Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review: Tonic by Staci Hart

Rating: Five stars
Date published: October 13, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Tonic was such a pleasure to read. In fact, it was one of my favorite reads of this year. I was hooked from beginning to end. The chemistry between Joel and Annika was off the charts and the characters themselves felt extremely fleshed out. For example, Annika has a Russian background and we get to hear about her growing up with her family and learning Russian culture. Little things like that made this book seem so much more than just your average contemporary romance.

The plot of a reality show in Joel's shop, which Annika has to produce, makes for a lot of complications. Can she do her job despite her growing feelings for Joel? She needs to be able to manipulate the situation and people on camera, but that's very difficult when she can't tell Joel what they have planned for his shop. Because of that, you can expect a fair amount of drama in Tonic.

Tonic brought me a lot of smiles and laughs, as well as a fair amount of sadness over events that happen in the novel. It felt like a very well-rounded book and the writing was really great. The hero was also a very sweet guy, with the added bonus of all the tattoos and hair to make him all the more attractive.

I highly recommend buying Tonic and binge reading it. You won't regret it.

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