Title: Love Hard
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance, Sport
Dates read: 9th – 13th April 2021
Publisher: Nalini Singh
5th sentence, 74th page: “Do I look like I was born yesterday?”
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 II especially II no Julity 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. 88 Straitlaced jacob Esera versus wild-at-heart Juliet Nelisi? Place your bets.
From the blurb, I was expecting Jacob’s backstory to be far more painful and tragic. And it was quite sad and horrible. But nowhere near what I was expecting. I mean, teenage parent and the death of the love of his life is really sad. But he didn’t dwell on it but found a way to move on with his life. Something that I think is really awesome and important – he found a way to live his life and be happy in the moment.
All throughout this story, Esme just stole the show. She is just too damn cute and, although she isn’t the one the romance is about. I just wanted to give her a huge hug! She’s just a constant, adorable little show stealer. One that makes you grin and want to hug her through the pages of the book. The fact that Jacob is such a wonderful father just makes him an even more dreamy male lead…
Jules was such a great lead female (as is all of Singh’s female leads). Her friendship requirement to a relationship is such a great point. One that I think we all need to make in our own lives and relationships. After all, my partner is my best friend, and it’s the laughter and friendship that bring everything together.
This was another beautiful Singh story. One that uses all of her usual enjoyment and happiness. One that also reminds us that we always should look forward and embrace the future. And the potential for future happiness. It’s such a great journey. One that draws you all that much further into the Esra brothers’ world and makes you believe in true love again and again.