★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I always appreciate when an author steps outside of the box I have placed them in and gives me something different. But when that different is so far from what I expect, that I am taken completely by surprise, I can’t help but appreciate what the author has given me. Just recently, I wrote a short piece on “Authors I’m Crushin’ On”, in it I wrote about JM Darhower. In part, I said, “This woman rules the Mafia world! RULES it! She writes male swagger like no other.” And she does. I have yet to come across another book written about the mafia and enjoy it as much as I do her’s. So you can imagine with the “surprise release” of this book, I one-clicked and instantly dove in. What surprised me was not what I found, but what I didn’t find. We all know Ms. Darhower can write one hell of a story. She is gifted beyond reason with words. The characters in her mind must yell at her 24/7 requesting to be heard. No, what surprised me, was that in this story, there was not any graphic violence, or huge emotional/angst-filled scenes that pulled you under… it wasn’t a mafia book that I had come to love.
This was a romance.
JM Darhower gave us a sweet, slow-building, friends to lovers story. One about two people who struggle to find their own path in life. Even as those path’s struggle against society’s norms.
While the theme isn’t a new one, I loved the angle; the poor, angry tattoo artist and the beautiful, Upper Westside ballerina. Ms. Darhower won’t push your buttons with this one, but she will have you questioning what is right and what is wrong.
“People still judge a book by its cover, Avery. And your story? It’s beautiful. You’re beautiful. But I’m nothing but a ripped out page, graffiti where some should never be.”
The Mad Tatter by J.M. Darhower
Reece Hatfield has just one rule when it comes to falling in love: don’t fucking do it. There’s no room in his life for another person. He can barely keep a handle on things as it is. A shadow of the man he used to be, Reece spends his days tattooing, the artist inside of him longing for the chance to do something different.
Avery Moore is all dance, all the time. Ballet is all she’s ever known, and she’s damn good at it. Her body is her art, a living canvas that captivates Reece the first time he lays his eyes on her.
He yearns to leave his mark on her body… in more ways than one.
The tattooed degenerate with a shady past. The beautiful ballerina with a bright future. They live in different worlds, yet somehow, they fit. But just because they fit doesn’t mean they belong together. Cracks sometimes form. Two pieces don’t always make a whole. The course of love never did run smoothly. Things get messy.
And Reece doesn’t do messy.