Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: October 12, 2016
1. Tonic - Paperback | Kindle
2. Bad Penny
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Joel Anderson doesn’t take anything seriously.Thoughts on Tonic: (I probably say what I'm about to say about EVERY Staci Hart book I read, but it's so true. SO true.) Staci Hart kills me with her characters. Kills me dead. They're flawed and lovely and sometimes a little rough around the edges and, holy smokes, I love them.
Not his relationships, which have been few and far between since his brutal divorce. Not the drama of working in a tattoo parlor, which seems to be around every corner. When things get him down, he smiles and cracks a joke. But he’s not the kind of man you cross, or you’ll find yourself at the wrong end of his fists.
Annika Belousov takes everything seriously.
Like her job as a reality television producer, given that she typically has something to prove. Or her love life, which is defined by a series of requirements — affluent, ambitious, accomplished, to name a few. Definitely her family, who worked their whole lives to afford her every opportunity, a sacrifice she doesn’t take lightly. When she’s tapped to produce a reality show at Joel’s shop, she doesn’t think twice, just goes in for the kill, as if there were any other way.
The second Annika walks into Joel’s shop, he makes it his mission to crack her open, but she’s not having it. He’s all wrong — too crass, too hairy, too un-serious. But it doesn’t take her long to find out there’s more to him than smirks and tattoos. And what she finds could put her career and his heart on the line.
Not that Joel cares. Because for the first time in a long time, he’s found his tonic.
She also slays with the buildup to the bad moment. You can feel it coming. Man, can you feel it. You might not know exactly how it's going to play out, but you can see the house of cards teetering and you know when that moment hits everything's going to fall apart for these poor guys. (Spoiler: Hart puts her characters back together just as beautifully as she steers them into their downfall. It's brutal and glorious. Just the way I like it.)
So. Joel and Annika. At first glance, they're perfectly opposite. He's rough and boisterous, she's polished and contained. He pulls, she pushes. They're all wrong until they're all right. And you can practically taste their fallout hovering around the edges of their fast and furious relationship. The situation they're in lends itself to volatility. No matter what they both might say.
Brutal and glorious, my friends. Brutal and glorious.
As always, I enjoy the glimpses and mentions we get of previous characters and the comfortable feel of the world created. Even when everything falls apart, it's lovely to see.
*slow thumbs up*
About the Author:
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey.From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.