by Lindsay Detwiler
Publication Date: October 21, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
“Six years, a complex about my freckles, a love for pastrami, and a fear of failure. That’s what he gave me before slaughtering my heart and my faith in men.”
Suffering from the sting of betrayal, twenty-eight-year-old Avery Johannas quits her job and moves hundreds of miles away to Ocean City, the beach town of her dreams. With the help of her zany roommate, Jodie, Avery finds a new career, home, and freedom. Throughout her self-exploration, she makes only one rule: She won’t give her heart to a man again. She’s living for herself this time.
But then she meets Jesse.
A tattoo shop owner, the green-eyed Jesse Pearce is wild with a touch of mystery. As Jesse and Avery explore Ocean City and their friendship, they’ll have a hard time drawing a line in the sand between their hearts.
When summer nights get a little more heated than either expected, they’ll have to ask themselves: Can they let go of their notions of love, or will their hearts be permanently inked by past pain?
You know, Avery, rule one of getting a tattoo—don’t piss off the guy with the tattoo equipment who can wreck you for life.
He, like the elderly women, is also wearing rather tight yoga pants—except his are leopard print. To go with his leopard print pants, he’s picked out a black muscle tank that is leaving very little to the imagination—not that I would have really wanted to imagine his hairy chest anyway. I try not to stare at his pecs, nipples out and all, as I offer a polite grin. I don’t say anything, not really sure how to respond to a man twice my age who has just used the word “electrifying.” Jodie exhales with a little snort… Yoga is not only an epic disaster. It’s going to be epically disturbing.
Oh my God, you’re reprehensible. Both of you. What, are you both a hundred? You do know that at an adult sleepover, you’re not actually supposed to sleep, right?
I’ve never been the woman from the movies—the one who walks seductively in her dress that clings in all the right places, her eyes screaming confidence and sexual energy. I’m usually the girl who walks like a clomping goat in high heels and who has no sense of fashion. I’m the kind of girl who can’t pull off the serious photo face, and usually ends up looking constipated.
Inked Hearts provided a realistic premise with real-life issues, an engaging storyline, and adorable and endearing characters. The story developed gradually, as did the character’s confidence and new sense of identity after hitting reset and starting over at age twenty-eight. This was a character-driven story, which I tend to savor and the talented Ms. Detwiler does so very well. I appreciated the lack of contrived conflict and formulaic tropes. The story was easy to follow, relevant, entertaining, inspiring, and could very well be happening in any community.
Avery thought her marriage was forever and solid - until she found out in the most humiliating and humbling manner possible that it wasn’t. There are few among us that after suffering a major set-back have not had the urge to remake ourselves and start afresh, where no one knows of your background, teenaged escapades, family shame, school struggles, unsightly acne, choice of prom date, childhood embarrassments, etc. I did it and highly recommend it, the only problem being that you have to bring yourself along, damn - there is always a catch…
Avery quit her job, packed up her car and massive dog, ditched her pencil skirts and kitten-heeled shoes, found a roommate and apartment online, fled the controlling strings of her uptight family, and moved a state away with only a few other rather sketchy personal plans. Pretty brave stuff. I enjoyed watching Avery gradually open herself up to change, take risks, battle her self-doubt, silence the voice of her ex-husband in her head, and begin to blossom and finally realize she has found her footing. Avery fell into and navigated through alternative routes she would have least expected and were as surprising to her as her newfound love of fried pickles; which is a dish I must now track down and sample.
About Lindsay Detwiler
An English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink and/or glittery, Lindsay’s the English teacher cliché; she loves cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe. She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, Marjorie, and Bob; and their Mastiff, Henry. Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows she’s done her job. Lindsay’s hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of the realm of possibility.