Daily Archives: 26 July, 2013

MANIC (Rook and Ronin #2) by JA Huss – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

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SYNOPSIS

TRAGIC is over and Rook is ready for the future—Spencer Shrike and the STURGIS contract!

It’s three months of body art modeling! That means three months of Spencer Shrike’s paintbrush all over her body, three months in front of Antoine’s camera, and three months of twenty-four hour filming for Spencer’s Biker Channel reality show.

Wait a minute…what reality show? Maybe she should’ve read that STURGIS contract a little closer? 😉

Sure, Rook’s bank account is almost overflowing, but Ronin is angry, Clare is trying to escape rehab, Antoine is a worried mess, and Elise is just trying to hold everyone together. Her new family is about to fall apart before she even gets the chance to enjoy them.

Add in a mysterious man from her past, a road trip to the famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and a final show in front of the entire world where all her good are on display, and you’ve got Manic—a new adult contemporary romance that will definitely make your summer sizzle!

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 Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

Gitte: The excitement to be back with Rook and (sigh) Ronin was almost too much wasn’t it Jenny. We loved Tragic and couldn’t wait to hear what was in store for them next. Upon starting ‘Manic’ we find Rook just about to embark on the Sturgis contract. Dragging her feet, regretting her decision to be involved, a decision made out of ‘childish spite.’ She’s been warned yet has no idea what she’s let herself in for and to begin with she’s regretting that all important ‘yes’.  However, as the story moves on she takes charge of herself, her body and her environment whilst making many self-discoveries. It all comes to a head when Rook’s past clashes with her present and we make discoveries that B.L.E.W my mind!

Throughout the journey we go on with Rook in ‘Manic’ it’s quite apparent that she’s changing. She was vulnerable yet self-aware; looking out for herself.

“This girl has been in denial for so long she can barely process the truth.”

Now, she has self-confidence and questions everything around her. This does not mean her vulnerability and appealing sweet nature is forgotten, it comes out in several scenes. Rook forms and enhances a connection with our three main men, ‘the gorgeous three’s’ – Ronin, Spencer and Ford. Each offering her something she needs.

“…Not only am I young….I’m also pretty fucked up in the life department…I was tragic. So tragic they had a campaign with my name on it. So fucking tragic I was living in a homeless shelter when I turned up here.”

‘Manic’ was Rook’s journey and sadly this meant that Ronin didn’t feature as much…and I missed him…a lot! This guy just amazes me, he isn’t afraid of voicing what he wants or how he feels.

“…He likes the lost ones…He likes to swoop in and save them…”

Mind you, a certain Mr. Ford gave Ronin a run for his money for me and I may have fallen in complete lust, oh and the man reads…LUSH! But I digress….You missed Ronin too didn’t you Jenny?

Jenny: We were definitely more than ready to be back with Rook and….yes…(insert major dreamy sigh here!) Ronin. Seriously, that man can do no wrong in my eyes. I am in book boyfriend love with him. Oh yeah…where was I?  Right, so Manic takes us a step further after Tragic when Rook is embarking on the Shrike contract – involving lots of body paint and hardly a stitch of clothing. If Rook thought the Tragic contract was erotic photography…well…this definitely takes things to another level!

Rook is wading her way through the job which also came with an “added” bonus of a reality show she wasn’t aware of, establishing a new relationship and learning who she is in the process.

“I want you to take care of me, Ronin.”

Oh yes please! Manic really was Rook’s journey and yes, you’re spot on G. I really did miss Ronin for a bit of this book. I love his voice, I love the interaction between him Spencer and Ford and most importantly I love the sparks that fly between him and Rook, so yes, I missed that DIVINE man.  Don’t get me wrong, exploring the relationships between Rook, Spencer and Ford was fun but well….Ronin is it for me in case you haven’t guessed!

“Then let me, just let me put it all together for us. I can make you happy.”

Gitte: So whilst Rook is getting on with the Sturgis contract which involves nudity and stunning paintwork, Ronin is called away. This leaves her in the company of the hot Spencer, the gorgeous and cheeky Billy and the enigmatic, highly intense and intriguing Ford. Her feelings are all over the place and at times her thoughts and behaviour regarding Ronin peeved me off a bit. I understand she’s a young girl who’s had a horrific past; however, her thought process and actions were confusing at times.

“It’s work, Rook. Not love.”

As her past catches up with her, she needs her strength and new friendships more than ever. Did you feel the same about Rook as I did Jenny?

Jenny: I really do love Rook. She’s a feisty little thing and she speaks her mind. She’s put up with enough crap in her life and she’s going to do things on her terms. Underneath she’s still that vulnerable young woman and I did have to keep reminding myself she was only 19 because, as you said, her thought processes were so jumbled at times that she did give me whiplash and now and then her reactions and inner thoughts in that regard frustrated me.  Rook is a contradiction, she keeps you on your toes…very much the self assured woman one minute and the questioning young girl the next.

Gitte: So, I really enjoyed how ‘Manic’ began and I loved the last third of the book. The middle fell short for me however and it became a bit of a filler book. I understand that the journey Rook made through the Sturgis contract was important to her, however, there are only so many modelling scenes you need to or can read about before it becomes repetitive. Nothing much happened and I felt it dragged. The last third of ‘Manic’…well what can I say? The revelations were brilliant. The discoveries we made, the dynamics of relationships and secrets revealed. Just FAB! LOVED it! If only they had not been rushed in right at the end and been delved upon deeper. Well, then the middle bit of the book dragging would have been null and void in my opinion.

“Your first impression of Spencer should be dumb…Your first impression of Ford should be well-dressed asshole, but maybe a little on the weak side….Your first impression of me should be honest, trustworthy guy…Your first impressions would be dead-ass wrong in all three cases.” – Ronin

My only concern now is book #3. I have no idea where it’s going as the actual last few pages had me baffled, though at least it didn’t end on a cliff-hanger as such. I just hope we get to not only see more of ‘the gorgous three’ but also learn more about them and their past and yes I am hoping for that elusive HEA for Rook and Ronin.

“I want you to take care of me, Ronin.”

“Then let me, just let me put it all together for us. I can make you happy.”

I love this Authors writing style and her characters are intense with so much depth and appeal. I would definitely recommend adding this series to your tbr and cannot wait for the next instalment! It’s a real passionate, sensual, intriguing, emotional and thrilling ride.

“I’ve never dated a girl like you, Rook. You are everything I want. I love all your parts. I love the wary parts, the defiant parts, the independent parts, and your innocence and vulnerability. I want you next to me and when you’re not there I feel like a part of me is missing. I’m so in love with you, Rook. So fucking in love with you, it scares me.”

What did you think Jenny?

Jenny:  Yes Gitte, when discussing Manic, we both did feel that the middle did fall somewhat flat due to the overuse of the modelling assignment descriptions. They felt a little overkill at times and did give this book a somewhat filler feel through the middle…but wow! were we absolutely knocked off our socks towards the end of this book. I was gobsmacked, knocked sideways because the author managed to take this in a different direction I DID NOT see coming at all and I love nothing more than being surprised!

“Now my fucking girlfriend’s stuck in the middle, she’s got no idea what I used to do, and the whole fucking things is about to blow up in my face.”

The relationships, the intrigue and the plot twist really did keep me on my toes though I did feel, like you, there was one element which felt rather rushed and I would have seen this part of the story that drawn out a little more at the expense of the lengthy modelling scenes in the middle.

Despite this, I have to say I really enjoyed Manic. This author really does write her characters so well and Rook’s relationships with Spencer, Ford and Ronin are all so very different and each is explored so beautifully and yes! I’m dying to see where she takes us with Rook and Ronin and what awaits them down the track.  These two are so passionate, their chemistry consumes you.

“I want you next to me and when you’re not there I feel like a part of me is missing. “

In Manic we are drip fed just enough to keep us guessing, then whack…we’re hit between the eyes with revelations when you least expect it! This is a series I would absolutely recommend picking up.  I can’t wait for book three and we are indeed left asking what on earth is going to happen next, because I have no idea where she is taking us in Panic, but what I do know I’ll be first in line to take a seat on the next ride with Rook & Ronin…oh.. And Ford….I want to know a whole lot more about you buddy! Yummmmm!

Gitte & Jenny : 4 Stars 

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TRAGIC: Rook and Ronin, #1

MANIC: Rook and Ronin, #2

Panic (Rook and Ronin #3) coming soon!

UK Links to Rook & Ronin Series

Tragic
Manic 

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GIVEAWAY!!

2 Ebook copies of Manic to be won

a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 Comments

Filed under 4 Stars, J A Huss, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny