About the Book
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 years of 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 break-up three 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 onto. 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.
The Finer Details
Narrative Arc: Series
Series Detail: 415 Ink, book 1
Series Arc: new relationship
Publication Date: December 29, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: Novel, 240 e-book pages
POV: 3rd person, limited to two main characters
Age Range(s): 30 to 34, 26 to 29
Tropes and Tags: abusive elements, emotional agony, best friend’s sibling, body art tattoos/piercings, chosen family, reunion/second chance romance
Settings & Locales: San Francisco, California
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Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author.
Back Porch Thoughts
YAY! A new series!!!!! Tattoo Artists!!! Second Chance Romance!!! Chosen Family!!!!
Y’all, I am excited and, as always with a Rhys Ford book, head-over-heels filled with glee to get my hands on this.
The beginning got off to a minor clunky start — which just might’a simply been me not catching on fast enough which way was up and who was who, whose head I was in, what was the past and what was the now of the story. But the clouds parted fast enough that I was IN it in the way I am with all of Rhys’ stories from the sights and sounds to a litany of emotions.
This story is a killer on the feels. The back stories are painful and violent with parental malevolence I can barely fathom, and it tore me to shreds.
But look — chosen family — that’s the key to this whole thing. The men here have a brotherhood bond that is stronger than what I witness in genetic siblings. They banter, they tease, they’re each others strength and voice of reason. They are in it forever, all for one and one for all.
Rey and Gus — they also have that enduring tie that binds. They’ve got tons of history, a lot of it painful, tons of knots to untangle in order to forge their way forward. Every one of those strings tugged at my heart.
Gus needed to come home to move beyond his tragic past, but also to step up to the plate for a new life-long responsibility of raising the son he’s just learned about. Rey is either a distraction he could do without or the extra bit of strength and reassurance he needs.
It’s no secret I’m in love with just about every word Rhys Ford writes. Snatching up her books is an automatic, I don’t even have to ponder it for a second. She’s pretty well known for dead bodies and scary things, some mystery or madness. This is straight-up contemporary, which she doesn’t do so often. But don’t get any ideas that it’s all hearts and rainbows because this book is a throat punch of emotion.
Despite the start, that could have been my fault as a reader, and despite the horrors of horrific childhoods, this was gorgeous.