Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Permanent Ink
Authors: Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
Narrator: Kirt Graves
Series: Art & Soul #1
Heroes: Poe & Jericho
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 7 hours and 7 minutes
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
This is one of those stories that had me both really involved and somewhat frustrated. I think the writers did a terrific job of “moving”me – meaning I definitely “felt” something – which is at least part of what writing is supposed to do.
I thought the characters, the premise, the cover!, the sexual tension and the art were all amazing and really well-done.
We’ve got an older guy and a punk and some serious artistic talent all mixed together. When you add in the fact that the punk’s father is the other MC’s friend… yeah. Serious tension!
For me, where things started to move away from “Awesome!” to “Hmmmm” – was how the two MCs interacted. Some people really like the “Daddy” kink but I’m not one of them. It wasn’t overplayed here and definitely wasn’t “awful” but it was definitely a main part of the story. The balance of power was never equal (IMHO) and despite the fact that the authors (bravely) called attention to it – the fact that Jericho acted like Poe’s dad then fucked him hard never felt good or remotely romantic.
While it may have gained momentum had the story continued on, Poe and Jericho’s relationship never gained enough strength for me to feel good about it going the distance – long term. Poe had a “miraculous” personality change and began toeing the line, Jericho wanted to have sex with him and did, somewhere along the line they declared their love. I didn’t see the actual love really manifest or develop.
I really wish we’d gotten to see more of Poe and his art – separate from the tattooing and Jericho. I really felt like he bowed to the dictates of Jericho and Landon and more or less put it aside for something more “grown up” despite all his protestations and the fact that he clearly loved it.
So, while I was absolutely involved in the story and I thought the writing was great, overall the romance didn’t work for me. I thought there was some great sexual chemistry, some interesting character development and some fascinating art but I wasn’t convinced the relationship was the “forever” kind. That being said, it’s still an entertaining story and definitely worth exploring – but I’d read some reviews to make sure you’re getting what you want for your money.
3 of 5 stars
I thought Kirt Graves was a good choice of narrator for this. His voice quality and tone as well as the “acting” he does fit the mood of the story and the characters well. He definitely added to the overall experience.
4 of 5 stars
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*