Thursday 7 May 2015

Review ~ The Mad Tatter by JM Darhower

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 stars

“And besides, books are nothing more than paper and ink, anyway. They’re like, dead trees all covered in tattoos, and I happen to think that’s beautiful.”

 Anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge fan of JM Darhower. Her mafia books are one of favourites so when an author you respect tries something different...deviates from their norm you cannot help but be excited and intrigued. I know that JM Darhower had her reservations about trying a different genre but she needn’t have worried, she nailed this one too.

As usual, the writing was flawless, the tale of Reece and Avery effortlessly drawing you into their lives where opposites definitely attract. Both Reece and Avery are artists in their own right, one is living her dream...or is she...and the other had his dream, but lost it.

Reece was a tortured soul, a man that was artistically repressed, a convicted felon that was still paying penance for his crimes. His creativity seemingly permanently stifled and the only outlet for his artistic side was as a tattooist, but his underlying talent was with paint. His creativity with a tattoo gun was second to none; he was extremely talented but in front of a blank canvasses...nothing, nada. His mojo had deserted him, partly self-inflicted, partly necessity, partly confidence. His family had never been supportive and the constant berating had done little to boost his confidence, constantly being told you are nothing by people that are supposed to love and support you will have a long lasting damaging effect. 

"Rhys the fourth was destined to be a great painter, like da Vinci or Michelangelo. But Reece?... He’s what my mother calls a colouring book crook...meaning my art looks like I ripped off a five year old."

Avery was Reece’s total opposite, their paths crossing when her friend goes into the tattoo shop for some body art. Avery was a ballerina; she was a full time dance student and was fast approaching her finals. She was quiet; she was reserved and perfectly poised. Avery was initially nervous around Reece, but she couldn’t help but be drawn towards him, there was something about him, something that oozed familiarity, something that intrigued her and something that couldn’t keep her away. The most unlikely of friendships was born.

“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. Don’t taint your story with me.”

Reece was your typical man before he met Avery, his only experience with the opposite sex were one night stands and definitely no over nights and definitely no repeats. He kept himself to himself emotionally, it was easier, it was safe, he couldn’t get hurt.

The burgeoning friendship between these two was beautiful to read and the relationship made all the more real by the slow pace and burn. No instalust, a friends to lovers’ story beautifully crafted before your eyes. Words that effortlessly draw you into their friendship and into their lives, a tale so raw and emotional that you cannot help but become involved and emotionally invested. 

“Our lives are too different. You might like dabbing your feet in my lake and running around naked on my shores, but you aren’t ready to swim in my waters, Avery, because you’ll fucking drown.”

This was so much more than a friends to lovers story though; this was a voyage of discovery, especially for Reece. Underneath the false bravado you could see the heart of gold underneath. Reece did what he did to survive and to protect himself. Living hand to mouth is hard for anyone but knowing Reece’s past and his present you only respect him all the more. While his earlier outlet for his art akin to Banksy had caused him nothing but trouble and had legal ramifications there were people who connected and associated themselves with his art. His art was a reflection of him as a person and when that outlet was taken away, so was the real Reece.

“And all that you just said? About why you did it? I don’t believe it for a moment. The guy I met wasn’t stupid. And he was an artist...That guy just got lost somewhere.”

You will find yourself supporting him as he finds his true identity, his real calling in life and the manner in which those layers are peeled back will have you smiling all the way. True friends are invaluable and Avery was beautiful both on the inside and out. She had that knack of knowing what to do and when, what to say and when, she seemed to be the only person that could penetrate Reece’s walls. She was having a positive effect and one that was a joy to read. As with any book the course of true love never runs smooth and these two will have their mountains to climb. Acceptance is something we all crave and with society having its many “class” levels can these two survive as a couple when their pasts and present are so vastly different? Depends how bad you want it...

“Besides, I did nothing but add some characters. You were already a masterpiece.”

Another fantastic read from JM Darhower, I want more, mafia, contemporary, whatever...feed me please!!


Buy Links:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

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