Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rotten” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.87  ·  Rating details ·  750 ratings  ·  115 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by JL Brooks (first published October 1st 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rotten, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rotten

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  750 ratings  ·  115 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Rotten
3 stars
"Your world is falling apart, but next to him, nothing moves you."

12 years ago, this is the life Toni wished for herself, but reality is her husband hasn’t touched her over four years, their marriage, if you can even call it that, was more for convenience than anything else. Toni always though that once she left the town that made her childhood a living hell that she would be happy, being teased and taunted all because your daddy was a rough neck strip club owner did nothing f
Dec 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
DNF 42%

Complete disaster. I struggled from the beginning, till the moment I finally got some lady balls to DNF it. I hated almost everything. Constant religious references were throwing me off, cheating was a complete deal breaker and shallow, dull characters were the last nail to the coffin.
Cover: 8/10
Writing style: 8/10
Heroine: 6/10
Hero: 7/10
Humour: 5/10
Jealousy: 5/10
Hotness: 7/10
Romance: 7/10
Ending: 8/10
Extra book Details: Stand-alone. HEA
Overall: Enjoyable but frustrating.

I hate to give this it's first 3 star rating when the few reviews (mostly from ARC readers) that are there are all 4 and 5. But I want to be honest and put my opinion across, even if there's no-one that agrees with me.

BLURB: 17 year old Toni is bullied at school because her father is the owner of a strip club,
★¸. • * ° * ༺*Blanka*༺*°°*•.¸. ♥★

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
Jennifer Wolfel
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don’t even know where to start with this review honestly. I loved every single minute of this book! From beginning to end I felt a constant connection to Toni… Her character was so unbelievable honest it knocked off your feet.

What I loved most about the book was the raw feelings, a girl bullied in high school because of her father’s chosen profession. An unrequited love that she couldn’t live with. The feeling of never being accepted for who she really was rather than what people choose to be
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
3.5 Stars

Within the first few pages of Rotten I was thinking I was in for an emotional roller coaster of a book. The subject matter is not something one takes lightly and I was instantly intrigued. How horrible could life be for Toni to resort to such drastic actions? How can someone be that despondent and depressed? I wanted to know these answers, I wanted to understand Toni. I wanted in her head. What I wasn't expecting was how this serious beginning could turn into such a funny and witty
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
So, when I bought this book knowing it was about the daughter of a Las Vegas legend and a former bad-boy hockey player I was like, "HELL YEAH! This should be good!" It was SOOOOO not what you except and I struggled to finish it. If you're looking for a steamy book with a hot story, this is NOT that book.

The first thing that threw my off were all of the religious references. I am not an overly religious person so the last thing I want to read about in a "smexy" book is God, confessions, redempti
Monique Machuca-Austin
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
**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, To
Liezel Felix
“…without love and care, we wither away, breaking down until these bodies become inhabitable. Yet with love, companionship and diligence, we thrive…”

I enjoyed this book for many reasons. First there was the outstanding characters. Antoinette Knox had so many sides to her you would think that she had split personalities. In Indiana she was this successful, 100% professional, religious and oh-so-serious unsatisfied married woman. It all felt like it was a facade, as if she was playing a role in a
Alicia at Mean Girls Luv Books
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-faves, mglb
I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this book. I was really intrigued by the synopsis. It turned out to be a really pleasant surprise. At the core of this story is the subject of bullying, the short and long term effects. We follow Toni as she tries to shake off the effects of a childhood of being bullied and recreates herself.

Toni was bullied because of her father owning a strip club. She left town after her failed suicide attempt. She made up her mind to never return. She seemingly rein
Naomi Flirty and Dirty Book Blog
I had this book on my TBR list and the my Ladies at Flirty and Dirty posted that this was a MUST READ so I bumped it up my list and read it this weekend. Well ladies you were right.. If this is on you TBR then get it on you Currently Reading shelf.
The opener to this book advises you it contains bullying and the effects it can have. Now I did my usual and didn't read the blurb I just went head first into it.
This story to me just seemed to keep it real in a lot of ways and was honest where some o
Feisty Girls
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
~~Joni’s Review~~

From the moment I opened this book on my Kindle and read the dedication I was afraid this story was going to rip my heart out. The first part of the book broke my heart, but was something that happens far too often. I was hooked. I had to know what happened to Toni to make her go to such extreme measures.

Fast forward twelve years and Toni has changed her life. She has left everything she knew behind and was now “Annie” married to a man who didn’t deserve her. She visits Vegas o
Toski Covey
Rotten is a story about a girl named Toni, who is brought up in a town outside Las Vegas by only her father. Her father runs a bar and Toni's best friend David and her are raised with a very rough up-brining. Once Toni graduates hight school, she is determined to get as far away from Las Vegas as she can. After begging her father- she sets her sights on a small town in Indiana and fleas all she's ever known.

Flash forward 10 years- Toni, now in a unhappy marriage and just going thru the motions,
Donna Sabino
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
*may contain spoilers, promise not to reveal to much*

Rotten is one of those books that you will remember forever, one that will stay in the back of your mind and keep you wanting more.

JL Brooks stepped out of the mold of how books in the same genre have been written and told a story which some of it is based on situations that happened in real life. The story of Toni and David, it wasn't going to be easy. You're given a story that not only shows two people who were fighting to stay away from one
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by a Goodreads friend. After reading the overview I was a little nervous this was gonna be REALLY depressing. It wasn't , the book takes place during present day but in the past the girl went through a really dark time, It touches on a very serious subject matter in today’s world…bullying. When I started it I was just gonna read the free preview amazon has, to check it out and see what this book was about. I couldn't put it down I ended up buying it and finishing ...more
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Hmmm... At a loss for words. I feel like this could have been really good, but some things were off. It felt rushed, there was a lack of details, and Toni was really hard to get an understanding of or even like. I felt blank reading this. No emotions at all. Schizophrenia has popped into my head many a-time reading this. I am still not sure it that is due to the story, the heroine, or myself about how I feel about this book.
Prone to Crushes on Boys in Books
Very different story and I was hooked from the beginning. Topics includes a sexless marriage, struggling relationship with God, strip club, ailing father and healing a damaged childhood relationship. See... very different story plus some of the one-liners are hilarious!!
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was ok it was good after it gt into it and i really liked the story of the book n how it went xx liked all the characters apart from her husband who wasnt very nice bt u didnt really hear much from him so it was ok lol xxxx
Toni Aleo
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-break
Loved it!! Love toni and even more David!!!! Such a wonderful book!!
Jenni Fields-Hatfield
"Saints are Sinners that keep on going." LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. Can't wait until the blog tour to post my review!
Oct 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
DNF at 40%. I just couldn't continue. The story seemed more like a story "outline" that never quite got filled in.
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it

Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: strong-plot
Great Read - review coming.
The story was solid and the writing was good. Heavy religious undertones, but it definitely worked with this plot. I would recommend it.
Kathleen Gauder
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. It was a decent story where the prodigal daughter comes home only to find herself. Toni was a frustrating protagonist at times because she was so weepy, but it was still believable. Also, there were times where the dialogue was confusing and I had to re-read something to understand who said it. As an atheist, I was not in love with the Catholic iconography, but it did define the character and her choices. The love scenes were well-written and classy. I could see this st ...more
Apr 22, 2020 marked it as books-boxed-sets
In boxed set - "Rapture"
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

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 t
Sarah - Books to Breathe
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
ARC received in exchange for an honest review for Have Book Will Read.

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Sometimes God knows we need a little proof though; we’re only human.”

I will be honest. I was not sure WHAT to expect going into this book. I’ve not read any other books by this author, but the cover alone sold me from the get go! To say I was blown away is a sever understatement! The writing was woven together so beautifully, it appeared to be effo
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Saints are the sinners that keep on going.

When I finished reading this book I was blown away by what JL Brooks accomplished in this story. These characters that JL created had me laughing as hard as I was falling in love. Knowing that JL had inspiration for this book in certain characters I think made me attach a little too much and I might have had to remind myself about a couple things!

“More than once I had to remind myself, I am a married woman.”

"I didn't mean to say that. I am so sor
Stephanie- The Boyfriend Bookmark
He was her first… and then he told her not to tell. Wait what? This book just starts with a bang and doesn’t slow down! Buckle up and hold on for one amazing journey.

Toni didn’t have the perfect childhood, her father was a well known owner of a strip club, and her mother abandoned her just after she was born. She always had her dad and David. Until that one night when David took her virginity and then told her not to tell. Why would he do that? It seems so wrong that he wanted to keep their one
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Comfort Food
  • How to Sleep with a Movie Star
  • Burying Water (Burying Water, #1)
  • The Forbidden
  • Lies
  • Hooking Up (Shacking Up, #2)
  • Cruel and Beautiful (Cruel & Beautiful, #1)
  • The Candle Palace (Jamison Valley, #6)
  • Broken Knight (All Saints High, #2)
  • The Day He Came Back
  • The Story of Us
  • A Mess of a Man (Cruel & Beautiful, #2)
  • Making Up (Shacking Up, #4)
  • I Flipping Love You (Shacking Up, #3)
  • Never Let Go
  • Down Too Deep (Dirty Deeds, #4)
  • Letters to Molly (Maysen Jar, #2)
  • Just Love
See similar books…
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.

Favorite Quote:

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."

-Winston Churchill

Related Articles

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts...
75 likes · 14 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »