I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.by Nalini Singh
Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss, #3) on January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary Romance
From New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh comes the next contemporary romance in the Rock Kiss series…
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.
Publish Date: Oct 6th
Reviewed by: E, Has, Lou, MinnChica
How we got this book: ARC from the author via Netgalley
Thoughts on the Hero
E: I knew Singh was very good at writing broken characters but I think Noah just about broke me. He had so much emotional depth and pain and really didn’t know how to express any of it except try to protect those he cared about from his pain. Yet, at the same time he knew without friends/loved ones to anchor him he might end up doing something he couldn’t recover from. Watching him slowly very slowly opening and admit things to Kit while he tried to find some peace along with his struggle between his remorse for hurting her emotionally but being unable to stay away was very moving. And when he finally told her the root cause for his pain I am not ashamed to admit I reached for tissues and started crying. Then when my tears dried up I was absolutely furious at the individuals who didn’t really condone what happened but also blamed Noah and therefore scarred him.
Lou: For a little while in the book Noah was a dickhead. A major dickhead who kept hurting the one person who adored him and would have stood by him no matter what. It was a double whammy he purposely hurt the woman he loved and his best-friend and instead of just telling her he didn’t want to go into a relationship with her (for heartbreaking reasons that are revealed later on in the book) he did the dirty on her. It wasn’t until around the 40% mark that something was seriously and deeply troubling Noah and it wasn’t the usual broody type behaviour. I sensed it was going to be very traumatic and it ended up being so horrific that his behaviour made sense. His change of moods and anger and the reason why he behaved like he did was really heartbreaking.
Has: I agree with Lou about my feelings towards Noah. Although I sensed he was battling demons, I didn’t realise how horrific they were until the midway point of the story when I realised that was the reason on why he was such a dick towards Kit. The moment when he started to open a bit more to Kit and letting their romance navigate through the roadblocks of their obstacles, I really felt for him. I wanted him to just let go and trust Kit, who was understanding and patient and sensed that he was going through a tough time. I loved that their relationship had a friendship that was a solid basis and that she was his touchstone.
MinnChica: I have to agree with Lou and Has as well. While I understood that Noah wasn’t acting like a jerk for no reason, but he really was a pretty big asshole. There were times I wasn’t a fan of his because of his careless and hurtful actions toward Kit. But as he slowly started to reveal his past, I fell just as hard for Noah as I have for the previous Rock heroes. By the end of the book, I was firmly on Team Noah and wished we could have so much more of him.
Thoughts on the Heroine
E: I had been curious about Kit since she first arrived as Molly and Fox were feeling each other out. She was so protective of the men and when she saw Molly wasn’t into Fox for fame and fortune she opened her heart up to Molly too. I enjoyed getting to know Kit and seeing how she tried to live as normal a life as possible given her fame. I also loved her ambition and her desire to stretch her acting and emotive skills. She was strong in other ways too. She wasn’t afraid to care about others but at the same time she knew she couldn’t let herself get trampled or used. She walked such a careful line between self-care and wanting Noah while not putting herself in the position of being Noah’s healer but instead acting as a friend and partner. I was glad to see her character didn’t remain static with the focus on Noah but she also grew even though it wasn’t a blatantly obvious.
Lou: I really liked Kit but I was a little frustrated with her in the beginning with her crying and sobbing episodes. She allowed Noah back in her life, knowing that his behaviour hadn’t changed, especially the groupies. But I loved it when she finally told him what for and made him realise that she wasn’t his “emotional punching bag” and he was going to lose her for good if he didn’t change, or least open up in why he was hurting and self-destructing so badly. Like E said above, Kit had huge ambitions and I loved she wasn’t letting any opportunities go to waste, even though it meant putting on a charade with Noah for the positive media attention.
Has: I sympathised with Kit because she really was his friend first and when she thought they had something more, Noah would mess up and I don’t blame her for being upset and vulnerable especially with her issues with her parents and the career that she chose which isn’t conducive to trusting people. And I also agree that I liked that she moved on despite her feelings for Noah who at the beginning of the book just held her back at times.
MinnChica: I loved Kit from the first moment she stepped into the series. I have such a big love for Hollywood heroes and heroines, and Kit was everything I love about that trope. After I finished this book, I was desperate to find another heroine like Kit that I could fall in love with. I adored everything about her, from her love and passion toward Noah, to her steadfast patience with her career and the hoopla that goes with it. Kit is the kind of heroine I’d love to be friends with in real life.
E: I have a couple of favorite scenes, but one I think is best discovered during the reading so I am going to pick a scene involving more than Kit and Noah because I think it really highlights friendships. Singh does great friendships in her stories. Noah was having a nightmare and he was unable to wake-up out of it because of a sleeping pill. Kit called for Fox to come help and he did. Then he told Kit what to do and asked her not to ask Noah any questions while he was defenseless and left. The trust Fox had in Kit, the trust Noah had in Fox, and how Kit honored the trust was really moving. It said so much about their bonds of friendship and how well they knew each other.
Lou: My favourite scene was when Kit threw Noah out of her house when he did something angry and hurtful to her because it was the catalyst of him finally opening up about his past which was so fucking awful and went darker than I ever expected. I also loved Thea who was scarily awesome and efficient.
Has: I am with Lou. That scene was a huge turning point for the book as well as the romance and development of the characters. It was also really heart-wrenching and powerful and while it was so dark and sad, it was also a breakthrough that gave hope and light for Noah especially.
MinnChica: Oh man, I’m not sure I can choose just one scene!! I agree with everyone else that those two scenes were wonderful. I think I also really enjoyed some of the lighthearted scenes with Kit and Noah relaxing in the bed she got for her outdoor garden. It was sweet and romantic and such a strong foundation for their romance.
Dislike about book
E: The only thing I found a bit obvious about this story was the identity of Kit’s stalker. I guessed it before the reveal but I could understand why the characters didn’t figure it out until the last minute.
Lou: Like E, I also guessed the identity of Kit’s stalker so I guess it’s not really a dislike but just a little predictable. It’s not a dislike but I did think the first part of the book was extremely slow where nothing happened. It was just pure angsting with lots of crying on Kit’s end.
Has: I wasn’t keen on the stalker storyline because I felt that the focus on the romance had a lot more going on in the plot, although I didn’t really guess on the identity and felt that was a bit of a leap with Noah on whom it was at the end. I do have a dislike and that was the pacing of the first half of the book. I felt it dragged a bit and it bogged down the plot and I wished there was more time developing the romance in the second half. I wanted more time on Noah exploring sexuality with love and emotions. Those scenes were fantastic and I thought that aspect of the book was much more interesting than the build-up with the angst and the stalking subplot.
MinnChica: I have to agree with Has in that I thought the romance had such a strong storyline, the stalker aspect wasn’t super necessary to the overall book. I didn’t feel that it really added more depth or anything like that. I would have liked those extra pages to be devoted to Kit and Noah. 🙂
Any other misc. thoughts along with grade
E: Once more I fell deep into the magic of Singh’s words. Despite my very minor quibble about the stalker above I did think the added element of danger helped keep the story balanced. I also loved the “misunderstanding” which threw Kit and Noah in close proximity and their dual motivation for staying close. I thought Rock Redemption was heart wrenching, full of emotional ups and downs, and exactly what I needed to read at the time. Given the subtle hints dropped about a certain other founding member I CAN’T wait to read his story.
I give Rock Redemption an A.
Lou: After adoring T-Rex’s book, I have to say Rock Redemption didn’t quite live up to my loving standards of his and Charlotte’s book. I struggled with the first part of Rock Redemption but really enjoyed the second half, which was excellent with the story and romance moving forward. This book is all about Noah and Kit building a bridge back to friendship before anything romantic happens. I’m actually happy the book is late on the romance because of the reveal and it all then made sense. I also loved the story involving Abe and Sarah and can’t wait to read their book.
I give Rock Redemption a B.
Has: While I had some issues with Rock Redemption, I did enjoy the romance and the characters, especially in the second half. It truly breaks your heart at times. I wished there was more focus on that at the end but this was a great installment in this series and Nalini Singh knows how to draw you into an emotional and poignant romance. I also can’t wait for Abe and Sarah’s story!
I give Rock Redemption a B-
MinnChica: All in all, Singh has once again knocked it out of the park. I loved this book so much, and this series has become a favorite of mine. I hope that Singh continues to write amazing stories within this series, because they are SO GOOD! I loved Kit and Noah and can’t wait to dive back into the Rock World.
I give Rock Redemption a B+