Release Day: Tonic by Staci Hart

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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 really love Staci Hart. Her books are also so great to read. They are sweet. Sweet romances. Sure they are super hot at times and make me feel the feel, but overall they are super sweet reads that I absolutely love.

Tonic was so much fun. Annika and Joel are amazing together right from the start. Joel is this guy who never takes things serious. He never seems to care much about what will happen in 10 years or anything like that. He is happy working in his shop and doing his thing. He was married, but that ended badly and he doesn't want to talk about it or think about it or anything. Really he never thought he was cut out for the happily ever after. It is just not for him.

Then Annika walks into his shop and everything changes. She intrigues him with her buttoned up, straight laced, no nonsense ways. She is kind of the exact opposite of Joel. She is driven, she knows what she wants, she knows who she wants, and someone like Joel is not it. He doens't fit her list. So what she is attracted to him. So what once she starts working with him she likes him. It would never work. How could it? She needs someone different...or so she thinks.

These two were so sweet together. I loved them. Especially Joel. How he was with her? Swoon. Seriously. At first she wants him, but doesn't so it is a bit tricky. He tries to make a move and she will rebuff him and so he will back off. I love love loved that as soon as she said wait or stop or anything indicating that she might not want his advances he immediately stopped and took a step back. At first he was being joking flirty with her, but that made her uncomfortable and as soon as she asked him to stop doing that he did. No questions asked. Just you don't like this? Sorry, won't happen again. Not that I read a lot of books where the guys are jerks or something, but the way it was written was simply amazing and a bit different from other books. I loved him so much!

Of course there are some issues along the way. Annika still has to do her job and the two of them don't really talk about the important things so much which can cause some problems. I will say I liked this inside peek into reality TV. I have no idea if this book is accurate, I've never worked in television, but it seems like this is what it would be like. The author makes you feel so much for both of these characters and it was wonderful. I also love getting a glimpse of some of the people you met in her prior books. This was a great read. If you are looking for that book to give you the warm fuzzies this is if. If you want super hot sexy time this is it. If you want to feel the feels and fall in love with some fictional characters then this is the book for you. It was a wonderful read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

About the Author:

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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