Inked In Blood

5 Stars

This was such a fun story to read. Everything about it was entertaining and the author used every drop of the page time to ensure we got a good understanding of the lead characters while also dealing with the baggage they both had.

I only have two real issues. Had I not read the blurb it wasn’t easy for me to distinguish what Board meant. Even though the measurements that were mentioned once should have made it obvious. The word board was so prevalent I honestly started to think that maybe it was some biker term for bike and almost google fact-checked this assumption. The first time the word board is used, saying skateboard would’ve solved all this but yeah, it took me a good long while.

Secondly, at the end there’s this bit where Santiago apparently has some random vision of him and Jeff and the very next sentence after he gives him an evil glare. I still don’t know what he’s angry about considering they were doing just fine literally seconds earlier. And then next thing I know he’s coming out from a shower and the whole evil glare sudden mood shift is just left there hanging. Then, for some reason, he’s up on the rooftop angry about something and then it’s gone again. It’s hard to buy into some sort of mood swing angle when it only happened twice and there was no explanation as to what triggered it or if not that why he calmed down after it. It was just odd and confusing considering everything else surrounding the ending reveal was handled well.

The plot had good pacing, predictable but good pacing. What I liked the most was that when Jeff revealed the gravity of the situation it didn’t turn into an angsty mess. There wasn’t a big fight with someone leaving forcing readers to wonder if the relationship was going to work. Basically, the typical ending drama these romances have and don’t need. Instead, both characters took their confused emotions and the situation life dealt with them and moved forward. Embraced the fact that neither of them wanted what had happened but it had happened and dealt with it. Deciding to go this way forward instead of the usual route for romance was refreshing really.

The chemistry between both the mains before and after the life-changing decision was fun. It went through all the rounds of flirty, to confusion, to erotic passion and a few spurts of doubt without crossing over into the overly heightened dramatic scenes most romances have. This story just made sense. It had a focus and stuck to it without trying to bring in so much extra detail that short stories shouldn’t have and that made it a pleasant read. Staying in its lane allowed me to enjoy the two characters without being distracted by stuff a story this short would not have time to deal with. And, the best part, when I read the last page I wanted more. They are vampires and I may have wanted a teeny bit more blood kink during the erotic scene but, as it was their first time, no biting into each other and going all bloodlust was appropriate. But I was definitely hoping it would happen.

Truthfully, I wanted more because it was such a sweet story that seeing more of the after would’ve been nice. However, the story didn’t feel incomplete and it left me fantasising about the HEA that they could be enjoying after their first night together. Ups and downs and all and that was a very good feeling to have.

I did almost bail out at the thing that causes Jeff to ‘save’ Santiago’s life as it is such an overused plot device. ‘I didn’t want to do it but you would’ve died.  I could see this plot device a mile away and was secretly hoping he would live without Jeff having to take such measures, however, as I said above the way it was handled after def undid what would normally be an easy rating destroyer.

Ultimately this book proves that even doing something that I would normally quit on a book for can be undone because it’s more about how you tackle a trope than the trope itself that affects how I see things. This book wins by being exactly the type of concise, clear, uncluttered writing that I expect from a short story. That and I may, or may not, think Santiago is the hottest thing ever. But I would never let hotness sway my review… maybe😈

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