Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Review: Tyler & Stella (Tattoo Thief #2)

Tyler & Stella (Tattoo Thief, #2)
Tyler & Stella by Heidi Joy Tretheway
Tattoo Thief #2
February 20, 2014
275 pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary 18+
(contains: strong language, sex and sexual situations, alcohol)
Source: eARC from author for Honest review
Book Blurb:
Stella Ramsey always says bad boys can’t break your heart. They don’t call, don’t cuddle and don’t send flowers—but what do you expect? No strings means no regrets.

When the biggest story of her fledgling music journalism career nearly ruins her relationship with her best friend, Stella has one chance to redeem herself. She promises the bassist for the rock band Tattoo Thief anything in exchange for behind-the-scenes access. But Tyler doesn’t want anything. He wants everything—and that’s more than Stella is prepared to give.

When Tyler’s explosive secret thrusts Stella into the media spotlight, she must choose between selling the story and telling the truth—and exposing the truth about herself.
My Review:

Tyler & Stella is the second book in the Tattoo Thief series, but it can be read as a standalone. It starts just a bit before where Tattoo Thief left off, but giving us things from Stella's perspective this time. This was very helpful to not only give readers of Tattoo Thief a reminder of where Stella was at the end (and what she had done), but also brings new readers up to speed. So Tyler & Stella can easily be enjoyed by new and old readers to the Tattoo Thief series. And if you enjoy Tyler & Stella, then perhaps you'll then want to pick up Tattoo Thief and get Gavin and Beryl's story, too.

As for the writing of Tyler & Stella, I can honestly say I enjoyed this one so very much. I liked it more than Tattoo Thief, and could really see the author's growth in her writing, character development, and dialogue. This was one of those books I had a difficult time putting down. Not only do we get an interesting storyline, but the characters are well fleshed-out and make you instantly want to know them. We also get a nice group dynamic, which is one thing I love in a series. The story is centered around Tyler and Stella, but we get more of Gavin and Beryl, along with the other band members and their great camaraderie (there are some wonderful male-bonding moments).

As for main characters, I loved Tyler. Absolutely loved him! It was so refreshing to read about a male character that's not your standard "bad boy." The author revealed his character really well, slowly letting us get to know Tyler. There were certain things I figured out about Tyler right away, but that made me appreciate the author's research into him and care with the way she treated him even more. Now for Stella, I didn't really like her in Tattoo Thief, so at the beginning I was really unsure about her. What I appreciated was the way the author revealed who Stella was deep inside. Stella had a rough journey of realization, reflection, trust, and integrity to face. Watching her grow throughout the novel and the way she was eventually able to handle herself was terrific, and she really grew on me. And then watching the relationship between Tyler and Stella play out felt honest and tangible. They were so sweet together, even when they didn't understand each other, and you could feel the deep connection they had to one another. I really liked them.

As for the story, this isn't just a simple boy meets girl romance. This is really the story of two people facing down their pasts. Pasts that hold not only their own mistakes, but the thoughtlessness and cruelty of others, as well as the things in life we have no control over. Yet through it all they must make choices to hide and suffer, or to grow and live. And they must decide what kind of life they want to live, and if the vulnerability in love is worth it. Watching Tyler and Stella grow and change and embrace their lives and love, learning to forgive and be forgiven, learning to trust and hope again, was really a beautiful thing.

Overall, I loved Tyler and Stella's journey of vulnerability, forgiveness, hope, and love. Their story is well-written, with just the right amounts of angst, mystery, friendship, sincerity, heat, love, and the beauty of new beginnings. It is a refreshing addition to the New Adult genre.
4-1/2 STARS

Gavin and Beryl's Story
Tattoo Thief (Tattoo Thief, #1)
Links:  My Review  /  Amazon  /  Goodreads

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