Posted in: KarenS Review
Tags:Bone Deep, Bonnie Dee, Male virgin hero, Tattooed Man
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
In the fall of 1946, grieving war widow Sarah goes to the carnival with her friends and is riveted by the tattooed man in the freak show, sporting head to toe body art. Later she discovers him hiding in her hayloft, escaped from virtual imprisonment since childhood by the carnival’s evil owner.
She shelters him on her farm, fighting a powerful sexual attraction while learning about his mysterious past and gentle nature.
When a local child goes missing, Tom uses his psychic gifts to locate her, but his assistance in the case doesn’t allay the town’s mistrust of such an exotic stranger in their midst. Small-town prejudice tears the lovers apart and a very real threat from carnival owner Art Reed endangers them. Can they rise above obstacles of fear and hate to create the family both have always craved?
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.
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.
What are you waiting for? Go buy dammit!