“His eyes told me a thousand things I couldn’t decipher, and my heart said a thousand things he couldn’t hear.”
Earlier this year I read Wasted Words by Staci Hart, so when I saw the opportunity to sign up for an ARC of Tonic, I jumped on it! I thought Wasted Words was such a unique novel and I loved how Staci used the name of the location of the story for the name of the book again. In this case, the location was a tattoo shop called Tonic. The owner Joel and his brother Shep are reluctantly participating in a brand new reality show, featuring their shop. When the producers walk in to give the details of how the show is going to go down, Joel is immediately mesmerized by Annika- the ice queen. As the show gets underway, Joel takes it as a personal challenge to crack that icy façade. A deeply intense and passionate relationship follows.
“He’s larger than life, full of lust for it, for me. It’s like binging on ice cream, except you can’t get fat.”
It took me a little a little while to get into the story, but Joel eventually got my attention. Seriously, what’s not to love about a bearded, tattooed man? My husband falls into that category, so I obviously cannot resist. I love reading stories where the characters have animosity towards each other but eventually fall for the other’s charms. That angst keeps the story interesting when the reader is anxiously rooting for one of the characters to crack. Another interesting element was the spotlight on the tattoo parlor. I had never before read a story highlighting a tattoo shop. In one particular scene, Staci describes the tattoo artist rubbing the salve on the skin after the tattoo is finished. This brought to mind that delicious cooling feeling after the slow burn of the tattoo. Her descriptions were perfect and helped me picture myself in the chair with the soothing buzz of the tattoo guns in the air.
As the story wore on, personally, I found the plotline to become rather repetitive and predictable, however. For this reason, I had to give the story only three stars. While I love Staci’s writing style and her humor, the character’s problems couldn’t keep my interest as much as I would like from my romantic comedies. Despite the predictability, I was happy with the sweet ending of the story. Hairy really outdoes himself and is worth reading about. I would definitely recommend this book if you’re into sexy and spicy romance, and be sure to stick around for the plot twist!
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