Sunday, August 6, 2017

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

Permanent Ink (Art & Soul, #1)
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.

Jewel's rating:

Who knew I would actually like Daddy Kink? I mean really like it? I didn't care for that dynamic, much at all, back when I read M/F, but now? M/M somehow makes it work for me. Or, maybe it's just Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn that make it work for me! Whatever it is, I'll take it -- Permanent Ink was deliciously dirty and I loved it!

I've gotta say, though, when I started reading Permanent Ink, I was skeptical that I would ever like Poe. He was a bratty, ungrateful punk with a penchant for graffiti. At 23, I thought he needed a serious lesson in adulting. Like his dad, Landon, finally getting tired of him freeloading and causing trouble and tossing him right out on his bum. Thankfully, Poe wins the award for The Most Character Growth in a Romance Novel and he did, eventually, win me over. He needed time and direction and someone to help him see that he could have his art without it becoming pretentious. Jericho really was a good influence on Poe.

I loved that Poe's transformation wasn't like a light switch. No, it took him time to finally make the right decisions. Oh, he would try, but old habits and bad influences sometimes won over being responsible. But he did make it! And, wow, I don't think I've ever been so proud of a book character.

Jericho knows what going down the wrong path is like. He was a troublemaker, much worse than Poe, when he was a teenager. He got himself straightened out and learned to tattoo, both with the help of his mentor, and discovered that tattooing was something he could really be proud of. Jericho has a lot to be proud of, and overcoming his troubled youth and owning his own tattoo studio are at the top of his list. But maybe Jericho had forgotten what was really important in life. Things like looking forward while embracing the now. Art is a living thing and it took Poe to remind Jericho of that.

Art was very much a focus of Permanent Ink. Though, like Jericho, I've admired some pieces of street art, for the most part, I've often viewed it as vandalism. But there's really more to it than that, and I liked that it was shown as having more depth than I had assumed. Art for the people. Add in tattooing, which is the ultimate in living art, and I'm in heaven. I love body art. And that reminds me...I want another tattoo.

The romance between Poe and Jericho was a bit of a slow burn, which I loved. Jericho didn't want to pursue his attraction to Poe for several reasons:
1) Poe is the son of Jericho's best friend, Landon
2) Jericho is Poe's boss
3) There is a 17 year age difference.

But Jericho's resolve eventually breaks and wowza. I thoroughly enjoyed their dynamic. "Daddy" was specifically for sexy-times and it was so much hotter than I thought it would be. A tone of voice was all it took to go from boss to lover and I enjoyed every moment.

I also liked how Jericho made the effort to see things from Poe's point of view. He wasn't perfect at it, by any means, but that just made him human. I liked that even though he was older, he didn't always get it right the first time (except with tattooing, of course). I like it better when the MC's are fallible, just like the rest of us.

I suspect the next book will be Callum and Blue, and that could be all kinds of fun (and also kind of funny because there is an actor named Callum Blue). I'm sure Blue will offer Callum all kinds of challenges. And though we don't know Landon's sexuality, at all, I do hope he gets a book, too. Please please please!

From the messages of everyone deserves a chance to shine and art is life, suffice it to say, I loved Permanent Ink and would definitely recommend it.


ARC of Permanent Ink was generously provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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