Joel Anderson doesn't take anything seriously.
Not his relationships, which have been few and far between since his brutal divorce. Not the drama of working in a tattoo parlor, which seems to be around every corner. When things get him down, he smiles and cracks a joke. But he's not the kind of man you cross, or you'll find yourself at the wrong end of his fists.
Annika Belousov takes everything seriously.
Like her job as a reality television producer, given that she typically has something to prove. Or her love life, which is defined by a series of requirements -- affluent, ambitious, accomplished, to name a few. Definitely her family, who worked their whole lives to afford her every opportunity, a sacrifice she doesn't take lightly. When she's tapped to produce a reality show at Joel's shop, she doesn't think twice, just goes in for the kill, as if there were any other way.
The second Annika walks into Joel's shop, he makes it his mission to crack her open, but she's not having it. He's all wrong -- too crass, too hairy, too un-serious. But it doesn't take her long to find out there's more to him than smirks and tattoos. And what she finds could put her career and his heart on the line.
Not that Joel cares. Because for the first time in a long time, he's found his tonic.
★★★ 3 𝓢𝓽𝓪𝓻 𝓡𝓮𝓲𝓿𝓮𝔀 ★★★
Overall, this book was definitely worth the read. I have enjoyed the books I have read by this author in the past. For me, this one wasn't on point with what I have read in the past, but it's still an overall decent read.
In the beginning of this book, I was enjoying these characters. They were witty. They were easy to like. They started out strong and hyperaware.
As the story went on, they seemed to lose their luster. Joel resembled a "chick" a little too much for me. Annika lost her backbone. Things slowly fell apart for me. In turn, it made the story itself drag after such a strong start.
The story itself was unique. I mean, a book set in a reality show. Who wouldn't want to read it. However, again, it fell a little flat for me. Also, there was too much sex for the story. There were times where I didn't feel like it fit. It felt like the author was trying too hard to create strong "chemistry" with sex instead of intimacy.
Even with its drawbacks, I can't say that many aren't going to enjoy this book. I can truly see how many have loved it. I just wasn't over the moon for it. I will definitely being reading more of this author's books that I already own in the future.