Series: Rook and Ronin #2
Published by Science Future Press on July 23, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Erotica, New Adult
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 goods are on display, and you’ve got Manic—a new adult contemporary romance that will definitely make your summer sizzle!
I don’t know why I’m still surprised when I pick up a JA Huss book expecting fun sexiness and end up getting that and so, so much more. You’d think I’d learned my lesson with her Social Media series. Yes, she writes sex. But that is not what her books boil down to. I had forgotten, bot Manic set me straight.
See Tragic wasn’t quite as obviously about more than sex – you’ve got this girl, Rook, who is struggling to get on her feet, running from an extremely abusive relationship. She lands an erotica modeling job and it’s kinda like the sexi Cinderella scenario – if Cinderella was a little bit fiercer, more stubborn, and a hell of a lot more determined to escape her past.
But Manic really took all that horrible abuse and put it right in the center. We learn a lot more about what happened to Rook and she is forced to confront what REALLY happened in its ugly truth. Which is ultimately so healthy. And then there’s also someone, Clare, recovering from heroine addiction going on at the side. It’s not the main story line – but it’s enough to remind you why you’ll never ever touch that shit.
So you’ve got the deep, heavy stuff. And then you’ve got the guys (who are HOT of course) – who play a variety of rolls for Rook… They’re like the heroes and the bad guys all rolled up in one. Ronin – she’s falling for him, but he’s angry she took this job, is busy with Clare’s recovery, and she has nagging doubts – so he’s not the clear hero anymore. Then there’s Spencer – the biker artist who got her this great contract… Which is turning out to have a lot more to it than Rook knew. He didn’t tell her the whole truth, can she really trust him to do what’s good for her? Mostly he’s just funny though 🙂 Finally there’s Ford – who has emerged as my FAVORITE character because he’s the most complex. He seems like the clear “bad guy” because he’s the one holding Rook to her contract in ways she hates, insulting her youth, pointing out Ronin’s flaws – but then he starts doing things and you wonder, is he just honest and does he care about her more than all of them? Complexity! Gotta love it!
Of course, you do get the sexiness too! But clearly, that’s not the part that impacted me – it’s just what makes Manic that much more fun! What I’m not sure of is where Panic really has left to go – I felt like Manic ended with this pretty nicely handled and Rook headed in the right direction. Good thing I’m reading it immediately and can find out 🙂
Another great one from JA Huss! 4/5 stars to Manic! Click To Tweet