Tonic by Staci Hart | ARC Review

October 12, 2016 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 24 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Tonic by Staci Hart | ARC ReviewTonic
by Staci Hart
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: October 13th 2016 by Promise Socks Publishing
Format: eARC
Goodreads | Amazon
3.5 Stars
Source: Publicist

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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

late chat with gen

Joel and Shep Anderson are the owners of the tattoo shop Tonic. When presented with the opportunity to start a reality TV show surrounding Tonic, Shep is on board but Joel is against the idea. What gets Joel to agree is when the producers tell him they will just produce the shop from his ex-wife’s husband. Joel isn’t prepared for Annika, the girl who’s heart is made of ice. He can’t wait to break down her defenses. But Annika’s job comes first, no matter if it ruins her chances with Joel.

I wanted to take her apart, find out what made her tick. I didn’t know why, exactly.

I was surprised by this! I usually like or don’t like this author’s books (no in-between) but I had a good feeling for Tonic and the feeling was right! I loved Annika so much. Being a producer for reality TV requires not taking crap from anyone. Over the years, she has learned to be professional at work which is why she’s a respectable woman. She’s also a devoted daughter, amazing sister, and a very adorable aunt.

When Joel and Annika meet, you just know they will argue immediately and will not get alone, mostly on Annika’s part. Their relationship starts to grow and they start getting attached. These two would banter back and forth. I was definitely eating it up. The chemistry is off the charts with this one! I did think there wasn’t much depth when it came to their relationship, which was somewhat of a deal breaker for me. Despite the lack of depth, the few moments that weren’t all explosive were so unbelievably sweet and swoon-worthy!

“I hate you, and I want you, and I hate that I want you. But I do.”

The reality show setting was done incredibly well and it gave lots of insight as to what goes down behind the scenes in this type of show. Being done in a tattoo shop was very interesting. I really liked all the tattoo talk and all the process. Also, I found out the most difficult tattoo to be done! It’s actually a simple thing but one wrong move and it could be ruined. I didn’t know this so it was great that the author added it to the story.

A few times I found myself drowsing off because it would be slow, slightly dragging, and repetitive. Other than that and the lack of depth in the romance, the rest was really good. The supporting characters were great! I wish they had more dialogue in the story. I think it would have added more to it, especially on the humor side. The support of family is big on this one, which I appreciated. Annika’s family is so close and supportive of her and her job. Plus, they give great advice! I wouldn’t mind spending time with this jovial family.

Overall, Tonic is quite an enjoyable story with a great setting that I loved. If you’re into Alpha males who are sweet and girls who slowly start to shed their cold and tough exterior, you will adore this one.

Genesis
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Genesis

Book Blogger at Latte Nights Reviews
Genesis is a 22-year-old girl who lives in Puerto Rico, an island in the Caribbean. She's obsessed with Instagram (@lattenightsbooks) and coffee shops. When she's not reading or on social media, she can be found eating, at the beach, being with her boyfriend and/or hanging out with friends.
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  • This sounds like a realy fun and enjoyable read! Definitely adding to my TBR 🙂 Thanks for the review!

  • Glad you liked it, Gen! I can’t wait to get my hands on it tomorrow when it’s released. ♥

  • LostinLit Becca

    I always love books in a reality TV setting, this one sounds really good! Great review Gen!

  • It so cracks me up that the blurb calls Joel too hairy!!!! It made me giggle. I’m not sure if I would like this one, but I’m glad you did.

  • Ooh, I’ve heard some good things about this author and even have one of her books on my TBR pile but haven’t touched it yet. I’m glad to see that you enjoyed this one. Great review, Gen!!

  • I actually have not heard of this one before. I am very wary of reality tv books, but …hell I like good characters

  • I can’t say that I’m a fan of reality TV, or books about reality TV, but this one does sound fun. I especially like the sound of Joel. I do love a good alpha guy with a soft side. 🙂

  • I love contemptuous romances! The sparks and the banter make them so enjoyable. 🙂 Glad this worked out for you, Gen!

  • I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction but this does sound really good! I love the idea of a reality TV show in the mix! I’m glad you enjoyed this and I may have to add it to my TBR! Great review 😀

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  • WOAH, check out those tattoos. :O I usually do not go for books involving TV shows, or movies (actors/actresses) – they just do not appeal to me. Something about the “stardom” life, and acting… nah. It makes the romance difficult, and relationships in general. BUT I absolutely love opposites-attract types of stories. And it sounds like this one is a well-written one. No children, unplanned pregnancies, love triangles, right? 😉

    Great review, Genesis!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  • Oooh, I love the TV show Tattoo Fixers so this is kind of calling to me. I don’t read a tonne of NA/adult romances but maybe I could make an exception? Great review, Genesis!