Title: High Contrast (Evolution Ink #1)
Author: Tess Bowery
Publisher: Samhain Pubishing
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Page Count: 226
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
The deepest scars aren’t the ones that show.
Jacob Shain is your average member of Generation Screwed. He has a boring internship, no cash flow, and a tiny NYC apartment he has to share with Ethan, his much-cooler, tattoo-artist twin brother. Not to mention his love life is DOA. At least, until his brother’s shop hires on a new piercer, and Jacob’s humdrum life takes a turn for the weird.
Cody Turner is gorgeous, funny and kind—everything Jacob wants in a boyfriend. Except for the way he refuses to talk about his past, or where he lives, or anything about his personal life.
When Ethan is arrested while on a mission of mercy, the reason Cody is so tight lipped comes to light. And while Jacob and Cody fight to understand the depth of their feelings for one another, the police dogs catch their scent. So does the local mob.
Now Jacob has to make the hardest choice of his life: stay safe like a good boy, or dive headfirst into a world he barely understands…and hope Cody is there to break his fall.
Warning: Contains a good boy who wants to be bad, a bad boy who longs to be good, bodies that are canvases for living art and high-speed chases with police dogs.
“High Contrast” focuses around Evolution Ink : Tattoos and Body Piercing, founded by Ethan, Travis and Valentina with Cody (the new gorgeous mysterious piercer) and Priya behind the front counter. Add in Ethan’s twin Jacob, Ethan’s girlfriend Andi, the landlord Mr. Ashton and his dog, then toss in the mysterious Russian guys from the Cash-for-Gold store next door, Drew Sullivan (Jacob and Andi’s creepy coworker), legal aid attorney Marc, Uncle Joe, Cody’s ex Vincent and the book get a bit crowded.
Bowery introduces a subplot
- about medical marijuana which ends up with the police arresting Ethan and Travis and all of a sudden the group goes full Scooby-Doo in breaking and entering, oops, “investigating” the Cash-for-Gold folks
But, at the heart of this story is a very sweet love story between MCs Jacob and Cody who, despite all the chaos around them, have a low-angst relationship that develops fairly slowly. Add in a frenum ladder, surface bars, a Prince Albert and some unbelievably beautiful ink-free body art, and their relationship absolutely sizzles.
Two more pairs of jewels winked at his hips, angled to point down, emphasize the glorious V-shape of his muscles, a pair of treasure trail-enhancers that hinted at an arrow leading to the promised land. “Surface bars.” Cody grinned wickedly.
High Contrast was a quirky story with loads of characters and adventure, plus Cody and Jacob’s feel-good love story and an ending that feels right for the main characters, while still leaving lots of room for future books in the Evolution Ink series.
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