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Frisky Business

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Alternative cover editions for this ASIN can be found here & here. 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, Alternative cover editions for this ASIN can be found here & here. 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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Alternative cover editions for this ASIN can be found here & here. 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, Alternative cover editions for this ASIN can be found here & here. 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.

30 review for Frisky Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    You know? I always find it hard to review good books. The books that pull at you, elicit the biggest emotions, the books that leave you in the happiest place - bookworm heaven. THOSE kind of books are the absolute hardest to review. It’s no secret that I am a huge Hart fan. It’s no secret that with each book Hart releases my love for her gets stronger. Know why? Because Hart has a distinctive way of telling stories. Hart tells stories that are full of emotion and realism, character and connectio You know? I always find it hard to review good books. The books that pull at you, elicit the biggest emotions, the books that leave you in the happiest place - bookworm heaven. THOSE kind of books are the absolute hardest to review. It’s no secret that I am a huge Hart fan. It’s no secret that with each book Hart releases my love for her gets stronger. Know why? Because Hart has a distinctive way of telling stories. Hart tells stories that are full of emotion and realism, character and connection. Hart pours herself into her words resulting in those words then pouring into me and it's the best feeling, honestly every time I pick up a Hart book, I know I’m going to get a full reading experience. Do I ever worry that her next book won't compare to the last? No, I don’t. Because each and every Hart book is different, each and every character is different, each and every storyline is fresh and cannot be compared, shouldn't be compared. I trust Staci and her writing, I trust that she’ll make it an experience I won't forget and that’s why she's one of my favourite authors and will continue to be while she puts pen to paper, or fingers to keys. Harts latest masterpiece is Tonic. Joel and Annika’s story, and oh my wow, what a story it is. From beginning to end I have lived and breathed these characters wanting them in my head, my heart and fixed permanently under my skin. And they are, and they'll stay, deeply inscribed forever like the most perfectly beautiful tattoo. At just 16% I got the tingles. You know the ones. Those feelings that set up your soul, those feelings that sizzle right beneath your skin, setting off goosebumps and butterflies. Those feelings of utter bliss and love over what you’re reading. Those tingles! I got them and I felt them strongly. What developed after that can only be described as pure bookworm pleasure. Joel and Annika’s relationship is fire and ice. Hot and cold. A delicious push and pull. It’s strength and love, weakness and hate all rolled into a perfectly pristine package of angst and brilliance. At 36% everything exploded. That delicious angst detonated into searing heat and left me breathless. Joel is one wicked, dirty, hairy b**tard. He’s utter sin, wrapped in perfection. Everything about him set me alight, from the raw visceral animal side of him to the deep swoony side that stole EVERYTHING from me. Annika, the ice to Joel's fire. So hard and cold and strong but so utterly real and believable. I loved her, her persistence, her sassiness, her boldness that set her apart from any other. The polar opposite to Joel but more perfect than anything I could have imagined. If you've read a Hart novel before you know that Staci has a way of wrapping you up in the softest blanket while her words break you down and embed themselves deep in your heart and her characters become your friends, people you love, but all the while you know that something will come and blow it all apart taking you down with it. In Tonic, the boom of the bomb she drops is really painful. It’s loud and rips the blanket and your heart to smithereens. And it left me a mess. A total blubbering mess filled with my own anger and desperation. But through the cold, the heat always wins and Staci, piece by piece, put my heart back together, slowly but surely, she made me smile through tears. She made my heart sing through raw devastation and she set my soul ablaze though love. At 92% I never wanted Tonic to end. I never wanted to leave the world of Joel and Annika. I don't really think I ever will. I’m sure they will remain deep in me alongside all of Hart’s previous characters. Tonic left me breathless, it made my heart ache and burn yet sing with the raw, realness of its words. It was everything I wanted and more. It was fire and ice, hot and cold..practically perfect in every way.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ✦❋Arianna✦❋

    Having never read a Staci Hart book before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this. But since I love a tattooed, bearded men I couldn’t resist the temptation, especially since the cover it’s so damn pretty. 'Tonic’ was really entertaining and to be honest, so much better than I had expected. An opposites attract story, Mrs. Hart’s newest release was romantic, passionate, sexy and overall a pretty light read. “That guy. That hairy fucking guy. That hairy fucking guy with those s Having never read a Staci Hart book before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this. But since I love a tattooed, bearded men I couldn’t resist the temptation, especially since the cover it’s so damn pretty. 'Tonic’ was really entertaining and to be honest, so much better than I had expected. An opposites attract story, Mrs. Hart’s newest release was romantic, passionate, sexy and overall a pretty light read. “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.” Joel Anderson is the owner of “Tonic”, one of the best tattoo shops in town and that’s why he had recently been approached by a big network to do a show about his shop. He likes his private life to be…well, private, so he’s not very happy with the idea of being the star of a reality TV show. He knows the show will be good for business, so he eventually accepts the offer…very reluctantly. When he meets the executive producer and the show runner, Annika Belousov, he’s taken aback by her beauty even if he figures out from the moment they meet they are very different from each other. From the first moments they meet, Joel wants to get to know Annika better, to make her laugh, to crack her open, but Annika seems not to be as interested with him as he is with her. Joel is surprised a little the beautiful ice queen is not interested, but he’s up for the challenge of climbing over “the wall of ice” she had put between them from their very first encounter. "She looked like a doll, a cold, beautiful doll that belonged on a shelf where no man should touch her." Annika Belousov, unlike other, takes everything seriously, especially her job. She’s good at it and she loves it, but over the years she learned how to be a frigid b*tch, to protect herself from the sharp edges of her demanding job. Annika feels a strong attraction towards Joel from the start. She tries hard not to think about his eyes, or his broad shoulders, or his tattoos, to forget completely about him since he’s so different from her, since he’s the opposite of what she wants. She tells herself that his boldness or the fact that he’s such a hairy guy are not appealing, but…as much as she wants to stay away, she can’t resist the tattooed, infuriating man. Slowly, but surely, the sexual tension between them is getting out of control and soon they find themselves wanting to take a chance and risk everything. “His tongue swept my bottom lip, and I let him in, wrapped my arms around his neck. (…) I felt helpless and powerful, like I couldn’t stop whatever I’d started by kissing him, but like I could own him just as easily as I wanted him to own me.” 'Tonic' surprised me in a very good way. I enjoyed the premise a lot since I love a good opposites attract story and the execution was quite good. Also, the setting was a nice change. The progression of the story, like the two main characters’ relationship was fantastic, believable and nothing felt rushed which I really liked. The push and pull between these two characters was wonderfully done and so deliciously sexy and entertaining. These two are opposites in every way, but, dayum…the passion between them was amazing. I loved these two together. They were good for each other, simply fantastic together and sexy as [email protected] So, of course, the sizzling chemistry between them was palpable from the start. “Everything about him felt good. The way he looked at me. The way he touched me. The words that passed his lips and hit me in all the right places.” Joel was a fantastic hero. I simply loved him! His portrayal was really great and so very sexy. This bearded, tattooed man will leave you hot and bothered with his sexy, dirty mouth, but he also will make you swoon. Needless to say, Joel was the perfect mix of sweetness and sexiness. He was a good guy, a great boss, a man who’s not afraid to take control and go after what he wants which I really loved. “SHE LEFT ME SHAKEN. SHAKEN from pleasure, from emotion, from breathing her breath and touching her skin, she shook me to the core. She was an earthquake, and I was changed forever because of her.” Annika was a great heroine as well…for the most part. I loved her boldness and her feistiness, her dedication, how hard-working she was, her independence, but I have to say at times she was a little too…aggressive. At least for me. Needless to say, I liked her more when she stopped being such a cold b*tch. Overall, she was a badda$$ heroine I enjoyed reading about. There’s some angst and drama, but don’t worry, nothing overwhelming, just the right amount to make everything more entertaining. Overall, this was a great read I recommend If you want to read an opposites attract story with a slow burn relationship and two engaging main characters.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    4.5 stars! “Heads and hearts are connected by threads impossible to cut completely.” 
 Tonic is my first Staci Hart book, and now that I’ve read it, I want to stop what I’m doing and go back and read her others. I absolutely loved this story! It gave me just enough feels, plenty of laughter, snark and heart. Tonic is a tattoo shop owned by Joel Anderson and his brother, Shep. After much convincing, Shep talks his brother into staring in a reality show featuring the shop. It’s not 4.5 stars! “Heads and hearts are connected by threads impossible to cut completely.” 
 Tonic is my first Staci Hart book, and now that I’ve read it, I want to stop what I’m doing and go back and read her others. I absolutely loved this story! It gave me just enough feels, plenty of laughter, snark and heart. Tonic is a tattoo shop owned by Joel Anderson and his brother, Shep. After much convincing, Shep talks his brother into staring in a reality show featuring the shop. It’s not something Joel wants to do, but he has his reasons. The first day he meets the producers, in walks this ice queen blonde beauty. Annika Belousov comes across cold and frosty, and Joel wants nothing more than to warm her up. “It can’t end well.” Futile resolution washed over me, cold and steely. “It can’t happen… I could ruin my career or his heart or my heart or all of the above. It’s not worth it.” 
Annika knows any kind of relationship with Joel would be a terrible idea. Normally, this is never a problem for her. She can very easily separate work and her personal life. But there is something about Joel… he’s not the normal type she goes for. He’s tattooed and hairy. He’s also very handsome, warm and good natured. The more she gets to know Joel, the more he shows her who he really is, the harder it becomes to resist. 

These two aren’t supposed to want each other. It’s not good for either of them at this point. But what we want and what we feel aren’t always the same thing… I loved Joel and Annika’s connection. Their banter was something that kept a smile on my face throughout this novel. They were smoking hot together, but there were also so many great feelings between them. Joel was an amazing hero. I loved how charming, protective and kind he was. Annika was equally fantastic. She was fierce, independent and even though she a cold exterior, when she loved, she loved hard. Not only were these two fantastic, there were some amazing side characters. And I have to mention Kaz who I had a big soft spot for! Tonic is a fun and entertaining story with loads of heart and soul. It’s perfectly paced and the writing is enchanting. I love books that are funny, but not too over the top funny, have just enough angst to keep things interesting, sexy- but not down right erotic, and give me just enough feels to make my emotions flare up a time or two. This book truly was the perfect mix of things that made me one happy reader! I highly recommend this book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review On this literary canvas aptly titled, Tonic, Staci Hart has officially inked and tattooed her characters and words into our hearts. Tonic is often associated with a drink that is used to invigorate and uplift and Staci Hart did just that with this literary masterpiece that was brimming with heart, friendship, family, sacrifices, and love. Like a fine needle that is used in a tattoo gun, Staci Hart delivers a story that was precise an ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review On this literary canvas aptly titled, Tonic, Staci Hart has officially inked and tattooed her characters and words into our hearts. Tonic is often associated with a drink that is used to invigorate and uplift and Staci Hart did just that with this literary masterpiece that was brimming with heart, friendship, family, sacrifices, and love. Like a fine needle that is used in a tattoo gun, Staci Hart delivers a story that was precise and finesse. Each stroke, word, characters and raw emotions were perfectly orchestrated and filled onto the pages. Her words were inked and tattooed to give depth, beauty, and color in this heartwarming tale of second chances and sacrifices. So are you ready to get drunk on this Tonic? “Truth be told, I saw a bit of myself in him, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing. But he was somehow a kindred spirit, and I recognized that. And that recognition was mystifying and terrifying and almost unfathomable, mostly because it had occurred so naturally. ” “I felt helpless and powerful, like I couldn’t stop whatever I’d started by kissing him, but like I could own him just as easily as I wanted him to own me.” Tattooed. Sexy. Mysterious. Bearded. Single. Do I need to say more? Yes, Joel Anderson is the quintessential bad boy tattoo bachelor. Panties are not getting twisted but instead are soaked. Not only is Joel, one of the hottest tattoo artist in NYC but he is also the newest reality TV star. In order to help garner success and fame, Joel reluctantly agrees to be on a reality TV show that will feature his tattoo parlor, Tonic. So think Ink Masters, Inked, and any reality TV program on Bravo and TLC. As much as Joel hates the camera following him and staging scenes, he knows this is one thing that his brother and co-workers want. The only upside to having a reality TV show is Annika Belousov. Annika Belousov is gorgeous, smart, witty, and fiercely independent. She is well aware of her family sacrifices in order to provide her the education that she needed in order to succeed. As a reality TV producer, she is all business. Work is her main priority. And so when she meets a hairy, crass, and tattooed Joel Anderson, Annika’s life begins to take on a whole new color. Her blank boring canvas soon finds itself getting inked with color by her hairy prince aka Joel Anderson. “Everything about him felt good. The way he looked at me. The way he touched me. The words that passed his lips and hit me in all the right places.” Joel doesn’t waste anytime trying to get into Annika’s panties. He makes it known to her that he wants her and he is very well aware that she wants him too. As they danced and fought their sexual attraction, it was inevitable in the long run. Soon Annika found herself getting tangled in the sheets. “I broke away and ran a hand across her throat and down, fingers dipping in the hollow, skating down between her breasts. Ink and milk. Black and white. Her and me.” As Annika tries to keep her relationship with Joel a secret, she finds herself at a crossroad when her feelings and working relationship begins to get blurred. This hairy tattooed man soon found himself thawing the ice princess with his beautiful heart. So what happens when Annika’s executive producer discovers she has been sleeping with Joel, a decision has to be made. Break Joel’s heart or do what is needed for her career? Tonic is the perfect example of a walking story. A scribble on a page. Or in this case, a canvas that is inked with experiences. And for Joel Anderson, he is a canvas of experiences. He knows heartbreak. Loss. Failure. And most importantly he knows what means to love. A permanent kind of love. The kind that is inked to your soul, heart, mind, and body. And his ink of love is Annika Belousov. The Russian beauty who loves her family. The girl who loves to read. The girl who will dance and sing Let It Go with her niece. The girl who is seen as an Ice Princess to others but who is the Queen to his heart. And in this particular walking story, the many facets of love, forgiveness, sacrifices, loss, and new beginnings are waiting to be told, etched, inked, and tattooed to our hearts. “I wanted the weight of him against me. I wanted him in my arms. I wanted him inside of me, and I told him so. So he climbed up my body, dragging the hem of my dress up to meet the neck, then ran his fingertips down my ribs, over my hip, down my thigh as he settled in between my legs. First the length of him laying against me, sending my hips rolling. Then his lips against mine, promising me his heart. And he guided himself until he pressed against my core and flexed, slipping into me, giving me what I wanted with a sigh and a whisper. I was caged in his arms, his fingers in my hair, his body against mine, and I was safe. I was whole. I was his.” Staci Hart is one of those underrated authors who deserves to be in the spotlight. Her words, characters, and stunning prose are brilliantly crafted and painted onto the pages. The writing was superb. The characters were spectacular. And this book was phenomenal. So if you are ready to get drunk on this Tonic and be spellbound with Hart’s visceral and meticulous prose, then I must warn you that you will get inked. This story will be etched as a permanent reminder that love is indeed an invisible ink and all we need is someone to fill it in. And in this case a hairy tattoo artist might be the only person for the job. Staci Hart

  5. 4 out of 5

    • Lisa •

    FOUR UBLYUDOK AND PRINCESS STARS. "Heads and hearts are connected by threads impossible to cut completely." This author is my Tonic. Readers alike talk about loving books, having that escape, wanting to jump into a make believe reality that allows them to experience another world and that's exactly what this author provides. Talk about anticipated release, I've been dreaming, waiting, anxiously dying for this book since I got wind that it would be Hart's next release and I won't even ta FOUR UBLYUDOK AND PRINCESS STARS. "Heads and hearts are connected by threads impossible to cut completely." This author is my Tonic. Readers alike talk about loving books, having that escape, wanting to jump into a make believe reality that allows them to experience another world and that's exactly what this author provides. Talk about anticipated release, I've been dreaming, waiting, anxiously dying for this book since I got wind that it would be Hart's next release and I won't even talk about my reaction when it landed on my kindle. Hart, provides me with exactly what I dream of when opening up a romance novel and once again I've been wrapped up in reading. What did I love? Firstly, if I haven't mentioned it before Staci Hart is a queen, I love her words, her creativity and most of all her credibility as a human. So now I've got that out the way I can tell you what I loved about this particular book. Let's start with how much I love the attention to detail that Hart included in her story telling. From the blow by blow descriptive story telling, to her poetic writing style, Hart stole the show with her ability to take her readers straight into the heart of her imagination. It goes without saying that I loved this books hero; a gruff, tight white shirt wearing, tattooed man bear just about won me over until next year and even though it took me some time to warm up, I eventually loved this books heroine. All in all this was a gorgeous novel with a perfectly perfect ending that had me swooning for hours after reaching the end. Why not five? I'm so annoyed with myself I wait what feels like forever to read this latest release by my most beloved Staci hart and I can't quite find it in myself to give out a five star review. Here's why ... It took me a little time to warm up to the protagonists, it wasn't love a first read with this duo and consequently I felt like I was waiting for the love penny to drop, which in turn made the struggle to relax into the story telling a little harder than I'd like. I also would have liked to have seen a little more resistance from both counterparts before they fell into each other's arms. With that being said there is no denying that I adore this author and equally love her words. I'm sure this will be hitting many five star feelings across the reading community but for my tastes this time I just needed a little more convincing. Final thoughts ... I'll never miss a release by Staci Hart. Her books are right up my alley and it goes without saying that I consider myself a top fan of her work. The proof is in the pudding with how hard this author works. Her books are well thought out, polished and thoroughly enjoyable. Reading this authors work is such a treat and I can't imagine ever getting enough. Make sure you do yourself a favour and grab this book, I'm almost all the way convinced that all of my fellow romance readers will adore this book. Enjoy ... kisses.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pavlina Read more sleep less blog

    4.5 Stars Why haven't I read a book by Staci Hart before? This was my first book and I devoured it! Loved the writing and the story was lovely!Tonic was a sweet story with the perfect amount of angst,funny and swoon worthy moments! Both characters were fantastic. Firstly Joel the hero who was protective, alpha, sweet, smart, funny and super hot! And secondly Annika ,I loved her from the beginning! She was stubborn yet strong and badass! Together they had an amazing chemistry! Hot, intense and a l 4.5 Stars Why haven't I read a book by Staci Hart before? This was my first book and I devoured it! Loved the writing and the story was lovely!Tonic was a sweet story with the perfect amount of angst,funny and swoon worthy moments! Both characters were fantastic. Firstly Joel the hero who was protective, alpha, sweet, smart, funny and super hot! And secondly Annika ,I loved her from the beginning! She was stubborn yet strong and badass! Together they had an amazing chemistry! Hot, intense and a little tension! I'm so excited to read more books by Staci Hart !If you are looking for an enjoyable fast paced read this is exactly what you need!     

  7. 4 out of 5

    Natalie ~ The Biblioholic

    When it's a first read for me of a particular author, I like to share the news with everyone. THIS IS MY FIRST READ FROM THIS AUTHOR! And I liked it LOL! I think it was the author's wonderful use of metaphors that ultimately won me over. Or not. I just loved the idea of Joel's fire melting Annika's ice. I love the push and pull of new and irresistible chemistry and this book had that in spades. Joel had no problem admitting to what he wanted. It was a matter of getting Annika on board and for her When it's a first read for me of a particular author, I like to share the news with everyone. THIS IS MY FIRST READ FROM THIS AUTHOR! And I liked it LOL! I think it was the author's wonderful use of metaphors that ultimately won me over. Or not. I just loved the idea of Joel's fire melting Annika's ice. I love the push and pull of new and irresistible chemistry and this book had that in spades. Joel had no problem admitting to what he wanted. It was a matter of getting Annika on board and for her to stop denying and resisting her own wants and desires. Once she did, these two were explosive. The story centers around reality TV so you can bet that there's plenty of drama and manipulation to go around. In the midst of it all, Annika and Joel's budding romance must withstand the show, their fears and their doubts. Love blossoms while trust is tested. These characters had their work cut out for them, that's for sure. Overall, this was a different yet interesting and entertaining contemporary read. I recommend this to those who don't mind hardheaded main characters! ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review!

  8. 5 out of 5

    ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books

    TITLE: Tonic AUTHOR: Staci Hart GENRE: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE CHAPTERS: 31 | Epilogue RELEASE DATE: 13TH October, 2016 TONIC: This is Joel and Annika’s story and wow what a steamy hot story it is, spoken in 'Dual Perspectives' Their first introduction doesn't go down too well, the 'Hairy Man' and the 'Ice Queen' which is setting us up for an explosive read. With Joel's parents passing years ago, everything they had was passed over to Joel and Shep, allowing them to start their own bus TITLE: Tonic AUTHOR: Staci Hart GENRE: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE CHAPTERS: 31 | Epilogue RELEASE DATE: 13TH October, 2016 TONIC: This is Joel and Annika’s story and wow what a steamy hot story it is, spoken in 'Dual Perspectives' Their first introduction doesn't go down too well, the 'Hairy Man' and the 'Ice Queen' which is setting us up for an explosive read. With Joel's parents passing years ago, everything they had was passed over to Joel and Shep, allowing them to start their own business, hence the beginning of Tonic. He's everything she doesn't want but he's everything she needs. They opposites attract and these two characters prove how true that saying really is. There was something more to her, but I couldn't figure out what. And I wanted to know. I then decided two things. One: My new mission in life was to make her laugh Two: I'd crack her open if it was the last thing I do. Sparks fly on and off the set Guys like Hairy were the kind you met at a bar or concert, let ravage you, do all those things you wouldn't expect from a respectable guy. Let him own you, for a moment at least. But they're not the kind you keep around. He was a fantasy, not a real prospect. Joel and I made no sense. He was charming and annoying and bossy and hairy and all wrong. He was everything I wasn't. He was everything I'd tried to avoid in my life. He was the opposite of everything I needed. A slow burn romance, Joel is all alpha cave man but Annika gets under his skin, fire and ice when their together, hot and cold when their apart. No two characters fit together like these two do, what shouldn't work, works perfectly. I wondered fleetingly if we would ruin each other.If my fire would melt her ice until it evaporated. If her ice would snuff my fire out of existence. I have to be brutally honest with the writing up of this review, I've seen all the five stars and the love this book has gotten, BUT it just didn't do it for me, it was just too slow moving, I didn't get that all consuming love I usually expect to develope when jumping into a book, I didn't get the emotional attachment, and I found myself getting bored, I need/crave to feel everything an author throws at me, love, hate, anger, the angst, tears and that's where this fell short for me, I know a lot won't agree with my writing up of this review but as part of receiving an arc the responsibility of being a blogger is to be as honest in your review as you can. Just because I didn't love this book does not reflect on the author at all, I'll definitely be jumping on another book by her in the future. *Teaser used is off the authors Facebook page*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Danielle ❤️ Pretty Mess Reading ❤️

    ***3 STARS*** I was super excited to read this book because the reviews were wonderful but - I'm wasn't a huge fan of the book. What killed me was Joel's POV...why? Because men don't have conversations like the ones he carries on with his male friends and his brother. It felt more like a female conversation. I love to read books from multiple POV but I need them to be realistic to some degree. Joel was also a little bit to sensitive for me. Without giving any spoilers let's just say his reason for ***3 STARS*** I was super excited to read this book because the reviews were wonderful but - I'm wasn't a huge fan of the book. What killed me was Joel's POV...why? Because men don't have conversations like the ones he carries on with his male friends and his brother. It felt more like a female conversation. I love to read books from multiple POV but I need them to be realistic to some degree. Joel was also a little bit to sensitive for me. Without giving any spoilers let's just say his reason for breaking up with Annika was silly. Oh and when he called her a bitch......ummmmm, hell to the no. I was done! And little miss Annika started out being such a strong charater and all of a sudden, BAM,she becomes a shell of herself.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sonya ♕Chatterbooks book blog♕

    ★★★3.5 Hairy Stars★★★ They say opposites attract and those words have never been more true about Joel and Annika. A tatted up cocky hero that knows what he wants and a ice queen herione that prides herself in putting fear into the male population. But when these two get together, it's about to be an entire set of new rules. Joel Anderson has worked hard for the past seventeen years making his tattoo shop into a successful business. He loves his job, seeing a client's expression on their face t ★★★3.5 Hairy Stars★★★ They say opposites attract and those words have never been more true about Joel and Annika. A tatted up cocky hero that knows what he wants and a ice queen herione that prides herself in putting fear into the male population. But when these two get together, it's about to be an entire set of new rules. Joel Anderson has worked hard for the past seventeen years making his tattoo shop into a successful business. He loves his job, seeing a client's expression on their face the moment he finishes a work of art on their skin, is something he would never get tired of looking at. Being approached to have his own reality show along with his workers, Joel agrees to enter the world of the unknown and along with that comes the uptight executive producer who he's determined to break her shell. " I then decided two things One: My new mission in life was to make her laugh. Two: I'd crack her open if it was the last thing I did. Can Joel and Annika build something real together? Or will they ruin each other in the proccess? Annika is a woman that doesn't take crap from anyone. She's learned early on the business she's in that weakness is not allowed and after years of perfecting her craft, she's now one of the most respectful woman in her line of work. Now an executive producer for Joel's show, she's determined to get her job done and not fall for him. But Joel has other plans and you know what? So does Annika. "Three steps and I was in his arms. Two heartbeats and I looked into his eyes One breath and I kissed him. I have to say I really liked the reality tv show set up. It added a certain element to the story and Joel was a hero you couldn't help but fall in love with and everything he did. What's a reality show without some form of drama right? Buuuuuut...... this is where it got complicated for me. Although I really did enjoy part of it, I felt like certain scenes moved too slow for me and I wanted more to happen. That being said, I think if you enjoy a different setting and love a sweet alpha, then this one is for you.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Syndi

    Gosh, you guys! This is the best book I read from Miss Hart so far. It is freaking romantic. Two broken characters from opposite end find each other in a reality show. Do not worry the reality show just the background. I sacrifices my sleep just to finished this book. So sweet. Their attraction is unbelievable romantic. Swoony. Tender. Cute. I am grinning like a fool typing this blog. So perfect. 5 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine Allison

    First things first, I loooove (*googly eyes*) when the cover matches the story. It makes me a happy camper!! :D Because for some reason this doesn't always happen (and it drives me batshit crazy), so I'm glad that wasn't the case here. And the fact that he's bearded and tattooed certainly doesn't hurt ;) But seriously, I love how perfectly this cover portrayed the characters within. This is my second book by Staci Hart. The first one I read (Wasted Words) was so-so for me, but I definitely knew I First things first, I loooove (*googly eyes*) when the cover matches the story. It makes me a happy camper!! :D Because for some reason this doesn't always happen (and it drives me batshit crazy), so I'm glad that wasn't the case here. And the fact that he's bearded and tattooed certainly doesn't hurt ;) But seriously, I love how perfectly this cover portrayed the characters within. This is my second book by Staci Hart. The first one I read (Wasted Words) was so-so for me, but I definitely knew I wanted to read more from her, and I'm so glad I did! Joel and Annika's story was hot, funny, and pretty angsty toward the end. I loved the writing and Joel (minus some words at the end) was pretty damn awesome. And we all know how I feel about "cold" and "bitchy" heroines. No clue why, but they're my favorite, and Annika definitely fit the bill. "She is moonlight, starlight, the light in the dark... but she burns hot. It is not always easy. I know this. But her light is good and true. Her light is worth getting burned to hold." There is definitely a case of insta-lust in the beginning. Even as Annika claims to hate him, there is an immediate pull between them. And I loved how unafraid Joel was of it. "I hadn't been so attracted to someone in ages... like I was fire and she was crisp, clean air, and if I couldn't breathe her in, I'd disappear." In the beginning and middle, I was totally in love with Joel. He's older than Annika (12 years, I think) and has been married, so he knows what he wants out of a relationship. And despite his fear, he still pursues her. "I'd never been comfortable with silence — I was much more at home talking, telling stories or jokes — but there I was, with the girl to end all girls, and I had nothing to say." Toward the end though, with the "conflict," I liked him less. He said a lot of cruel things to Annika. And honestly I didn't understand his reaction (it seemed like an overreaction, especially because he essentially gave her permission in the beginning). It's hard to go into detail without giving away the plot and/or just going on for days about it (and I'm feeling super lazy right now lol). All I'm going to say is it felt forced and didn't make sense to me. That being said, it didn't bother me too much because I was looking for something a little angsty at that point, but if you don't like blown out of proportion drama with little to no grovel in the end and everything wrapped up neatly, you may want to rethink this one (or save it for a time when you won't mind as much). I know if I had been reading it in a different frame of mind, it would have bothered me more. But for some reason everything else was able to hold the story up for me, and I'm really looking forward to more from this author! :) Safety: (view spoiler)[Joel's ex-wife is mentioned, nothing terribly explicit (he does off-handedly mention sex with her). He does mention that he's more attracted to Annika and that they're a better fit. He's not pining over her. She does make a cameo at the end, but I'd call the OW drama minimal. *I am writing this review a few days later and my memory is a little spotty so if you're a very safe reader, I'd maybe scope out a view other reviews ;) (hide spoiler)] Closer: (view spoiler)[The last chapter is nine months later and Joel proposes to Annika :) (hide spoiler)]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lillian ☁ Cloud 9 Books ☁

    ***** 3.5 Stars ***** I'm in the minority. I didn't love this book. For me... it was just so-so. The story begins with a negotiation for a show. A reality show about a tattoo shop. The owner of the shop instantly feels attracted to the executive producer. But she pushes the attraction as much as possible because her job comes first. It goes on and on about how she's like an ice princess. Like Elsa. Even though there were some steamy romantic scenes, nothing in this story really caught my attention. ***** 3.5 Stars ***** I'm in the minority. I didn't love this book. For me... it was just so-so. The story begins with a negotiation for a show. A reality show about a tattoo shop. The owner of the shop instantly feels attracted to the executive producer. But she pushes the attraction as much as possible because her job comes first. It goes on and on about how she's like an ice princess. Like Elsa. Even though there were some steamy romantic scenes, nothing in this story really caught my attention.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    4.75 almost 5 stars. Hands down favorite Staci Hart book to date. I really enjoyed this book. It was a delicious, snarky and sexy read with enough emotion and humor to balance out the angst it contained. I totally bought into the whole reality show storyline and was absolutely in love with both Joel and Annika. I loved the dialogue between them and especially how Joel managed to penetrate Annika's ice princess exterior and her responses to his persistent attempts to charm her. While Joel was ch 4.75 almost 5 stars. Hands down favorite Staci Hart book to date. I really enjoyed this book. It was a delicious, snarky and sexy read with enough emotion and humor to balance out the angst it contained. I totally bought into the whole reality show storyline and was absolutely in love with both Joel and Annika. I loved the dialogue between them and especially how Joel managed to penetrate Annika's ice princess exterior and her responses to his persistent attempts to charm her. While Joel was charming, kind and open- Annika was fiercely independant, reserved in nature but capable of loving someone deeply and sacrificing herself. This book exceeded my expectations and is a new favorite.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dilek VT

    This was an OK read for me during which I sometimes got bored and sometimes got frustrated. Hence, it is kind of 2,5 for me, max 3... This is the story of Joel and Annika, a tattoo artist and a reality television producer. Two different worlds, two different people. Annika is a Russian girl living in America with her family. She is successful in her career and she is a person who doesn’t take anything lightly. She is 25 years old. Joel is a 38-year old guy, who married once and after 5 years of mar This was an OK read for me during which I sometimes got bored and sometimes got frustrated. Hence, it is kind of 2,5 for me, max 3... This is the story of Joel and Annika, a tattoo artist and a reality television producer. Two different worlds, two different people. Annika is a Russian girl living in America with her family. She is successful in her career and she is a person who doesn’t take anything lightly. She is 25 years old. Joel is a 38-year old guy, who married once and after 5 years of marriage, divorced. He didn't have a single serious relationship for 10 years after the divorce. He has green eyes, a beard and tattooes all over his body. Joel and his brother own a tattoo shop and when a reality show wants to produce a program there, Joel doesn’t want it. But later, he does’t want his rival and ex-wife’s husband Hal to be more famous than them by getting this show and he surrenders to the offer. You know what happens when you sign a TV Reality Show, what it may involve and how things work in these shows. That was Joel's reason for not accepting it for a while and when he felt he had to accept it, he acted like a jerk or maybe like a 10-year old child so many times, which really annoyed me... These kind of programs need drama, they need gossip and if they cannot find it, they find a way to create it. You don’t have to be too smart to know that. But every time things like that happened, Joel either whined like a little boy, or damaged things around him with his fury. And once, he wanted out, like he could after so many contracts etc. Such an immature guy, never acting like he is 38-year old. I mean, if he were 18, I would have accepted it more easily saying he was just a teenager but at this age, no, no... he was just an annoying adult. As for the romance, this is what happens: As soon as Joel meets Annika, he feels inta-lust or attraction. She is a stuck-up woman with a resting b*tch face, as she herself says :) But, of course, with her blond hair and ble eyes, she is a beautiful doll. And as soon as Annika sees Joel, his intimidating self, tattooes all over his body, beard and all, she acts more ice-cold than ever just to protect herself from this, “too crass, too hairy, too un-serious” guy (her words, not mine :) But, Joel is determined to have her... “She was tall and blond, with skin like a porcelain dish brimming with cream. Wide-set, big eyes with icy irises assessed me coolly, dark lashes long. She looked like a doll, a cold, beautiful doll that belonged on a shelf where no man should touch her. ... I then decided two things. One: My new mission in life was to make her laugh. Two: I’d crack her open if it was the last thing I did.” “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. I’d been given the label of frigid b*tch more than a few times, a label that would make most women cringe. But not me — I embraced it. It was a mask, armor cultivated over years of practice, years of working in reality television. It protected the rest of me, the real me, from the sharp edges of my job.” So there is some good banter here and well-built up sexual tension. In time Annika discovers that there’s more to Joel than his smirks and tattoos. Joel also feels the fire in the centre of this ice-cold lady and they start to flirt. Annika is afraid to start an affair with her client as it could mean putting her career and his heart on the line. Joel assures that she can do what she should do because it is her job. And she believes him. And they start a hot and sizzling affair but they try to hide it form the others, especially Annika’s boss. Annika is not very comfortable but she wants to believe him that he will be understanding and she tries not to harm him on purpose; in fact, she tries her best to protect him but she cannot succeed all the time. In the first trivial drama, which Annika tries to prevent but cannot, Joel creates a lot of fuss. This is a TV reality show and they can't have signed all these papers and given you so much money just to film you and other workers performing your art on people’s bodies! Of course, they will bring your ex and her new husband into the picture! What is there to be surprised about it? But no, he goes mad! And when a second drama hits, which is bigger than the first, but not that much of a big deal IMO, he acts like a lunatic as*hole and he blames Annika ruthlessly, ends his relationship with her, tells her he doesn’t want to see her again and stuff like that. The workers in the shop also become her enemy all of a sudden and she is on the verge of losing her job because no one in the tattoo shop wants to go on the show with her... And she really doesn’t deserve it (what she did was (view spoiler)[ only to hide something because she was strictly told so, (hide spoiler)] that is all... She tries to explain the situation but he doesn’t listen and doesn’t forgive her... I had already predicted the story would go there, but I thought there would be a more valid reason for him to get that furious. So some more stupid drama, some boring stuff with her family etc... And towards the end of the book, (view spoiler)[ Joel learns some facts from Annika’s boss and he decides to forgive Annika. He goes to apologize her and she immediately forgives, oh and she still continues to apologize!!! (hide spoiler)] Oh, I wouldn’t forgive, let alone continue to apologize for something like that after he has said she could do whatever necessary for her job and he wouldn’t mind that... So, Joel directly goes to my “never-to-be-forgiven” d*ckhead guys list and the book, despite its good and promising beginning, goes to my “not-good-enough” books list with its predictability and not likable hero.... That is all I want to say about it...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jayme

    This book has such a cool vibrations. The very blurb promises a lot of fun, I was excited to start it, and wasn't disappointed. To that, the cover just screams: read me! About the plot: Joel Anderson and his brother are owners of the biggest parlor on the West Side. He agrees to film TV show about their shop, Tonic, by a big network, but he isn't enthusiastic about it. His mood improved when he meets executive producer ant the show runner Annika Belousov. “She was all eyes and lips and a story This book has such a cool vibrations. The very blurb promises a lot of fun, I was excited to start it, and wasn't disappointed. To that, the cover just screams: read me! About the plot: Joel Anderson and his brother are owners of the biggest parlor on the West Side. He agrees to film TV show about their shop, Tonic, by a big network, but he isn't enthusiastic about it. His mood improved when he meets executive producer ant the show runner Annika Belousov. “She was all eyes and lips and a story I wanted to know. I needed to know.” There is insta attraction between them, although she doesn't admit it. Annika wears a mask of cold bi*ch and feels comfortable with it. Her work requires to be respected. She tries to convince herself that her job is more important and that she is not interested in the Hairy man but, he quickly see through her and crash her cold side. Joel has a baggage himself and is afraid of the replay, but he falls anyway. Something that at the beginning is a fascination and the challenge quickly becomes more, even though it looks to be a disaster at the end. “Three steps and I was in his arms. Two heartbeats and I looked into his eyes. One breath and I kissed him.” Final thoughts: There are several cool things in this story. The plot is refreshing and pulls immediately. It's opposites attract each other kind of story and it's always a good fun. The characters have amazing chemistry with each other. The pulse racing and steamy scenes are from the first meeting. The tension between them can be cut with a knife. It's absolutely great I love when sexy tension is high even before they go to bed. And when they do is even better. Annika isn't bashful woman and it's a pretty good ride. They have between themselves a age difference, twelve years, and it adds a flavor and spice to the story. “He didn’t shy away from my glare — which would level most men — instead, he met it with heat that burned through me like molten lava. Or indigestion.” I very enjoyed the parlor and tv show theme. I really like someone tattooed and bearded men and Joel was a great hero. What I'd want more, it's a little bit more to happen between supporting cast and maybe a bit faster action. When they come to the point where must have been made important decisions plot thickens and adds much-anticipated angst. Sometimes even gut-wrecking, but it do good for the plot. It was my first book of the author, I like it and I look forward to what I get from her further. Three things to know about it: 1. It's standalone contemporary romance, the characters have difference of age (he 's thirty-eight, she's twenty-six) and life experience. 2. It's a sexy opposites attract each other kind of story. He is cocky, tattooed and wants her. She is determined, confident and never saw herself with a man like him. 3. In the story is the moment when there is some uncertainty, but mostly it's more addictive than disturbing. If I'd recommend? Yes. Especially if you like gorgeous hairy man and sassy heroine who can not do anything just fall for each other. *** ARC kindly provided for an honest review. Thank you!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    *ARC Given to Blog for Honest Review* 4 “Hairy” “zvezda moya” Kisses I am pretty much addicted to Staci Hart’s books. I absolutely adore her characters, the angst is off the charts fantastic and don’t even get me started on the writing – witty, sexy and smart with creative plots that keep me on my toes. Clearly…I’m hooked. And Tonic was no exception – I mean, seriously, that cover and the blurb alone had me itching to read but when I realized it involves a character that I remember previously fr *ARC Given to Blog for Honest Review* 4 “Hairy” “zvezda moya” Kisses I am pretty much addicted to Staci Hart’s books. I absolutely adore her characters, the angst is off the charts fantastic and don’t even get me started on the writing – witty, sexy and smart with creative plots that keep me on my toes. Clearly…I’m hooked. And Tonic was no exception – I mean, seriously, that cover and the blurb alone had me itching to read but when I realized it involves a character that I remember previously from Last Call (Joel is Tricky’s boss) I was super excited! I love the concept of opposites attract and Joel and Annika are perfection - they take it to a whole new level and I ate up every second of it and begged for more! Joel Anderson…oh this sexy hairy beast of a man did all kinds of amazing things to me. On the outside…Joel seems like a good time – he’s a work hard, party harder kind of guy. He’s had a lot of rough stuff happen in his past and he’s worked hard to construct the life he wants to live. He has very few things that he cares about…his brother, his tattoo parlor and his employees, which are more family then anything. From the top of his head to the tip of his beard, every tattoo’d inch of this man is yummy deliciousness…but a rough history with his ex-wife has sworn him off commitment and that’s worked for him, until now. I loved Joel’s personality and except for one part towards the end, there really wasn’t one second that I didn’t adore everything he did or said. He may be this alpha, tatt’d up, sexy hairy beast but inside he is mushy, sweet and gooey – and I mean that in the most manly, hot way possible. And there is a certain uptight executive producer that is responsible for all that… ‘I chuffed. “Wait until you’ve spent a few days in the shop, sweetheart.” Her anger flared, her flush deepening. “Don’t call me sweetheart, asshole.” “Don’t call me asshole, princess.” She glared. I smiled.’ Annika Belousov…my beautiful Russian ice princess...I don’t think she ever had any idea that a sexy, bearded tattoo shop owner was going to completely flip her world upside down. I’m really not over exaggerating…one foot in the door of Tonic and Annika’s fate was sealed – she never stood a chance. Anni is an all business kind of girl…she is a dedicated career woman and it has gotten her far…doing the show with Joel and Tonic means she gets to step up and be an executive producer for the first time and this is a huge deal for her and one she doesn’t take lightly. It’s what she has been working towards for years and it has basically been her life. Understanding Annika’s story…her parents story…a lot her background, it really helps you understand why she is how she is. Her parents fought hard to give themselves a better life and she is not taking any of that for granted. She was raised by two extremely hardworking people and that work ethic is very apparent – it’s actually one of the things I admired most about Annika. But I can’t lie…I did enjoy seeing the ice princess melt. “You’re pretty funny when your brain’s furry, you know that?” he asked. I shrugged. “I bet you’re a riot when you’re drunk.” I shrugged again. “I only drink vodka. Pretty much all other liquor makes me take my clothes off.” One of his dark eyebrows rose. “I’ll be sure to stock up on whiskey, in that case.” “Okay, first — stock up all you want because I won’t drink it. Second, stop hitting on me.” “Whatever you want, princess.” “And stop calling me princess.” “Sorry, that one’s non-negotiable.” Fire and Ice…Wild and Free to Calm and Controlled...Mr. Good Time and Miss. Business…Joel and Annika are possibly one of the greatest opposites attract couples I’ve ever read. Ooooooh…the push and pull in the beginning is legendary - LEGENDARY I tell you. Good gravy did that girl fight it…tooth and nail, and damn did she bring out the big guns – but that may have made her moment of surrender that much sweeter. Well, it did for me at least. Denying the chemistry and connection that Annika and Joel have is like denying yourself chocolate…sure, you can do it, it’s just not a good idea and you know eventually you’re going to break down and give in. On some level it is based on attraction…as much as Ms. Belousov tries to convince herself of the contrary…but it delves way deeper than that and it happened so effortlessly. Annika may be the ice princess but she melted (in many ways) for Joel…he got under her skin quickly and she opened up and really showed him who she was, and considering less than a handful of people can really say that they know that side of Annika, that’s saying a lot! And remember Joel’s mushy, sweet and gooey-ness that I mentioned earlier? That might have been one of my favorite things about reading this…watching him open up and explore this different aspect of who he is was the best…because this truly is something he’s never done before. The relationship he had with his ex-wife was…well, toxic – but it also wasn’t the kind of relationship where Joel could be all those things…so I loved that he felt free enough to be that way with Annika. ‘He watched me in a way that made my heart speed up. “That’s not what I see.” I met his eyes. “What do you see?” “Snow. Cold and soft, the sum of an infinite number of beautiful pieces. And when the light hits just right, you shine.” I had no words, my mind blank as my eyes hung on to his like a lifeline.’ Staci’s writing is…like nothing I’ve ever experienced. She’s got such a completely unique voice and it just gets me in all the right ways. It’s crisp and clever…with just the right balance of angst and romance and personality. I will never get tired of Staci’s brand of humor, it’s not over the top or slapstick, it’s very subtle but it’s so my style. I adore the banter between the characters – well, really anything with the characters is usually on point. I don’t know how she does it, but I have pretty much been overly obsessed with almost every single one of Staci’s characters (don’t even get me started on the Bad Habits crew – we will legit be here all day!) and the crew at Tonic was no exception to the awesomeness. Shoot, Annika’s family was equally amazing – her cousin’s daughter Kira practically stole the show. I think it might be the level of detail that Staci really put’s into her characters…they are so not these basic, two dimensional supporting characters just there to serve a generic purpose, they are just as crucial to the story because they are a part of who Joel and Annika are. And because we are in Joel and Annika’s POV’s it’s impossible not to also develop an emotional connection to them too. ‘It was stupid and reckless, and I didn’t care. One day, I probably would. But until then, I’d revel in the feeling, the exhilaration of her. This was my last cognizant thought, and I sealed it with a kiss in the dark. It was ownership without expectation, submission without consequence. It was her skin against mine, her heart and my own, our bodies together. It was a moment that stretched to an hour and into a night. And I knew I was lost, and she could never know just how lost I was.’ I really had no complaints about the way the story was going…I had a pretty good idea from the beginning what/where the angst was going to come from (and I was right)…and that’s what I had a little trouble with. At first…I had a huge issue with the way that everything went down…I was frustrated and mad at both of them and obviously, I was emotional because we’re in both their POV’s and all of these feelings are coming at me and really, all I wanted to do was smash their heads together and throw them in a closet until they stopped being stupid. Sadly…I did not get my way. Here’s the thing, I am all about accepting responsibility and blame for ones actions but from what I read…Annika may have been the explosion but someone else lit the match. Everything that Annika said or did was done by force, not truly by choice. She was handed an impossible situation and she had to make an incredibly hard decision and “the match lighter” (yes…I’m being vague and refusing to name names in the interest of not spoiling and yet still being able to prove my point!) knew exactly what they was doing. Don’t get me wrong, I was mad and frustrated at Annika for making the decisions she did but I wanted everyone to be equally as mad at the person who was behind everything and forcing her to make them. Joel made reference several times about them all being puppets in this show, well Annika was just as much a puppet and “the match lighter” had total control of her strings. I was also really peeved at Joel…I knew he had a temper but damn…he said some pretty horrible stuff. Plus, he had his own hand in what went down, he wasn’t completely innocent and he knew it but the way he reacted to it was, in my opinion, rash, mean and unfair to Annika, regardless of what she did. In the end…everything could have been solved if the two of them (*cough cough* Or mainly Joel *cough cough*) stopped fighting and just had a conversation and cleared everything up…and I think that’s what frustrated me. That and the fact that I wanted “the match lighter” to get a lot more shit then they did. They were the one that everyone should have been mad at…and yes, they were somewhat helpful at the end…but I still wanted more – then again, I have been known to hold a grudge and in this case, I feel justified. #BitterPartyOfMe ‘Everything about her was beautiful, the light shining through the back of her shirt, casting a glow around the shadow of her body, and when she rose, her eyes were open, her soul open, and I could see her. All of her. And she was mine.’ Nothing could ever stop me from loving the way everything was resolved at the end. Ever. That ending was a decadent bowl of perfection with a side of amazing and topped with every single good feeling I could ask for. Not once did I ever feel rushed…I was able to savor every moment…it’s the kind of ending I love…and then Staci really made my dreams come true because she gave me the most amazing epilogue as a cherry on top! I couldn’t stop smiling for hours afterwards. Staci once again proved with Tonic why I will always read her books…it had that addictive writing that I crave…was packed full of real, raw emotion…and Joel and Annika were totally added to the ever growing list of fantastic characters that I love to bits and pieces. #ILoveHairy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Liv ☾

    ✱3 STARS!✱ ☾Not giving a full review on this, but it was a fast read! I'm not into books like this...I thought I was. Nothing wrong with the book, just my own preferences. ✱3 STARS!✱ ☾Not giving a full review on this, but it was a fast read! I'm not into books like this...I thought I was. Nothing wrong with the book, just my own preferences.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    5 Ink-&-Milk Stars!!!! My heart! Staci, what have you done with my heart?! And my cheeks…..I’m going to need my cheeks back because they have melted off my face with all of the smiling. I’m just a pile of goop. …his dark skin against my white, the ink of him against the cream of me, the marked and the blank… Staci….effing…..Hart. Where have you been all my life?! This is my first Staci Hart book, and I am never looking back. I will be purchasing this gorgeous paperback and keeping it on my boo 5 Ink-&-Milk Stars!!!! My heart! Staci, what have you done with my heart?! And my cheeks…..I’m going to need my cheeks back because they have melted off my face with all of the smiling. I’m just a pile of goop. …his dark skin against my white, the ink of him against the cream of me, the marked and the blank… Staci….effing…..Hart. Where have you been all my life?! This is my first Staci Hart book, and I am never looking back. I will be purchasing this gorgeous paperback and keeping it on my bookshelf forever. This review might be a little random, but I just FEEL so GOOD after this book that I’m a little crazy right now. Staci’s words. All of Staci’s words. It’s not just the story or characters that I loved so much….it’s her words. This book killed me….with BEAUTIFUL WORDS. I loved this so much, I literally grabbed a napkin while reading it and started writing down notes for my review. Joel & Annika: Joel (aka Hairy) is a tattoo artist….a hairy tattoo artist. He owns the tattoo shop, Tonic, which is getting its own reality tv show. He isn’t excited about it, but he realizes he would rather be the show on tv than the competition to get the show. When he first meets Annika…..FIRE! I LOVED the animosity between the two right away. Annika tries to give him the cold, but his fire is so hot that she cannot resist him. I’ll take a little bit of THIS and THAT. ”I’m not supposed to want you. You…you make me mad and you make me laugh and you make me crazy, and I’m not supposed to want you, but I do. What am I supposed to do? What do you want? You want me to throw away my career? How about you? Should I use you up and toss you out too? Or maybe you’ll do the same to me. I don’t know, because I don’t know you. But that hasn’t stopped me from wanting you, not since the first time I ever saw your stupid, hairy face. I hate you, and I want you, and I hate that I want you. But I do.” Annika is the ice queen, known for her ability to scare men away with a glare, but Joel is resistant to her ice. Annika is a producer of the reality show, so she know it would not be a good idea for her to get involved with Joel. He is all hairy smirks and jokes. He knows right away that he wants Annika, wants to figure her out and break through that ice. Her eyes finally snapped to mine, and I tried to melt her panties off with my mind. I loved that there was low drama, despite the reality show setting. I loved loved loved all of the side characters. I cannot wait wait wait to read MORE OF STACI HART. Always more Staci Hart. ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review Find me on

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lacey (laceybooklovers)

    Originally posted at Booklovers For Life I was excited for Tonic mainly because of Joel – he was so intriguing in Wasted Words, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on his story. It wasn’t quite what I expected though – I didn’t love Tonic or hate it. It was very meh for me, to be honest, and I just wasn’t feeling the romance or story at all. The romance was too superficial and not fleshed out enough for me, and the story dragged too much. That being said, it’s not a bad book. I’d say if you’ve been a Originally posted at Booklovers For Life I was excited for Tonic mainly because of Joel – he was so intriguing in Wasted Words, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on his story. It wasn’t quite what I expected though – I didn’t love Tonic or hate it. It was very meh for me, to be honest, and I just wasn’t feeling the romance or story at all. The romance was too superficial and not fleshed out enough for me, and the story dragged too much. That being said, it’s not a bad book. I’d say if you’ve been a long-time fan of the author and her writing, then you’ll probably enjoy Tonic. Joel and his brother are tattoo shop c0-owners, and they’ve just signed on with a TV producer to film a reality show based off their tattoo shop, Tonic. Joel is reluctant to have anything to do with being part of a reality show, so he’s not going to make it easy for the producers to film. But when he meets Annika Belousov, he might not like her job, but he’s definitely intrigued by her as a woman. He can’t stop thinking about her, taunting her… trying to get her into his bed. Annika is the total opposite of Joel – while he’s laid-back and relaxed, she’s uptight and serious about everything she does. She has an incredible work ethic, though they don’t call her an ice queen for nothing. But what happens when Joel starts to melt the walls around her heart? Can she choose between the man she’s falling for or the career she’s worked so hard to achieve? While I enjoyed Tonic on a surface level, there were things that prevented me from connecting with the book on a deeper level. Some parts felt too forced and a little awkward – the author tried to fit in too many references to pop culture that it got old fast. I really only cared about Joel and Annika, but these two took too long to sort their problems out and used sex as an avoidance tactic too often. Joel annoyed me in the second half of the novel – he doesn’t seem to know when to take responsibility and likes to blame other people for mistakes that he’s a part of. His character also didn’t feel like a 38-year-old man – he seemed a lot younger and immature, which was not a good thing. Tonic wasn’t a bad book, but’s it’s definitely one of my least favorites from Staci Hart. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to connect with her future novels more – I still have hope that she’ll write another book as good, or even better than, Chaser! Thanks to the author for generously providing me an ARC to review. Amazon Ebook: http://amzn.to/2dKXdcC Liked this review? Subscribe to Booklovers For Life for more!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chanelle

    Annika is known for being a bit of an ice queen, but she wasn't always that way. Being in her chosen line of work has hardened her heart in more ways than she thought. But that ice may just start melting when she's set to become the executive producer on a reality tv show about Joel's tattoo shop, Tonic. Joel's got a loyal crew and a huge amount of hesitation about subjecting them all to the public eye. However, his first encounter with Annika has him warming up to the idea. "But that hasn’t Annika is known for being a bit of an ice queen, but she wasn't always that way. Being in her chosen line of work has hardened her heart in more ways than she thought. But that ice may just start melting when she's set to become the executive producer on a reality tv show about Joel's tattoo shop, Tonic. Joel's got a loyal crew and a huge amount of hesitation about subjecting them all to the public eye. However, his first encounter with Annika has him warming up to the idea. "But that hasn’t stopped me from wanting you, not since the first time I ever saw your stupid, hairy face. I hate you, and I want you, and I hate that I want you. But I do.” I loved Joel and Annika. Their witty dialogue and super steamy encounters. Both were strong yet fabulously flawed characters. And Annika's nickname for Joel? I almost died laughing the first few times she said it. They weren't perfect, but they truly did seem to be perfect for each other. My favourite secondary characters were probably Annika's Russian family. Her Papa, Max, I really loved him! I'm also wondering if perhaps we might find out a bit more about Annika's cousin, Roxy. Hmmmm.. Very intrigued, indeed! “But you are like a great bear, the lumbering beast who has no need to hide, just makes himself known and invites what may come.” He nodded and put a fist to his chest. “I am a great bear, too.” Dina laughed. “Maxim, you are an old dog.” The pace of the story was just right and the words flowed effortlessly, holding my attention right up until the last page. Fans of beards, tattoos, some light humour and screaming sexual tension will devour this highly entertaining new release from Staci Hart. ARC Kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mg ♥ The Bookishmedialite

    IT'S LIVE!!!! http://amzn.to/2dEtzYI 4 "Ink & Milk" Stars. When the ice queen meets a hairy fucking guy… Colder than a white walker, Annika Belousov is a girl who takes everything seriously. Her job, her family and her “safe” love life. But behind that wall of ice hides a vulnerable girl who is just trying to protect herself. Annika lives to work so when she’s tapped to produce a new reality show, she is game. But the second she meets Joel, her walls crack. STOP RIGHT THERE. It’s not what you are IT'S LIVE!!!! http://amzn.to/2dEtzYI 4 "Ink & Milk" Stars. When the ice queen meets a hairy fucking guy… Colder than a white walker, Annika Belousov is a girl who takes everything seriously. Her job, her family and her “safe” love life. But behind that wall of ice hides a vulnerable girl who is just trying to protect herself. Annika lives to work so when she’s tapped to produce a new reality show, she is game. But the second she meets Joel, her walls crack. STOP RIGHT THERE. It’s not what you are thinking. Oh no, love at first sight it’s not what I am talking about here. The guy loves to press her bottoms and has the ability to get under her skin with just looking at her. And the only thing she can think about is “that hairy fucking guy”. “He was the opposite of what I needed, of what fit into my plan.” Joel is nothing like the men she dates. She goes for clean cut, ambitious, professional and refined guys but Joel is the total opposite. Tattooed, all muscles, and with a lot of face hair, so no, she doesn't like him. Later she will find out there is more to him than hair and tattoos. “She was an enigma, a puzzle I found myself itching to figure out.” Meanwhile, Joel has make his mission to melt the wall at Castle Black. To crack Annika open will be his pleasure. Because when you feel a spark of attraction for the first time in a long time, you cling to it. “I wanted her, bad. But it was more than just the itch, the opportunity, more than something that would pass once acted upon.” Yes, the itch became something MORE. Something that has the power to break not only her heart but his. And destroy their future. Together or not. “Snow was cold, fire was hot, and I couldn't walk away from Annika like I’d promise her I would.” Annika worked so hard to get to where she is now, so with a reality show in her hands, will she put her heart on the line and risk her career? And Joel, after being burned before, will he take the risk to love again? Will she be his tonic? But the most important, will hairy melt frosty? This was my first Staci Hart’s book so I wasn’t sure what to expect about it. But this was definitely a book I had to read. Why? Have you seen the cover? I fell in love with it from the moment I laid eyes on it. I'm a coverwhore. Tonic was that a tonic to my heart. After a heart-wrenching reading this was the perfect book to dive into. The story line was very cool yet, difficult to make it work, but with the help of enticing characters that will make even the coldest heart melt, Ms Hart did it, delivering a witty, swoony and romantic story that I simply adored. A sparkling read that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside long after the final page. If you are up for a sweet romance with a little spark of angst and enough humor to put a smile on your face, then Tonic is the book for you.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kandi Steiner

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - Staci Hart is the queen of romantic comedy, and it doesn't look like she's stepping down from that throne anytime soon. Tonic is romantic comedy gold. No, PLATINUM. Staci Hart will tattoo her phenomenal words on your heart forever. I don't even know where to begin. Truly, I don't. Because I had the immense pleasure of being able to watch this book be born from one word to more than 90,000 and every single one is so well-crafted, it's almost sick. Joel i I've said it before and I'll say it again - Staci Hart is the queen of romantic comedy, and it doesn't look like she's stepping down from that throne anytime soon. Tonic is romantic comedy gold. No, PLATINUM. Staci Hart will tattoo her phenomenal words on your heart forever. I don't even know where to begin. Truly, I don't. Because I had the immense pleasure of being able to watch this book be born from one word to more than 90,000 and every single one is so well-crafted, it's almost sick. Joel isn't just a book boyfriend - he's a book HERO. Literally. He's caring, protective, alpha as HELL and sexier than melted chocolate on a set of rock hard abs. He'll make you laugh, swoon, and fan yourself - sometimes all at once. His passion for his shop is admirable, his love for his friends and family unparalleled, and his moves in bed? Well, I'll let you try to think of a word for that. ;) But honestly? It wasn't Joel who stole this show for me. It was Annika. Too often, I think we see the heroines get beat up by readers. We judge them harsher than the hero, every single time. Why? I'm not sure, but I DO know that Annika is my favorite heroine in any book I've read in 2016. She's strong, independent, knows what she wants and how to get it. On top of that, she's honest with herself and others. She gets herself into trouble, sure, and she can be frustrating - but THAT'S WHAT I LOVE ABOUT HER! Helloooooo Lord KNOWS I am a frustrating woman. We all are. There IS no perfect woman, so why do we demand that from our heroines? Her family story was what took this book from gold to platinum. It literally made my heart soar reading her speaking with her family in Russian, especially her dad! SIGH. And can we just talk about the metaphors? The bear?! DEAD. I could go on and on, but really what I want you all to take from this review is this: I am one lucky SOB to be sharing a release day with someone as fantastically talented as Staci Hart. And you MUST read this book. Romantic and hilarious with scenes that absolutely sizzle, Tonic is hands down Staci Hart’s best work yet. Prepare for heart-racing magic!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beneath The Covers Blog

    This book!! THIS GODDAMN BOOK!!! For Joel, relationship don't hold much meaning. After a bad experience, he's sworn off anything serious. Then Annika comes into his life and all his notions of love are turned around. But nothing is easy enough. His life is about to be a Reality Show and Annika is the producer. Annika's job is to manipulate people and making sure the success of her show. She takes everything in life seriously. She hates Joel's easy confidence and his flirting drives her mad. As This book!! THIS GODDAMN BOOK!!! For Joel, relationship don't hold much meaning. After a bad experience, he's sworn off anything serious. Then Annika comes into his life and all his notions of love are turned around. But nothing is easy enough. His life is about to be a Reality Show and Annika is the producer. Annika's job is to manipulate people and making sure the success of her show. She takes everything in life seriously. She hates Joel's easy confidence and his flirting drives her mad. As much as she wants to keep things professional, their passion is not easy to ignore. One wrong decision and everything in their world would crumble. What are you to do when wrong is the only right thing? I am in love with everything about this book. The characters made my heart ache. It felt as if I was reading about my own friends. And God, I was so freaking invested. I adore everything Staci writes and I bet I would forever. And please can we freak out about the COVER?!?!?! I cannot wait to do a reread and fall in love with Joel and Annika all over again. ~Sonal

  25. 4 out of 5

    Coco.V

    🎁 FREE on Amazon today (7/10/2019)! 🎁

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy Daws

    Joel... Annika... Beards... Russians... Tattoos... Reality TV setting... Hot, scandalous rendezvous... Deep, soul-crushing angst... Frozen karaoke... Guys. You need this book in your life. This is forbidden romance/enemies to lovers/fricken epic!!! This is my favorite Hart novel to date!!!! 5 Brilliantly Fantastic stars!!!! Add it to your TBRs right the heck now!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shayna

    Pardon my language but I need to shout this from the rooftops! TONIC by Staci Hart was fucking SPECTACULAR!!! Staci always leave me in awe with her romances! Her characters, the flirtatious and comedic banter, the HOT incredible love scenes! My GOD, this was SO SO SO good! The second I flipped the last page, I wanted to read it all over again! Joel Anderson, I freaking ADORED him right off the bat! His no bullshit demeanor had me craving more from him instantly. The loyalty he had to his TONI Pardon my language but I need to shout this from the rooftops! TONIC by Staci Hart was fucking SPECTACULAR!!! Staci always leave me in awe with her romances! Her characters, the flirtatious and comedic banter, the HOT incredible love scenes! My GOD, this was SO SO SO good! The second I flipped the last page, I wanted to read it all over again! Joel Anderson, I freaking ADORED him right off the bat! His no bullshit demeanor had me craving more from him instantly. The loyalty he had to his TONIC family just blew me away. And then when he laid eyes on the uptight, all-business woman, Ms. Belousov, he was a goner! He made it his mission to get past her frosty demeanor and make her smile. And let's not forget the fact that he is covered in ink and has a SEXY beard ladies....I mean COME ON! WE. HAD. NO. CHANCE. He was the star of the show...she was the executive producer. Their thoughts immediately became forbidden. Our heroine, Annika, took a while to come to terms with the fact that she wants this HAIRY FUCKING GUY. She is all professional, but there is something about him that puts a crack in her well polished armor. After her judge of character was blown out of the water, she became more pliable to Joel's advances. God, that was a beautiful thing... "Three steps and I was in his arms. Two heartbeats and I looked into his eyes. One breath and I kissed him." Joel had no idea what he signed up for, but deception and betrayal was not one of them. Reality television is a fickle bitch, and someone needs to stir the pot in order to get some ratings. When Joel's past comes walking back into his shop, all of his demons come with it. Joel and Annika thought they could handle anything, but when the trust is broken, how are they supposed to go back to the way things were? I LOVED every single thing about this book....EVERYTHING! Just like the rest of Ms. Hart's characters, they will always be embedded in my heart. TONIC is so much more than your typical RomCom...it has depth, heart, and beauty that will make it so hard to turn the last page. If you haven't read a Staci Hart novel yet, TONIC is the PERFECT place to start. You will instantly fall in love with her writing, her characters, and the amount of heart she puts in every single chapter.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    LOVED this book! Sexy Joel with his tattoos and love of reading and Annika with her icy disposition until you get to know her. Loved the chemistry between these two and the super steamy scenes. The only tiny complaint is that I wish the epilogue was a little further in the future.

  29. 4 out of 5

    fay

    The heroine got on my nerves 😑.

  30. 4 out of 5

    TereseDK

    Not really feeling the premise of this story.. I think it's a matter of timing, so gonna put this one on hold.. Not really feeling the premise of this story.. I think it's a matter of timing, so gonna put this one on hold..

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