Title: Rough & Tumble
Author: Rhenna Morgan
Series: The Haven Brotherhood #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Reviewer: Annie Tate
Release Date: 2/20/2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 368
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Live hard, f*ck harder and follow only their own rules. Those are the cornerstones the six men of the Haven Brotherhood live and bleed by, refusing to conform to society’s expectations, taking what they want and always watching each other’s backs.
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.
Starring the Quintessential Alpha Hero
This is the first book I’ve read by Rhenna Morgan, but she certainly knows how to write an alpha hero. Rough & Tumble is told in the third person narrative and centers on Jace and Vivienne. Their loyalty to their loved ones is apparent immediately, as are the conflicts that drive them together and threaten to keep them apart. The book’s plot moves along steadily and kept me interested. Morgan’s writing is solid and flowed, the descriptions and emotions came across well without being wordy. Throughout the book the dialogue worked naturally with the characters and narration. I really liked how Miss Morgan used dialogue to create individual identities, especially among the hero and secondary male characters.
Being the first of a series, the book introduces a host of secondary characters who will be featured in subsequent books. Jace’s “brothers” are long-time friends he considers family. In this way, as well as how the Haven Brotherhood pools resources, lives together, has regular family meetings, and makes decisions together, I was reminded of a Motorcycle Club. The characters were all likable with interesting backstories that manifested in their personalities and goals. I did find Vivienne a little difficult to connect with at times, but I liked the couple together and rooted for their HEA. Initially I didn’t find anything unique or gripping about this cast of characters and romance. I anticipated a well-written story featuring a hero who has built a successful life after a difficult childhood, but didn’t know that I would continue the series. However, around the halfway mark things started falling into place that set the story apart. The action picked up, there were some unexpected twists, and the characters deepened enough to hook me.
I think many readers will love this author’s writing style and characters. She doesn’t skimp on the sexiness in the least and if you’re a fan of the dirty talking alpha hero, you’ll really like Jace. The conflicts are realistic but offer action that keeps the reader engaged. Given the wide variety of personalities among the Haven Brotherhood, I think this promises to be an entertaining series for any fans of alpha heroes with a bit of a bad boy streak.