Authors: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Page Count: ~52
Reviewed by: Steph
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.63 stars out of 5
At seventeen, Jamie was cursed to always have his inner thoughts exposed as a tattoo across his neck for all the world to see. He lost his home, his family, and his relationship with his best friend when the tattoo outed him.
More than a decade later, he’s a successful porn star who loves his life and never once thought about returning to the horse farm he grew up on. But his boss wants to do a shoot with him where he grew up, and Jamie can’t say no.
Okay, so this story has a bit of a “Beauty and the Beast” type vibe. You know the part where the Enchantress is in disguise as an old woman and asks the prince for shelter and he refuses thus placing a spell on the prince and everyone in the castle for his cruelness. Well, the only one that’s cursed in this story is Jamie, and that is after he shuns a fae looking for directions to a homeless shelter. For his unkindness, the fae bestows upon his neck a tattoo that displays his emotions for the world to see.
In fact, the author seems to push this take of the fairytale when Jamie states, “It’s a curse. Makes me a beast.” Now, other than that statement, Jamie is not a beast in any sense of the word. Even when he states he’s a horrible person, he really isn’t. At least, there wasn’t enough supporting evidence in the storyline to back up his statement.
This is a story about a boy whose cursed by a fae, kicked out by his family because of who he loves and forced to find his own way in life. In doing so, and with the help of the tattoo that displays his every emotion, he keeps people at arms-length. Never establishing a real connection with anyone. That’s until the day his work in porn brings him back to his hometown.
Here he is basically given a second chance, which he takes a bit reluctantly. In the end, Jamie and Tom get their HEA. However the issues Jamie has with his parents aren’t resolved and the tattoo still remains. The only thing that has changed is that the word that’s displayed on this neck hasn’t changed. It is ‘stuck’ on the word “beauty”, which I expect has something to do with Tom.
IMO, the story was too short to properly tell this tale. Maybe if we had more of a background of how Jamie and Tom were before that fateful day when they were younger to get more of a read on Jamie’s and Tom’s character. First, it would have established the storyline a bit better and secondly it would have set in motion the chemistry between Jamie and Tom. Which to be honest I felt was lacking here.
Due to the shortness of the story is short, Tom seems too quick to change from “no, everything about you is wrong” to “I love you. Please give up everything a be with me.” Actually, it pissed me off a bit. Here Jamie is the one who leaves because his parents are horrible and the one person he loved didn’t acknowledge him. Yeah, IMO Tom needed to grovel a bit more as well.