Title: Rough & Tumble
Author: Rhenna Morgan
Series: Haven Brotherhood
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 02-20-2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 432
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
A self-made man with his fingers in a variety of successful businesses, Jace Kennedy lives for the challenge and he always gets what he wants. From the start, he sees Vivienne Moore’s hidden wild side and knows she’s his perfect match, if only he can break it free. He will have her. One way or another.
Vivienne’s determined to ditch the rough lifestyle she grew up in, even if that means hiding her true self behind a bland socialite veneer. Dragging her party-hound sister out of a club was not how she wanted to ring in the New Year, but Viv knows the drill. Get in, get her sister and get back to the safe, stable life she’s built for herself as fast as humanly possible. But Viv’s plans are derailed when she finds herself crashing into the club’s clearly badass and dangerously sexy owner.
Jace is everything Vivienne swore she never wanted, but the more time she spends with him, the more she starts to see that he loves just as fiercely as he fights. He can walk society’s walk and talk society’s talk, but when he wants something, he finds a way to get it. He’s proud of who he is and where he came from, and he’ll be damned if he lets Vivienne go before showing her the safest place of all is in the arms of a dangerous man.
“I think you’ve already got a clear picture in your head.”
“I’ve got an outline. I want you to color it in for me.”
When I think of an alpha male, I imagine someone protective; someone who would do anything for those he loves. Abrupt and honest, but able to stand back and allow his heroine to find her own strength and glory in it.
My heart’s still wrenching from the feels in this one.
Vivienne spends her weekends saving her sister from one disastrous party to the next. It’s why she hides her own inner wild child, locking that part in one room of the staid townhome she can barely afford. It’s safer that way. That changes the night Callie’s SOS leads Viv to The Den where she faces an adversary who sees beneath her uppity suits and no-nonsense hairstyle. She shoves down the attraction. She’s never going to see him again anyway. Only an event planning opportunity comes up and Jace is being it, offering her a lot more than business.
Jace takes one look at Viv and knows underneath there is something hot, aggressive, and his. It’s why when Viv agrees to plan some events for him and his brotherhood, Jace makes a bid for me. He prods here and pushes there until he insinuates himself into her life only to find he’s as hooked as she is.
If only Callie’s bad decisions and the enemy out for Jace’s blood didn’t threaten Vivienne’s safety. He’ll do anything to keep Viv, and when he brings her into the fold of Haven, the last thing Vivienne wants to do is leave.
“She seriously needed to get a grip on her taste in men. Suits and education were a much safer choice. Manners and meaningful conversation. Not bloody T-shirts, smoky bars and panty-melting grins.”
I adored Viv. She’s a smart, strong heroine and with Jace being such so bold, she needed to be. The first time they meet, she’s entranced by the big, scowling hunk with the wicked tattoo. But he’s caring too. He handles Viv’s drunk sister and watches over Viv herself. While Viv can handle her sister’s mess, she doesn’t have to with Jace.
It’s something she learns slowly. Viv is running scared, but I like how this doesn’t drag the story down. Viv knows her failings and owns up to them. Years of forcing herself into a mold only make falling for Jace that much sweeter.
Jace has his own problems in the beginning. He owns other establishments besides the bar, but the bad PR (drug deals and fights) means his name stays out of the others. He has such a soft heart, and it made me so angry to see that taken away from him.
The same could not be said of his pursuit of Viv. The only way he’ll get his chance with her is if he forces the proximity and boy, does he ever! He might commit a bit of breaking and entering, but the guy is honest to a fault. When Viv gets hurt, he reveals his brotherhood in Haven. A whole pack of hot, alpha men determined to keep her safe.
Viv doesn’t have a good familial background, and nothing could have been more potent than offering Viv this part of his life. Jace relies on his brothers and his family, and this tight knit group stole my heart. It’s so touching, and I teared up, watching how Jace is with Viv. He accepts her distance, while always waiting in the wings to take that step closer. Always urging her fly.
And then Jace says things like this that batter down Viv’s walls:
“I’m not afraid to mix pleasure with my business, but I want to make sure you’re grounded in how much value you bring to the table before I show you how it’s done.”
Hot. Dawg. (That’s written in my notes.) I’ve heard my share of lines before, but these are genuine and heartfelt and just so Jace. From the very beginning, he makes sure Vivienne knows the score. How refreshing is this? An alpha male that doesn’t go anywhere near the alphahole category. It sets the tone for the sweet and the smexy with a side bit of kink.
“Maybe you need a man capable of making you lose good sense.”
So, if you’re looking for a hot, badass alpha with a heart of gold who listens and challenges and just gets the smart and sassy heroine – you know, mixing a bit of his business with a whole lot of pleasure (ha! See what I did there?) – I’d get that one click finger ready.