October 6, 2015
Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness…until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.
Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation.
When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting—needing—to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful…and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.
The latest release in Nalini Singh’s Rock Kiss series, Rock Redemption, brings ALL of the tension you’ve ever craved from a romance. AND THEN SOME. It’s nearly agonizing, in fact, not to just plow ahead to the end to make sure everyone is all right (hint: it IS a romance, so that answers that question). This isn’t just a not-friends-to-lovers story; in fact, the “lovers” part of the story doesn’t happen for a lot longer than usual. The book is told from both Kit and Noah’s points of view, and it’s great to get that insight into Noah’s character, in particular, since some of his actions are outside of what is normally acceptable in a romance novel. Despite his hard exterior, Noah is fragile, and recognizes his own fragility — which he then tries to destroy through his actions. He REALLY goes the distance in his attempts to hurt himself and Kit. Like, REALLY (in other words, if you don’t like it when the hero is with another woman while he’s sort of with the heroine, don’t read this).
Nalini hints at Noah’s past, unspooling his story so gracefully you don’t feel as though she’s held anything back or infodumped. It’s deliciously painful. When the truth emerges, it’s as bad as you’d feared, and Noah’s response to the past trauma makes sense, especially given how he was raised. It’s also refreshing to read about a hero who, while competent in bed, isn’t as confident about some of the usual sex tricks. Don’t mistake me, when Kit and Noah finally — finally — get to doing things, it’s very sexy, but it makes sense how Noah behaves, given his past.
Although Noah is an incredibly successful handsome rock star, and Kit is an up-and-coming beautiful actor (whose parents are a model and a tennis pro), they are both easy to relate to, especially when their issues are put in context. It’s easy to envy beautiful, successful people, but there are consequences that are not enviable: stalkers, privacy, having to look great all the time, never letting loose, being a pro no matter what the situation.
The redemption, when it comes, is hard-won, and even then it falters, making your chest seize up when it appears Noah might mess it all up again. Rock Redemption is the most painful — in a good way — book in the Rock Kiss series. Recommended for lovers of angst and tension.