Review: Tonic by Staci Hart

Review: Tonic by Staci HartTonic Published by Promise Socks Publishing October 13, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review

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.

*** A standalone Romantic Comedy ***

Let me start by saying if I read a romantic comedy romance novel usually like to go into it without knowing it its a romantic comedy. There’s just too much pressure associated with it for me… Like what if it isn’t funny during the parts it’s supposed to be funny and I just roll my eyes and then that leads me to think that the author thinks their funny but they really aren’t. I’m not saying I don’t like to laugh I just don’t like knowing when I’m supposed to laugh. Also… This is going to sound bad but PLEASE UNDERSTAND I do not mean it to be meant in a bad way but sometimes I shy away from the genre too because I think there won’t be enough story in it like it’ll be more shits and giggles than storyline. I know, I know that isn’t fair it’s just that I’m usually on a scale that goes from makes me cry a few tears or makes me cry enough to sail Noah’s Ark and the books that make me cry usually don’t make me laugh that much.

With that prefaced let me go on to say that I FUCKING LOVED TONIC by Staci Hart. I really did laugh so much but more than that I loved the STORY. Joel and Annika rocked my world, I seriously was so sad once it ended, I did not want to let these characters go! Annika was this ice queen to everyone who knew her and she took no shit and gave no fucks. Except for with her family she was this soft woman who would do anything to make them happy. Joel was this sexy big beast bear just a really good fucking guy like good to the point where you’re just like damn he’s pretty GREAT! I loved that he was more than 10 years older than her, it was just so attractive. These two together are completely explosive…

Processed with MOLDIV

Joel’s tattoo shop just agreed to sign on with a tv network to begin filming a reality tv show and and Annika is the show runner, the instant they meet she hates him and he is intrigued by her.


Filming begins and Annika’s feelings for Joel take on a life of their own and the irritation she once associated with him turns into heated moments that become harder and harder for her to ignore. He challenges her at every chance he gets and is dead set on getting her in his bed but he wants more from her beyond that. He catches these small glimpses of her when she isn’t completely uptight and he finds himself enamored with this woman. When Annika does give in it’s like everything that should seem so wrong is completely right. Joel doesn’t hold back with her body and he gives her everything she didn’t know she needed but more so than that he feeds a deeper connection that only leaves them both hungry for more. But Annika knows she can’t involve herself with this man any further than she has, she has a job to do and cannot let her judgement be clouded in anyway. In fear of not being able to have Annika the way Joel wants, which turns into every way, he makes her a bullshit deal. The only problem is that deep down they both know the deal they’re making is a LIE.

Their arrangement is going well until it isn’t… Shit gets REAL and the foundation crumbles beneath them. My emotions went haywire and I couldn’t help it I may have let my eyes leak a little. I couldn’t stop saying “FUCK!” really it was the only word I was capable of. Oh and another thing I loved is that when they argued with one another it was a free for all they didn’t say things to purposely hurt each other but things they had to purge like it would more so hurt them to keep it in. I’m sure that made absolutely no damn sense but I keep thinking back to the argument they have and Joel tells Annika fuck you, not to be malicious but because in that moment she deserved that and he told her.

All in all though this is my first book from Staci and I wish I had more eyeballs to read all of her books. This story had depth and so many more emotions than I planned for. If all romantic comedies could make me sad than I will read them all!

I feel like one more time I need to talk about Joel, I loved him so damn much. I love how old he was, how mature he was, how hairy he was, how tattooed he was, his sheer size (he seriously is size beast bear), oh and his heart, his heart was a million sizes bigger than him. But more than all of that he was so real in his way of life just upfront and honest.

Is it too early to re-read this again?!




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