Reviewed by Helyce
Nobody Bodine came from a nobody and will always be a nobody. He can disappear into the shadows—no one can see him if he doesn’t want them to. He exists on the edge, in neither the white man’s world nor the tribe’s, dispensing vigilante justice when he sees fit. There’s no other place for a man like him in this world.
Until Melinda Mitchell shows up on the rez. From the first moment he lays eyes on her, he can tell there’s something different about her. For starters, she’s not afraid of him. She asks where his scars came from, and why he has so many. But more than that, she sees him. For the first time in his life, Nobody feels like a somebody in her eyes.
Melinda has come west to run the new day care on the White Sandy Reservation. She’s intrigued by this strange man and his tattered skin, and when she discovers that he’s a self-appointed guardian angel for the boy in her care, she realizes that there’s more to Nobody than meets the eyes. But how far will he go to keep the boy safe? And will she be able to draw him into the light?
I adored this story. Nobody Bodine has lived in the shadows most of his life. From a horrible childhood to the tragic accident that landed him in jail for several years. Unbelievably, and in spite of his past, Nobody has remained a good man at heart. Though he chooses to stay in the dark and the shadows, he is content. He is the epitome of the term ‘good samaritan’ and in his own way he takes care of those who for whatever reason, cannot take care of themselves. He tries so hard to stay away from violence, but he sometimes loses that battle when his vigilante sense of righting wrongs comes through and he feels the need to make a point.
I loved Melinda. While not being over the top, this woman is very much the opposite of her sister Madeline who brings her to the reservation to run the daycare facility. With her bright colored flowing skirts and her barely there tank tops, she is a bright shiny beacon that calls to Nobody and dares him to come into the light. She is clearly, exactly what Nobody needs and watching them traverse the bumpy road ahead of them was lovely.
I love reading books that center around Native American characters-especially if the author includes information about their culture. Though I’d say that the culture aspect was light in this book, we are given a very interesting character in Nobody who literally seems able to blend in or vanish into the shadows. He doesn’t know the how or why, just that he can. I loved this character aspect, especially since Melinda was immediately able to sense him, even when she could not see him. It is an ongoing theme in this story; Melinda’s ability to sense Nobody, to know he was there in the shadow even when she couldn’t actually see him.
But his brain felt like it was sloshing around in his head and before he knew what he was doing, he’d pulled her hand up to his mouth and kissed the palm. Her palm.
And the funny thing was, she didn’t jerk her hand back or call him names or slap him. He kept waiting for the blow, but it didn’t come.
Then her mouth was against his ear and she whispered, “I see you,” as she moved her palm away from his mouth and rested it against his cheek.
The romance between Nobody and Melinda develops slowly. Melinda has a history of choosing the wrong men, so she worries Nobody is just another in a string of bad choices. But she’s so drawn to him she can’t help herself. It’s the same for Nobody once he sees Melinda. He just wants to be in her presence-though he fights it hard for a time, it’s a battle he loses. Once they take that step, though, there is still uncertainty. Nobody doesn’t think he’s good enough, or doesn’t deserve a woman like Melinda. Melinda is confused, unsure of how to move forward.
The main conflict used was interesting though Melinda takes a huge chance with her choices. I like how the author explored the gray area between right and wrong here. It showed Melinda’s strength and intelligence as she moves forward to her end goal in the only way she knows how-even though she takes a really big chance where Nobody was concerned.
I think the only thing I kept wishing for in this story, as Melinda and Nobody get together, was that at some point he’d reveal his true name. Each time Melinda and Nobody have sex, when we’re in Nobody’s head, he wants to hear his name on her lips as she climaxes and I have to say, it kind of pulls you out of the moment when she’s screaming “Nobody”. But it doesn’t happen. Of course, by the end of the story-Nobody really isn’t just a nobody anymore. He’s definitely Melinda’s somebody.