Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Wasted Words
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
Tonic is the story of Annika, a reality TV show producer, and Joel, the tattoo shop owner who is the subject of Annika’s new show. Right from the start, I wasn’t a huge fan of Annika. She is cold and detached; I understand why she feels she has to be that way, but I think she kind of over did it. Her boss is another woman, so its not like she is being demeaned by her boss. They are two successful women, so the chip on Annika’s shoulder seems unnecessary.
Joel was likable overall. He is certainly a little rough around the edges, but it worked. He didn’t come off as cold and hard, just gruffer. His brother is hilarious though!
So, from the beginning you see how Annika and her boss plan to create some drama. They have identified a few places to ‘poke’ that will incite a reaction. Thats how reality TV works. Its unscripted, but that doesn’t mean its not guided to a certain point. Again, this behavior is another reason I think Annika seemed cold. While I understand that making the TV show a success is her job, and she needs to do what she can to get ratings, it seems callous to mess with someone by forcing contact or exposure to their ex wife, who married his rival. See what I mean? Not really a likable person. Yes, this happens in the beginning of the story, and Annika changes her mind as the story progresses, but it totally made me not like her from the beginning.
However, she does thaw a bit and by the end, I didn’t dislike her. The story is not overly angsty or anything so I really appreciated that. Overall, its a nice read if you like to see a character grow and develop. Obviously, some of the tension comes from the need to hide their budding relationship due to Annika’s job. I thought this setting/set up was unique so I appreciated that as well.
- POV: dual
- Tears: no
- Trope: secret relationship
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler
The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken, The Playbook by Kelly Elliot, Seducing the Boss by Mari Carr…then you will probably like Tonic!