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.
Excerpt from ROCK REDEMPTION by
Kit groaned at the sound of her phone. Reaching out blindly toward the nightstand, she hurled mental curses upon herself for forgetting to turn it off so she could catch some uninterrupted sleep before her four-a.m. makeup call.
It’d be fun and great for her career, her agent had said when recommending Kit take the superhero flick. Coming off two serious and emotionally wrenching projects, Kit had taken Harper’s advice and jumped on board the high-budget, high-octane venture. Unfortunately, Harper had forgotten to mention the four hours it would take to put her into the head-to-toe makeup required for the role. Daily.
“What?” she snarled into the phone without checking to see who it was.
Every cell in her body snapped wide awake. Lifting her eyelids, she just stared at the ceiling through gritty eyes. Her heart thumped, her throat moving convulsively as she swallowed. She hated that he could still do this to her, hated it, but her visceral response to Noah wasn’t something she could stop. She knew because she’d tried for the past two years and three months.
“Noah,” she said flatly. “Do you know what time it is?”
“Two fifteen,” he answered.
Kit should’ve hung up. God, he’d hurt her. So much. But there was something in his voice that had her sitting up. “Are you drunk?” One thing she knew about Noah: no matter his bad-boy rep, he was never wasted. He might give a good indication of it, but look closely and those dark gray eyes were always sober.
“Probably.” A silence, followed by, “I just wanted to hear your voice. Sorry for waking you.”
“Wait,” she said when he would’ve hung up. “Where are you?”
“Some dive.” He took a deep breath, released it in a harsh exhale. “I’m sorry for being an asshole. I wanted to tell you that. I don’t want to go without saying that.”
“Noah,” she said, a horrible feeling in her stomach. “Where exactly are you?”
“The Blue Flamingo Inn off Hollywood Boulevard. Far, far, far off.” He laughed, and it held no humor. “It has a neon sign of a blue—surprise!—flamingo that’s flashing right through my window. Looks like someone stole the curtains.”
Having already grabbed her laptop, which she’d left beside the bed after answering some e-mails before sleep claimed her, she found the Blue Flamingo Inn. But Noah was already gone, having said, “I love your voice, Kit,” in an oddly raw tone before hanging up.
He didn’t pick up when she called back.
“Damn it! Damn it!” She shoved aside the blanket under which she’d been buried, having turned the AC to ice-cold as she usually did at night. Shivering, she tugged on a pair of jeans and an old sweatshirt over the panties and tank top in which she’d gone to sleep.
Pulling her black hair into a rough ponytail to keep it out of her eyes, she ran through the house, phone in one pocket, credit card and driver’s license in the other. In the kitchen, she grabbed her keys off the counter and shoved her feet into the tennis shoes by the door that led to the garage.
She was in her car and on the way to the motel three minutes after Noah had hung up, mouth dry and an ugliness in her gut. “Please be okay, please be okay, please be okay,” she kept saying, the mantra doing nothing to calm her down, but at least it kept her mind focused.
She wanted to call Molly and Fox, or the others in the band, but no one was currently in the city. Schoolboy Choir had completed the final show in the band’s hugely successful tour just over two weeks earlier. Day after that, they’d all gone their separate ways to recharge and regroup.
“Much as I love these guys,” David had said with a grin that reached the dark gold of his eyes, “I’ve been looking at their ugly mugs daily for months. We need to go blow off some steam separately before we start snarling at each other.”
At the time, Kit had nodded in understanding, having had that same experience while working on location for long periods. Tonight, however, she wished the others were all here, not scattered across the country, because something was very wrong with Noah.
“Noah doesn’t do drugs,” she told herself as she drove as fast as she dared, not wanting to risk getting pulled over and further delayed. “He isn’t the kind to—” She couldn’t say it, couldn’t even think of Noah ending his life. “No,” she said firmly, her hands white-knuckled on the steering wheel. “Noah isn’t like that.”
It’s raw, gritty and full of angst but it’s also heart achingly sweet, full of hope and swoony with an incredibly caring and forgiving heroine and the almost hopelessly broken rock star she can’t not love. My heart beat faster every time these two where in each other’s orbits and I found myself constantly cheering for them to find their happy redemption.
“Not even a lot. I’m messed up on a level nothing will ever fix… I’ll never be someone who deserves you… but I need you.”
Kathleen “Kit” Devigny isn’t so sure that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Because even if they had never even kissed, she fell in love with rock star Noah St. John and after two years the pain and humiliation he caused her still feels as fresh as the night he orchestrated to break her heart and ruin their friendship.
“I don’t expect you to forgive me, but please don’t shut me out… I can’t breathe knowing you hate me.”
Noah’s childhood trauma haunts him day and night and not even a revolving door of one-night-stands is enough to chase the demons away for more than a couple of hours. His ugliness and nightmares are things he refuses to share with anyone, much less the one woman that means everything to him. Rather than revealing his secret and have her see him as less than and pity he chose to push her away.
After crushing their precious friendship, the media circus has given Noah an opportunity to redeem himself in a small measure and help Kit get the role of a lifetime. When they’re christened as NoKatt and couple of the year, Noah volunteers to pretend to be her loving boyfriend. Will it be acting on either part when the connection between them is painfully intense, hazardously real, but promisingly beautiful none the less? Can he regain what he so carelessly crushed? Can Kit accept him even knowing he can’t give her everything?
“He didn’t deserve her, would never deserve her, but for this short window of time, he could pretend and live an impossible dream.”
It’s difficult to write a review for a book like this where I love everything about it. The writing, the emotion, the characters and plot which had me flipping pages but at the same time savoring each word. I’ll start with the incredible heroine.
I just adored Kit. Everything about her screamed beautiful person from the inside out. She was a completely down to earth woman, never letting her parents’ fame and fortune bloat her ego. She didn’t even use it to help her career. Besides that, she’s a caring, compassionate and forgiving person who despite all the hurt she’d suffered at the hands of Noah, she still didn’t give up on him because for her, nothing was more important than friends and family.
It was admirable that while giving him a second chance she respected herself by not allowing him to treat her as a doormat. She was patient and cautious in helping him piece back together his tormented soul. Even though I wanted them to get to a blissfully happy faster, it made sense for them to go slowly and carefully.
“Day or night, rain or shine, I’ll be there for you… Just be my friend.” Laugh again with him, remind him that life wasn’t only nightmares and pain, make him feel as if he could be a better man if he tried hard enough. “Don’t give up on me.”
My heart completely broke for Noah. From his self-loathing, the guilt he carried knowing he had mistreated the rare and beautiful friendship between him and Kit, to how much he suffered because he truly loved her but wouldn’t allow himself to have her because he was convinced he was undeserving and would taint her with his ugliness. But what made me love this complex man was his resolution to devote himself to her, even if he could only give part of himself to her.
“Be with me… I can’t be what you need,” he whispered against the side of her head. “But be with me anyway.”
I loved all the sweet moments between them, all their great banter and then the “romantic bulsh!t”. It was also great having the gang back, and I especially liked how they closed ranks to help each other.
This is one of the most painfully sweet love stories I’ve ever read. Even though it was predictable and I pretty much suspected what horrors were troubling Noah, the beauty was in the journey. All those painful, heartbreaking moments intertwined with incredibly sweet tenderness made me turn page after page wanting and hoping for this couple to find their happy ever after, loving how a shattered life could find redemption.
This book is book #3 in the Rock Kiss series by Nalini Singh who writes in an almost lyrical cadence that makes me want to read every single word and keeps me coming back for more after every book. It is told from both points of view. Is has interconnecting characters from the previous books but can be read as a standalone. It does not have a cliffhanger and does have a happy ending.
NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about hot and wickedly tempting rock stars – and one sinfully sexy rugby god turned brilliant CEO. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.
Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Also, don’t forget to swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page for the Rock Kissseries, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the books.