From the moment SFPD Detective Ruan Nicholls meets Ivo Rogers, he knew the tattoo artist was going to bring chaos to his neat orderly life. A hellion down to the bone, Ivo is someone Ruan not only doesn’t understand but isn’t even sure he needs to. Everything about Ivo is vibrant, brash, cocky and arrogant and Ruan wants no part of him.
Or at least that’s the lie he tells himself when he damps down his desire for the social wild child life tosses into his path.
For Ivo Rogers, his life revolves around two things; his family and 415 Ink, the tattoo shop he co-owns with his four brothers. His family might be stitched together by their battle scars from growing up in foster care but their brotherhood was tight—and strong enough to hold Ivo together during the times when he fell apart.
Now Ivo faces a new challenge when he falls for a cop with an old-school mentality on what a man looks and acts like. Ruan is the promise of a life Ivo thought he’d never have but their thunderous clashes threaten any chance of a relationship. Being the family’s hellion makes it easy to be misunderstood yet Ivo has faith Ruan will not only embrace who he is but love him as well.
Family, love, and a strong theme of "being, unapologetically, yourself" are what make Hellion another enjoyable installment of Rhys Ford's 415 Ink series.
Ivo Rogers is the perpetual "little brother" of 415 Ink. Ivo has some baggage - a lot of it, actually. He, along with his brothers, had been dealt a less than stellar childhood and time in the system. And being a bit more different than the others made Ivo a target and made the others even more protective of him, but Ivo is strong and self-assured and he's not going to stuff himself into a box of someone else's making. Mad respect for Ivo.
Ruan Nicholls is a by-the-book detective and he has no idea what hit him when he finds himself attracted to Ivo. Ivo challenges everything about Ruan's neat and ordered world. Ruan is not in the closet, but he isn't exactly flying the pride flag, either. Being a gay cop, even in San Francisco, is not necessarily easy. Ruan is ready, though, to find some happy of his own and maybe, just maybe, Ivo could be the one.
I've been trying to figure out why Hellion didn't resonate with me as much as the first two books. Maybe it's because of the lack of conflict, or at least not enough conflict. With the MC's being a by-the-book detective who does not color outside the lines and a tattoo artist who regularly pushes the boundaries of what is considered "normal", I expected a bit more relationship angst, but everything was easy and light. Ivo and Ruan clicked and kept on clicking. Or maybe it's because of just how meddling Ivo's family is. There does come a point when I want to tell people to back off. I'm glad they're tight knit, but they were over the top in the meddling department. One thing I should note, however, is that the overbearing meddling family is a common theme in this author's books. It generally does not bother me over much.
What I really appreciated, however, was the lack of melodrama between the MC's. I love tension, you see, but melodrama gets tedious and I'm happy for the lack of it in Hellion. Ivo and Ruan get their HEA and even though I didn't feel like they had to fight for it, I still am glad they got there.
Luke's book is next, and I suspect he's not going to go willingly to his HEA, so bring it!
ARC of Hellion was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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