Review: Manic (Rook and Ronin #2) – J.A. Huss

Posted 25 November, 2013 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 16 Comments

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Manic (Rook and Ronin #2) – J.A. Huss
5 Stars

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!

Manic continues shortly after the end of Tragic, and I continue to love Rook and Ronin! The writing is still awesome, and I can’t get enough of their story, their journey and the way the both grow as characters, even if they do have some slip-ups when it comes to being a relationship still. They both need to get used to sharing their feelings, and I was actually a little surprised that Rook seemed better at this than Ronin.

Rook is starting her photo shoot – and her reality TV show for Spencer and the body paint for his custom made motorcycles. Unfortunately, Rook had not learned her lesson about reading the whole contract and maybe sleep on it before signing. She has not realized before Spencer and Ford show up that she will also be followed by TV cameras 24/7 for the duration of the shoot. She is upset with Ronin at first because he didn’t tell her, and he was sure she had read everything and was aware of the camera crew.

At first, I really didn’t like Ford! I thought he was such an asshole I could hardly stand to read about him. As Manic unfolds, however, he actually becomes one of my favorite male characters! That in itself is a true testament to the wonderful writing, in my opinion, because it is pretty hard to get me to change my opinion of a character. The way Ford acted in the beginning, and also the way he was telling Rook that he wanted to steal her away from Ronin made my skin crawl. Then, little by little, he grew on me, until I was looking forward to seeing him again!

Spencer is a great character as well, between his funny bad-boy routine and the seriousness he shows when he is painting on Rook, or preparing his motorcycles is truly awesome! I have to admit that I felt a little uncomfortable with the way Spencer acted when he participated in the photo shoots with Rook, though. Especially because Ronin was conveniently absent for a while. I was supposed to be uncomfortable though, so that was very well done as well!

There is a lot more scary action in Manic than in Tragic as well. As I thought at the end of Tragic Rook’s ex has not at all forgotten about her. She has no idea how good Ford, Spencer and Ronin could be in taking care of things and help her out, though. It seems they have helped other people in the past, they even have a special place they go to, near a river, when they have to discuss things they want to make sure noone else can hear.

Just before leaving for the bike-show, there is a huge show-down that had me almost trembling with my heart in my throat! The culmination of Manic is, of course, the big motorcycle meet where Rook is the main attraction with the newest motorcycle Spencer has built. This is another place where Rook truly shows her courage, in my opinion. Even if her body is painted in a way that makes her seem dressed, she is completely naked, but she is strutting her stuff, proud and strong, driving her bike and showing off for all the bikers! And in the audience, she can see her first love, whose mother made her leave when she was only 15…

There are so many subtle changes in Rook in Manic! She is less confused, and she starts working out with Ford – very reluctantly at first, then she starts to enjoy it. She becomes even more confident in front of the cameras, and she finally feels like she might be worthy of love, and of Ronin. At the same time, some of her weaknesses subside, she still needs reassurance, and sometimes, she realizes too late that Ford might be playing with her head.

I’m the modern-day version of the girl sitting by the phone. I snort a little at that, because pining women have come a long way if you think about it. We can go out and have fun and impatiently wait for our boyfriends to call all at the same time.

“What’re you assholes looking at? I’ve been walking around here naked all day, quit it!” They mumble out some incomprehensible words as I walk over to Billy. He’s smiling. “That is fucking hot for some reason. I’m not sure why, it just is, Rook.” I shrug. “You’re pretty hot, too, Billy. Maybe it’s the hats?” He chuckles. “Yeah, the hats.”

“Just rune the stadiums, Rook. Is that what you want me to tell you? Give you orders? Are you waiting for orders?” Am I? I turn and walk away. Because I might be. I might actually be waiting for him to tell me what to do. It makes me sick when I think about it.

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Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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16 responses to “Review: Manic (Rook and Ronin #2) – J.A. Huss

  1. Fantabulous review, Lexxie!! (yep, it’s a word 😉 ) I love how much you’re loving Rook & Ronin. And Spencer. And Ford. *sigh* I totally agree with you on the growth both Rook and Ronin showed in Manic. And, of course, I love Huss’ writing. She does an incredible job of inducing whatever emotion she wants you to feel through her words. (IMO) I’m just beyond thrilled that I introduced you to a new author! 😉

    Have a great evening, my friend! *hugs*

    • Aw thank you Brandee 🙂 (yup, I agree, it totally is a word!!)

      I can’t wait to read more J.A. Huss, because this introduction was just awesome. And you are right, all those emotions are very strong while reading.

      Have a great afternoon, and thanks for stopping by 🙂 *hugs3

  2. Great review! I loved this book too and I felt the same about Ford! By the end, I really liked him a lot. I also really felt Rook’s growth as a character and I of course LOVED the whole body painting thing. Ronin is a little dense sometimes 🙂 but his love for Rook is so sweet and obvious. I love that he would do anything to protect her and I love how protective Ford and Spencer are for her too.

    Chelsea @ Starbucks & Books Obsession recently posted: ARC Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
    • Thanks Chelsea! Yeah, the body painting was awesome! I would never have the courage to get that done myself, but it’s a beautiful kind of art, I think.
      LOL Ronin can be a little dense, but I think he’s also a little overwhelmed by his feelings for Rook, you know?
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. Your review took me right back to this read. Rook’s growth was a treat to see, especially with her interactions with Ford. He’s such a jerk, but then he becomes a lovable jerk. Spencer’s sweet side was the perfect counter. I have to say the trio of boys stole the show. I loved the scenes with Spencer’s ex. What a character! Happy Monday, Lexxie!

    Robyn Jones recently posted: Sidekick Showcase [37] Creepy!!
    • Yes, that’s exactly Ford, Robyn, he’s a jerk, but then, suddenly he’s a lovable jerk 🙂 Oh those three men… are so swoon-worthy each in his own way! I can’t wait to read Ford’s book.

      Thanks for stopping by, Robyn 🙂

    • Oh man, I’d have been confused as well, Naomi! I really fell in love with all those characters, and I can’t wait to read Ford’s story 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • I know, right? Only very strong authors can write characters that get to me so much that I can change my mind about them.

      Thanks for stopping by Jaclyn 🙂

    • Oh my, I’d never be able to even let someone paint me, so forget about walking around with only body-paint on!

      Thanks for stopping by, Pamela 🙂

  4. First, let me just say that that cover is really steamy. And is she sitting on the man’s face? If she is, OMG!

    So I haven’t heard about this book nor of JA Huss but it seems like a very fun read especially that it’s about body painting and motorcycles. And did I just read this right, Rook has to go out in the world wearing nothing but only body paint? OMFG, this book will give me a heart attack.

    Very nice that Manic was able to extricate itself from those mindless erotica that littered the market today.

    Great review, Lexxie! But I am still thinking if I’ll read this or not. I am not yet in the mood for reading eroticas. Whew!

    Charlotte recently posted: Book Review: Pushing The Limits
    • I think she’s sitting on his chest… not his face! But yes, the cover is steamy, and so is the book. I just started reading JA Huss, and I love her stories. There is so much more that happens than the hot and steamy, and the characters are awesome.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. Thanks Lindy! I couldn’t stop reading this series, I read all three books in two days (and nights)…

    Thanks for stopping by!

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