Category Archives: books/book review

Review of Permanent Ink (Art & Soul #1), by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

I received a copy of Permanent Ink (Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn) through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.

Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.

Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.

Good, but it didn’t rock my world. I thought Jericho and Poe were a cute couple. But I also thought it went from sex to a relationship and love too quickly. When Jericho said, “We’re dating,” I thought, “Really, when did that happen?” I liked their little bit of kink, even if it isn’t one I particularly relate to. The sex was hot enough, if a little same-same.

The side characters, Landon and Blue were interesting. I’d be happy to read more about either of them, though I’m fairly sure the next book will be about Blue and Callum. It was a pretty obvious setup.

Also fun for me was that the book is set on my home turf, Saint Louis, and the city was fairly recognizable. Even if the ‘salty’ and ‘extra’ language that seems to be popping up in M/M books lately isn’t anything I’ve ever heard a youth actually say in The Lou.

My main complaint is that I never particularly came to like Poe. I understand that he is supposed to be a ‘brat’ to compliment Jericho, who is the ‘daddy,’ but he just basically annoyed me.

So, good enough that I will read book two, but not making my favorites list.

Review of New Beginnings, by Brandy L. Rivers

I picked New Beginnings, by Brandy L. Rivers up for free on Amazon. I later picked up the compilation of books 1-3 in the series. Thus, I actually have two copies of it. Lucky me.

Description from Goodreads:
Jess knew her life would never move forward if she remained a part of Gregory’s pack. Some Alpha’s just don’t know how to take care of their wolves. She had managed Gregory’s bar for years but she knew he would never sell it to her. 

After one giant mistake, he went from bad to worse. As a psychic, she knew it was a downward spiral. 

Taking her future in her own hands, she contacts the Alpha in Edenton. He is happy to sell the empty bar no one has the time, nor desire to renovate, much less run. 

Their attraction is unexpected and the last thing either want, but they find the only thing they need in each other. 

There is just one problem. Slater’s second in command is plotting against him. Liam will use anything to take over as Alpha. 

Plenty of werewolves, an old vampire flame, plus a paranoid second, and don’t forget the psychic with a whole lot of attitude.

I’m gonna have to go with, “No.” I read this as part of a compilation of the first 3 books in the series. I’m fairly sure it’ll be the only one I actually read. My god, the main character is so incredibly unlikeable. Why do so many authors fail utterly when they try and write strong, independent women? This is no doubt what the author was going for, but instead she wrote a raging, insensitive bitch. The sort I’d cross the road before saying, “Good Morning,” to for fear she’s respond, “Fuck off,” even if we’re perfect strangers. She was rude to everyone on sight. There was nothing likable about her, so I have no clue what the male main character saw in her.

Characters were presented with no history and developed to have no depth. The ‘romance’ was ultra-instant, as in the fell in lust OVER THE PHONE, during a conversation about moving logistics. The villain was bad for no apparent reason and just happened to have been turned bad by his secret boyfriend, which I read as he’s gay, therefore he’s evil. The whole thing was as subtle as a stun gun to the temple and it’s chocked full of subtle, internalized misogyny.

Nope, I need no more of this series.

As a side note, I don’t know what the name of the dude on the above edition is, but I am so sick of seeing him on the cover of romance novels that I legitimately avoid books with him on the front. And the dude on the second edition I’ve seen is pretty close behind.

He’s third behind this guy:

And just because I’ve gone off on a little tangent here, this guy and this guy and this guy are climbing the ranks too.

Are there really so few cover models available in the world?

Review of Crimson Son, by Russ Linton

I won an Audible credit for Russ Linton‘s Crimson Son.

Description from Goodreads:
Nineteen-year-old Spencer Harrington is the son of the Crimson Mask, the world’s most powerful superhero. Since witnessing his mother’s abduction two years ago, he’s been confined to his father’s arctic bunker. When the “Icehole” comes under attack by a rampaging robot, Spencer is forced to launch into his father’s dangerous world of weaponized human beings known as Augments.

With no powers of his own save a multi-tool, a quick wit and a boatload of emotional trauma, Spencer seeks to uncover his mother’s fate and confront his absentee father. As he stumbles through a web of conspiracies and top secret facilities, he rallies a team of everyday people and cast-off Augments. But Spencer soon discovers that the Black Beetle isn’t his only enemy, nor his worst.

Got a teen who loves comic book heroes? Love them yourself? This should be a winner. A couple F-bombs drop here and there, but it’s otherwise pretty PG and little Spencer is pretty darned resourceful. Sure, he just happens to be a genius and just happens to have genius friends, but he’s amusing and a hero in his own right.

The main character is a 19yo guy and though I didn’t find this relentlessly male, like some super hero books, it does have a bit of male gaze going on. I gota little tired of having female bodies described to me, even during dramatic scenes. Meh.

I did think the ending was a little wimpy, since the reader doesn’t see the action, only hears about it after the fact and is never wholly sure what exactly happened.

Mitchell Lucas did a great time with the narration, bring out Spencer’s frustration and sarcasm. All in all, worth picking up if you’re into this sort of thing.