like her in contemporary romance. Unfortunately, this is almost all I liked in her. She came off as too perfect, too caring, too much the opposite of her mother (who was the evil business woman absentee mother stereotype incarnate).

Sailor was an interesting hero, younger than Isa, focused on his career, passionate about his work and the people close to him. wants to give her everything she never had. He fell for Isa hard and fast and made it his mission to provide her with everything she was missing in her life and to convince her he is the right one for her. Unfortunately along with his tenderness and care and affection, he came off as too possessive, too protective, too certain she is the one for him. I'm ok with insta/meant-to-be romance in Nalini Singh's  shifter series, it makes sense to me re mates but in contemporary it bothers me. His conviction that she is  his from the get-go and he just needed to convince her of this fell off on many levels.

A common feature in all of this author's work which I like a lot is the ethnic diversity of her characters. Isa is half-Australian/half-Icelandic and her mixed cultural background was present in the story. I also very much appreciate the variety of family relationships we see in this story, biological and chosen family mix and balance each other.

There were some interesting family/friendship dynamics and the romance was very emotional and intense but none of it made the story stand out from any other contemporary romance out there.

Overall, I prefer Nalini Singh's paranormal romances to her contemporary ones which so far has been a hit or miss for me. I'm open to reading more in this series but I will definitely approach the next books with caution and lower expectations.

Purchase links: Amazon/ B&N / Kobo / iBooks

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images