Reviewed by Nikyta
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: 415 Ink #1
Heroes: Gus & Rey
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 29, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: The hardest thing a rebel can do isn’t standing up for something—it’s standing up for himself.
Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After Gus spends years running from his past, present, and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, karma delivers the one thing Gus could never—would never—turn his back on: a son from a one-night stand he’d had after a devastating breakup a few years ago.
Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family’s tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together… until the firefighter who’d broken him walked back into Gus’s life.
For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn’t the strength or flexibility to hold on to. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt, but Gus hadn’t wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul.
When Gus’s life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream.
Wow, this story!! I mean, I really shouldn’t be surprised that I loved it considering Ms. Ford wrote it but still. Every time I read something by her and get sucked into the book, I’m still shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you! Even so, this was a phenomenal start to a new series. I loved how much angst there was and so much push and pull between Rey and Gus.
They have a ton of history and the story begins with a bang on when and where they first met. Then moves forward to where they are now and how their lives have changed. They dated in the past but have been broken up for years so this book is all about the now and how things have changed for them, how they’ve grown and a few accidental surprises that come into play.
I won’t go into more than that but let me say, this one packs a punch. There’s a good amount of angst because Gus is really messed up and he’s trying to get his life on track, which is really hard to do when he’s trying to deal with an ex that won’t stay away and a son he didn’t know about. I really loved that Gus was far from perfect, though. I loved that he was so messed up in the head but that he realized he needed to get things on track if he ever wanted to give his son a normal life. And he has four brothers to tell him just how he should do it, too LOL.
At the same time, I really adored the chemistry between Gus and Rey because it turned this one into a bit of a slow-burn read, which is exactly what I needed. Rey seems a bit high and mighty but he really just wants a life that’s not filled with drama and disappointments. They fit really well together and when they both embrace who they are and who the other one is, is when the story really sank into my heart and stayed there. My only issue with this one is it became a little too wordy at times to the point I didn’t really know what was happening for a few sentences.
In the end, I absolutely adored this book! I loved Gus and Rey and I really enjoyed their journey of trying to build a relationship from the ashes of their previous one and Gus working through what being a father means and sorting out the mess in his head. This was a great start to a new series and I really love the 415 Ink concept. I can’t wait to read the next one in this series and kinda hope it’s about Luke!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*