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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review - TAUT By J. A. Huss

A Review By Wendy

5 There.Are.No.Amount.Of.Stars.High.Enough.Stars *************************

There are certain authors who just “take you there”. We as readers have our favorites; we devour their books; wait feverishly for the next; talk endlessly about the characters from them…. I think you get what I am saying…

Well, of this group of authors for me, J. A. Huss is in the top ten. She came to my attention with a little book I found on Amazon call Tragic. She introduced me to this girl, Rook. She was not cookie cutter romance material… she was fighting to be independent, showed intelligence and major street smarts. We met her in survivor mode and took a journey which was unlike anything I had ever read before. I was extremely lucky as the next book, Manic, was already out, so I click clicked and was right back where I was drawn… with the crew… Ronin, Rook, meeting Spencer and this questionable fella Ford…

As I completed Manic… I learned the next book, Panic, was coming and had to learn a new skill…. Waiting. I learned how to play the game of anticipation… of revisiting the crew… of re reading certain passages to keep it fresh so when my peeps returned to me… I would be right there.. The joke was I didn't need to catch up with the story of the people in it; the minute I picked up the book, I felt I had never left them... that they had been around the corner the whole time. And although the story was still focused on Rook and Ronin... there was this draw to Ford… he would enter the room, be there for Rook; pushing and prodding her to see herself as the warrior she was and live up to her best potential… which in turn made Rook love and see Ford for the good person he hid from everyone.

Because Ford had “quirks”…. Ford came across as cold, not user friendly at all and he had this thing with “pets”…. No not the 4 legged kind… I am talking female, sexual partners with no names; who were not allowed to touch or speak; who were disposable. Ford was so comfortable having these “pets” he brought one to a party with the crew as if it was an everyday thing.

So this was the Ford Huss introduced us to… but she also teased us with sparkling glimpses of vulnerability; of longing; and even of humanity so intense in their showing… they would ripe your heart out and you would fall for this Ford, quirks and all.

Huss is brilliant in her laying the foundations for her books… and so at the end of Panic…. Any devout reader of the series would be like the character in Oliver shouting, “Please sir, I want some more” about Ford….and like the savvy writer she is…. She promised more… she gave us a place holder in Slack, A Day in the Life of Ford Aston, a taste, a morsel which was so packed with intricate layers of goodness, it was staggering in its briefness.

The promise of more continued in the dangling of Ford’s complete novel Taut… and again… the waiting.

But this type of waiting I could do… this was the waiting you did for the limited addition sports car; the numbered coveted handbag or the priceless bottle of wine up for auction… this was an experience I knew would be like no other, that was how confident I was about Huss and Ford.

Well, I can testify it was everything I thought it would be and then became one of the most emotional experiences I have had with a book. We may have thought we knew who he was revealed in Slack… we saw softness and kindness with his interaction with a young girl… and we already knew of his loyalty to his crew of Ronin and Spencer, but in this book… Any preconceived notion you may have about Ford; everything is laid bare.

The players primarily are Ford, leaving and going to Los Angeles, and a woman with child he helps on the road, Ashleigh and her baby girl. What transpires with this meeting of these two is a work of art in writing. The way we are taken through the peeling of layers, the cat and mouse game, the revealing of who these people are and what has caused them to be the way they are defies any description from me.

I can only say you will think you know where this book is going, be excited for what is happening and what you are learning about our Ford, experience great joy, heartache and then be sucker punched. You will recover and it will be good only to be spun and twisted so tight you cannot breathe …. 

Oh, and the sex…. Well, people this is FORD… it is off the fucking charts… it is hot, caring, controlling, orgasmic… and that is just the first few encounters…..

There is so much more to say, such as the baby is beyond wonderful and Ashleigh is the most fully formed woman … this character is everything I wish most female characters were in books…. She is strong, has such presence in who she is…even in her most venerable moments and ballsy… there were times she was so strong she almost… only almost stole the book from Ford….

But you see…. That is the beauty of J. A. Huss…. She is so confident in her writing … in her telling of the tale and knowing her characters… she can do that without harming the integrity of these people or story.

So if you wish to go on an amazing journey and experience the beauty of life with all of the ugly, sadness and redemption which can be found everyday…. Then please read Taut.

In order to really appreciate this journey, though, in my opinion, the other books should be read first. You can come to this without reading them though, as Ms. Huss has provided enough back-story to give the reader a reference of it all.  

The good news is Ms. Huss is not leaving us high and dry…. Oh no, Spencer’s story is coming and it looks to be just as complex and intriguing in his way… the biker, gun obsessed way….isn’t that so Ms. Huss…. I shall be waiting patiently…..

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