Secrets & Ink by Lou Harper

18332065Title: Secrets & Ink
Author: Lou Harper
Length: 128 Pages
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Heat Level: 2  Mild
Overall Rating: 2h 2 disappointed hearts

Synopsis: When Karma writes you a ticket, pay up or else…

If life was like the movies, Jem Mitchell’s wouldn’t be such a mess. In LA’s glittering world of dreams, he works an unglamorous job at a gourmet grocery store. His past is so deep and dark, the details are lost even to him. All he knows is he was once cursed by a meter maid, and ever since, his love life has sucked.

When Detective Nick Davies becomes a regular at the store, Jem dares to hope he’s un-hexed at last. He should have known that sex with a remarkably normal guy, devoid of weird fetishes and fatal personality flaws, was too good to be true.

During a post-encounter cuddle, Nick recognizes the tattoo on Jem’s back—and remembers him as a young hustler he arrested nine years past.

As Jem’s memories come crashing back, he flees from Nick, but fate contrives to keep pushing them back together. And when Jem’s old partner in crime is found murdered, the stakes are raised for life, for love, and a dangerous drama with no guarantee of a Hollywood ending.

Review:  I really wanted to like this one more than I did given my love for rentboys and tattoos. I’m still trying to decide whether or not it was ‘meh’ or ‘cute’. It’s probably both to be honest. It wasn’t really what I was hoping for when I bought it, but it wasn’t bad. I didn’t realize it was a novella when I hit that little 1-click button. So it was a little short for the cost I think. Ends @ 89%.

I don’t really feel the need to rehash the plot in this review because the summary does a pretty good job of it already.  I was hoping for a little more ‘rentboy’ in this. I know it says former, but somehow I thought we’d get a bit more of Jem’s history and his relationship with Riley when they were kids.  I would have loved to seen him & ‘Sasha’ together. Possibly more with Nick during that time period too. It would have made for a great story. It was missing the angst and grittiness I was expecting I think. I’m not sure.

Also, I didn’t really connect with either character enough to care about them. I liked Jem enough, but Nick was really flat. I just finished reading this one and I don’t remember a single thing about him. I can’t tell you what he looked like, things he liked, or anything other than he smirked a lot and liked shibari. (Which is Japanese rope bondage for those unaware. A system of intricate knot work over the body. And while this might sound hot for those who like a little kink, it wasn’t really delved into within the story. Another disappointment)  This would have been a better story had it been longer with more fleshed out characters.  There was far too much telling and not enough showing. And the villain was far too predictable for me.

I did like Pancake though. Or the story behind him anyway. 😉 I’ll let you discover that should you choose to read.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad story really, just not what I was looking for or expecting. For me, this was a case of cover lust gone wrong, I guess.(less)

Purchase: Amazon | Samhain Publishing

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