A MelanieM Review: Inked in Vegas (Heathens Ink #5.5) by K.M. Neuhold

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

“We’re going to be married in a week. You’re going to be my husband, and we’re going to live happily ever after.” ~Madden

It feels like I’ve been waiting to marry Thane my entire life. And with our big day only a week away, our friends insist on a bachelor party in Vegas.

An outrageous scavenger hunt, an unexpected trip to the altar, and a wild night with an ex-boyfriend. You know we don’t do anything half-assed.

***This is a multi-POV novella with lots of sexy times (including one MF and one MMF scene). Unlike the rest of the Heathens Ink series, this one CANNOT be read as a standalone.

Inked In Vegas is more a group of small stories revolving around each couple in the series that arrive in Vegas for the bachelor party, along with 2 people looking for love that I expect will still find it in upcoming stories.  As such, if you haven’t read the other books in the series, you will be lost immediately because there is little background here on the couples and the group’s friendship with each other.

That said, I did enjoy several couple’s stories.  Gage and Beck (Shattered Pieces (Heathens Ink #4) Nox and Adam (From Ashes (Heathens Ink #3) !  Those two couples continue to hold special places in my heart and I was thrilled to see them again here.  Of course, there are fun and silly moments and with the triad, lots of sex.  There’s also het sex with a friend who acts as a  casual third to a M/M relationship so if that bothers, just letting you know.

But since this story seems more a gift to the fans of the series than a story for new readers, it still goes by far too quickly like the weekend in Vegas it is.  You don’t really get enough of anyone you want to see and when it ends you feel a little unsatisfied but you aren’t sure why.

I guess you should treat this like a bon bon.  Savor it for the quick treat it is and then go enjoy the individual  stories for the deeper connections you make there with the men and their relationships.  They are truly special.

Cover art is amazing.  I loved this cover. It works to brand the series and pulls you right in.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 144 pages
Published April 3rd 2018
Original TitleInked in Vegas
ASINB07CBDLD9Y
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHeathens Ink #5.5

A MelanieM Review: Junkyard Heart (Porthkennack #7) by Garrett Leigh

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Tired of the London rat race and the heartbreak that comes with it, photographer Jas Manning returns to Porthkennack, the Cornish seaside town where he spent every childhood summer on his father’s farm. Resigned to year-round rain, wind, and homemade jam, he’s sorely unprepared for the impact that artsy carpenter Kim Penrose has on his heart.

Kim’s free-loving reputation precedes him, and he’s as generous with his inked-up body as he is with his time. The sex is hot, the easy friendship even better, and Jas’s time with him building his family’s new farmhouse canteen is everything Jas was missing in his empty city life.

But Kim’s carefree existence isn’t as simple as it appears. He’s worked hard to vanquish his demons and build his dreams, but the devil on his shoulder is ruthless, and when it comes to call, their happy bubble bursts like it was never there at all. The canteen opening looms, but Kim is gone in more ways than one, and it’s down to Jas to shore up Kim’s soul and convince him that he deserves his place in Jas’s heart.

Kim Penrose makes his first appearance in House of Cards (Porthkennack#4) where Kim and Lena, his gf, with their open relationship and “all that free love and stuff” worked in Brix Luxmoore’s tattoo shop.  A damaged soul, even in that story Kim made quite an impression.  So much so that you wanted to know more about him, his breakup with Lena, and see him get a love that would last.

In Junkyard Heart, a perfect title and expression for the tumult of emotions inside of this fragile, addicted man, we get Kim, his story, and Jas Manning, a photographer who will be the one to understand and love him if  he can first gently work through the obstacles and mini minefields that lays in the path to a relationship and love.

Understanding Kim in many ways is like traveling a labyrinth, Kim’s an addict who’s worked hard on his recovery.  Issues of trust, honesty, and the ability to understand Kim is essential in the path forward.  Plus it works both ways, Kim has to trust Jas too with his heart.  Garrett Leigh understands these men and the author’s ability to write them in such a way that they breathe, and are such viable human beings that can cut into your heart with their situations and pain is credit to her skills.  There’s no huge drama that unfolds here other than that of two men trying to work out  how to mesh their lives into each others because it’s exactly what feels right and true.

Which brings me to the one element that threw me  here.  That is  Lena, also known as “Red”, Kim’s former partner/gf who left him for a woman she’s now serious about.  She returns and there’s a brief M/M/F sex scene which on one level I got because of the characters bisexuality and her importance to Kim.  But it never flowed for me.  Instead for some reason it felt jarring and intrusive, the exact opposite of what the author intended.  Another mention later in the story had the exact same effect….like a bucket of cold water on the men, it froze the narrative if only for a moment and not in a good way.

Junkyard Heart is another strong story in the Porthkennack series.  I adore this entire collection and each addition makes this old Welsh village a more alive and complete place in my mind and heart.  I certainly recommend it,  plus the  one I mentioned House of Cards.  Start with that and get to know intimately this small village and it’s incredible group of characters.

C0ver art by G.D. Leigh is wonderful and perfect for the character.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 192 pages
Expected publication: December 4th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN13 9781626495487
Edition Language
English Series