ROUGH & TUMBLE - Rhenna Morgan
The Haven Brotherhood
, Book 1
ISBN-13:  978-1-4880-2446-7
Carina Press
March 2017
Contemporary Romance

Dallas, Texas Present Day

New Year's Eve is just another night to pick up her drunk sister Callie from some sort of bar, throwing up all over and ruining the quiet night Vivienne had hoped to have.  But first she has to find her sister, once she can convince the bouncer she's only there until she can drag her sister out.  A nice waitress knows Callie and gets Viv in, but it's up to her to find her.  When she knocks on the bathroom door she hears her sister's groans on the other side, but it's locked.  A hunk of burning love is in the office next door, and it looks as if he's getting stitched up from a bar fight, only it appears he's actually the owner of the bar.  Viv finds Callie on the floor in the bathroom next to the toilet.  Trying to pick her up and drag/carry Callie out is getting all too familiar, until a man tries to put his arm around her on the way out the door.  The stranger, warned about Callie's soon-to-be projectile vomiting, leaves Viv alone, just as the man from upstairs appears.  While crossing the parking lot her sister grabs her hair and they fall down, with Callie hitting her head on the curb, and Viv is caught by the hunk from the bar.  His name is Jace Kennedy, the owner of The Den bar, and also another bar, Crossroads.  He has Callie's head looked at by the man who fixed him up, and sends an employee named Danny to take the women safely home.

Jace and his brothers of the heart call themselves Haven, they have each other's backs and live by their own rules.  Zeke, Axel, Trevor, Jace, Knox and, Beckett have a tight relationship, work and personal.  Each has his own story about how they came together to be brothers, not by blood, but by choice.  Together they have many businesses and are wealthy.  But the most sacred thing in their life is their relationship, because no one can come into their lives without being checked out and approved by the others.  Jace lost his heart the first time he saw Viv and could read everything in her eyes.  Her outward appearance and that of the house is all business, except for one room that might just be the real her.  Since Viv is an event planner, Jace has lots of events she can manage and he can keep her close at hand while he gets to know her.

Viv feels that she is too uptight for Jace and tries to keep herself closed off from him.  Jace can see into her soul and the person she could be, and there is no way she is getting away from him.  But his difficulties with old classmate, Paul Renner, and drug kingpin, Hugo Moreno, are turning into bad publicity for his bars as hangouts for drugs, and Viv is just the person to help him with some charity functions to lessen the publicity.  But the hardest for Jace may be introducing her to his brothers and getting her accepted into their family, where everyone has your back; hard for someone who has relied on herself for so many years.

This is my first Rhenna Morgan story, but what a bombshell it is!  Told from Viv's and Jace's points of view, Viv tries desperately to not be her parents, and to live by the rules.  Jace has a very sad and devastating story, and his brothers have never let him down.  As he gets to know Viv and take her on dates where she must be herself and not her outside persona, Jace gradually thinks of her joining the Brotherhood.  This has never happened before, and all the other brothers want him to think carefully about this step and how it relates to them.

Secondary characters are Jace's fellow brothers, and his and Axel's mother.  Paul Renner is an enemy of Jace's since college, and as a Councilman, he still tries to paint Jace as the owner of drug infested bars and cavorting with Hugo Moreno, the city's biggest drug kingpin.

ROUGH & TUMBLE is the first in the Haven Brotherhood series and connects us with men who care for their brothers at all costs.  Whether Viv can be accepted by the brothers will be up to her if she can accept she is good enough for Jace, and accept that he will love and protect her from anything, unlike her own family.  Zeke's story will be WILD & SWEET (April 2017).  Pick up ROUGH & TUMBLE this month for a story mixing passion, brotherly love, and becoming the person you were meant to be.

Carolyn Crisher