Release Day Review: Tonic by Staci Hart


“Don’t call me sweetheart, asshole.” 

“Don’t call me asshole, princess.”


Check out my Review on this book that just made the list of one of my TOP FAVORITES of 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 Review (1)
eARC provided in exchange for an honest review

First Staci Hart book and I. AM. BLOWN. AWAY! No, seriously, this book just – I HAVE NO WORDS. I am Speechless and that is very rare for an opinionated reader like me!

First, let’s talk about what attracted me to this book – THE COVER, THE BLURB, AND HOT BEARDED TATTOOED MEN!! So basically, everything was pleasingly aesthetic to me and the picky reader in moi! Plus, somehow I had been on a binge of “opposites attract” tropes, so this one fell right into my trap!

Tonic is a fun entertaining read – not only does it have oodles of charm, romance, hilarious and sexy times that was brilliant in not only it’s conception but it’s execution as well!

“She looked like a doll, a cold, beautiful doll that belonged on a shelf where no man should touch her.”

Joel Anderson is the owner and the brains behind “Tonic”, one of the best tattoo shops in town and has been recently approached been approached by a big network to do a reality show about his shop. Considering his past experiences, his private life needs to be private for him, so while he is on the fence for the show; his brother trying to convince him, it only when he meets the Executive Producer and the Show Runner that he changes his mind (and we all know why!!).

Annika Belousov, is the Executive Producer for the network who over the years has learnt to mask her emotions under a remote exterior to deal with the demands of her job. She is a serious and definitely a cautious woman, for she understands the sacrifices her family made to make sure she found the success she has had till and there is no way she will let anyone derail the train of her life.

“That guy. That hairy fucking guy. That hairy fucking guy with those stupid fucking eyes that looked at me like he could see me naked.”

From the first moment Annika and Joel meet, the attraction is not only smouldering but also freaking off the charts sensual that even as a third person, I felt right to my bones. Both know (or at least believe) that they are opposites of each other. Both have plans for their life, but plans have a way of derailing exactly at the right moment at the right time; even if we believe it to be the wrong moment with the wrong person.

“Don’t call me sweetheart, asshole.” 

“Don’t call me asshole, princess.”

Joel sees right through the cold exterior that Annika projects to the worlds – from the first moment he sees her, it became an instinctive need to actually make her life, to crack that exterior open to understand what makes this girl tick. But somehow, Annika seems to be actually holding her own with him and that just makes him all the more interested in her!

Almost throughout the book, they have this ‘push and pull’ relationship – I FLOVED that both these characters were headstrong and stubborn enough to actually make their relationship quite interesting. Not to mention, the secondary characters are freaking brilliant, adding a dimension to the romance in a way that makes the reader feel like a part of their family!

“This is maybe the best surprise I’ve ever gotten. A hot, bearded, tattooed, apologetic man with a kitten. How could I say no?”

But the best part about this romance? THERE IS NO OBVIOUS VILLAIN!!! Seriously, no one in the story is purely evil or a purely a saint – what they are, are human with their perceptions, their assumptions and their insecurities paving the way for heartache. What they, in the end, become are real.

Cheers, PaviMy Rating (1)

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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About The Author (3)


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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