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Ratings and Book Reviews (22 114 star ratings
22 reviews
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Overall rating

4.7 out of 5
5 Stars
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4 Stars
28
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All Book Reviews

  • Made me want to read the other books!

    I received a free copy of LOVE HARD (Book 3 of the Hard Play series) by Nalini Singh in exchange for an honest review. Jake Esera works hard to balance his life as a rugby player with his responsibilities as a stable, loving, and responsible single father. When a family wedding brings back a blast from the past, Juliet Nelisi, former high school bad girl and best friend of Jake’s high school love is back in Jake’s life. Jake has always been the responsible good guy and was perpetually confounded by Juliet. Will their mutual love for his daughter’s mother and grief over her death be something that can bond them together or will it be something that will keep them apart? I really liked this book. It’s about two good people who have their differences but who are never nasty about it. This was my introduction to the Esera brothers. Over the weekend, I went back and read the first books in the series. #LoveHard #NetGalley

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    3 person found this review helpful

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  • Rough start, but winner ending

    I have seldom difficulty rating books, but Love Hard is one of those stories that managed to constantly change my opinion. Throughout the book I have gone from rating it three stars, then two, then three, then four. The story had very good potential and in many ways it reached it. It’s just ... it got sidetracked a lot with a lack of a better explanation and it made it difficult for me to fully understand and fall in love with it immediately. The beginning of the story was rough. However, that was not necessarily the book’s fault by any means since I kind of consciously jumped into the middle of this series without having read any of the previous books. Love Hard started with a wedding between Charlotte and Gabriel and went far into detail of how amazing this was, how happy everyone was and how perfectly detailed the whole shebang was. I assume this was an absolute dream start to the book for anyone who have read the previous book, but to me it was very dragged out and a bit too sappy for my taste, probably since I had no emotional attachment the the couple who the wedding was for. It was also very confusing and a lot to take in at once with so many names and characters involved immediately. So to summarize, it was a rough start, but I can only really blame myself for that since I decided to read this without having read the first two books. One thing though that I feel would not have changed, whether I had read the previous books or not, is the slow introduction to the main characters, Jake and Juliet. Since the first few chapters was so focused on the wedding and the happy couple both the characters were kind of out of the spotlight even though it was their POV. I mean, they did have introductions with who they were, their family ties and their history, but it took a good while for the main characters to catch my interest just because they weren’t the center focus until after the wedding was over and done with. That’s when I finally started to really get into the book. Jake and Jules had some intriguing and intense interactions before that that I enjoyed, however when they became the sole focus of the book I got a deeper look at both of the characters and a much more compelling build up between them. I am actually quite pleased with the originality to how they knew each other, having not only been nemesis in school but tied together by the same girl who they both tragically lost. That with them coming from such different backgrounds and with polar opposite personalities made it a recipe for a addictive romance. While I felt that their interactions felt a bit off sometimes and the story lost me some places with the whole training and rugby aspect, for the most part I very much enjoyed the story til the end, especially when the attention seeking ex got into the picture. What Reid did and how it affected Jules was probably what I loved most with Love Hard. Because I like drama in books it drew me in like a moth to a flame. It was also so satisfying seeing how it brought out Jakes protectiveness and brought them closer together as a couple. Although I might have liked there to have been a bit more drama to the whole ordeal I can’t really complain either since it was still so enjoyable and there was so much else making up for the extra drama I missed. Esme being one. I’m not usually much for kids taking room in romance stories but she was a treat, especially her interactions with Juliet. Even that gave the romance something extra, bringing them all together as a family. One thing I missed though, that would have made the relationship absolutely perfect, was the guilt of Callie. With that I mean that neither one of them showed any guilt over getting with the other when Callie had had such fundamental parts in both their life, being his first love and mother of his child and being Jules best friend. I think it would have strengthened both the realism and the connection in the relationship if they had to work through and struggle with the loss and guilt of moving on with each other and leave Callie in the past. I am not super upset by it though since the book still had so much else to offer. All in all Love Hard had a lot of beautiful elements to it that I believe draws in a broad audience. There was enemies to lovers, second chance (in a sense), troubled upbringing and finally finding a family, sports theme, widower with a kid, a powerful businesswoman, celebrities and drama. At some point I felt like it might have gone a bit overboard with everything it contained, but for the most part I could get behind most of the themes. It all worked well together and never felt forced or messy. It just flowed naturally throughout the story making it in the end absolutely deserving of four stars. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Loved it

    Who knew I'd love rugby romance so much but Nalini has definitely converted me. I absolutely adored Jacob. Bests single Dad ever. It made him all the more a swoon-worthy hero. And Juliet while almost his opposite was such a great heroine. The flashback scenes really helped to show the woman she truly was and not just the version of herself that she showed everyone else. We saw some familiar faces in this book and while I really enjoyed that, some of it overshadowed our latest couple. Regardless, Love Hard was a love story of epic proportions and I can't wait for the next book in the series! An absolute must read as all of Nalini's books are!

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • So good!

    First, Jake was awesome, but the real star in Love Hard was Juliet. Man did Juliet win me over. Learning her story firmly placed me in her corner and I wanted her to have Jake so badly. She deserved a guy like him after everything she has been through. Add in an adorable little girl and I was a goner. Jake really was an incredible hero. He is such a good dad and they way he protected Esme was incredibly sweet. When he turned that same protection on Juliet, I wanted to shout with joy for her. Seeing dad and daughter be such an awesome team, adding Juliet to the mix was going to be very important for the author to handle. She knocked it out of the park. Juliet is one of those characters that is tough on the outside and full of mush on the inside. She has such a huge capacity to love but never had the chance to give that gift. I wanted that for her. More importantly, I wanted that for her with Jake and Esme. What a gem this book turned into.

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  • Wonderful Love Story

    Jacob Esera is a rugby player but his most important role in life is being a good father to his 6 year old daughter. Juliet Nelisi was the bad girl in school but she was also his child hood sweethearts best friend. At his brother’s wedding they reconnect and the fun begins. Juliet is a strong confident take charge woman. Jacob is a grouchy and judgmental jerk when it comes to Juliet. They clash like oil and water. What if I can be the steady heart of your life and you be the my wings, teach me to fly past the walls I like to build? What if Jules? I love reading about this family and am looking forward to reading about the last brother Danny. No matter what this author writes it’s amazing.

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