Lotus by Jennifer Hartmann is a harrowing yet beautiful tale

Lotus by Jennifer Hartmann. Image courtesy of Bloom Books.
Lotus by Jennifer Hartmann. Image courtesy of Bloom Books. /

When it comes to emotional and dark romances, Jennifer Hartmann is the author to go to. You might recognize her from Still Beating but now, Bloom Books is republishing Lotus.

If you’ve never read Jennifer Hartmann, then you’re in for a world of emotional damage along with some hopeful moments. All in all, she’s one of those romance authors who can smash your heart to pieces on one page and make you laugh the next.

That’s why I was so excited when Bloom Books sent me a finished copy of Lotus to read and review for everyone. While I waited until the very last minute to pick it up, it might be my new favorite Jennifer Hartmann book.

With that being said, let’s get into my thoughts and feelings on this latest republication from Jennifer Hartmann.

Lotus by Jennifer Hartmann is a stunningly dark yet beautiful story.

Let me start by saying that you need to be in the right headspace to read Lotus. It deals with a lot of dark topics including kidnapping, childhood sexual abuse, trauma, loss of a loved one, and much more. If you’re able to handle the content in this book, I’d say give it a try but if not, then Lotus might be a skip for you.

This book follows Sydney who lives next door to her best friend, Gabe. The two are so close that they both lose Oliver, Gabe’s brother and Sydney’s best friend. At the very beginning of the story, we find out Oliver has been found and has been held in captivity for over 20 years. From that point on, the story is about both Oliver and Sydney.

Oliver is trying to reacclimate to society as he’s almost 30 years old without any life experience while Sydney is grappling with finally getting him back. While it takes a lot of work and patience, these two strike up a friendship again. We watch as the two of them grow and change as people throughout the story, especially Oliver.

While things are dark and they do take a massive turn around the 70-75% mark, Lotus is all about second chances. Oliver is learning how to be his own person, fall in love, and be a productive member of society. Meanwhile, Sydney is overcoming everything from the past and learning to be better. All of this is amidst the backdrop of Oliver and Sydney’s relationship with their families, jobs, and just life in general.

As mentioned, Lotus has a turning point around the 75% mark and from then on, I couldn’t put the book down. I couldn’t help but root for all of these characters aside from the villain and the romance was just incredible. It was a slow-burn, but everything felt so natural and I especially loved the artistic/comic-book element within the story. There’s also a comic featured at the end of the book which was amazing.

Whether this is going to be your first Jennifer Hartmann or not, I think Lotus is an incredible place to start with her works. It also feels very connected to Still Beating as those characters pop up and their case is discussed within the story. Due to that, it’s probably better to start with Still Beating.

The only small nit-pick I have for Lotus is that it felt a little slow in the middle but given what Oliver went through, it makes sense. It just didn’t make things as engaging as other books but that’s just my one small complaint.

Lotus by Jennifer Hartmann is out now where books are sold.

Will you be picking up a copy of Lotus by Jennifer Hartmann? Let us know in the comments!

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