Claire Peters and Dr. Forrest Desvareaux have known each other their whole lives growing up on Martha’s Vineyard. Claire is the biracial daughter of the Montgomery family’s housekeeper. Raised by her African American mother after her Japanese father refused to claim them, Claire was never made to feel like she just was the housekeeper’s daughter. She was raised alongside the island’s elite families — becoming the surrogate little sister to Jason, Forrest, Blake, and Adam. When Claire is fifteen and Forrest is eighteen, Claire’s finally ready to let Forrest know that she wants to be more than just his friend. Forrest is feeling less than brotherly toward Claire too, but feels she’s too young. Even though he goes off to college, Forrest knows Claire is the one, so he waits for her. Like waits for her ;). A young man who is as handsome as he is wealthy waits for Claire to be ready. That’s love! The night of Claire’s eighteenth birthday, Claire overhears a conversation before she’s about to meet Forrest that changes everything.
Fast forward ten years and Claire is back on Martha’s Vineyard. She’s not just the Montgomery family’s housekeeper’s daughter, or the weird African American-Asian girl, or the surrogate little sis to the boys, she’s now a successful singer/songwriter, designer, and actress. She’s accomplished everything she aimed to do and more, but something is missing…Forrest. Unfortunately, Claire’s timing couldn’t be more wrong as Forrest is dealing with his own troubles. Not to mention he just can’t forgive Claire for breaking his heart ten years ago.
“You’re the person who broke me. For the rest of my life, you will always be the one who hurt me the most.”
Most times, in Romancelandia, it’s the heroine making the hero work to win her heart; here it’s Claire who’s in the dog house trying to make Forrest see that although she left him, she never stopped loving him and needs his forgiveness.
“For years I waited, pining for you and I was lucky if I got a smile. I didn’t exist. Now you’ve decided you want me to love you and I’m supposed to accept everything.”
Lord have mercy!!! Claire and Forrest gave me agita! Their journey is so full of angst that my poor heart could barely take it!!! I wanted Forrest to just get over it, but I had to give him a pass because if the tables were turned and Claire was doing the same thing to Forrest for breaking her heart, I’d be first to say…
Tattooed Hearts is by far my favorite of the series thus far. It doesn’t hurt that second chance love is one of my favorite romance tropes. The back and forth, push-pull just turns my crank something fierce. The love between Claire and Forrest was obvious but the realism that sometimes love just isn’t enough gave me my whole life!
I would have liked for Claire and Forrest to work through their issues sooner than the last 25% of the book, but I understand why it had to be that way. I just wanted more of a happy, less angsty Forrest and Claire for longer than the short epilogue. Otherwise, an emotional, well-executed, and well-developed read that I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys a sexy, tension-filled story with a sweet end.
*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
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