Rebel Hard

Hard Play, Book #2

By Nalini Singh

ISBN# 9781942356660

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Ever since her sister went against her family’s Indian customs by running away and eloping, Nayna Sharma has done everything in her power to put her family back together.  And, that includes agreeing to an arranged marriage as is their tradition.  Nayna has already been through several introductions that haven’t gone well and she decided that she needs one wild night out before she can settle down with a complete stranger of her parents choosing.  She just never expected to not only meet the man of her dreams that night, but that he’d be interested in her as well!

Raj Sen was abandoned when he was a young child by a mother who no longer wanted him.  A few years later he was adopted by the Sens.  He wants a traditional Indian bride that will be willing to devote her life to their children so his kids will never feel unwanted as he did.  He can’t wait to get married and start a family of his own and he completely embraces the Indian lifestyle.  However, one fiery kiss at a party and he can’t get the girl out of his mind.  Imagine his surprise when he shows up at his next introduction to see his firecracker standing across from him!

Nayna can’t believe that her parents introduced her to Raj and really liked him as well!  Unfortunately, Nayna feels trapped by tradition where Raj wants to immerse himself in it.  She really likes Raj, but knows it can never work because one of them would have to give up their dreams for the other to live theirs.

This book took place at the same time as Cherish Hard and features that couple’s best friends.  I really liked this book and didn’t want to put it down … at first.  Then, I seemed to hit a brick wall.  I felt the storyline got slow and boring while Nayna was fighting being caged and wanting to find herself and then during her sister’s relationship drama and Raj’s father’s health issues.  Kudos to Raj for doing what he needed to for the woman he loves.  I’m not sure many others would have had the patience, especially in that culture.

The book ended okay, but it never got back to being as good as it was in the beginning.

I did enjoy Raj and Nayna for the most part … although at times I wanted to smack Nayna for the ways she hurt Raj.  I found it was interesting to read about the Indian culture and seeing how the arranged marriages work.  I also really enjoyed Nayna’s aji (grandma) and thought her budding romance with the neighbor was sweet.

“You young people. Where do you think you come from, huh?”

“I arrived by stork,” Raj said seriously. “My brother and sister by magic.”

I think Get Up by Shinedown is a good song to go with this book … especially the chorus and the line about I’d rather twist myself in knots then watch you give up on your dreams. So here … enjoy the video.