Thursday, October 3, 2013

REVIEW: COLE BY J.B. HARTNETT (THE LEAVES #2)

Cole Carlyle, successful hotelier, has lived his life on his own terms.
Burned by a gold digging ex-wife, he never expected to find his soul mate in Anika “Inky” Redding.
Anika Redding, talented artist, overcame her past to live her life free of shame. Betrayed by people she thought she could trust, the last thing she expected was to find true love in Cole Carlyle. 

Their love for each other has helped them overcome their demons before, but now faced with an unimaginable challenge, Cole must turn to the last person he wants involved in his life, and hope that those demons don’t once again try to swallow them whole. 

Inky and Cole’s romance and passion ignite and in the sequel to “Inky” we follow their journey to overcome their pasts once and for all, while building their love into something everlasting.


Published September 14, 2013
We bought this book!

Where to find Cole:

Courtney and I really enjoyed Inky so when we saw that Cole was out, we knew we had to read the conclusion of their story. I'm so glad that we did. It starts off right where Inky left us and while I logically KNEW that Anika wouldn't be killed off in the first few pages, I didn't know what torture awaited her. I won't spoil it for you, but goodness gracious I felt so sorry for both Cole and Anika--the horror and sadness that this book started off with would be an incredible challenge for anyone to overcome.

Dude, no joke. The things that life hands them is not the best way to withstand a long term relationship, let alone one that is just starting out...so they impressed me greatly with their dedication to talk things out no matter what and not let the dark places of their mind trap them in memories. It is some hard stuff to read, but it was a wild beginning to this follow up novel! 

I wish I could put my finger on what it is, exactly, that drew me in. Maybe it's the darkness that both of these characters must grapple with? Or the fact that they work so hard to have an honest relationship in which they discuss the fun stuff and the hard stuff? OR maybe it's just that they refuse to let petty stuff get in the way of their obvious love for each other? Or the hot and steamy sex scenes? OR maybe it's their love of the word fuck?!!! I'm crass and so are they...a marriage made in book heaven. Probably it's all of that and more. I swear I'm not a sappy, love, girly-girl and there's a lot of love, I love you's, love stuff going on but it honestly did not bother me one tiny bit. I felt like they had earned every one of those I love you's.


And all of the reasons listed above are why I heart you, Shel. Lol. I too giggled out loud when his mom asks him once if he always said fuck so often...and being that he is a 35 year old man he said Yes. No shame. I like it. They both put forth an incredible effort to communicate, and even though you'd think that people actually talking to each other and not jumping to conclusions would provide for a boring story...it doesn't! There is plenty going on around them, so not creating angsty situations between the two of them was refreshing. I think their crap previous relationships helped them out a bit, as well as their personal demons. They truly complemented each other, and that in and of itself helped all the lovey dovey moments not be too much. 


In addition to the Anika/Cole story that I couldn't seem to put down, I became intrigued by David's story (you'll see when you get there) and Nico (the tattoo artist) becomes more featured too. I'm hopeful (HINT HINT!) that they will both get their stories told. J.B. Hartnett did a great job of juggling the other secondary characters as well--Cole's parents and friends, Anika's friends...all of them were included in a way that was not too distracting; she had just the right touch and they seemed to just enhance the overall story.


The secondary characters brought a lot to the table in both books, but I too was especially glad they were opened up even more in this one. You've already said Nico and David (both of whom I cannot wait to learn more about! I'm hoping we get their stories too!) but also Trish and Richard (Cole's parents). Sometimes small things, and well big things for Cole and Anika, bring people back together so that part of the plot was really awesome. It usually doesn't happen that the big bad rich dad who approves of nothing becomes a better person, but their journey I enjoyed as well! 

If you enjoyed Inky as much as we did, then you should definitely pick up Cole. You will NOT be disappointed. True that! But keep in mind, you really do have to read Inky first as these are not stand alones! 


Shelley 4 1/2 Stars

Courtney: 5 stars


Find our review of Inky (The Leaves Book 1) HERE:
*click cover for amazon link!*

About the Author:
Julie is a southern California native, a fan of a really good story (preferably a romance with a happily ever after), really good pie (preferably pumpkin)and copious amounts of coffee (preferably Folgers).

She has always enjoyed writing and at one time thought she might be a singer/songwriter. The 'writer' part is that one that stuck.

Julie is obsessed with Pi...the equation and the food. She's allergic to cats, cantaloupe and hates mushrooms. So if you ever want to give her a gift, those are out for sure.

She currently lives with her romance hero husband and two boys in Melbourne, Australia.

Find her on Goodreads


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