Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss #3) by Nalini Singh #BookReview
Actress Kit Devigny has had a complicated past with rock star Noah St. John. Once upon a time, they were great friends—and almost more—and then…it all fell apart after one heartbreaking betrayal by Noah. With her heart shattered into pieces, Kit walked away from the man with whom she had once envisioned a beautiful future with and who held her heart completely. Every interaction with Noah after that night was strained and Kit did her best to distance herself from Noah. Just as wrecked as Kit was, Noah nevertheless believed Kit deserved better than a man with a terrible secret and scars that haunted him.
Unfortunately, Kit’s plan to keep space between her and Noah comes to an end when the tabloids mistakenly label the two as the hottest new couple. When Kit finds herself being considered for the movie role of a lifetime, she has a decision to make; take advantage of the media attention and pretend to be Noah’s girlfriend in order to boost her chances of getting the role or play it safe by correcting the false rumor. Desperate to have Kit in his life again, Noah is willing to go along with the charade. Having been burned by Noah before, Kit is far more hesitant. Pretending to be Noah’s girlfriend will be the hardest role she has ever had to play. Either she’ll come out of this intact or she’ll find her heart in pieces again.
The promise between them, it had been something most people never experienced. It was broken now, shattered so badly nothing could put it back together, but when it had been whole, it had been beyond beautiful, a priceless gift. Noah could’ve been her heart.
Rock Redemption is somewhat different than the other books in the Rock Kiss series. It’s darker, angsty, and at times even emotionally brutal. Nalini Singh addresses some pretty heavy and traumatizing topics in this book, but she handles them beautifully. She tackles issues regarding abuse in a very honest way by portraying a realistic picture of the long-term consequences and the psychological damage that lingers for years to come. Singh doesn’t downplay the harsh effects of abuse or how those effects can manifest themselves through a person’s behavior.
“You don’t deserve her.”
“No, I don’t.” That was simple fact. “But she’s mine, and I’m not about to give her up.”
Noah is a complex character; he’d do anything for his friends and the people he loves, but he lives each day haunted by his own demons. His scars run extremely deep and quite honestly, he’s a mess. Due to his past, he has grown into a self-destructive and emotionally crippled man who goes through women like tissues as a coping mechanism. His journey in this book is a long one and it’s by no means easy. Noah makes his fair share of mistakes in Rock Redemption, all while trying to do right by Kit. He genuinely adores her and values their friendship so completely, which is why he did what he did to Kit. He also suffers from self-esteem issues, believing Kit is far too good for him. While this was sometimes frustrating, when light is shed on his past it makes it a little easier to understand where Noah is coming from.
“I don’t expect you to forgive me, but please don’t shut me out. I can’t breathe knowing you hate me.”
Kit is probably my favorite heroine so far in the Rock Kiss series. She’s an amazing friend and she remained grounded even though she grew up with famous parents and faces growing fame throughout the course of the book.
I also loved her compassion and capacity for forgiveness, wanting to help Noah even after he broke her heart. At the same time, I loved how she knew when to put herself first. She wanted to fight for Noah and be there for him, but she wasn’t going to be an emotional punching bag and I admired that.
She wasn’t sure she could survive pretending he was hers for even a short three or four weeks. It was like being handed the most wonderful gift in the world, only to be told it wasn’t really yours. It was just on loan. You couldn’t touch, couldn’t have. Just pretend.
We also get to see the other members of Schoolboy Choir and a more in-depth look at Noah’s relationship with each of them, especially Fox. Noah and Fox’s past together is both tragic and beautiful and I’m glad we got to see more of it. We even get to learn some interesting news about Abe and we get a glimpse of what’s in store for him with a certain woman. Thea and Molly get some page time, too, and it was nice catching up with them. There was also an element of suspense in the book in the form of an unknown and evasive stalker. I really appreciated the underlying tension and sense of danger that this added to the story.
“Don’t throw in the towel on me, on us. I need you.”
This is definitely a slow-burn kind of book in the romance department. Noah and Kit spend a fair amount of time repairing their friendship while also learning more about each other. The sexual tension was there, but it isn’t acted on until a while into the book. This book is more about Noah healing, learning how to open up to Kit, and growing into a man who could be in a real and meaningful relationship.
When the romance does come along, it’s sweet and it feels earned because Noah and Kit have been through so much together. While I usually prefer a bigger “dose” of romance, I can see how the slow-burn made sense in this scenario and Noah and Kit’s interactions throughout the book do feel romantic in their own way, even when they’re just friends. Noah had a lot of healing to do before he could be romantically involved with anyone.
It’s always a pleasure to read a Nalini Singh book. The beautiful descriptions, the emotion on every page and in every word- you can always count on those things when opening one of her novels. Once again, I can’t wait to revisit this world of rock stars in the future.
Rock Redemption is…