Category Archives: J B Hartnett

NICO (The Leaves #3) by J.B. HARTNETT

Purchase THE LEAVES SERIES below

Inky Book One  : Amazon US | Amazon UK
Cole Book Two : Amazon US | Amazon UK
Nico Book Three (can be read as standalone) : Amazon US | Amazon UK


nico

SYNOPSIS

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.

I write…
To the girl of the past.
To the girl of my present.
And, the girl of my future.
Dear Dish…

Nico1

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

G&J: 3.5 Stars

Gitte: I was so excited to get to Nico’s story as I loved what little we knew of this amazing and dark man who brings the light back for damaged and abused women. I’d heard it was dark, gripping and emotional and because I love the previous two books in this series as well as this Authors style of writing I couldn’t wait.

Now, I really did enjoy the story of Nico; I loved where this heroic man came from, the work he does and I loved the fact that he was a mature bloke who had real passion, intensity and humility. At times I read with tears in my eyes at the beauty of his poignant childhood moments as well as his empathy and the hope he brought to women who’d been dealt a real tough hand in life.

“When I was seven, I met this little girl. She gave me a sort of peace I haven’t found since. I can’t explain it – “

I did have a few issues with him though, I found that his inner monologue was a perfect balance of alpha, beauty, realness and sensitivity despite his sometimes arsehole behaviour, which I kind of understood. Yet, once in a relationship he begins to speak in clipped sentences where every other word is babe, to the point where this sentiment loses all meaning. I was gutted, because I really fell in love with Nico and once he embarks on a relationship with Lark it was as if he became two people instead of the original much loved character. He was a complex character with so much to give, wanting to settle down with the one who takes his breath away and gives it back. He was astute and quite brilliant yet I felt his character was let down because Nico was so much more than just….babe!

‘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.’

It almost seems a contradiction in terms, so I guess what I’m trying to say is that the premise of Nico’s story was great but the execution just wasn’t there for me. At times it felt like the story was confused on what it wanted to be. It felt forced in some parts and rushed in others. I don’t know Jenny, do you not think it seems as though something’s changed with the writing compared to the previous two books? I guess it doesn’t help that I just didn’t connect with Lark’s character either, maybe. I have to mention though that I’m glad this story had some real humorous scenes to balance out the emotional ones, I loved the shark who stole boxers. I also loved spending some time with Inky, Cole and the gang too. It’s always nice to catch up with much loved characters!

“If you can find something or someone that gives you peace when everything else around you is chaos, never let go, baby.”

Jenny:  I absolutely loved the premise of this story Gitte and like you, I was so intrigued by this mysterious tattooist who featured in Inky’s life and was an integral part of her healing and her story. Who was this man who seemed to take the pain, the hurt and the sorrow from these damaged and broken women and release them from their inner demons and tragic pasts?

“You can’t always be perfect, Nico. It’s okay.”

I adored this author’s style in Inky and Cole, two books that really did consume me when we read them last year and I jumped in to reading Nico with gusto.

“I can’t have relationships because I have nothing else left to give. I can’t do it.”

I have to say, I’m conflicted in my feelings about Nico the story and Nico the man. Whilst on the one hand I did enjoy Nico’s story, I have to say that my feelings do mirror yours in that Nico felt as if he became someone else in this instalment.  Or more to the fact, it was as if he had a split personality, or maybe as you say, the writing has changed. I’m not so sure, but something felt as if it changed with Nico.  On the one hand, we had Nico the beautiful, tortured and eloquent man he was when in his own headspace, and the man he later became….someone quite different, very alpha,  complete with the clipped sentences you mentioned and yes, I wholeheartedly agree that when a term of endearment is used to the point of exhaustion it does lose its meaning as “babe” did for me in this book.

The insights into the broken and damaged characters Nico assisted were quite emotional and these damaged women really did cling to the hope that Nico was in some way their saviour. My heart soared when Nico found Lark. Even though he felt he had nothing to offer in terms of his heart, here was a woman who would take on Nico’s troubles and doubts and be the thread that held our tortured hero together.

G&J: So, whilst we enjoyed Nico we did have a few issues which meant that we didn’t experience the love we did with Inky and Cole.  It’s with a heavy heart that we say that because this author really does have a beautiful way of telling her stories.

Nico is a great character, he’s one of those you find yourself falling in love with for so many reasons and you want him to have his happy ending and to get in return what he so clearly gives to others. There were some real beauty in this story that shone like a beacon. Yet there were also moments where we thought the writing suffered, consequently influencing our connection to characters and the storyline.

We have to say the way the J B Hartnett brought this story to its conclusion was beautifully done and the last part of Nico’s story absolutely filled our hearts, as did the bond between Lark and Nico.  Overall we do love The Leaves series and despite our feelings not exacting those we felt in the first two books, we would not hesitate in recommending this series.

ARC supplied by author in exchange for an honest review

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, J B Hartnett, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

COLE (The Leaves #2) by J.B. HARTNETT

Purchase THE LEAVES SERIES below

Inky Book One  : Amazon US | Amazon UK
Cole Book Two : Amazon US | Amazon UK
Nico Book Three (can be read as standalone) : Amazon US | Amazon UK


cole

SYNOPSIS
Cole Carlyle, successful hotelier, has lived his life on his own terms.

Burned by a gold digging ex-wife, he never expected to find his soul mate in Anika “Inky” Redding.

Anika Redding, talented artist, overcame her past to live her life free of shame. Betrayed by people she thought she could trust, the last thing she expected was to find true love in Cole Carlyle.

Their love for each other has helped them overcome their demons before, but now faced with an unimaginable challenge, Cole must turn to the last person he wants involved in his life, and hope that those demons don’t once again try to swallow them whole.

Inky and Cole’s romance and passion ignite and in the sequel to “Inky” we follow their journey to overcome their pasts once and for all, while building their love into something everlasting.


 Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte cole collage

Jenny:  Well G, after being left with that heart pounding cliffy in Inky, we were certainly hanging out for Cole weren’t we?  So many questions to be answered and we really couldn’t wait to see if these two were afforded their closure they so desperately and rightly deserved.

‘He knows my pain and I know his, and neither one of us is afraid to swim through the darkness of the other.’ Anika

Cole certainly started out on a drama induced moment and reading those first two chapters were indeed heartbreaking and heart stopping that’s for sure! What a way to start a book! How much more did this couple have to endure?  I felt so sorry for both Inky and Cole.  They really do share such a strong bond and they absolutely deserve a break don’t they G?

Gitte: Absolutely yes!! I’m so glad we didn’t have to wait too long for Cole after that cliffy. My heart broke in Inky and I was desperate for it to be fixed again in Cole. I can’t believe how intense Cole started out, it was dramatic and heartbreaking but so overwhelmingly emotional too in a good way I suppose. Cole and Inky really did deserve calm, happy and togetherness without life throwing any more crap their way. They’ve suffered enough. Their love so incredibly strong and being so truly emotionally connected that yeah Jenny, they needed to be safe and get their happy!

“Yes. No matter what happens. That’s my answer if something goes wrong. I love you, forever baby. Forever.” ~ Anika

I have to say that not only did I frantically turn the pages because of the suspense and drama, I also laughed my arse off in certain scenes and swooned to the max in others. Cole just had that perfect balance to keep me addicted and unable to put my kindle down.

Jenny:  Anika (Inky) completely stole our hearts in book one didn’t she G?  We adored this quirky, tenacious, damaged, beautiful girl who had been dealt such a rough hand in life. Possessing a beauty inside and out, here was a woman who deserved it all. Inky really was remarkable that’s for sure. Above all else, Inky especially deserved love, and in Cole, she would find exactly that. Here was a man who truly, deeply and madly loved her, needed her and was there to protect her and cherish her at all costs. What a guy! Loved him and he is no less than Inky deserved.

“But it’s waking up next to him, and hearing him breathe and knowing he would slay a dragon if he had to for me…” ~ Anika

Yes, this man certainly did shower love and affection on her and understood Inky and her pain as no other would. The bond between them was so strong, so He was her soul mate in every sense of the word and I was completely swept away with their love story. What about you Gitte?

Gitte: Seriously love Anika. She really is so incredibly strong despite everything she’s had to go through and still does to an extent. She has such lovability that as a reader you just wanted her to be safe. How could you not cry for her and laugh with her? This girl is amazing! The love she found with Cole was breathtaking at times. The love so intense, pure and unconditional that there was no question these two were soul mates! Their love was all encompassing and their relationship was not only intensely emotional, it was fun and sizzling too!

“I had no doubt Cole would do everything possible to save me. He would move, not just mountains, but continents to save me. He already had. He had healed wounds that had laid dormant in me for so long…” ~ Anika

Jenny Now Cole.  Wow! This man! I’m in love, lust..you name it, with this guy! Cole had such a beautiful heart.  Cole was the whole package! The way he treated Inky melted me. Handsome, rich and who had the most wonderful giving and gentle nature, especially where Inky was concerned.

‘Amazing that in such a short time, Anika had made memories for me here.’ ~Cole

You truly believed this man would be nothing and would not want anything in this life unless it revolved around Anika. He loved her without exception and it was so beautiful witnessing Inky and Cole understand each other’s needs and want. To be able to anticipate what the other wanted. It was mesmerising.

“We have to stop doubting that we’re good enough for each other, Cole.” ~ Anika

Both Anika and Cole are so damaged from events in their pasts and throughout this story we reveal little by little the demons inside Cole. I have to say, after witnessing Inky’s demons, Cole’s, though painful and awful, were nothing of the scale of poor Inky’s, though my heart really did go out to him. After all, there is no level of pain. Pain is pain and each person’s difficult and to be respected. How did you feel when we learn of Cole’s demons G?

Gitte: Seriously Jenny I’m in complete love with Cole. In fact….so many times whilst reading, I wish I could have clicked my heels and jumped into the story. This man is sickeningly perfect. Imperfectly perfect. His heart is huge and despite his own demons his sole aim is to rid Inky of hers. It was beautiful.

“I sang to her….She said it saved her. I have to save her. All I want to do is protect her…” ~ Cole

Cole is a beautiful man who just loves with such intensity, no holds barred and has such understanding and meticulous attention to detail, needs and wants of the woman he loves. Cole’s back story did upset me and my heart broke for him too Jenny. Of course it did. And again, I was so overwhelmed by the way these two people could love and heal like they did in each other’s strength and arms. Truly heartbreaking yet inspirational beauty at the same time.

“When I wake up, it’s to his kiss on my forehead. He tells me I’m beautiful every day. He’s gentle with me. He knows my pain and I know his, and neither one of us is afraid to swim through the darkness of the other. The world could be falling down around us, but together we would be impenetrable. He is the other half of my heart, the other half of my soul….without him, I’m incomplete.” ~ Anika

Jenny Ahhh, love that quote! There were times in Cole when I sobbed. A scene in particular was handled with such vivid imagery and description that in my head I witnessed every heartbreaking and beautiful moment as if I was watching it in a movie.  If I thought I loved Cole before….well, what he did for Inky at this time too it to another level. What a truly beautiful man he was and the love he feels for this woman is felt with every breath.

“Cole?”
“Yes.”
“Don’t ever leave me.”

I really did enjoy this instalment and witnessing Inky and Cole deal with their pain, sharing their love, their laughter and the sheer magnitude of the feelings between Cole and Inky tugged at my heart.

I will say I was a little disappointed with the epilogue. It wasn’t what I expected but I can understand why it went that way. It’s a personal thing for me what I love in an epilogue but I have to stress, this in no way impacted on how much I loved this wonderfully written and truly moving story about opening up, trusting and finding your soul mate. Cole was sexy, funny, vivid and a wonderful read.  I cried with them, I laughed with them – and I especially laughed with Inky and Aimes. Love those two!

You truly do wish, with every heartbeat that these two find the peace, serenity and happiness they deserve.  We’ll be looking out for more from this author in the future won’t we G?  Yep! J.B. Hartnett is on our list of faves that’s for sure! Inky, Anika and crew….you’ve stolen my heart.

‘But my revenge is to be happy.’ ~ Anika

Gitte: This Author sure knows how to draw every emotion out of you and her characters worm their way into your heart with their loving and heart-wrenching actions, none more so than Cole! This man is just amazing and his love for Inky is astoundingly beautiful.

This was our fate. Her ugliness and mine made us fit.” ~ Cole

Two completely broken souls that find in each other what they’re missing…what they need. Find a love that is so all encompassing that even when yes, their pasts makes them doubt or back off they know that this is it. This is the ultimate of loves, their redemption and their future…they’re breath and their beating hearts.

“We have to stop doubting that we’re good enough for each other, Cole. We’ve both been so hurt by people that were supposed to love us unconditionally. It makes us doubt our worth….” ~ Anika

I loved the secondary characters. Cole’s parents really shone in this story and one scene in particular involving them had me in fits of laughter. Oh, and I have a real soft spot for Nico and David too. Especially Nico, he intrigues me!!

“Yeah, he knows how to get the demons out of your soul and onto your skin.”

So yeah, I loved this second instalment and J.B. Hartnett has without doubt become an automatic one-click for me with this series!

 Jenny: 4.5 Stars
Gitte: 4.5 Stars

ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, J B Hartnett, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

INKY (The Leaves #1) by J.B. Hartnett

Purchase THE LEAVES SERIES below

Inky Book One  : Amazon US | Amazon UK
Cole Book Two : Amazon US | Amazon UK
Nico Book Three (can be read as standalone) : Amazon US | Amazon UK


6X9 Sample_Front_pre_final_A.indd

 

SYNOPSIS

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?

This is book one, the conclusion, Cole is available now!

Inky collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

Jenny Once again we go into a book completely blind and once again I really enjoyed it. The title and synopsis of this book intrigued us and so we took a plunge into Inky’s world and what an intense, passionate, heartbreaking, sad and yet witty world it was.

We meet Inky (Anika) as she in the throes of love with her fiancée Evan. He’s everything she’s always wanted and Inky has been there, waiting in the wings, until Evan was ready to finish sewing his wild oats and settle down.  She is in seventh heaven until the day the gorgeous Cole walks into her life and that’s where the story starts to take off. Her past comes back to haunt her at this time and I couldn’t wait to delve deeper and find out all the nitty gritty about Inky’s secrets, to uncover what lay beneath the surface.

“I won’t tell him. That’s your story to tell. But Ink? You should let him in. He loves you. This is part of who you are.”  Aimes

How about you Gitte, did you enjoy this story?

Gitte: I absolutely loved this story Jenny. Classic example of finding a gem and knowing nothing about it. It was intriguing, so very heart-breaking and emotional yet funny and sweet too. I loved all the characters well except for Joe, Inky’s Mum and Cole’s Dad of course. I wanted to pull out a baseball bat on them! The story of Inky swept me away and I loved pretty much every minute of it. Should really mention the cliffy though…..it’s a tough one!!!!

“I’m sweet which can also give the impression that I’m weak. I’m not. I’m sweetness with a potty mouth and an attitude.” – Inky

Jenny: Well, book two is out in a few weeks so we don’t have to wait too long thank goodness! This story was so much more than a story of healing and finding love, finding that soul mate, finding that person who makes you whole. I also loved the friendship side of this story between Inky and Aimes. These two BFF’s were a crack up.  I found myself laughing along with them and I loved how Inky had someone like Aimes in her corner, someone who never judged her, who never pitied her and who always encouraged her.

“Feel whatever you need to feel and get it the fuck out of you. It’s all poison my friend.”Aimes

Aimes shared Inky’s pain and was fiercely protective of her. Aimes was Inky’s rock, her voice of reason and her light relief when life got her down.  I loved the pragmatic, witty Aimes, in fact  I loved them both and I loved their friendship.

Well, ain’t that a pickle?”  –Aimes
“How am I supposed to respond to that?”
 
– Inky

The electricity between Cole and Inky is intense and you feel the palpable chemistry from that first meeting. As we peel back the layers and discover the horrific past Inky has endured, as we learn the significance of her unique tattoo and the stories behind her art, your heart really does break for Inky, but this girl, despite her hurt and sadness does not let life get her down.

“Everyone asked why I was called Inky or Ink instead of Anika. The meaning behind it though was a different story.”

No siree, she picks herself up, she deals and she attempts to move on as best she can.  I found Inky such a refreshing character and loved how she always seemed to find humour in even the direst of situations. This girl was hiding so much pain behind her carefully constructed façade. What about you Gitte?

Gitte: I loved Inky, she was strong and passionate. After everything she has been through she really is a survivor and at no stage did she annoy me. She is real, a great friend and has a fab sense of humour.

“You’re just, you’re just so, matter of fact about it. It’s like you’re talking about something that happened to someone else.” – Aimes

She dealt so well with her past which comes back to haunt her in a really dramatic and emotional way. I loved the meaning behind her tattoo…a talisman of her pain and her being hurt and degraded. The way this Author described her art and the moments of pain and heart ache was truly beautiful in its ugliness.

“I’d always been guarded emotionally, knowing I was the only person I could depend on.” – Inky

As for her friendship with Aimes, well I just loved these two together.  A true friendship that can never be tested by others. They are there for each other in every way and I laughed and cried with them. Aimes really was the light to Inky’s dark. And on that note….Cole.

Cole was a mystery that I loved to unravel. He was lush! He has his own demons just like Inky, but together, they just worked.

“And plain as day, I saw it; such a terrible loneliness. Maybe he was just as fucked up as I was. What a team.” – Inky

Their chemistry was definitely tangible and they each gave the other what they needed. They were soul mates, no doubt about it. So much drama and pain, so much hurt, yet ultimately amongst the laughter and passion came the healing. I really did love their story!

“I want you to trust me. I want to be your destination, not your distraction.” – Cole

My only complaint is the pet peeve I have. It wouldn’t be fair not to mention it in this review, as I do in all other reviews when this issue crops up. I wish Authors would leave 50 Shades references out of their books. Or any other book characters for that matter now we’re on this topic. This is your book; your characters. I want to enjoy your book without being reminded of others, it takes me out the moment and away from your story. I wish that scene hadn’t been in there, it was unnecessary and it annoyed me sadly.

Overall though I thought the writing was fab, the characters all played a part and I cried, laughed and swooned with them. Now, I can’t wait for the sequel because wow, as I said, what a cliff-hanger!!!

“Then let’s be scared together, Anika. Let me love you the way you should be loved. We’ll take each day as it comes but we have to talk. You have to promise me that if you start to feel panicky at all, you tell me. Don’t walk away. I want to help. I mean it.” – Cole

Jenny:  I completely agree Gitte. I too don’t want to be thinking about another book while I’m deep in the throes of a particular book.  It really is a pet peeve of ours that’s for sure. But it was a tiny blimp and we were soon back on track. Whilst I was swept away with the passion and romance in this story, I certainly also experienced the pain on both sides with Cole carrying his own demons.  Inky and Cole are both such tortured souls, each dealing in their own way but in each other they might have just found an adversary who may be the key to unlocking that pain, and putting it behind them.  Can these two damaged people find a way to heal each other and themselves?

“I want to be with you, even with all the fucked up stuff, because I’m equally fucked. I assure you.”Cole

I really enjoyed this story and I just adored Inky, Cole and the secondary characters. Each added humour and love to this story and each was a breath of fresh air when the sadness of Inky’s story overwhelmed you.  Aimee, Gus, Trish, Anthony and who can forget Abe. I adored him!!

“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.”
A
be

This was a story of friendship, love, soul mates, hurt, pain, healing and finding that one person who knows you, the real you.  It’s about letting go of your past and treasuring your future and it’s all handled with equal doses of emotion and humour.

“Oh I’m sorry I woke you. It’s kind of like waking up next to Chris Isaak. You really don’t want to waste a single minute of the experience.” Inky

We’re glad we found Inky and we certainly enjoyed every minute of that experience and recommend adding this one to your TBR’s. . It does end on a cliffy but Cole, Book Two is due for release on 21st September and we are DYING o get stuck into that one!!

Jenny: 4 Stars
Gitte: 4 Stars

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Filed under 4 Stars, J B Hartnett, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny