Monday, June 17, 2019

Review of On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

On the Rocks
By Kandi Steiner

“Everything was perfect, and if you asked any of my friends, they’d say I was the luckiest girl in Tennessee. So then why did it feel like I was drowning?”

Kandi is one of my go-to, one-click authors, and when she gave us a little sneak peak of her latest project I was SO excited for the words she was about to grace us with. We call her the queen of angst because she can build an emotional plot so intricately that you feel like you’re stuck in that delicious web right along with her characters. When I found out that the upcoming project was a whiskey-loving, southern romance I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on it.

“God help and man or woman who ever tried to break down a Becker.”

Noah Becker. He deserves his own standalone sentence as an intro, because that man stands tall, proud, and alone. Sure, he’s not a stranger to having a woman in his bed, but nothing has caught his attention past that.

Until Ruby Grace comes strolling back into town in her stilettos.

Noah knows Ruby Grace as the little girl that used to sit by him in the church pews, but she’s anything but a little girl when she walks back into Noah’s life that day in the distillery. Although she has clearly grown into a beautiful woman, that woman is just a stiff shell housing the little girl that was forced to grow up to quickly. And Noah Becker is bound and determined to break her out.

“You deserve to have the things you’ve dreamed about, Ruby Grace,” I said. “And when you marry someone, you become a team. It’s not all about him and his dreams and his achievements. You are not just a sidekick.  … “You are a heroine just as much as he is the hero,” I reminded her. “And if he loves you, he will support you and your dreams just as you’ve supported his and will continue to in the future.”…
“If you were mine, Ruby Grace, your dreams wouldn’t come second to anything.”

Ruby Grace is engaged to be married to a man that may not be exactly who she thought, and Noah Becker is slowly filling in all the fissures that reveal themselves. Before there’s romance, there’s friendship, and that’s what makes On the Rocks stand out. Noah and Ruby Grace quickly fall into a natural friendship. Neither one acts on the attraction that runs like electricity under the surface, but they sure as shit know it’s there.

“I don’t know if this is stupid or…I don’t know, pointless to say, but…” she blew out a breath, lifting her eyes to mine. “Thank you, for talking to me, for being my friend when you didn’t have to be.” Her brows bent together, a shade of pink tinging her cheeks. “I never feel more like my real self than I do when I’m with you.”

As you can imagine, with any Kandi novel, what comes next is gut-wrenching. And who better to spend some of that time with than Betty. This is the part of Kandi novels that I honestly love the most, because she introduces these pivotal, supporting characters that totally change the game: enter Betty.

The relationship between Ruby Grace and Betty is just beautiful. Ruby Grace has been visiting with her for years at the nursing home, and Betty filled in the maternal gaps in RG’s life. She’s also witty and whip smart. Betty isn't afraid to tell her exactly what she needs to hear, which is something Ruby Grace isn't getting from most other people in her life.

“I’m going to leave you alone to think. To really think—without your mom in your ear, or your sister, or Noah, or Annie, or me. I just want you to sit here, on this bench, in this garden, and I want you to ask yourself the tough questions.”
“I know the questions,” I said on a sigh. “It’s the answers I’m having trouble with.”
She smiled knowingly. “Well, then, sit here until they come.”
“And if they don’t?”
“Then you didn’t sit long enough,” she tossed over her shoulder.

I couldn’t get enough of Betty. She was the voice of reason and the loving arms to anyone that needed her, and she treated Ruby Grace like her own daughter when RG’s own mom was failing in that department. She is also the mastermind behind something that I cannot discuss in this review—GO READ PEOPLE.

Kandi is the puppet-master of intricate worlds that I can't get enough of. On the Rocks was a brilliant combination of southern charm and the warm burn of Tennessee sippin’ whiskey. Noah Becker will woo the most hardened heart, and readers everywhere will find themselves swooning over the unlikely romance that blooms between him and Ruby Grace in those pages. This earns top marks in all the Kandi Steiner romance check-lists, and the second I finished I ran to add the next book to my TBR.

Thank you as always to Kandi and her team for the ARC.
It’s always an absolute pleasure to read your words!

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