Tragic by J.A. Huss
New Adult Contemporary Romance*Paperback/eBook, 278 pages
Publisher: Future Science Press (published May 20th 2013 | Book Trailer
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 portfolio.
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.
TRAGIC is a new adult contemporary romance.
About the author:
J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).
She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.
Tragic was a delightful surprise. I enjoyed Rook and Ronin's story and was glad to have read from both character's perspectives. Rook is not a trusting nineteen year old. She ran away from an abusive relationship and hoped to get a new start. Just when life had thrown her a curve ball and she was fired from her housecleaning job, a model tossing a business card in Starbucks turns out to be more fruitful than ever imagined. One card. One address. One appointment. And Rook was facing the possibility of a new life.
Ronin has lived a difficult life. He grew up knowing his family's tragic history but was taken care of by his older sister, Elise, and then by her boyfriend, Antoine. A good education, a sexy body and smile, he now has power and any model he wants. When he spots Rook, he wants her. She stirs something in him he's never felt before. And so begins a tumultuous friendship and relationship.
I credit author J.A. Huss for creating an enjoyable and intense contemporary romance. Both characters have faced adversity and risen above it. Rook has dealt with more than Ronin but has retained a sweet personality under her weary demeanor. He's a smooth talking player with a killer sense of fashion and control over the models who enter their studio. Antoine's studio creates art out of erotic photography and their business is successful. Rook is given an incredible opportunity when offered the Tragic contract. But does she want to put all of herself--body and soul--captured in pictures for the world to see? Is she afraid this life will change her, make her someone she won't recognize? She wants more out of life--she wants to study film and go to school. Can Ronin give her that with his flamboyant lifestyle and sexy modeling?
I thought Tragic was pure escapist fun. There were moments of serious contemplation and both characters displayed a healthy amount of angst. I was always aware of a 'fairy-tale feel' as I read this story. I didn't fully believe this new world Rook becomes part of but it was fun to read. I really like Rook, from the opening scene when she splurges on an expensive coffee with her last ten bucks to her thoughts on making enough money now in order to go after what she truly wants. It took time to like Ronin. There was something untrustworthy about him and he had this used car salesman sheen to him. It was creepy to see Rook walk into the local diner and tell the waitress she "belonged to Ronin." I thought of Twilight's Edward and his possessiveness of his girlfriend Bella in certain scenes. And yet, despite this, underneath I suspect Ronin, like Rook, wants something more (he does admit this to her in one scene). Is he capable of changing? Will he change to keep Rook in his life? That has yet to be resolved, but I have a feeling. Since their relationship is in its infancy and is evidenced in some of their more tender scenes, there is definitely more to come for this couple.
The story flowed smoothly and I liked the cast of secondary characters. I wonder if Spence will play more of a role in the second book as Rook begins her work under contract to his company. The whole body art and motorcycle story line was very cool. One outstanding factor in this novel was the clever use of imagery. I need to compliment J.A. Huss for incorporating things like cherry blossom trees, a swing, a fire escape and Antoine's building. It was so easy to visualize this story as I read and there were some steamy scenes without overdoing it. Even though the studio made soft porn artistic, the author gave the story a touch of class by tastefully depicting Rook's shoots. Ronin would remind her that she had the power to control what went on during their sessions which gave their story a unique quality.
Now that Rook is making a name for herself (and her face/body), will her ex-boyfriend surface in book two? Tragic reminded me of a reality TV show: glitz, fun, shock factors, entertaining and addicting. No matter how I felt about the characters or their situations, I was still sucked into the drama of their story. When is the next book, Manic, available?
This image sums up what Rook winds up doing for the studio in her new life. I don't care for it though.
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