Rating: ★★★ +.5 | 256 pages | Riptide Publishing* | Contemporary Romance | 08/07/2017
When Jericho McAslan, owner of Permanent Ink Tattoo, takes on 23-year-old delinquent graffiti artist Poe Montgomery as his first apprentice, Poe’s presence complicates Jericho’s life in more ways than one. The attraction between them is instantaneous but Jericho isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to cross that line–especially since Poe is 17 years younger than him…..and his best friend’s son.
I don’t feel comfortable recommending Santino Hassell books anymore and I’ve been looking for other books to fill the M/M with age gap trope that worked for me in Fast Connection.
I liked a lot about this book, all of the characters were complicated and fully realized, the vibrant (super progressive) small business community in St. Louis really popped and the stakes of Poe and Jericho’s relationship created the kind of tension that kept me flipping pages. This was literally me when they decided to tell Poe’s Dad about their relationship:
My biggest struggle with this book was Poe, I found him frustrating, immature and spoiled. He lives with his Dad, who has paid thousands of dollars in bail money for him, and instead of letting Poe face punishment his Dad gets him a free apprenticeship. He just gets so many second chances. Jericho and Poe seemed to be on two opposite ends of life and didn’t fully make sense as a serious romantic couple to me. There are some meaty side characters and I could easily see Jericho and Poe ending up with one of them.
Overall I found Permanent Ink a compelling read even if I wasn’t rooting for the main romance. Gale and Vaughn are a powerhouse writing team and I can’t wait to pick up another of their titles.
This is the part of the review where I reference an old TV show no one remembers. Jericho’s clients come from across the country to have Jericho fix their janky tattoos and it reminded me of this short lived show on A&E called Tattoo Highway that I really liked where a tattoo artist and his crew take a mobile tattoo parlor across the country to fix people’s tattoos.
P.S. This is the second romance I’ve read with a Nevertheless She Persisted reference. Publishing jumped on that phrase fast.