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Ok, Ok, I know I was meant to review this book effing ages ago, but better late than never right?

Anyway, here’s the blurb from the Liquid Silver website again:

My Verdict

Loved. This. Freaking. Book.

It always amazes me how some publishers seem to try to pigeonhole their authors into writing ‘safe’ books, thus keeping the risks to a minimum.

This so wasn’t the case with Bone Deep.

I mean, how many romance books can you name where the hero is a tattooed freak of nature, imprisoned by a carnival owner?

Not many I’ll wager.

Originality is the one element that propels the heavyweights of the romance genre into a different stratosphere from the rest. Why do you think J.R. Ward’s vampire series, and J.D Robb’s In Death books have been so damn successful?

What impressed me most about Bone Deep was the way that this beautiful story was told. Good dialogue, and a hellaciously intriguing cast of lead and secondary characters easily solidified this book as one of my fave reads of the year.

Bone Deep is set in the late 1940’s, just after World War II, a period in history that romance writers tend to avoid, with the exception of authors such as Lavyrle Spencer.

I know that some readers believe that if you’re going to set a romance in such a contentious period, then the plot should reflect the times, but I say fuck that, I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be reminded of the number of Jews who’d died at the hands of That Crazy Dude, every two minutes.

Bone Deep starts out fairly quietly in my opinion, but I immediately liked the author’s voice, and I was compelled to read on.

For me personally, the author’s strength, lay within her fantastic characterizations, and the ability to emotionally engage the reader. I can’t imagine that anybody who reads this book, would fail to be hugely impressed with both lead characters, especially Tom.

Tom. What an utterly amazing hero he was. It’ll probably be a while before I meet another romance hero such as he, but I can tell you that I fell completely in love with him. He was just the most complex, and richly developed character, that I’ve come across in a good while.

I know that in real life, if I ever met a man who was covered in tattoos, I’d probably run a mile, so I think it was a testament to Dee’s writing ability that I was able to put my prejudices aside, and let myself fall in love with this wonderful hero.

By rights, he should have lost all of his humanity, considering the life he had led, and the way he had been treated by carnival owner, Art Reed. But he hadn’t, not at all. He was the perfect tortured hero. And then some.

Tom’s vulnerability was one of the things that I loved the most about him, but as the book went on, I was gratified to see that the author let him grow as a character.

I loved how Dee handled his innocence, without leaving the reader feeling icky, when it came to the consumation of his relationship with Sarah. I’d found myself wondering how she was going to approach the love scenes, but I needn’t have worried. She did a great job, and even managed to raise my temperature, a degree or two. (g)

Admittedly, I do love a good alpha, but somehow Dee, managed to create this somewhat beta male, without taking away his manliness. He was thoughtful, loving and conscientious, but this reader was left in no doubt that he would have laid down his life for Sarah, if he had to. As a romance reader that’s the kind of belief that I want to have in the hero. I think this is pretty much why I love Linda Howard heroes so much, even the assholic ones.

A special hero like Tom, needed a special heroine to do him justice, and I honestly believe that Sarah was that heroine.

Her first husband, John, had been killed during the war, and what impressed me about the writer was that in no way was her grief downplayed. Very often, authors fall into the trap of trying to make The Ex seem less manly, less attractive, and generally just less in comparison. Bonnie Dee didn’t do that, and for that I was very grateful, because that’s actually always been one of my pet peeves in romance.

Sarah was just lovely. She wasn’t kick-ass, but she was strong in an understated way, much like Sarah McCarty’s Jenna, in Promises Prevail.

She was a wounded woman, who didn’t think she’d ever fall in love again, but when the opportunity and the right man came along, she grabbed them with both hands and refused to let go.

One of the most spine tingling scenes in the book, is when Sarah first catches sight of Tom, and instantly feels the first threads of attraction.
When a writer is able to physically affect the reader in such a way, you know that you’ve found a keeper.

One of the things that I loved most about Sarah, was how protective she was of Tom, it was a nice change to see the heroine rescuing the hero instead of the other way round.

There was a socially conscious undertone within Bone Deep that was quite difficult to ignore or maybe it’s because I is black? (g), and I have to say that if I had one complaint about this book, it would be that the resolution at the end was just a tad too pat.

In my personal experience, bigots rarely change their minds when it comes to their various prejudices, so it was a bit of a stretch for me to imagine that Sarah and Tom’s life became a bed of roses, just because he did one good deed. But fuck it, this is a romance book, and if I can buy the whole hip-hop loving, vampires-with-spelling-issues thing, I can swallow just about anything.

Overall, Bone Deep, was a deeply satisfying read. The dialogue was well done, the plot was well executed, the love story was extremely touching, and even the villain was believable, however what I loved most about this book, was the fantastic characterisation, and the emotional impact that this story yielded.

If you want to read an original book, look no further than Bone Deep. Seriously, it was fab.

You can purchase the book here and visit the author’s website here.

What are you waiting for? Go buy dammit!


  • Kristie (J)
    December 30
    10:40 pm

    Karen: What a fab review! I got and read this one a while because of all the buzz it was getting and you explained beautifully why it was such a wonderful and rich book. I agree with everything you say even the one small complaint – but like you said – it’s a romance. I agree – read this book! Even those who haven’t tried the ebook route.
    I just wish I had it in print form so I could hug it and squeeze it.


  • Jaye
    December 30
    11:25 pm

    I started this book a week ago and read the first half in one sitting. I’ve been meaning to get back to. The only reason I haven’t has to do with other distractions in real life and not the book. I think about it at least once a day. I’ll second youre recommend. Great book (so far).


  • Desiree Erotique
    December 30
    11:50 pm

    Sounds like an excellent read!


  • Eve Vaughn
    December 31
    12:52 am

    Wow, I’ll definitely check this book out. I love the cover.


  • Anonymous
    December 31
    3:07 am

    Karen, what a fabulous review. I’ve slowly ventured into ebooks, and this one sounds like a great one to add to my small collection.


  • Anonymous
    December 31
    9:22 am


    That sounds great. I have a love hate thing with circuses in books, but I’m very intrigued by the idea of a carnie-inspired (tortured?) hero.

    Tripping off to Liquid Silver…Tra la la!


  • Kate R
    December 31
    2:00 pm

    I TOLD you. Ha.


  • Bonnie Dee
    December 31
    2:06 pm

    Thanks, Karen, for an ego-petting to end my year. Me likey.

    I’ve gotten the comment various times about the neat wrap-up, but I never envisioned things going that smoothly for Sarah and Tom. Some people in the community would socialize with them, others wouldn’t. I actually toyed with the idea of a book about their 18 year old daughter set in the early 60’s and how she deals with being the freak’s daughter, always an outsider because of her unusual parentage. Planned a love triangle and a mystery of some kind, wrote several pages then set it aside, ’cause I’m just not confident about writing a sequel even though I think the idea has merit.

    Anyway, thanks again for the boost. Purrrr.


  • Anonymous
    December 31
    5:27 pm

    You’ve convinced me. Going to buy it!


  • Lori
    December 31
    6:24 pm

    Fantastic review, Karen! I love books written in that era. Off to go get this one…


  • Anonymous
    December 31
    7:00 pm

    Wow, what a great review of a book that I fell in love with instantly — the first three pages grabbed me (I acquired it for LSB, so I am somewhat prejudiced :)).

    I will read anything Bonnie writes — she is an amazing writer and her heroes are not the cookie-cutter alphas of most romance authors — they are often bad boys or tortured heroes like Tom — and they all grab your heart and don’t let go.

    And for those who absolutely must have a print book tohug — Bone Deep is available in print.

    Rachel Fox


  • Kristie (J)
    December 31
    9:50 pm

    Rachel: Thank you. I didn’t know it was also out in print. I just ordered one so now in a few short days I really will be able to hug it and squeeze it.


  • Anonymous
    December 31
    11:10 pm

    I read the first paragraph of this book somewhere and was immediately captivated by the superior writing. I’m buying it.

    Thanks, Karen. I’d have never heard of it if it weren’t for you!


  • Shelly
    January 1
    4:32 am

    I’ve been leery about this one, but after your review I might just have to get it and give it a whirl.

    BTW, that “reading/books” blog I told you about eons ago is finally up and running! Yay! I used your best/worst to break the ice. :o)

    Happy New Year, Karen!!!


  • Avid Reader
    January 3
    2:14 am

    I’ve read a few of Bonnie Dee’s books and enjoyed them. This one wasn’t my favorite but it sure is a hit and I can easily see why. I’m just contrary as usual. —keishon (ducking out)


  • Anonymous
    January 4
    2:24 am

    I was gonna review this for Ebook Thursday tomorrow on my blog, but you’ve said everything I would have about it, so I need to pick something else now. Great book, I agree 100%.


  • […] The best male virgin romance I ever read was Bonnie Dee’s Bone Deep. Oh how I loved that book. (you can check out the review here) […]

  • Jeannie S. (Jeannie189)
    March 15
    1:42 pm

    I will definitely try this one. I think you hit the nail on the head – readers are looking for something different, there is enough “safe” out there. The books that are so successful are different – I wish these publishers would pay attention!


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