Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Tragic by J.A. Huss

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Review: Tragic by J.A. HussTragic by J.A. Huss
Series: Rook and Ronin #1
Published by Science Future Press on May 20th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon

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.

-This novel was listened to via audiobook-

What a refreshing story. Even though it may have a lot of the same general elements as many New Adult novels – a protagonist with a rough upbringing who’s inexperienced in romance and meets this drop dead gorgeous guy that sweeps her off her feet – I found this one still had a lot of originality to offer. The whole erotic photography scene is new and pretty fascinating if you ask me. As a web designer, I admit to never thinking about the people on the stock images that I’ve worked with. Even those used on book covers; do you ever consider the kind of people they are and the kind of life they lead? They’re just book character personas to most of us. In Tragic, this is the job that Rook literally stumbles in without having any idea what she’s getting herself into, but desperately needing work and money.

I took to Rook immediately. She’s the kind of person who does what needs to be done, but stays smart about it. I like how real she is; confident, bold, with an obvious harsh past, but not overly cold or depressed as a result. She’s scarred from her last relationship, sure, but she’s also wanting to move on, not be controlled by it. She’s not perfect by any means, she jumps to conclusions sometimes and gets a little difficult towards the end, but it’s easy to see where she’s coming from. I don’t easily trust people either so I could relate.

Rook and Ronin make up the dual POV narration of this novel. Ronin is… well I wasn’t sure what to make of him at first. He kind of comes on strong. I mean the guy just barges into her apartment, and of course she’s sleeping naked. It didn’t take too long for me to see the good side of him, though. He’s very charming which helped, but he also obviously cares about the modeling girls and he sees Rook for who she really is. I especially loved the creativity of the the hot scenes between these two. Being set in an erotic photography studio gave a lot for opportunity for some unique, incredibly sexy scenes, while still keeping it realistic in a modeling standpoint. Their attraction was obvious from the start, making it all the more natural, all the more passionate. Their relationship does grow at a fast pace, but it’s well supported with off-the-wall chemistry that just flows off the pages. There is a lack of conflict that’s kind of bittersweet. On the one hand it’s refreshing to not have intense drama, but on the other, there is no intense drama. Am I difficult to please? 🙂

This book does feel like an introduction – to the characters, the romance, the modeling/photography scene. Even the ending is more of a “to be continued”, where their relationship, Rook’s future, and everything else is left uncertain. I do like the idea of the next project Rook signed up for, though. I also already like Spencer and curious to learn more about him. This book is definitely very character oriented and very sexy, but it doesn’t use sex to keep the story going. Actually this novel is very minimalist when it comes to sex scenes compared to other New Adult novels. By the reviews I’ve seen, this is just the beginning of a epic series to come!

A note on the audiobook: I loved that it had two narrators and both are fantastic. Ronin has an especially sexy voice that made his character even hotter. I would definitely recommend that format if you’re into audiobooks. Too bad that only book 1 is available so far, though.


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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16 Responses to “Review: Tragic by J.A. Huss”

  1. June @ Sunshine Reviews

    I love this whole series, but I’m not that keen on audiobooks. And Rook & Ronin is the couple that I probably won’t ever forget. I’m a huge fan of J.A. Huss and her work always surprises me every time 🙂 Have you read the Junco series yet? I’m sure you’ll love it 😀

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    That’s a very different profession, perfect for an NA! Sometimes I do wonder about the cover models but I’ve never thought all that much about it beyond a passing thought. Cool!

  3. Megan

    So glad you enjoyed this one. I’ve heard good things about this series, but I haven’t had a chance to try it. Maybe next time I venture into the world of NA.

  4. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I know Nereyda adores this series as well. I’ve been meaning to try it, but I’m just not into NA at the moment. I think I need a break from it and come back to it later. I think the idea of erotic photography is really interesting. I’m curious to know what the models really feel while shooting for these photos. I’m glad that you liked this one, Giselle. I hope the rest of the series is as strong for you.
    Lovely review!

  5. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I’ve seen this book floating around, and from the cover I would’ve thought it’d be some kind of paranormal/fantasy book (although I don’t know why) but I’m glad you enjoyed this one. The photography and modeling aspect is really interesting actually and I’ve never thought of the lives of the people who do books covers and model. I like how well you related to Rook, though, her character sounds really well developed, as well as Ronin’s. 🙂

    Fantastic review, Giselle! <33

  6. Chel

    The summary is not the most impressive one out there. I wouldn’t have given this a second glance for that alone, but Giselle, you had me at “refreshing” and original, and you had me again at “doesn’t use sex to keep the story going.” I’m sold!

  7. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I’m glad that you connected well with Rook despite her typical rough past and how she wasn’t controlled by it either. I’m not a fan of books that feel more like introductions, sometimes it feels like nothing really happened. But at least the characters made up for it!

    Brilliant review, Giselle! <33 and Happy New Year 🙂

  8. Ali

    You got to it! I know what you mean about it feeling like an introduction. It only gets better as you go. Plus, you get to meet Ford in book two…swoon!