Rough & Tumble by Rhenna Morgan (Haven Brotherhood #1)
Released: February 20, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
This book had all the workings to be a cracky read – over the top hero who is dripping with alpha sweat, a do-gooder heroine and a brotherhood of men who have reputations of being from the wrong side of the tracks, but are actually really good dudes. But by the end of this one I felt like it was too over the top. These guys are not ones to be found in the real world. And I hear you say, Mandi – you love other heroes who are not real-wordly (aka JR Ward or some or Kristen Ashley’s heroes) and I say, yes…yes. But these heroes just didn’t do it for me like some of the others. Let me set-up the book.
Jace and his five best buddies – Axel, Zeke, Trevor, Beckett and Knox – are part of the Haven Brotherhood – these six guys are family. They will do anything for the other, and they don’t let people from the outside in without extreme vetting. They are all huge and burly. A good description the guys is one of Axel:
A giant of a man stood just inside the velvet rope. His hair hung loose to his shoulders with enough waves to rival her own, and a beard that made her think of Scottish warlords. He’d pulled the top of his hair into a partial ponytail, but it didn’t ease his rugged edge. In fact, the only things that made him look civilized were his tailored pants and a long-sleeved cashmere sweater.
“Heard a lot about you, but now that I’m getting an eyeful, I’m beginning to see why.” He ambled closer and held out his hand. “I’m Axel McKee. Good to meet you.”
The barely there brogue she’d picked up on the phone was harder to detect tonight, but the whole sophisticated Braveheart image was more than sufficient to jack with her head.
They are club owners, and make a lot of money – but also draw in drug people and other sketchy clientele to their very popular clubs, causing some drama in this book.
Jace had a hard childhood and people look at him and think he reeks of being a thug. He is cast in an unfavorable – almost dangerous light to the public, but he is nothing like that. He donates huge amounts of money to charities that he works closely with. He takes care of his family. He often has to use a shell company to do business, because his real name would put a frown on many people’s faces.
He meets Viv when she comes into his club to gather up her very drunk sister. Getting her drunk and high sister out of jams has become a consistent in Viv’s life and she is tired of it. But it’s her sister, so she can’t give her up. Viv ends up falling over with her sister in tow, and Jace drags her back to get medical care. Viv is an event planner who really needs clients and is running out of money. Jace is very attracted to Viv, who appears more buttoned up and serious than the women he is used to. He decides she will be his, and he pursues her with all of his alpha glory.
I love brotherly camaraderie, and this one has the groundwork for it with the Haven brotherhood. They aren’t blood related but are closer than any family. But as I mentioned earlier, it was just too over the top for me. Some examples that made me roll my eyes:
–Jace won’t let Viv (or anyone) into the brotherhood, or near the brotherhood unless they are thoroughly vetted. This means he secretly goes into her house and goes through ALL her things (even her underwear) to make sure she is “safe.” It was a real violation of her privacy.
–Jace decides to give Viv several events to plan for his clubs, which would give her some steady income for once – but only if she goes on two or three dates with him. I didn’t love that he forces her to date him for her to get work. And yes, she was attracted to him and he wouldn’t do anything to her she didn’t want. But it rubbed me the wrong way.
–Just his overall general attitude that she is HIS and there is no other way, and she must live by the brotherhood rules etc…. it was too much.
“One other thing. That easygoing routine I’ve been servin’ up to keep from spooking you? It’s done. You’d be wise to batten down the hatches and heal up quick because you’re about to find out what it’s like to belong to a man like me.”
Maybe I was just not in the right mood for this one – I wanted it to be cracky fun but I just wasn’t totally on board. I thought Viv’s drunk sister was much more intriguing than Viv.
The suspense part didn’t play out that well for me either.
There are some fun parts! I won’t be a total debbie downer. I didn’t dislike it – I just wanted to like it more
**You can read the first five chapters for free