***Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads Top Pick***
Nico is book #3 in The Leaves Series by the amazingly talented J.B. Hartnett. The Leaves series is a series that will stick with you long after you finish. Nico is a very powerful, heavily emotional, love story that I think everyone should read as soon as possible. I think Nico could be read as a standalone novel, but I don't recommend it. To get the most out of this book and this series, you really should start at the beginning. Believe me, you will not be disappointed.
Cole was a Top Pick of 2013 for me, and when you have two great books and you release a third, there is so much pressure for that next book to blow the others out of the water. I believe the author surpassed my expectations in that regard. Inky and Cole were so hardcore in the emotion department. I don't think I have ever been that emotional while reading a book before. But Nico is a character who we were introduced to previously, and we had just barely scratched the surface with him. I can't tell you how damn excited I got when I learned he was getting his own book! I just had to know more about this beautiful man.
Nico is a character that might not come off as "damaged," like most main characters in romance novels. He had a wonderful mother and father who loved him very much. He was raised with good morals and ethics. Both his parents helped disadvantaged women and children, and that was passed down to him...he just has a different way, his own way, of helping people. When a person walks in Nico's shop to get a tattoo, he is doing more than just marking their body to help them heal. Nico offers affection when there is none left. He offers safety, he offers compassion. Nico sees and hears so much sadness and devastation, it's like he carries that hurt for them. Ugh, I could go on and on, and I'm already getting emotional while typing this up, so I digress.
"It takes everything out of me. I can't have relationships because I have nothing else left to give. I can't do it."
Even though we know so little about Nico going in to this book, you might find him off-putting at first. He is a one night stand kind of guy, no room for emotion at all. But you will soon find out why he does what he does, and the toll it takes on him on an emotional level. Nico falls in to this pattern. I have to warn you that some parts are dark and hard to read, especially if you or someone you know has gone through something that broke you. But don't let that deter you. Even though some parts will weigh down your heart, you will get to a point where you let out a deep breath and it will lift, and you will probably cry (like I did) and you will smile, and you will feel like you have read something very special.
"If you can find something or someone that gives you peace when everything else around you is chaos, never let go, baby."
Nico by J.B. Hartnett is a love story that will be forever embedded in to heart and soul. It will take you places you might not want to go, but you will come out a better person. The characters and the story line had so much depth, so much intensity, that at times I was overwhelmed. I think when you can relate to any of Ms. Hartnett's characters, the story will take you to a whole new level, and that's what Nico did with me. Plain and simple, if you have not started this series, you NEED to ASAP. You will thank me AND J.B. Trust Me!
*ARC provided by the author*