Love Hard by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #3
Published by TKA Distribution on March 10, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh brings you the next sizzling story in her Hard Play contemporary romance series…
Jacob Esera, star rugby player and young single father, has worked hard to create a joyous life for his six-year-old daughter. After the death of his childhood sweetheart soon after their daughter’s birth, all Jake wants is safety and stability. No risks. No wild chances. And especially no Juliet Nelisi, former classmate, scandal magnet, and a woman who is a thorn in his side.
As a lonely teenager, Juliet embraced her bad-girl reputation as a shield against loneliness and rejection. Years later, having kicked a cheating sports-star ex to the curb, she has a prestigious job and loyal friends—and wants nothing to do with sportsmen. The last thing she expects is the fire that ignites between her and the stuffed-shirt golden boy who once loved her best friend.
Straitlaced Jacob Esera versus wild-at-heart Juliet Nelisi? Place your bets.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Love Hard, Play Hard and Reap the Rewards!
A standalone romance by Nalini Singh featuring a story based on enemies to lovers and a single dad was all the bait I needed to pick Love Hard as my next book to read! I dived in not having read any of the other Hard Play novels and can say wholeheartedly I had no problem doing so. That said, I enjoyed this book so much that I am keen to go back and read the first two books!
The main story opens up with a wedding scene that felt like it was taking forever. It was good, but I gathered there was more to come and I wasn’t wrong. Their heated chemistry made their reluctance to let go of the past a challenge. Jake’s daughter, Esme, was the perfect distraction during the journey that took place. Both father and daughter melted my heart!
Jake woke to a smile on his face, an ache in his heart, and the knowledge that he was in big fucking trouble.
Jake and the Bishop/Esera family added another level to the charm in this story. They were a passionate rugby loving family who featured heavily in the national competition. Sport provided a backdrop to the story but never dominated it. The plot twists kept the story flowing and allowed the romance to build at a good pace. Navigating through the characters’ personal challenges fed into the wall that Jules was maintaining between them. When their chemistry crashed that wall down, their sparks ignited fireworks.
Jules had found herself in a good space, happy with her life as a successful single career woman until Jake comes back again. His presence brought a warmth into her world that she suddenly missed when she was alone. Circumstances draw the reluctant couple together which made me wonder if they had a guardian angel orchestrating events from above. Each moment came about naturally and their reactions to having to share time together felt natural.
I loved every minute of Love Hard’s slow burn romance. It highlighted the beauty in respecting the person you love and allowing them to be the best version of themselves. Their history and determined personalities lifted this story above the challenges they faced and made me smile. Humour riddled the chapter titles, cracking me up with their witty introductions to what was ahead. Definitely a book to add to your TBR list!
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