Review: Tragic (Rook and Ronin #1) – J. A. Huss

Posted 20 November, 2013 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 14 Comments


Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Tragic (Rook and Ronin #1) – J. A. Huss
5 Stars

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.

Tragic is a gritty, real story about a girl who is running from an abusive relationship and ends up doing erotic photo shoots to make ends meet. When she meets Claire, Antoine and Ronin, Rook’s life does take a turn that seems to be better now she will have a roof over her head, earn money and feel safe. Only things aren’t as easy as they seem, and she might just be playing with fire because of the way she feels in these photo shoots.

Rook is a fragile and quite innocent girl who has had a very hard life, so she feels like she deserves to catch a break, all the while waiting for the other shoe to fall. She has trust-issues and has no idea how hot her innocence mixed with her sexiness makes her both to Ronin and to other men. She’s strong and weak at the same time, she is smart and driven, and all she wants is a chance to follow her dreams. Tragic is not an easy read at all, it lays out all the hard facts about Rook’s life with no filter. This makes it impossible not to root for Rook, even when she makes decisions that are rash and not completely thought through.

The writing is excellent, I was drawn in from the first line in Tragic, and I kept clicking through the pages, devouring the book in hours, and I cried for Rook and only wanted things to be better for her. Ronin is a very complex character as well, his first years were not easy either, but he and his sister Claire were saved by Antoine so he could start rebuilding himself while he was still a child. I would have liked to get to know Claire and Antoine a little better, but I still loved Tragic, and I got to know a lot about both Rook and Ronin. Most of the chapters are from Rook’s point of view, but the readers get some from Ronin’s pont of view as well. And the story goes very deep into both of their fears and hopes.

The dialogs between Rook and Ronin is filled with innuendos, and the chemistry between them is unmistakable. I laughed out loud in some places of Tragic, but I wanted to curl into a ball and cry in others. My emotions have been all over the place with this story, and I just know I’ll continue reading until I have the whole series inside my head and then maybe I’ll be able to think a little clearer.

The story itself is both dark and gritty, but still there is hope. It is a fragile thing, though, and I know there must be more heartache in store for Rook. She ran from an abusive ex, and I can’t help but wonder what will happen when he sees one of her photos. Will he come after her? Will he just not care? Is there going to be a face-down between him and Rook’s new friends? Needless to say I recommend Tragic – to mature readers! – I started reading Manic just after I finished reading Tragic, and I was up until 3 am before I had to force myself to go to bed.

And that’s how I know Antoine is a good guy, even if does act like an asshole most of the time. He loves my sister. And my sister is good people.

Oh, that makes my face blush! I wonder if I could even force those words to come out of my mouth? I belong to Ronin. It’s sexy and sexist at the same time. Do I like that? I’m not sure.

I giggle at my private swooning. But it’s true. My heart is still racing and it’s not all because he scares me either. He does scare me though.

It is weird, but I try not to think about it too much because if life can change for the better this fast, then it can change for the worse as well.

I can’t really trust myself to see the difference between what is normal and what isn’t because I’ve lived with abnormal for too long.

I’d rather spend the rest of my life alone and lonely than give up my freedom again.

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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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14 responses to “Review: Tragic (Rook and Ronin #1) – J. A. Huss

  1. Fantastic review, Lexxie! I love your description of Rook as strong and weak at the same time…so true! I’m just so, so glad that I’ve made a convert of you, too! 😉 (I made Robyn one with Junco) I adore J.A. Huss’ writing, as you well know. So I’m just ecstatic that you fell in love with Rook & Ronin. 🙂

    Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going well and that you have a good read to follow R&R. I just finished Sophie Jordan’s Foreplay…LOVED it! Enjoy the rest of your day, Lexxie! *hugs*

  2. Forelplay, huh? LOL I have several good reads (I hope) lined up! I’ve finished the whole R&R series, and I understand why you adore J.A. Huss’ writing, she’s awesome 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by Brandee *hugs*

    • Thanks Michelle! I really loved this whole series, I went through all three books in just two days, and I stayed up until 3am!

      I am doing pretty well in the challenge, but I’m still adding far more books to my kindle than the ones I read 😀 Oh well.

      Have a great day!

    • Oh, me too, Chelsea. It went very in-debth of Rook’s feelings when she was doing those shoots. I look forward to reading more books by Huss, that’s for sure.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I’m glad you liked this one! I’m not sure if I’ll read it since I’ve only read a few Eroticas but I will have to look into it more. I’m not having too much luck with my COYER Challenge but that’s alright. Still have a couple days left. Good luck! And I hope you can do the mini-challenge I’m hosting. Only 2 days left to enter the giveaway! 😀
    COYER Acrostic Poem Mini Challenge

    Laura @ Music Plus Books recently posted: Book Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
    • Laura, the story does have erotic elements, which are really well done, I might add, but the main storyline is so much more!

      I’m on my way to check out your mini-challenge 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thanks Robyn! I have a new author on my fave shelves now 🙂 And I agree, rooting for Rook was pretty awesome, through the ups and downs and all.

      Have a fantastic Friday! *hugs*

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