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.
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.
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, 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.
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 reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.