Review: ROTTEN by J.L. Brooks

Growing up on the outskirts of Las Vegas as the daughter of notorious strip club owner, Stephen Knox, and a mother who abandoned her at birth, life was less than kind to a young Antoinette.

After a failed teenage suicide attempt, Toni hit the road in search of a life free of undeserved cruelty and any resemblance to her past. 

Years later, Toni is lost in a dead end marriage and makes a painful confession that sends her back to the one place she always wanted to escape. But can she really right the wrongs that haunt her? Toni soon finds that the only place where things stay the same is in your mind.

When her path crosses with David Stark, childhood playmate turned one night stand, she cannot deny the spike in temperature she feels every time he's near or the scorching dreams that flood her at night.

Digging through the years of heartache, Toni soon finds herself torn between the man she is committed to and the one who has always held her heart. As each layer unfolds before her, she discovers the root cause of her pain. Always believing the source was external, nothing could prepare her for the truth.

*This book contains sexual content and adult language. Intended for readers 17+.
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ARC provided by author. 

Review

Sometimes you pick up a book and you instantly connect with it and want to tell all your friends about it! That is exactly what happened to me with Rotten. I finished it in one sitting. I had only planned on starting it but it was too hard to put down. The flow was flawless, the story was original, I laughed, I cried and I loved every minute of it. I plan on picking up another J.L. Brooks very soon.

Toni is one of those characters that you can't help but love. In the beginning you get the feeling that she is living a lie. She is running from her past and acting like the person she always thought she wanted to become. She grew up outside of Las Vegas, raised by just her father, strip club owner, after her mother ran off. Although she loved her father she was always treated differently because of what he did for a living. She was an outcast and only had one good friend David Stark. She eventually lost him though. They end up sleeping together and afterwards he asks her not to tell anyone. The one person who was always there for her is too embarrassed to let anyone know; or so she thought. She is so upset by this she gives up and doesn't want to live anymore. She tries to end it all by committing suicide but is unsuccessful. Now it is up to her to change her life and she believes running away to college will allow her to do it.

"I was getting the fresh start I craved for so long. No one had to know I was the daughter of a roughneck club owner who no one liked. I could be whoever I wanted to be, and no one would know better. So that's exactly what I did-I became someone else."-Toni

Toni's life after college is anything but exciting. With her past behind her she is stuck in a loveless marriage and seeks happiness from religion. Usually I don't like religious references in books, not that I'm not religious but sometimes they seem forced. I didn't feel that way at all with Rotten. Maybe it's because I'm Catholic myself but I felt like this part of the book was very moving! I really felt for Toni and the struggles she was facing with her marriage and how the church would react to it.

After a tragic event she is forced to face her past. Back in her hometown her eyes are opened to what happened after she left. She starts to live again. I really love the person Toni becomes. She is so different from the woman you are originally introduced to. She is strong, determined and doesn't take any shit. Even when it comes to her childhood friend David Stark. Toni is no longer the scared girl that ran 12 years ago.

Toni and David grew up together and were always close friends. I love their relationship! Yes there is some resentment there on Toni's part but she can't help her feelings for him. Even after all these years their friendship is still strong. David, I just loved him to pieces! He is hot and funnier than hell! The banter between these two had me rolling. The chemistry these two share is explosive and it only gets strong as Toni tries to find herself and David is there for her along the way. She is able to right her wrongs and become happy with herself. She moves on from the past and enjoys life again!

I can't say enough about this book. It have everything I look for! I laughed, I cried and I had a smile on my face when I finished. If you are one of those people that don't like cheating don't let the synopsis scare you. I think this a must read and was tastefully done. Make sure to add this one to your TBR!

Here are just a few of my favorite lines. 

"Why the fuck would you keep an empty coffee tin in a cupboard. It's like a cock tease, but worse."
"If coffee is more important to you than dick, that must be some damn good coffee. "

"Dick is a little overrated; coffee, however, will never lose its status among things that make life worth living. I can function without dick; coffee is a whole other beast."

"Toni, your tits will always be on my radar, along with your ass, your legs, your mouth..."

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.' Sometimes Good knows we need a little proof, though; we're only human."

"Your ability to get a piece of ass is not a power of seduction; it's your skill in nailing a stupid girl. Going to a club in Vegas is like shooting fish in a barrel. There's no talent involved, just alcohol and low self-esteem."

and my favorite....

"A kid coming out won't bother me. I've banged chicks that had kids. It's like throwing a hot dog down a hallway-you get creative."

Purchase


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