THE BOYFRIEND BOOKMARK: ★★★★
After his father is put in prison for murder leaving his mother suicidal, Maddox Cross has always put his sister, Laney, first. Now living in Brenton, Virginia, Maddox has no idea what to do with his life, especially since Laney no longer needs him. One thing he does know is for the first time since losing football, he’s found something else that’s just for him–tattooing. When he meets a feisty young woman in the club where he works security, he has no idea that she has the ability to change his life forever.
Bee Malone has just moved to Brenton to open up her first tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Despite her young success, nothing is ever as it seems. After being kidnapped at a young age, Bee has difficulty being the daughter her parents lost and letting go of the “parents” she was raised with. When she meets Maddox, she’s immediately attracted to him and what starts out as a one night stand leaves Bee wanting to connect with him in more ways than one.
Once Maddox finds out about Masquerade, he wants nothing more than to join Bee. But letting him in means trying to figure out who she is and she’s not ready for that. And yet, as the two get closer, they find themselves leaning on each other more than they are comfortable with. Will their stubborn nature tear them apart? Or push them closer together?
Two incredibly broken souls trying to find their way in the world collide with passion and intensity and it isn’t hard to see why love is the hardest thing fro the two of them to grasp, admit and hold on to. This book is incredible. It takes two lost souls and their mutual love of art and twists their lives together, completing them in such a beautiful way.
Bee is new to town and has opened her tattoo shop. This is not only her passion, it is her career and her chance to make it on her own and maybe discover who she is along the way. But nothing about her life is normal and she struggles daily with who she really is. To top it all off, her identity crisis is more than just on the surface. The only thing she feels confident in loving is her work, because it is truly hers. It does not belong to her parents or the parents who kidnapped her… it belongs to her. Her identity has always been confused and she has never been able to open up to anyone, she doesn’t want to risk love. Everyone she loves, she seems to lose. She will never risk that again. Of course, when everything she protects and keeps buried suddenly knocks on her door the decision is now all hers.
Maddox has let everyone in his life down. If he hadn’t been covering for his dad, his sister wouldn’t have been hurt. His mother wouldn’t be broken. If he had been honest with them instead of covering his dad’s dark secrets, none of them would have ever ended up how they have. So he has made it is mission to protect his sister from the world. But in his need to protect her from his guilt he is denying himself his chance at happiness. Of course, he doesn’t think he deserves it either. So it’s never really been a question for him. But drawing has been his only passion since everything in his life went wrong.
Maddox wants nothing more than to share his work as a tattoo artist, but that seems to be a dream that is just out of his reach when he attempts to get in at the new local tattoo shop… owned by Bee. When his sister secretly speaks with Bee the day after she rejects Maddox without even looking at his art, she has sealed his fate.
Unfortunately once the door to the shop is open, the chemistry starts flying and neither is looking to get invested in anything more from one another. But they are spending so much time together. Can they possibly work side by side and not give into temptation? Will their pasts be enough to hold them back from their happiness?
This book was a tough read. Not because it was complex but because I just wanted to reach through the pages and hug and comfort these two incredibly broken characters. They have so much of their pasts preventing their futures. I was glued to the pages because I had to know if they could move forward instead of being stuck in the past. If they could truly let go of all the reason they don’t want to be in love and just give it a chance. If they could indeed be “the one” for one another.
I loved the characters and I loved the common thread of the tattoo. So many unspoken words are shown in the art of it all and it was just touchingly beautiful. When the past finally takes its toll on a soul and when that soul finally sees the light. When everything you have held inside slowly surfaces… and you find out who you really are on the inside and on the outside.
This book is a great book and a touching story. Finding love, losing love, growing to love… it is all a process and this book takes each possibility of love and just makes it that much more amazing.
I’ve never been the type of person who sits around and dwells on life. Bad things happen all the time and overthinking them has never done shit to change anything. I remember when I went back home—or to the place I should consider home—I didn’t really understand what was going on. At thirteen I should have, but people who are kidnapped are supposed to have been hurt. They’re mistreated and locked away. They aren’t happy and loved the way I had been, so the whole thing was hard to wrap my head around.
For about a week after they sent me home, that’s all I thought about. The people who raised me and the people who lost me. How they both loved me even though I didn’t know quite how to feel about any of them. Didn’t know how I felt about that screwed up word love at all. Rex and Melody had always told me they’d loved me but now I knew they’d stolen me. My real parents said they loved me but they didn’t really know me. I wasn’t their little girl anymore. How can you love someone you don’t know?
It hurt and I cried, my chest feeling hollow and broken, knowing I should feel so many things I didn’t know how to.
I didn’t hurt any less. My real family was still broken-hearted and confused, and I’d lost who I considered my mom and dad.
That’s when I decided I wouldn’t lose myself in the past anymore. I wouldn’t stress and dwell on things I couldn’t change or even things I could, because if I made that decision the first time, there was a reason. I would stick with my choices, even when someone didn’t get them or I got shit for being closed off or hard. And I wouldn’t worry about love or try to figure it out.
Girls aren’t allowed to feel that way, I guess.
This is why I’m pissed that I haven’t stopped thinking about Maddox since he walked out of Masquerade.
ABOUT NYRAE DAWN
Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she’s a total romantic at heart and proud.
Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.
When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her. Nyrae also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo.