I’d heard good things about this series, but the tag-line on the synopsis is what reeled me in: who can resist “A biker. A tattoo artist. A love to last a lifetime.”
But we have to talk about the story: Nyrae Dawn manages to give us characters that are as complete in their crafting as they are broken in their own lives. Both Bee and Maddox have come through really tough times in their lives to reach this point. Using alternate point of view, we see their individual issues, struggles and memories as they struggle to find a way to deal with one another and learn to trust in one another.
Bee is tattooed, almost covered with them: a protective shell that keeps people interested in the “things’ they see, leaving her to keep them at arm’s length. After her early history, it isn’t surprising that trust is something she won’t give easily, but her heart is so much more unprotected where Maddox is concerned. There is no way for her to keep from remembering the inferno when they are together, nor the safety she feels in his arms.
Maddox also is dealing with guilt and inadequacies: when his father was jailed he had stepped up to be the ‘man’ of the family, but he still thinks that he could and should have done more. Wanting to become a tattoo artist, and still watching out for his sister while avoiding his very demanding and needy mother has him going twelve ways from Tuesday, and rarely taking time for himself or his own goals and needs.
Together these two are struggling with their own issues and with one another as they are learning that together they can start to heal that which pains them – becoming better together than apart.
Narration in this story is provided by Tavia Gilbert and Michael Goldstrom. I’ve reviewed titles by Ms. Gilbert before, and she manages to instill a solidity and emotional component into Bee that isn’t overwhelming the text or the story, and doesn’t lead the reader to conclusions. Michael Goldstrom has a pleasant voice that felt very appropriate for Maddox, and managed to give him appropriate tone and emphasis with the right emotions when required. Both narrators managed to voice other characters with enough variety in pitch and tone so as not to be confusing, while never overacting and keeping the story flowing smoothly. I really enjoyed the audio version of this story and it did stir my interest in earlier books in the series.
Secondary characters come with a touch of introduction and backstory, giving readers a ‘refresher’ if they have read the series from the start, or a glimpse at what came before for those of us new to the story. This is my first by this author, but will not be my last.
Stars: Overall: 4 Narration 4 Story: 4
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrator: Michael Goldstrom, Tavia Gilbert
Published by: Simon and Schuster, SimonandSchuster.com/Audio
Source: Simon and Schuster Audio
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 13 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
A biker. A tattoo artist. A love to last a lifetime.
Maddox Cross has always had to be tough. When his father went to jail for murder, the teenager took care of his sister and mother. Now on his own and working security at a night club, Maddox wants to become a tattoo artist-a dream that comes closer to reality when he falls for the hottest, most tatted woman he's ever seen. She's wild and beautiful, and Maddox will do anything to be with her.
Bee Malone came to town to open up her new tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Since being kidnapped as a young girl, Bee has had trouble getting close to anyone. But when she meets Maddox, she sees that under his hard biker's body is the sensitive soul of an artist. What starts out as a sizzling one-night stand soon becomes so much more.
Bee wants Maddox to join her tattoo business, but letting him into her life means revealing all her most intimate secrets. And as the past begins to intertwine with her present, Bee fears their love may not be as permanent as their ink . . .
A copy of this title was provided via Simon and Schuster Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.