Thursday, October 13, 2016

REVIEW: Tonic by Staci Hart


Dear Staci Hart,

Shel: How do you do it?! How? Every single book you write absolutely ruins me for any book that comes immediately after. I'm shamefully powerless against you and your characters. It never fails--I pick up your newest book with every intention to savor it and the next thing I know I've inhaled it and it's over and I'm simultaneously riding the high of the world you've created and shaking my fist at the unfairness that it's over and I'll have to wait months for your next book. (And feeling bad that I've just inhaled,in hours, something that took you months of blood, sweat, and tears to create. Sorry?) Court: I think it's the teasers. This woman makes some ridiculously awesome lead up teasres, so by the time we finally get to read the book you're basically foaming at the mouth (and if you haven't seen them, go check out her social pages because they rock!) and's just because she writes so darn amazing! 

Shel: I've scoured my brain thinking of how I'd locate the most perfect gifs to represent my feelings in this book. I'd have the most beautiful and cold Annika and the hottest bearded tatted Joel but after searching for longer than I should, I can't find anything that comes close to the characters that you created. You have a way with words that can't be captured in my Google search. You're that good, duh. Court: YES she is cold as ice, but I knew I was going to like her as soon as she has some really hilarious one liners to her family, and friends. She wasn't ice. She was a beautiful morning after the first snow of the winter. There is a difference.

Shel: With these characters you created the perfect combination of fire and ice and every time you put Annika and Joel on the same page together they just sizzled..or cracked me up. Annika was so cold with her approach to her job--everyone was just a puppet to be played with or manipulated for her show--and she somehow was okay with that until she meets Joel. Joel was the perfect foil. He called it like he saw it and had no qualms about it. He didn't want to be played and resisted her with a smirk that got under her skin instantly and I loved him for it. The way these two sparked from the beginning was so much fun to read and I knew that the impending explosion and meltdown would be big, and it was. Court: Yep. It's like we're on the train track waiting and just staring into the light, because you know what will happen but you keep standing there anyways. The set up for the tattoo shop that we've read about quite a bit before is really cool though, and I like the small connection. 

Shel: Before we get to that, though, I have to say that the transition from icy cold Annika to the warm melty goo she becomes was written so well and didn't feel unnatural to her character at all. And the way you wrote Joel with his trust issues and hesitancy--he just always felt true. So when they finally capitulated to the intensity that inhabited any space they were in together it worked--it felt right. Kudos to you and your editors and betas, Staci Hart. Court: I do love when a plan comes together, or in this case a plot. I really love how with each SH book, she grows as a writer, and was already awesome to begin with. I like that we've somewhat been on this journey with her because we follow each release but I like it. I appreciate her genuineness in "real life" that is social media, and I also appreciate her devotion to giving her characters the best story possible. 

Shel: Anyway, I loved every page of this book. There were times when your words read like poetry and the titles of the chapters could not have been more perfect. And I really appreciate that even though you had to hurt Joel and Annika, that you had to have that explosive moment, that you didn't torture us too long before you put everything back together again--and the way you did that was the actual best thing ever.Court: Oh yes, girl. Oh yes. Cue the palpitations, but happy to report I am still alive and kickin'. lol! 

Shel: Even though I wish I had your next new book to jump into, I suppose having to wait is probably a good thing too. It gives me time to anticipate what's to come and appreciate what you've already done.Court: Staci books do deserve a re-read ya know! 

Shel: Thank you for Tonic. I loved it and I love that every new thing I read of yours is unfailing better than the last, and I have no idea how you do it but I love that you do.Court: Shel said to me that she felt like this was her favorite Staci Hart book yet, and I must say I have to agree! 

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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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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