Tonic by Staci Hart (Arianna)

ARIANNA’s review


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 f@ck. 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.

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