Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
When someone was asked to describe crazy, if they knew Lee “Lucky” Trenton they’d point at him. Accident prone and without a filter of any kind to tell him to shut up before he says something inappropriate he’s no one’s idea of a perfect partner. Growing up with parents who subscribed to a philosophy of Radical Honesty Lucky and his siblings were doomed from the womb. Lucky found a home away from home at Twirled World Ink, but he didn’t just find a place to belong. He’d found Priest.
Matthew “Priest” Beall ran away from his judgmental family the second he’d earned the money. He’d come in search of Gib Phelps a legend in the tattoo industry. If you wanted to learn the craft, then Gib was the man to beg an apprenticeship with, and he’d begged. Priest might have left the violence of his past behind, but when he closed his eyes it came back to torture him. The only place he felt safe was when his best friend Lucky let him sleep in his arms. He wanted more, but he didn’t think he deserved it.
Priest left his family behind without regret only to find a new one with the crew of Twirled World and the super weird Trenton family. Could he grab onto his new life or would the memories of the past ruin the happiness he’d gained?
Among tortured souls, Priest is up there among the top of J.M. Dabney’s abused characters. A gentle, sweet bear of a man, he’s been one of the walking wounded for three books now and with Lucky’s story we get his. In every series, every novel, Lucky and Priest almost devolve into one word because to get one is to get the other. It’s been that way from the moment Priest stepped into Twirled World Ink and felt safety within the friendship and arms of Lucky.
Lucky and his family are so far outside any box of definitions that I can’t begin to imagine how J.M. Dabney cobbled them together. They blow my mind in a totally great way. From mother and dad to Lucky’s siblings, dress, house and the Radical Honesty (absolute openness about sex) that the family practices, this is a family that makes an indelible impression. On the readers and on Priest.
What happened to Priest is not addressed in details outright, thankfully, but it’s impact on him emotionally, mentally, the nightmares, inability to sleep etc., is dealt with in a sensitive and responsible manner. There is no instant miracle recovery, but therapy and respect for Priest’s boundaries which I thought authentic and made me love this story more.
It had to be included in any move forward in a relationship between Lucky and Priest and it was.
Lucky too has a few obstacles to overcome in his pursuit of Priest, and he needs advice and support from his family, and “crew” of friends all around him who care just as much for Priest. That’s the thing about these books, it is a tapestry of characters that you’ve come to love. They come together for each other in everyone’s novels, none of them feeling like a secondary cast member, but full fledged believable person. Violent yes, a bit on the psychotic side at times, damaged, wonderful men. And now their kids and partners.
I loved seeing Lucky and Priest get their HEA. It was a wonderful, heartwarming story. It ends the first series and with Twitch and Crave dancing around here sort of launches us into the Brawlers series that follows it. I highly recommend this story, this series, and all the wonderful series that follow it. Check them all out below.
Cover art by Reese Dante can do no wrong. That’s Lucky to a T. Perfect!
Sales Links: Amazon