Review: Tats of Honor — by Vona Logan

Tats_of_HonorOther Reviewers: Goodreads

This is the first time that I have read a book by Vona Logan.  The funny thing about this post is that the first time I read it, I gave it a 2-Star review.  Which is unusual, if I give a book that low of a star, I usually don’t re-read it.  But here I am, doing a post for this book and after a re-read, I loved it!

Basic Plot:

After several personal losses, Kegan Andrews flies to New Zealand for a 3 week vacation.  The cabinet-maker makes new friends there in Dominic Lewis and Lisa.  Dominic is still recovering from the loss of his long-time partner, Alex.  Can the two men put their pasts behind them to create a new future together?

Kegan Andrews:

We are supposed to identify with Kegan’s character.  He struggles with the death of a close friend and he is betrayed by his fiancé.  I love the physical description of Kegan, he is that rough-looking tattooed bad boy (at least in appearance).  What we come to understand is that he is truly a sensitive man who has felt lost and overwhelmed for a long period of time, trying to make his life fit someone else’s expectations and not his own passions.

He had loved her as best he knew how – been loyal to her, convinced she was his future wife and the mother of his children.  How could he have been so unaware as to miss the signs?

And we can relate to this.  How often have we overlooked that little niggle in the back our minds because we don’t really want to analyze what it means?

Dominic Lewis:

Dominic is our dark, quiet, and mysterious man that draws Kegan’s interest.  In fact, Dominic provides us a memorable quote toward the end of the book that really demonstrates his perspective.

“There’s love and then there’s love.  I don’t know what the hell she had felt for you, but it’s not the love I know.  Yes, love doesn’t fix everything or protect your relationship from pitfalls, but the love I speak of perseveres.  Though strife and temptation may rear their ugly faces, deep love conquers them and renders them powerless.

So, we all seek this type of love, and often we settle and ultimately those relationships fail.  It is worth taking the time to wait for this type of relationship.

Theme Summary:

I thought of several possible themes, but I found fear to be the most powerful:

Don’t be too proud to ask for help — I was, and look where it got me.  Don’t let fear rule your life — it’s the worst thief you’ll ever know.  Fear will take you where you don’t want to go and cost you everything you have.

So, we see in Kegan, his fear of accepting his sexuality and true desires has held him back, and for Dominic, his fear of letting go his memories of Alex and moving forward keeps both of these men from moving forward.  What I love about this theme is that it is universal.  We all have these fears, whether it is to take a new job (my husband and I are moving to a new state this job because I finally overcome that fear) or find a new love.  Don’t let fear paralyze you from moving forward.  I found these powerful words and certainly this was when I cried while reading this book.

Strong Points:

Sometimes, you are in the mood for a love-fest.   You know, there is conflict, but it is internal.  In Tats of Honor, we see this in action.  There are no fist fights or danger, but rather we see how these two men circle each other.

What could be better?

At 116 pages, this is a short book.  I think for what happens in the book, perhaps it did not need to be a very long novel.  I would have loved to have read a bit more of perhaps back stories or further develop the couples interactions.

One of my complaints would be that the secondary character, Lisa seems to be fairly flat of a character and her presence was there only to provide a very weak conflict plot.  It would have helped our length perhaps if we had a bit more conflict with her and developed her character.

Conclusions:

I really enjoyed this book!  It kept me engaged and entertained, certainly in parts I cried.  If you are looking for an overall sappy and uplifting novel, give this romance a shot!

Bea

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