Series: Twirled World Ink #4
Publication date: February 14, 2017
Length: 146 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
Welcome to Twirled World Ink where the crazies run the asylum.
When someone was asked to describe crazy, if they knew Lee “Lucky” Trenton they’d point at him. Accident prone and without a filter of any kind to tell him to shut up before he says something inappropriate he’s no one’s idea of a perfect partner. Growing up with parents who subscribed to a philosophy of Radical Honesty Lucky and his siblings were doomed from the womb. Lucky found a home away from home at Twirled World Ink, but he didn’t just find a place to belong. He’d found Priest.
Matthew “Priest” Beall ran away from his judgmental family the second he’d earned the money. He’d come in search of Gib Phelps a legend in the tattoo industry. If you wanted to learn the craft, then Gib was the man to beg an apprenticeship with, and he’d begged. Priest might have left the violence of his past behind, but when he closed his eyes it came back to torture him. The only place he felt safe was when his best friend Lucky let him sleep in his arms. He wanted more, but he didn’t think he deserved it.
Priest left his family behind without regret only to find a new one with the crew of Twirled World and the super weird Trenton family. Could he grab onto his new life or would the memories of the past ruin the happiness he’d gained?
Lucky is book 4 in JM Dabney’s Twirled World Ink Series. If you’re like me you’ve followed these books religiously. Each one giving another one of these perfectly imperfect guys their love story. And in this case two Twirled guys together.
From book one we have all seen Lucky enter a room like a tornado. A hyper hippie incapable of lying. He thinks it, he says it. It’s almost refreshing in a way. And although many people want to kill him because he says EVERYTHING on his mind; you never wonder where you stand with him. He’s a vibrant spirit and I truly adore ever crazy inch of him.
Priest who is Lucky’s best friend is the newest of the crew. He’s quiet, shy, and suffocating from the fear of his past. I knew through all the books that whatever happened to Priest it was bad. And I wasn’t wrong in my thinking. Shockingly I don’t think anyone in the world of fiction could have been better for him than Lucky.
We deal with severe trauma in this book. Two characters who are opposites in every way possible. Physically and mentally these two are different sides of the spectrum. Lucky’s family (Not the twirled world guys) are as equally insane as he is. But they love like whoa! And they immediately accept and love Priest. A love Priest never even knew existed.
This book was by far the most emotional of them all. I thought the author was extremely tasteful and respectful of the subject matter and she fleshed these characters out brilliantly! The realism was extraordinary and I welcomed every obstacle that Lucky and Priest overcame.
Love this book and adore this series! HIGHLY recommend.
The scent of a familiar incense he recognized as one of Lucky’s favorites filled the large room. There was a circle of cushions littered around the room. The door had a sign that had said Couple’s Workshop. Priest already set through the introductions and the rules, they were also informed of a cuddle group later that evening. He watched couples filing in, mostly straight, but a few lesbian, it appeared Lucky and him were the only male couple.
“Good afternoon, how is everyone today?”
A perky woman who looked like she was going to a Yoga class skipped into the room. That was way too much.
Everyone responded, but he was frozen until he felt Lucky’s arms twine around his waist from behind. Soft lips surrounded by stubble teased the side of his throat, and he closed his eyes. Almost three years of sleeping beside Lucky most nights, all the touches and caring gestures hadn’t prepared him for this.
“I’m Carmen, please find a cushion, one of you will sit cross legged. Your partner will sit on your lap facing you with their legs around your waist, the soles of their feet together and arms over your shoulders.”
“Yes or no, Priest, this is your decision.”
He could only nod and let Lucky lead him to the back of the room. Lucky sat down and crossed his legs, then held his hand out for him. His body slightly shook as he straddled Lucky’s lap and eased down until Lucky’s thighs cradled his ass. It was the most intimate position he’d ever experienced with Lucky or anyone else. He uncomfortably shifted at the strangeness.
“To start, we’re just going to focus on breathing,” Carmen’s voice was soft. “Close your eyes. Focus on your partner’s breathing. Matching your breaths to theirs. Inhale when your partner exhales.”
Lucky’s clear blue eyes focused on his and his fingers tenderly stroked the small of his lower back. Music with a lot of chimes softly played.
“You’re holding your fucking breath,” Lucky whispered. “And close your eyes.”
He heavily exhaled and tried to do as directed. They both wore pajama bottoms and t-shirts, but he was hyper aware of Lucky’s warmth, where their skin connected. He peeked at Lucky and studied the handsome angles of his face.
The dark blond brows, one bisected with a scar from one of Lucky’s many accidents and the other pierced with a small stainless steel hoop. His cheekbones were high, up close you could count the cute freckles that slashed across his cheeks and nose. A thin nose that was slightly bent with a bump at the bridge. Lucky’s lips were wide and thin, but the bottom one had a nibble-worthy pout. He was so beautiful, and Priest didn’t understand why Lucky treated him like he was special.
Years of gentle touches, Lucky made sure he was always comfortable and cared for, hell, sometimes Lucky even made sure Priest had eaten before he did. Lucky would watch him as Priest would eat with this odd expression in his eyes—almost like satisfaction. Then something tickled at the back of his mind, and he suddenly realized he’d seen that look before it was the way Damon watched and cared for Lily. He’d witnessed Damon making Lily a plate before he even attempted to get his own.
He’d always found it stupid to be jealous of the relationship Lily and Damon had. There was no mistaking the love they had for each other—even with the oddness of their partnership. Now, he didn’t get the Radical Honesty; he couldn’t imagine Lucky coming home to say he’d been checking out and flirting with someone else, maybe even had sex with another person. He felt his brow furrow at the thought of Lucky with anyone. Priest wasn’t stupid enough to think extraordinarily handsome Lucky went without, but Priest didn’t want to think about it.
Soft lips brushed at the creases between his brows, and he opened his eyes all the way to find Lucky watching him. A half-smile quirked Lucky’s mouth as he withdrew, but then Lucky rested his forehead to Priest’s and flexed his arms pulling Priest closer. Priest stiffened to camouflage his shiver at the closeness.
That was new, although he’d noticed Lucky, the gorgeous, weird man caused him all kinds of strange emotions and thoughts over the years. The instructor’s voice broke through his thoughts, but he didn’t pay attention he was too focused on the man holding him. It was familiar yet different.
“Today is about recapturing intimacy. Touch is such a simple act and has the power to convey everything we feel. Make eye contact and with touch let your partner know how you feel about them. There’s no rush. Find your safety and comfort.”
He caught the end of one of Lucky’s locs and rubbed it between his fingertips, the texture course, but strangely soft. Suddenly Lucky’s dreads fell and caressed over his skin. Calloused fingers traced his arms from shoulders to his hands, Lucky wrapped his hands around his wrists and pulled Priest’s hands around to rest on Lucky’s lean pecs. Lucky trapped one over his heart and Priest spread his fingers. His stomach twisted and tightened, heat began to build.
“Don’t panic, I can tell when you start to lose your shit.”
“I’m not panicking.” It was the truth, well, not in the sense of his usual panic attacks. His breaths were sharp coming in quick pants, but he didn’t feel like there was a vice around his chest. The anxiousness which screamed for him to run wasn’t there. To the contrary, Priest wanted to get closer.
He shifted his hips and sank deeper into the cradle of Lucky’s legs. Lucky’s chest rumbled under his hands. That was new, Priest experimentally rubbed his palms against Lucky’s chest and felt the man’s nipple rings catch. Lucky’s hands settled on his sides and stroked along his ribs. He nibbled nervously at his lower lip. It took all his control not to squirm.
His gaze caught and held Lucky’s as they touched. There wasn’t anything remotely sexual about it and nothing they hadn’t done countless times in the past. Safety is all he ever felt. There wasn’t any pushing like with the other men he’d encountered. The terror his ex induced didn’t come into play. Was this how it was supposed to be when you cared about someone?
Priest loved Lucky, had for a long time and it went beyond friends. He wasn’t stupid enough not to recognize what his feelings were, but he couldn’t take that step. Men wanted sex, and he knew he wasn’t ready, probably never would be able to trust someone to that degree not even Lucky. He started to drop his chin, but fingertips pushed at his chin, and Lucky’s forehead rested heavier to his. They didn’t exchange words, none needed to be, and he just let himself feel comfort while it lasted.
JM Dabney will gift one person a copy of Lucky and
a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card!!!
Giveaway ends on February 21st!
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