by JL Brooks, Audrey Harte

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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 finds herself 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.

*Contains adult language and situations. Not intended for readers under 17 years of age.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148507383
Publisher: JL Brooks
Publication date: 10/09/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 313
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

JL Brooks is a former columnist turned novelist. What started as a bet changed her entire course in life. With a passion for adventure, she believes everyone has a story to tell. Chances are she will try to convince you to tell yours.

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Rotten 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
keleex More than 1 year ago
Rotten is anything but…. “Saints are the sinners that keep on going.“ I read this in one sitting. Antoinette’s mother left them when she was born, her father owns a strip club and is not looked at as having a respectable career, and Antoinette is being bullied. After she has had enough she attempts to commit suicide but fails. Afterward she decides that she is going to go away to start a “normal” life. What do people know about normal? She gets married, goes to church, and has a respectable career. She ends up turning into someone she is not, trying to be what she thinks normal is supposed to be. Many years later her father becomes ill and she comes back to the life she hates. She finds that things are never as they seem. She is forced to deal with David, who was her only friend growing up. David is also one of the reasons she ran away. Their witty banter is one reason to keep reading. They are constantly going back and forth with each other in an incredible way. Neither knows when to back down. Her mind is going a million miles a minute. Trying to be there for her dad, take care of the house, run the family business, marriage is falling apart, and dealing with David. She is thrown in a ton of different directions and needs to find herself. “Although my actions were hardly morally acceptable, I started to actually question, could the road to sainthood start at a strip club?” “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.” “You better watch out, she’s talking about strippers and salvation. Next thing you know, she’s going to get a Bible out and start baptizing people at the bar.” You never really know who you are until life goes crazy. Eventually all the madness will turn to light. This is an amazing and intriguing story about finding who you truly are. This story will make you laugh out loud but will also pull at your heart strings. Truly incredible.
Just_Booked_Monique More than 1 year ago
**JUST BOOKED received an ARC for an honest review** “…‘Saints are the sinners that keep on going.’ Don’t ever give up.” - ROTTEN Rotten begins as Antoinette is running away from life due to living in a small town outside Las Vegas named Sloan where her father owns a club and a place where she has been bullied growing up. After graduating high school, Toni flees as far away from Sloan as possible to create a new life where no one knows her past.  Twelve years has now passed since she left Sloan, Toni is now a psychologist and married but is seeking answers with Father Joseph Laurie at her Catholic Church about her life. Father Laurie states a few things to her: “Stay the course; this is your cross. Ask God for strength, and he will help you carry it. You are on the road to sainthood.” “Trust that God has a reason for this. Your penance is to stop sinning against your father and to go make things right. Even if you disagree with him, you are still required to respect him. Honor thy father. Sound Familiar?” Toni receives a devastating call that her father was admitted to the hospital and she needs to go back to her hometown. Once she arrives, she finds many things have changed since she has been gone. She also discovers her father is not doing well on the hospital too. She meets nurse, Julie, at the hospital, which becomes one of two angels Toni meets. Julie’s badge is cover in angel stickers and one rhinestone angel on the top. Julie tries to explain to Toni to keep the faith that her father’s condition will improve. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” In addition, his house is unlivable and his club may need to be manage until he can resume his role. If that was not enough for Toni, her marriage is not as stable as it should be. “You’re not alone, God is always with you. It might look like everything is falling apart right now, but He’s got a plan.” She has to face her past with David Stark, because she has held a grudge with for the twelve years. David Stark is not only her childhood best friend, but also now a grown HOT, muscular, tattoo, panty dropper ex-pro hockey player. After years of blaming himself for what occurred to Toni, he is determined to tell her why he said the things to her. The only thing David cares about now is taking care of Toni and he does not care what anyone says or thinks about himself, but will protect her with his life for her not suffer like she had in the past.  “Daddy, I need you to wake up, please, I don’t know what to do. Ever since I got here, me and David…God, we’re going round and round. I was wrong, Daddy; I had no idea. He didn’t mean to hurt me. I’m sorry I did that to you. I know I can’t change it, but if I could, I would take it back. I would take so much back. I have been so rotten. Please wake up so you know I am sorry.” Will David be able to explain the guilt he has been carrying for the past twelve years to Toni or will Toni decide to run again? Will Toni be able to salvage her marriage or will she find soul mate maybe David? Will Toni’s father ever get release from the hospital, so they can try to mend their relationship? Author J.L. Brooks romance novel, Rotten, and has done a WONDERFUL job writing a love story of hope, faith, and trust, that will capture your attention immediately and you find yourself unable to put the book down.  I rate J.L. Brooks’s novel, Rotten - 5 HUNKY STARS!
SheBookBlogs More than 1 year ago
The name of the book is ROTTEN. I like figuring out the meaning of book titles to the story. I think with this book is that the heroine feels like she is ROTTEN even though I think she is the complete opposite of that. I think she has a heart of gold. Toni grew up in a small town outside of Vegas. Her father owns a respected strip club in town. Her father is a loving, kind and a generous man. The town loves him. Toni however has always had a hard time in her town of Sloan. She never had any friends except for David, but she even questioned whether they were friends when they were younger. Even though David spent more time at her house and considered Toni’s dad more of his father to him than his own, Toni was never sure. Toni lost her virginity to David when she was 17. Right after they had sex, David told her to not tell a soul. Toni was devastated. She already had enough to deal with all the kids in school calling her names and bullying her, but she had to deal with the only person she loved outside of her dad asking her to act like she did not know him. Toni came home that night and tried to kill herself. David more or less saved her, but Toni decided that was the last time she was going to deal with anything or anyone in her town. She shortly left for college to Indiana where she graduated and married a man, Andrew, never coming back to her hometown. 12 years later, Toni gets a call that her father had a stroke and she is needed back. After 12 years, she is in a dead end marriage and not sure what her future holds. She feels lost and holds a lot of guilt that she just ran off and left. I chose to read this book, but I had regrets when I reread the synopsis. I love books about second chances, but I do not like the fact that one of the characters was married. Now, today, as I am writing this review, I have no regrets. I am so happy I gave it a chance. It was a great read. My heart went out for Toni. She is so strong and caring, but the only one who does not see it is her. I was born and raised Catholic so I know all about Catholic guilt so I could feel some of Toni angst as she is talking to the priest and confessing how she feels she is “rotten” and asking why God won’t let her see the light. The remorse and guilt she has for not being there for her father and how she was failing at life broke my heart. This woman gives second chances to others. She sees the good in others and does not judge. I did not know how this book was going to end. So I was holding my breath until the very end. I loved it and I want to thank the author for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 Stars