When I was a boy, I met a girl.
She didn’t know it then, but…
She changed me.
Now…..I am a man.
A man who is broken by the stories of the women who come to me.
They are my birds with broken wings.
I help them heal, help them to make them strong, so they can fly free.
Lark changed me. Loved Me. Made Me Strong.
With her, I am free.
To the girl of the past.
To the girl of my present.
And, the girl of my future.
**Although Nico is considered part of The Leaves Series, it can be read as a stand alone**
Barnes & Noble: TBD
Review—Nico by J.B. Hartnett
“Seeing that beaten and bloodied woman led me to my destiny of helping women, but also brought new nightmares to my life. For whatever reason, abuse in all its forms, grief from what was or what wasn’t…I gave those women tattoos to help them heal…my future had already been determined from that day when I was a kid.”
Nicholas Grant carries a burden of many. Being in his profession, he naturally hears all sorts of stories behind why someone wants a particular tattoo...but Nico has a gift. A gift that brings women to his shop, opens them up, and tattoos their pain on their bodies as a way of healing.
“Sometimes they didn’t tell me. They didn’t tell me anything. I went through the same ritual with each woman that I did that very first day with Anika; I told them they were in a safe place and they could speak freely without worry of their secrets ever being exposed. My job was not to judge. My job was to give them what they needed to heal…I would kiss them on the cheek, hold them, and when they were ready to begin, I would sketch out whatever they had in mind, make a stencil, and get to work. If we had to stop because they were too upset, they just needed a minute to feel whatever they were going through, I let them guide me.”
His ‘birds’, as he likes to call them, have pushed into the forefront of his mind and as each day passes, Nico finds it harder and harder to cope with what he learns. Knowing he can only do what he’s doing to help, he still feels it’s not quite enough. When a note comes to him from one of his former clients, it’s the proof he needs that his life is not complete; and hasn’t been since he was seven years old. His destiny may have been mapped out for him but it was coming to that point that he was wondering if there was more to life than where he was at.
“I gave everything to those thirty-three women, and the list was growing every month…At that moment, I lacked calm and I definitely lacked balance-something I’d only felt once in my life, lying next to a little girl with dishwater-blonde hair.”
This book absolutely gutted me on a level I never expected. I read all three books of The Leaves Series in succession and honestly couldn’t wait to get to Nico. It was refreshing and heartbreaking, funny at times and other times so tense, I honestly was on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed every single word of this book. J.B. Hartnett has a beautiful writing style that just engages you and keeps you engrossed from the very first page, all the way until the end…and beyond, I didn’t want it to end.
Reading about Nico and having it told from his point of view was probably the first clue that I would love this book…When the realization of what was happening hit me, I cried. This is a true story of love lost and found. A story of strength in ways one would never expect. And that a love of a good man or woman can really make or break someone. The family ties, the friendships, the revisiting of characters from previous books, even the comedic relief was nothing compared to the love story woven into the pages of Nico. I have never wanted two people to be together more than Boy and Dish. *sigh*
**5 Bear Paw Stars**
“Nico…” she begged.
“What is it, babe?” In that moment, I was a tease. I was going to make sure I took this bad fuckin’ day and turn it into something she would remember happily.
“You know what I want,” she moaned.
“Don’t move.” I walked away, into the kitchen and dug into one of the bags. The store fuckin’ got me, what could I say. I was gonna barbeque in style next summer. But one thing my kitchen needed was a new spatula. Nice rubber handle, strong, and wide, flat, heatproof silicon…perfect for what I wanted. I came back and rubbed over her left cheek, pulled away for that perfect first contact and…
Julie is a Southern California native, a fan of a really good story (preferably romance with a happily ever after), really good pie (preferably pumpkin) and copious amounts of coffee (preferably Folgers).
She has always enjoyed writing and at one time thought she could be a singer songwriter...the 'writer' part is the one that stuck.
Julie is obsessed with pi...the equation(and the food). She's allergic to cats and cantaloupe and hates mushrooms...so if you ever want to give her a gift, those are out for sure.She currently lives with her own romance hero husband and two boys in Melbourne, Australia.