ARC Review: Kiss Hard by Nalini Singh

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh brings you a sinfully playful contemporary romance between two sworn enemies turned partners in crime…


black and white, sports

Daniel Esera is a young god on the rugby field, a sexy and charming man who’s got the world at his feet. There’s just one problem: his sudden potent attraction to his number one nemesis—Catie River. No. Just no. Not happening.

Catie River is on her way to Paralympic gold, and she’s not about to allow Danny “Hotshot” Esera to derail her plans. Too bad her body isn’t cooperating. Even worse? Her heart might be coming along

for the ride. No. Nope. Never.

The pair are united in their desire to remain enemies…until a stranger’s reckless action threatens both their careers. Now, the only way out for Catie and Danny is to pretend to be in a relationship. How bad can it be? They’re adults in full control of their hormones and their hearts. There will be no kissing. No PDA. And definitely no falling in love.

Let the games begin.13

My thoughts

I knew it! If you have been reading the “Hard Play” series from the beginning, this romance was written before this story (chuckle). Well, not the actual “happily-ever-after”, but the foundation of true love based on snark, pranks, and declarations of enemy status. 

If you haven’t read a “Hard Play” book, that’s okay, Kiss Hard can be read as a standalone. Nalini Singh still packs this contemporary new adult sports romance with snark, pranks, and declarations of nemesis status. 

I love everything about this novel. It has diversity in everything but rainbows. I love that Catie is successful in her own right. She paved a way for herself and does not let life hold her back. Her father is a gambling addict who has a tendency to abandon her during life’s regular stories. Then there is her mother who shows active concern about her business rather than her daughter. Abandonment and trust issues ride Catie hard.

Daniel’s road is completely different. He has to live down his family’s success while being grateful for their continued love and support. Now he is struggling on the rugby field and has no clue why. 

Then Catie and Daniel get in a predicament which has them fake dating so that they can both maintain their social images and keep their sponsors. I can easily imagine this being the problem for many people in the public eye. The best part about this is that Singh introduces a conversation about safe sex and testing – love this!!!

Singh incorporates Catie’s double-amputee ableism seamlessly into the story. Her defense of being patronized and seen as less than and her over-reaction as a defense mechanism. As a disabled person, I could relate (I am not an amputee). 

Kiss Hard has humor, romance, and found family. There are two different journeys that fortunately for us blend, mix, and stand on their own. Catie and Danny are a cute couple that doesn’t want to be and it’s fun watching them implode on their own words.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


 “As a Bookshop and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” at no additional cost to you.

Books in the “Hard Play” series.

Further Details:

Published by: TKA Distribution, 9781942356707, 3 May 2022
Cover Image by Jenn LeBlanc and Cover Design by Croco Designs.
Series: Hard Play #4; Settings: New Zealand, Tokyo, Japan
Pages: 329
Secondary Characters include: Non-White, Indian, Pasifika, 

Promo Photo by Anthony on <a href=”; rel=”nofollow”></a>


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