Reviewed by Nikyta
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: 415 Ink #2
Heroes: Mace & Rob
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: A savior lies in the heart of every good man, but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside the savior.
The world’s had it out for San Francisco firefighter Mace Crawford from the moment he was born. Rescued from a horrific home life and dragged through an uncaring foster system, he’s dedicated his life to saving people, including the men he calls his brothers. As second-in-command of their knitted-together clan, Mace guides his younger siblings, helps out at 415 Ink, the family tattoo shop, and most of all, makes sure the brothers don’t discover his darkest secrets.
It’s a lonely life with one big problem—he’s sworn off love, and Rob Claussen, one of 415 Ink’s tattoo artists, has gotten under his skin in the worst way possible.
Mace’s world is too tight, too controlled to let Rob into his life, much less his heart, but the brash Filipino inker is there every time Mace turns around. He can’t let Rob in without shaking the foundations of the life he’s built, but when an evil from his past resurfaces, Mace is forced to choose between protecting his lies and saving the man he’s too scared to love.
When I finished Rebel at the beginning of the year, I really couldn’t wait to read the next book in the series but I was jonesing for Luke’s story. When I saw this was about Mace, I was super excited for it even though he wasn’t exactly the brother I was hoping for lol. As it was, I couldn’t wait to read it and I couldn’t put it down once I started! I don’t know why but even after all these years, I’m still sucked right into any story that Rhys Ford writes. I just love her writing style. I love that I’m always craving the next book and I love that she makes me feel so deeply for the characters.
This one was no different and Mace and Rob buried their way into my heart from the first chapter. I adored the fact that Mace tried to distance himself from Rob because he knew Rob was his weakness. It was interesting to see how Rob reacted to Mace being an asshole but even with the dislike between them, the chemistry was still off the charts. Even when they would bicker at the beginning and give silent jabs at one another, the intensity between them was obvious to me. I couldn’t get enough of that push and pull and I couldn’t get enough of seeing them work through the obstacles in their way.
Now, as you’ve read in Rebel, the brothers each have their own demons. In this one, it was intriguing to see how Mace was still facing those demons and how Rob was able to help him through it. I really liked the fact that Rob wasn’t scared of the things Mace had done and I liked that Rob wouldn’t give up on Mace. Once Mace showed that Rob meant something to him besides an employee and besides a fuck buddy, Rob would not let Mace dismiss the bond that was forming between them. I admired Rob’s dedication to Mace and I loved seeing Mace realize that he had Rob by his side no matter what and embrace the courage that Rob knew he had and tell his brothers all his secrets. It was a beautiful moment when Mace confessed everything to his brothers and confessed to how much Rob meant to him.
While I really loved this one, there were times when the chapter would just end and we didn’t get to see what happened next. Instead, we were told what happened instead of shown and that made me really sad because I wanted to see what happened. I was also a little disappointed that the last two or so chapters were about telling what’s been happening with the guys instead of showing it. I wanted to see Mace meet Rob’s family, to meet his father. I wanted to see them really bring the two families together and experience Rob really being apart of the family and how the brothers all embrace him since we didn’t really get that in the story itself… we got the brothers being made at Rob but not of them all embracing him as family.
All in all, though, I absolutely adored this book. I couldn’t stop reading it once I started. I loved Mace and I loved experiencing him fight his feelings and his demons. I loved how Rob was a balm to Mace’s troubles and I loved how stubborn Rob was and how he wouldn’t let Mace just push him away. I wish we had gotten to see a bit more on key moments but, otherwise, this was a stellar addition to the series. I can’t wait to get the next book and really hope it’s about Ivo and Ruan….. but still hoping for Luke and Bear too!!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*