Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This story has the “flavor” of Rhys Ford’s Sinners Gin or Hellsinger series—there’s a huge cast of characters, all of whom are young men who are just begging to get their own stories. And there’s no doubt in my mind that the author will provide them at some point in the future.
These young men were brought together in their early years through the foster system that didn’t provide any safety net until they formed their own family of sorts. Gus is one of those young men, a tattoo artist who’s been away for a few years, driven by his personal demons, doing what he needed to do to get over breaking up with his lover, Rey Montenegro.
Rey wanted stability and commitment to a future together and apparently Gus didn’t, so he broke up with the moody young man who never seemed to be able to put down roots. Now Gus is back in town and to everyone’s surprise, Gus has been presented with an unexpected gift. The night Rey broke his heart, he got drunk and had sex with a female tattoo artist and he’s just learned from her that her three-year-old son, Chris, is his. Now, faced with trying to get partial custody through a system that rejected him when he was a kid, while also trying to deal with memories of the mother who tried to kill him and was successful in killing herself and his twin, Gus turns to his family-of-choice and to the love of his heart, Rey, to guide him through his nightmares.
The story was interesting and exciting, heartbreaking and heartwarming, and the “feel” of it as I mentioned earlier is similar to that of several of the author’s past successful series so I have no doubt this will be a winner as well. The characters were well-developed, though getting through the introductions to the ensemble cast and their backstories was difficult while listening to the book in audio format. Whereas, in an e-book, I could flip back to easily find a reference to a past event to refresh my memory, that can’t be done in an audiobook and I wanted to be able to do that a few times.
Speaking of audio, the only thing that bugged me about Tristan James’s narration was the extra “s” he put on words ending in “s”. He didn’t just put it where it should be pronounced like in Rhys’s (pronounced Reecez in this case) name but also in others like brothers that he pronounced as brothersez. It detracted from the narration too much to consider the narration top notch and I was disappointed because I generally love his beautiful baritone voice and was looking forward to his narration of this book.
All that being said, I recommend this story to all who love MM romance with couples who are reunited, those who are reformed bad boys, and stories written by Rhys Ford whose word choices give descriptive phrases new meaning. Though I loved this, if given a choice, I’d get the e-book instead of audio.
The cover by Reece Notley depicts a side view of a long-haired man, the hair partially covering his face. Wearing jeans and an open shirt, the ink on his forearm is intricate and beautiful. Very attractive cover!
9 hours 11 minutes
Audible Audio, 9 pages
Published April 12th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published December 29th 2017)
Series415 Ink #1