Review of Tattooed Hearts by Mika Jolie

Earlier in #DiverseBooksMonth we featured the lovely Mika Jolie and her work. She sent us a book to review which, unfortunately, wasn’t in time to be included in her post, but we are delighted to feature it today! It’s available here:

Tattooed Hearts is the third book in the Martha’s Way Series, which I actually didn’t know when I started reading it!! It’s a credit to the author that apart from the odd reference to previous events that I didn’t understand the significance of, I didn’t realise it was the third book until I’d finished and went to look for a buy link. It does work as a standalone novel and there are few enough references that I suspect you could even get away with reading them out of order.

The story follows Claire and Forrest. They’ve loved each other since they were children; had their first intimate experience when Claire was 18 and were then separated by immaturity and classism for a decade. Now, burnt out and unable to create, Claire has gone home to try and pull her life back together by facing up to the mess she left behind when she ran away.

The funny thing about this book is that at the beginning you think it’s about Claire and it’s easy to get annoyed with her. She wants but she doesn’t want. She’ll get what she asks for and then she runs a mile away. It’s not until about 40% of the way through that you suddenly realise the book is all about Forrest. He’s at a turning point in his life – the pivotal moment where everything he thought he knew has just come crashing down about his ears and he’s trying to decide whether to think with his head or his heart. If he chooses wrong, there’s no coming back from it.

There are a lot of sweet and tender moments in this book, as well as a few steamy ones!

The editing needs a little work, particularly when it comes to sentences that don’t make sense, but on the whole it was really well put together. The story was well structured and engaging and the characters were likeable and easy to get emotionally invested in.

The plot didn’t feel forced in any way and the angst was genuine. The characters were facing difficult things, such as how to reconcile completely different lives. It’s an exploration of how much love you have to have before it’s enough to make it worth trying. I loved that there were no cliches here, no tropes. These were things that could happen to anyone.

I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series!!

The Scale is the first book in the series and if you are attending the Facebook event for Diverse Books Month, you’ll see that Mika is giving away free copies. I suggest you snap one up before they all go!!

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