#STEINHART Release! REVIEW: Tonic by Staci Hart

by - 1:30 PM

Title: Tonic
Author: Staci Hart
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: October 13, 2016


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.

My rating:

“I then decided two things. One: My new mission in life was to make her laugh. Two: I’d crack her open if it was the last thing I did.”

            I love Staci Hart a lot and I love that she and Kandi Steiner released their novels on the same day. I’m very proud that I get to review these two incredible books. Staci Hart is a fan of beards. She writes her men rugged, a little rough around the edges, and a little dark. And those are the best kind of men. She also writes her women incredibly strong, beautiful, and sharp. And those are my favorite kind of women.

“I expected a cold voice to match the rest of her, but it wasn’t—it was burning embers and crackling wood.”

            Our protagonists, Annika and Joel, meet when Joel and his brother, Shep, make a deal with reality TV show producers to film a new reality show on Joel and Shep’s tattoo shop. The chemistry is palpable straightaway, even if Annika is trying to cover up the fact that Joel ruffles her feathers. They’re complete opposites—her light to his dark. Of course, it bugs the shit out of Annika that a guy is getting to her, when she has a reputation of being an ice queen. I love this dynamic between Joel and Annika. It creates some incredible emotional angst—is Joel just in it for the thrill of the chase? Is Annika just sick of her controlled life?

“Guys like Hairy were the kind you met at a bar or a concert, let ravage you, do all those things you wouldn’t expect from a respectable guy. Let him own you, for a moment, at least. But they’re not the kind you keep around.”

            And that’s the extent of the attraction… at least that’s what Annika is trying to convince herself—that it’s “enticing because it was imagined.” I fell in love with Annika straightaway. She’s this kickass woman who gets what she wants. It kind of hurt to realize how the industry changed her. She went into the TV business thinking it was all sunshine and warmth, yet it turned her into a manipulator, a liar, cold. And I absolutely love that Joel helps her out of that.

“She was all eyes and lips and a story I wanted to know. I needed to know.”

            I fell in love with Joel, as well. I have a thing for beards, okay? And guys who can sweet talk the living fuck out of you. Whew, he is sexy. And again, the allure of changing a man is what sets off this insane attraction. He’s a player. Yet, Annika gets to him on a molecular level and it’s incredibly fascinating to watch.

“Three steps and I was in his arms. Two heartbeats and I looked into his eyes. One breath and I kissed him.”

            Tonic is a romantic, sexy, and all-around magical novel. Staci Hart has done it again and made me fall hopelessly and irrevocably in love. #SteinHarts forever!

Happy Reading!
The Wandereader

Read my review for part one of #STEINHART release: A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner!

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Author Bio

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, even 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. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.

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 sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

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