Rock Redemption (Nalini Singh)

Rock Redemption is the third novel in the Rock Kiss series by Nalini Singh.
Finished on: 1.6.2020
[Here are my reviews of the rest of the series.]

Content Note: child abuse/pedophilia, stalking (not in the main couple)

Actress Kit and guitar player Noah used to be really close and there was definitely sexual tension brewing between them. But before anything more could happen, Kit walked in on Noah sleeping with one of the band’s groupies – and they both knew he wanted her to find him like this. Any trust between them was destroyed and Kit’s heart thoroughly broken. Then one night, she receives a call from Noah and he is not in a good place at all. Despite her own worries – she has a stalker – she picks Noah up from a sketchy motel super drunk and this close to doing hard drugs. Looking at all the pieces of their relationship so far, Kit and Noah decide to try to rebuild their friendship, hard as it may be to navigate all the hurt.

Rock Redemption is the usual quick, engaging read I have come to expect from Singh, though it follows the normal structure of her stories a little less than usual. I had no problem with that, but I did struggle a little with Noah and his pain.

It’s easy to see that Noah is a traumatized person who is struggling extremely hard – so far in the Rock Kiss series that was true for a lot of people and it’s not something I mind in general. But Noah’s pain and trauma here is so big that, to me, it completely took away from the pain he in turn caused Kit. There was no room to acknowledge that he was an absolute dick because as soon as you did, or as Kit did, the huge trauma he experienced showed up looming in the distance.

Not that I think that his trauma is inappropriate or unjustified. It just doesn’t absolve him from being an asshole and from acknowledging that Kit has needs and feelings, too. On the other hand, their first kiss was such a monumental moment for him, actually and he screwed that up so thoroughly that in the end, it was all about the screwing up. I don’t think that Kit realizes what that kiss meant for him. The balance here wasn’t right for me. And it also weighs heavily on me that they just drop the idea of professional help for him in the end. Working through this together is nice and all, but they could and should have found a way to do this together with a therapist.

But other than that, I actually liked that Noah and Kit build their friendship together first. And I always appreciate some good fake dating, so that was definitely nice. But given that I like friends to lovers and fake dating, this book should have spoken to me much more than it did. Not that I didn’t enjoy it – I definitely did! – but there was room for more engagement on my part and somehow those last couple of steps just didn’t happen.

Be that as it may, Rock Redemption was a good read and I blazed through it just like I hoped I would. I’m looking forward to the last book in the series.

Summarizing: Not so much my thing, but not bad.

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