Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Reviewed by Sara

Looking for a sweet and sexy Contemporary to read, I came across Nalini Singh’s Cherish Hard. Book one in the Hard Play series, it tells the story of Isa and Sailor, two main characters with more issues than Vogue magazine, but with huge hearts.

Sailor first sees red-headed Isa at a college kegger where she is humiliated by her boyfriend in front of over 50 people. He runs after her, but not in time and she remains, in his mind, the perfect unattainable woman for over 5 years. Until one day, when he’s accosted by a beautiful woman who kisses the daylights out of him. After this, fate seems to be on Sailor’s side and the two continue to bump into each other. Sailor learns that Isa was deeply affected by her humiliation and that on top of that has deep hurts from a family that has placed money and business above all else. He also sees that Isa has an enormous heart and cares for her her step-siblings as if they were her own children. Can he be the man she needs? Will it mean giving up his dreams?

Isa is at her wits end attempting to find the perfect man who will be the perfect and committed husband and father. Never having had that in her life, she craves it desperately. Isa’s frustrations (and hormones) bubble over when she sees the attractive landscaper at the school where she teaches poetry and “Devil Isa” is unleashed. Devil Isa just wants a good time and a hard body, but when she realizes that hard body saw her worst humiliation she runs. Between her mother’s business machinations and fate Isa can’t get away from Sailor and they soon fall in love and into bed, but can he be the man who will hold her heart and a potential family above money and business?

Cherish Hard is sweet. Nalini Singh has come up with these supernaturally well balanced characters that readers will want to see reach their happy ending. Sailor is the epitome of a gentleman. He is kind and caring, but also rough and masculine in all the best ways. He is the kind of hero that makes this reader swoon. Likewise, Isa is caring, nurturing and good-hearted, but with intelligence and a wicked sense of humor so that all of her sweetness isn’t too saccharine. Additionally, the side characters are equally well written and fully formed; they aren’t just placeholders to promote dialogue. I want all of them to get their own books. Seriously, almost all of them.

While the book is sweet that doesn’t mean that it skimps on the sexytimes. Physical attraction is what first brings Isa and Sailor together, so there are some hot moments between the two of them. There’s the beach, the desk, the bed, the truck, the beach again (you get the idea) and through it all, Singh keeps the encounters light and full of humor in keeping with the characters’ personalities.

The main conflict is kind of a breath of fresh air. Nobody is kidnapped, there’s no surprise babies or really anything traumatic. It’s actually very simple and likely something many couples face in real life. Sailor and Isa have issues and their ability to communicate these issues to each other is what causes the majority of the book’s conflict. Isa is fairly easily read and Sailor can see what she needs to thrive and go forward in a relationship is a partner that is committed to her and their relationship first. It’s Sailor’s issues that really might keep the two apart. Abandoned by his birth father and thrust into extreme poverty, Sailor is committed to financial wealth and has been since his teens. He has a well thought out, obsessed over plan that will make him a millionaire, but it will mean a complete, unwavering commitment to his business. However, his unyielding commitment to this dream is what might keep the two lovers apart. Watching these two maneuver through past hurts to healed hearts and fulfilled dreams is as simple as communication,  there’s no major dramatics, but it’s satisfying nonetheless.

If you’re in the mood for a sweet and sexy romance with great characters and a plot that doesn’t resort to trauma for character conflict, I highly recommend Cherish Hard.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

Cherish Hard
by Nalini Singh
Release Date: November 14, 2017

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