Friday, 31 July 2015

REVIEW: Rook and Ronin Series by JA Huss

Here's another JA Huss series that I enjoyed quite a bit... This is the 2nd series that got me further on the Huss train. If you haven't picked up any of Julie's books, I say this is a good start.

Rook Walsh is TRAGIC 
Because life so far – just sucks. Some girls get parents. Rook got the foster care system. Some girls get Prince Charming. Rook got an abusive frog. Some girls get lucky… 
Rook got a second chance. 
And she took it. Because when fate throws you a bone – you grab it with both hands and run. 
Antoine Chaput knows the minute he spies Rook in his photography studio that she’s got The Look. The dark and desperate look he must have to land the exclusive TRAGIC media contract. 
Rook is paired up with top model, Ronin, and he’s everything her abusive ex-boyfriend wasn’t. Patient, gentle, happy, attentive, and sexy! He knows exactly what to do to make Rook blush for Antoine’s camera.

Rook’s luck changes in an instant and suddenly she’s the darling of the modeling world. It’s a dream job to go with a dream guy and all she has to do is look pretty and follow directions. But there’s always a price to pay – and Rook is about to get the bill.



(Originally posted on Goodreads)

I'll start by saying that Ms. Huss has hooked me in with her writing in COME from the Bend anthology, which prompted me to read the Rook & Ronin series. Then how I know further that Ms. Huss' writing works for me is with the fact that the MCs, Rook and Ronin, are typically too young a character for my taste, which I didn't realize until after I started, yet not only did I kept reading but I'm even really looking forward now to finishing this series and its spin-offs.

I think this is the first time that I actually liked such a young h in this genre. Why? Because for a change, I've read one in Rook who's strong, feisty, mature, and smart. What is becoming more apparent to me by each book is that Ms. Huss writes decent h. Thank god!

Now a young H can go either way for me, especially when it comes to how alpha they act. It's sometimes hard for me to buy into a young H's alpha-ness. With Ronin, not that I wasn't buying into his H status, but it was more like me taking longer to figure what his deal was. I don't want to say he was one-dimensional because he wasn't. There was just something about him that's not fully clicking with me yet. This is just a personal take, obviously.

So, you have a H&h with a sad history, meeting in a fortuitous manner, ended up working together in a relatively niche industry as they get to know each other better. I know the MCs' background and their story itself could have easily been ripe with too much angst but Ms. Huss didn't go there fortunately, I don't think. It ends almost like a stand-alone, to me anyways, or a HFN note as some would describe it.

If I may just point out one tiny thing, and this is not just about this story as I've read it in other books as well, but what is up with **SPOILER** the lack of protection use with these characters **END OF SPOILER**?!? I know this is just fiction, but seriously?... ok, rant over...

Anyhoot, can't wait to start the next one...

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!



(Originally posted on Goodreads)

This picks up shortly after the 1st book. There was Rook doing what she signed up for, Ronin trying to balance his commitments and Rook, then we have Spencer & Ford.

I felt there was hardly an arc to to the story until the last 25% mark which definitely made up for it. It was primarily Rook & Ronin trying to make their relationship work given Rook's special contract, against the interesting backdrop provided by Spencer & Ford, and the extra layers they bring with their dynamics. If I wasn't curious enough to find out about these boys' history for the good part of the book, my ears definitely perked up, so to speak, by the last 1/4.

It took me a while to finish this bk but that is more a reflection on me rather than the book. It's actually a quick read. The interactions kept me reading. I do wish the things I learned in the last 1/4 were introduced sooner and given more pages. But I guess I will learn more by book 3, hopefully. And that quick glimpse I got from Rook's past at the end, of course, got me wondering. On to the next one...

Rook is chasing her dream—film school and a chance at a life beyond the one she ran from six months ago. But before she can become the girl she wants to be, she must deal with the girl she left behind. 
Ronin is also chasing his dream—a family of his own and a life away from erotic modeling. And he too, has a past he’s trying to forget. A past that makes Rook question everything about their life together. 
Lies, secrets, and shocking truths will rock the foundation Rook and Ronin have built. Can they put the past behind them and move forward together? Or is this just another too good to be true relationship that will crash and burn in the end?



(Originally posted on Goodreads)

I finally managed to find the time to finish this series & so glad I did. In my head, this def made up for any small misgivings I may have had from the 1st 2 books. I finally got Ronin & liked him a lot. Then add those 2 other boys, Ford & Spencer, and you're looking at a nice specimen of a breed of NA H's. And I thought Rook just rocked it from beginning to end.

Now, on to Ford's & Spencer's story, woohoo!

NOTE: This series is now available as 1 omnibus.

Thanks for dropping by!


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