Thursday, October 13, 2016

RELEASE BLITZ & 5 STAR REVIEW: Tonic by Staci Hart

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.

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My Review

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Joel and Annika are polar opposites. He's dark haired, bearded and relaxed and she is blonde, demure and seemingly uptight. When Joel signs on to have his tattoo shop
be the subject of a reality show these two instantly butt heads. Joel wants to know her better and can't help but push her buttons and Annika wants to keep things strictly professional. But they both recognize that they are attracted to the other person. On paper, a relationship between these two is not only extremely unlikely, but Annika is essentially his boss. She calls the shots on his reality show. So these two getting involved is a terrible idea, but that doesn't stop them. (But it never really does, does it?)

Annika came across as cold, but once she was able shed her work persona and open up to Joel, it was obvious that these two were a good pair. There's a wonderful moment where Annika and Joel go to her parent's house and the following exchange occurs:
“Yes, Annika has that gift. And I would think she maybe did not think much of you at first, hmm?”
I smirked. “You’d be right.”
“Too …glupyy,” he said, motioning to Annika for the right word.
“Silly,” she said, and I laughed.
“Too silly for Annika, yes. She is not at all silly, my snow bird. No, she is a winter fox, white and clever. Quick to hide, but when she strikes, you listen.”
I smiled over at her.
“But you are like a great bear, the lumbering beast who has no need to hide, just makes himself known and invites what may come.” He nodded and put a fist to his chest. “I am a great bear, too.”
Dina laughed. “Maxim, you are an old dog.”
He frowned comically, feigning hurt. “Nyet, I am the great bear, and you are my sweet, summer fawn, and I will eat you for supper.”
Her cheeks were rosy and high, and I saw Annika in her. “If you can catch me, old man.” She kissed his cheek, and he leaned into her, laying his big hand on hers where it rested on his shoulder. And the moment struck me, the two of them, the two of us. The bear and the fox. I saw myself in Maxim and Annika in her mother, and when I glanced over at her, I knew she saw it too. But I couldn’t read her expression, didn’t know what it meant to her.
Only what it meant to me.
Such a perfect way to describe these two. 

I just LOVED them both so much. Annika was this gorgeous, kick ass television executive who gave off some serious "don't mess with me" vibes, but deep down she was actually quite sweet and sensitive. And Joel. Oh Joel. **SWOON** This dude was the real deal. We already know that Joel has a heart of gold (HI PATRICK!) and this book just made me love him even more than I already did. Neither Joel or Annika were looking for a relationship, but from the moment they met it was bound to happen. And they both made mistakes along the way, some more serious than others, but Joel and Annika were definitely meant to be. 

Staci has done it again! She has given us an enjoyable read that you will not be able to put down. And I can I just say that she absolutely NAILS every single one of her covers and this one is no exception. GORGEOUS!

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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