Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The hum of a tattoo machine was Brian “Berzerker” Anderson’s favorite sound in the world. He’d won a coveted spot at Twirled World Ink with a legend in the business, Gib Phelps. Creating beauty with his large, scarred hands was his happy place—the place where he fit in the world. Although, nothing could remain perfect forever, his boyfriend of over a year decided to move on and up without him in tow. He had two choices, return to living with his friends and co-workers or take an offer too tempting to pass up.
Landon Phelps grew up in an unconventional home as the only child to Legendary Tattoo Artist Gib Phelps and mother, Peaches. He always felt a bit out of place when he became a boring accountant instead of following in his parents’ footsteps. Boundaries were in place early on; he didn’t date the employees of Twirled World Ink. Sometimes rules were meant to be broken. Bezerker was his idea of perfection, large, husky and tattooed; the thick, grab-worthy beard was a bonus. So when the boyfriend became the ex, Landon decided it was time to get his man.
With the help of the matchmaking Twirled Crew, can Landon finally get Berzerker to see him as more than a friend and the employer’s son?
Here we are at the beginning! The Twirled World Ink series launches the first of three interconnected series and an ever enlarging cast of addictive characters, all of whom live in the town of Powers, Georgia. And it all starts here. I’ve been working my way backwards from that last series, Executioners (a band) to arrive at this point. Now I get to meet the original characters and see how they find their HEA.
First it’s Brian “Berzerker” Anderson, the large, intimidating inked tattooer at Twirled World Ink. Tossed aside by someone ashamed of him, it frees him up for the man who’s been waiting for just this opportunity. Landon, the young son of the owners of the tattoo shop who’s crushed on Berzerker for ages and now intends to go after the man he wants.
This story by J.M. Dabney has enough elements to appeal to everyone. It has an age different in couple, humor, friends to lovers, and yes, simply hot sex scenes. I don’t really regard what happens with Brian and Landon as instant love as they have known each other for a while, but more as a recognition of what’s really been there all along. And I love stories like that.
It’s hard for me to be impartial about this story because in a way I’ve been living with this couple for nine books now and feel like I know them intimately. I’ve seen them grow and I know where they are going. So for me, this is a lovely trip back in time to see where it began for them and I love it. And yes, I’m so fond of them.
All that couldn’t happen without J.M. Dabney’s wonderful way with characterization and decisions about location and things like a tattoo shop called Twirled World Ink. Because as Berzerker demonstrates its never just about the couple, its also about the supporting cast of characters that you will come to love and need to see as much of as anyone else. That includes Peaches and Gib, and the rest of the Brawler crew and everyone else from Twirled World Ink and more. In this series (all three of them) it takes a town, and that town is Powers, Georgia. It too will undergo transformation along with the men who live there.
And it starts here.
I gave you all the old cover because that came with the version I read. The new cover states that it has been reedited so I will put that one in a smaller version below. I hate to admit it but I really prefer the older version. Tell me what you think.
Cover art by Winterheart Designs (old). I really love this older cover. It seems grittier, more perfect for the characters than the new lighter version. Tell me what you think.
Sales Links: Amazon
Author’s Note: Although this is the first book in a series each book is a standalone and every book deals with a separate couple.
Kindle Edition, 138 pages
Published November 27th 2016 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC (first published November 2016)
SeriesTwirled World Ink #1
Characters Brian “Berzerker” Anderson, Landon Phelps settingPowers, Georgia (United States)
- Executioners – third series