I'm a long time fan of Sivec's Chocolate Lovers and the more recent Chocoholic series. Tattoos and Tatas was a good interlude between Chocoholics book two, Passion and Ponies, and a book three if/when it's released. With that said, I felt it was more a Chocolate Lovers book than a Chocoholics because the narrator is Liz (new narrator for the series, but an original character) and not one of the children of the adults in the CL books. it's a small detail of labeling, but just something I wanted to point out for those who haven't read the spin-off books yet. I feel that readers can still enjoy this novella having just read the CL series.
Onto the story itself. It was a departure of sorts from the mood the other books had. More often than not, readers are laughing non-stop at the hilarious situations and dialogue between characters. Tattoos and Tatas takes the comedy down a notch or two to show a more serious side of life. To put it all out there: Claire has breast cancer. This book is about the gang supporting her through her treatment, but Liz is having issues with her best friend during this difficult time in her life. What helps this story not be a "cry your eyes out" story the entire time is that, as expected, Sivec is able to weave comedy into it and give readers some laughs without making it seem like the situation isn't something to laugh at. To take a quote from the epilogue "I think people sometimes forget just how powerful laughter is." Laughter is sometimes the best medicine during hard times.
One of the few things I felt was lacking in this novella was the kids. With this being a Chocoholics novella, they're adults at this point and are the focus of the series so far. We only get mentions of them and how they're handling the situation, but they don't show up more than that. The reader gets to see Carter (Claire's husband) and how he's dealing with it all, but we don't see Gavin or his sister. The book's from Liz's point of view, so this is obviously part of it, though it was expecting a little interaction with the kids. This could also be something touched on in the next novel, so I'm not completely turned off by their exclusion.
Tattoos and Tatas, another great and touching adventure with Tara Sivec's beloved characters. It's great to see Sivec blend in the serious into this otherwise hilarious series without killing its enjoyment. I'm looking forward, as always, to more Chocolate Lovers/Chocoholics books, especially after this short glimpse into things to come.