Thursday, 13 October 2016

Review: Tonic by Staci Hart

*****5 Stars*****

I'll admit, when I first read about Tonic, I paid little attention to the author and was just instantly intrigued by the premise: A reality show about a tattoo parlor with an enemies to lovers storyline? Sign me up! Actually, I didn't even care so much abut the enemies to lovers bit, I was just all in for the tattoos and the reality show plot! Sounds like the perfect format for an amusing and drama filled book! Then I noticed the author was Staci Hart and I got even more excited. She has a pretty special writing style and all of the previous books I've read by her have made me smile and given me all the feels.
Joel doesn't seem to take many things too seriously. He definitely doesn't get too tied up about relationships (not that he has had many since a nasty divorce) and he floats above the drama he deals with working in a tattoo parlor. The only thing he takes serious issue with is being betrayed and that can't happen when he doesn't let anyone too close or let much get under his skin. Sarcasm, jokes and a smile keep the world at a nice and safe distance, thank you very much.
Annika, on the other hand takes everything seriously. Relationships only happen if her checklist is met. Her job is everything. Her parents sacrificed so she could be where she is and she spends every moment making sure those sacrifices aren't in vain. When she walks into Joel's tattoo shop as the producer of their new reality show she is all business. She definitely has no time for someone like Joel who is too hairy, too crass and most certainly not serious enough for a woman like her.
Annika may want nothing to do with Joel, but he definitely wants something thing to do with her. He is instantly intrigued by her and wants to break through her no nonsense demeanor. The harder he works on cracking her, the more she realizes there is a lot more to Joel Anderson than meets the eye. Soon, they are breaking all the rules and letting their guards down against their better judgement. Is a secret relationship happening behind the scenes of a reality show doomed to fail before it even begins or can Joel and Annika discover some things are worth taking seriously and breaking rules for?
I loved this book so much. Staci Hart excels at writing fun, entertaining books with characters that enter your heart and take root their. This had me smiling one minute and emotional the next. Joel and Annika were such wonderful characters and with the drama of an ex-wife and the pressure of a reality show their relationship was tested mightily. I was rooting for them and was just so happy and satisfied by the end of this story.

Reviewed by Rosemary Feil

Joel Anderson doesn’t take anything seriously.

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.

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