I'm so happy to carry on the tradition I started way back when I participated in the blog tour for J.A. Huss' first Rook and Ronin book, Tragic. Today is my stop on the TAUT tour, organized by Xpresso Book Tours, and I have to tell you, this is the best book of the bunch so far. Read on for my review, enter the giveaway for tons of signed books and swag by J.A. Huss, and don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour.
Published January 20, 2014
Format: e-book, provided by the author and Xpresso Book Tours
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon
Rating: 5 STARS
(From Goodreads) Ford Aston is known for many things. Being an emotionless, messed up bastard, a freakishly smart social outcast, and a cold, domineering master who keeps "pets" instead of girlfriends.
And after Rook broke his heart, he plans to keep it that way.
Ashleigh is known for nothing, and that's exactly what she's got going for her. She's broke, stranded in the mountains with a three month old baby, and Ford Aston is screwing with her head.
And she plans to mess with his right back.
It's a coy game at first, filled with flirting, and innuendo--but Ford soon realizes something is not quite right with Ashleigh. In fact, something is seriously, seriously wrong and the closer they get to their final destination, the closer Ford gets to the truth.
One night of devastation, self-loathing, and emptiness turns into the best thing that ever happened to Ford Aston. But one day of in-your-face reality threatens Ashleigh's whole existence.
I might have to break my own rules and give TAUT: THE FORD BOOK 6 stars, because I just loved it That. Much. J.A. Huss has an amazing ability to break her characters down so that you think you just might hate them, and then slowly she builds them back up again until you forget everything except, "OMG, I love you, I want to marry you, I wish you were real." It's crazy cool how that happens.
Ford Aston is a tortured soul. He's wicked brilliant, aloof, and not just a little bit of a jerkface. Especially toward women. Rook was the only exception, and she rejected him in favor of his BFF, Ronin. Ford has a hard time with that, and decides on New Years Eve, in the middle of a blizzard, that he has to get out of Dodge to clear his head. He ends up stuck in Vail in a crap motel when he meets Ashleigh and her baby daughter. Ford offers to help them, although he has no idea why - it's not his style. And, the more he helps the more attached he gets to her. But, she's hiding some stuff, and Ford doesn't do complicated or serious. It should be easy for him to cut her loose. Right?
Gotta be honest with you. Ford was a real asshole. If you read the prequel novella SLACK, you see that he treats his mom like crap, he keeps his friends at a very long arms length, and the women - oh, don't even get me started on how he treats women. He admits that he thinks of them as "pets." He treats them like trash and rationalizes it by saying they ask for it by continuing to show up.
At the same time, though, you feel a little bad for him. It's obvious he's not quite normal. He's not socialized like you think he should be. The only one who's ever busted through his facade was Rook, and she's his best friend's girl. I can understand his need to get away for awhile.
The amazingly wonderful part of Taut was that, by the end of the book, I was so in love with Ford, I didn't know what to do with myself. J.A. Huss' transformation of this broken man into someone I absolutely respected, loved and lusted after was incredible. It was a tall mountain to climb in only 300 or so odd pages, and J.A. Huss scaled it without even breaking a sweat.
Of course, behind every awesome man is an incredible woman. And, Ashleigh is in-freaking-credible. I would imagine that, when faced with d-bag Ford, I would quake in my boots, turn tail and run. Not Ashleigh. Ford snaps at her, says something typically awful, dismisses her like she means nothing, and Ashleigh never blinks. In fact, she gives back as good as he dishes out. Ashleigh manages to put Ford in his place, and no one - not even Rook - had ever been able to do that before. Not only that, but she does it with a baby on her hip. You go, girl.
I always thought Ford had the market cornered on being tight lipped. Turns out, he doesn't have anything on Ashleigh. She keeps her cards very, very close to her vest from everyone. The reader doesn't find out what's going on with her until very close to the end. Then, when the secrets start spilling out, one comes after another after another. Some I had suspected. Others were a shock. When the whole picture had been painted, your heart couldn't help but break for her and her daughter. Luckily, Ford was there to pick up the pieces.
In typical J.A. Huss style, Taut was gritty and emotional. It's definitely closer to the adult end of the new adult spectrum. It deals with some heavy situations. And the hotness between Ford and Ashleigh is astronomical.
Although you don't need to read the Rook and Ronin series to read Taut and understand what's going on, I still recommend you do. Besides the fact that they're damn good books, it gives a lot of good background information on Ford and his relationship with Rook, Ronin and Spencer.
But, even if you don't, don't let that give you a reason to not read Taut. Because, seriously, it will blow your mind.
About the Author
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.
Enter below to win signed copies of: TRAGIC, MANIC, PANIC, SLACK, and TAUT by JA Huss. PLUS a custom made sterling silver "Ford's Favortie Pet" necklace and signed swag pack. (Open internationally)
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