Anika “Inky” Redding is passionate about two things; her love of painting and her fiancé Evan. While working as a bartender to pay her bills, she meets Cole, a sexy divorcee. She denies their mutual attraction and tries to put him out of her mind.
When an abusive person from her childhood makes an unexpected visit, Inky’s world is turned upside down. Secrets are revealed and truths are exposed leaving Inky devastated and questioning what she thought was love. As she picks up the pieces and tries to move on, she finds her path crosses with Cole once again and this time, she cannot deny the passion between them.
Once she opens her heart again, will she be able to move forward or will her past find a way to stop her?
The story of Inky (Anika) almost drained me emotionally right from the beginning: When I read about Inky’s past, I felt such sadness and almost rage towards her mother, and I really wanted to smash somebody’s face in! Please note that I am usually a non-violent person, but I feel very strongly about the subject matter of this book. It can be a cruel world sometimes, and even though this book is a work of fiction, we cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend that these things do not happen in real life.
I was sucked into the story right away – this author is very good at giving you small tidbits of information to get you interested in Inky’s story, and you simply cannot wait to uncover it.
I think that Inky’s character is very believable: she understands where she is coming from and that she has many issues to deal with, but she refuses to let them define her. She acknowledges that the issues are a part of her – but they are definitely not ALL she is. That, to me, speaks highly of her determination to lead a life on her own terms. Inky is a strong, passionate and determined young woman who got dealt a very shitty hand in life and decided to make it better.
“I’d always been guarded emotionally, knowing I was the only person I could depend on”. (Inky)
I believe that all survivors – and please note: survivors, NOT victims – have to feel that they can control their surroundings, and Inky is just like that: she hates to feel weak, and even more so she hates not being in control of what happens to her. She always feels that if everything is going well in her life, the bubble will burst at some point.This fact saddens me, but I do understand her reasoning.
However, I want to stress that this story is not all “doom and gloom” – what I mean is that there are some very funny moments between Inky and her best friend, Aimes, and these show us that Inky has a very quirky and fun personality – I laughed many times while reading certain dialogues between Inky and Aimes or Inky and Abe:
“Abe, I kind of want to kiss you right now, tongue and all.” (Inky)
“Ah, well, I’m flattered but you know that’s not how I roll.” (Abe)
You know how you have that ONE friend who completely and utterly understands you? The one who will walk through fire for you? I have such a friend in my life, and Aimes is that kind of friend to Inky. The way the author tells you their story, how they have always been there for each other…well, it really moved me, and because I myself have such a relationship, I can really relate to it.
“Feel whatever you need to feel and get it the fuck out of you. It’s all poison my friend”. (Aimes)
Now, THAT is what a true friend will say to you! Well done, Miss Hartnett!
I cannot write this review without mentioning the tattoo on Inky’s back. The way the author describes it is absolutely beautiful. When I read the scene where she goes to the tattoo artist after her attack…Well, it moved me to tears, it really did.
I find it really refreshing to read a story when the main characters meet each other but do not become an item right away. Usually, that is not the case with the books I read. It did make me wonder if Inky and Cole really WOULD end up together or not. Also, I have to touch upon the fact that although they admit to having a very tangible attraction going on, they do not act upon it until Inky is free of her relationship with Evan. (And good riddance!)
Though this book centers around Inky, we must not forget Cole – another swoon-worthy book boyfriend ;-). He is, of course, gorgeous, generous, very wealthy and just as tormented as Inky. When he tells his story to her, you cannot help but feel compassion towards him, and true anger towards his father.
I must say that whenever these two are together, you can feel how perfect they are for each other – and even though Cole is so mysterious, you end up not really caring about that. You simply KNOW that he is Inky’s soulmate – what he does for a living is a small detail. And with statements like this:
“I want you to trust me. I want to be your destination, not your distraction.” (Cole)
Well…enough said! 😉
So: now to the reason I am not giving the book 5 stars. There were times when the story shifted from being told, mainly, in past tense to, all of a sudden, present tense – and it confused me. I do not really understand why this shift occurred and I do not think it was necessary. Unfortunately, it happened just a bit too many times for me to simply let it go.
This is a story about love, letting the past go and finding happiness. It is about finding that special someone we all long for, who will make you forget about your past and focus on the future. If you want a very emotional story, I recommend reading “Inky”.
There is a HUGE cliffhanger in this book, but do not fret: the sequel, “Cole” is only one-click away! 😉 I cannot wait to get inside his head some more.
How to connect with J. B. Hartnett:
Buying link to Amazon
The book can also be found at iBooks.