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 “As long as it has meaning. Because art is supposed to.”

When this surprise landed in our laps we immediately sat down and had to dive in. We fell in complete book love – the fantastic writing, the story, the characters and the imagery which brought us such passion and poignant artistry. The desire and need to be different shone through The Mad Tatter.

The setting and perhaps the concept was not necessarily new, however, it felt like a breath of fresh air. The writing and the raw moving emotion had our hearts beating and our pulses racing as we read this story of a second chance in life, a romance set in adversity and new beginnings whilst keeping your own identity. Staying true to who you are when stripped of labels and stereotypes.

‘Without my art, I feel like nothing more than a shell, a poor excuse for a man, a miserable son of a bitch. So what is she without dance? She’s me, probably.’

It had a nostalgia and morose down-beaten undertone that set the mood from the onset. Our hearts immediately became involved as we wanted to see where this evocative intensity would lead us with Reece and Avery. We wanted – happy – acceptance and the realisation of dreams without obstacles. We wanted the rough and ‘dirty’ but gentle and vulnerable tattooist to find himself again. And we wanted the beautiful big hearted girl who danced to see the beauty in the rough-edged misunderstood stone set in her usual sea of polished diamonds.

‘She might’ve thought she liked it dirty, but she doesn’t know dirty. She can’t know it, unless she has lived it. Unless she is it.’

Hopeful, inspirational, beautiful, distressing, provocative and so utterly seductive and sexy. Accepting who you are on the outside despite what social standings and societal perceptions may be, as well as accepting who you are – what makes you YOU. Your reflection warring with who you truly are which is secondary whilst being judged.

“I feel like I’m in an entirely different world when I’m with you, a world I never knew existed before…like I never knew it could be this way, that I could be this way.”

Reece was a complex man; an artist deprived of his art – self-inflicted as well as repressed and prohibited by outside influences. Living hand to mouth this beautiful man works hard to better a life he shares with his heart who walks alongside him. His soul shone and his heart though wounded beats with a pounding power. He stole our hearts. No wonder Avery our stunning ballerina felt compelled to seek him out again and again. The attraction and magnetism was intense and made for addictive reading. She’s our kind of heroine, no question.

“People still judge a book by its cover, Avery. And your story? It’s beautiful. You’re beautiful. But I’m nothing but a ripped out page, graffiti where some should never be. Don’t taint your story with me.”

The jaded intensity of a life took flight to become free; its beauty shining. It was there all along but it was seen by the person who saw the soul and brought it back. To say we loved The Mad Tatter is an understatement. We read it in one sitting and felt every word revelling in this flawless perfection that made for a compulsive read.

**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the author, with thanks **

Synopsis

Reece Hatfield has just one rule when it comes to falling in love: don’t fucking do it. There’s no room in his life for another person. He can barely keep a handle on things as it is. A shadow of the man he used to be, Reece spends his days tattooing, the artist inside of him longing for the chance to do something more.

Avery Moore is all dance, all the time. Ballet is all she’s ever known, and she’s damn good at it. Her body is her art, a living canvas that captivates Reece the first time he lays his eyes on her.

He yearns to leave his mark on her body.

The tattooed degenerate with the shady past. The beautiful ballerina with the bright future. They live in different worlds, yet somehow, they fit. But just because they fit doesn’t mean they belong together.

Because things get messy.

And Reece doesn’t do messy.

Not anymore.

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