Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Release Day Review: Permanent Ink by Jaime Samms #Review #Giveaway

Author: Jaime Samms
Book: Permanent Ink~ 2nd Edition
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: January 18, 2017
Length: 71 pages

Reviewed by Erin


Beauty is only skin deep, but some marks—and what they represent—are impossible to escape.

Eric resents his comfortable college life and the restrictions his family’s expectations put on him. Dwayne, his best friend Angel’s cousin, is a pierced and tattooed ex-con trying to rebuild his life. Eric sees only the tattoos and the way Dwayne’s upbringing have dictated his future. It takes a surprising revelation from Angel to force Eric to see past Dwayne’s defenses to the generous heart beneath and to realize it’s time for him to break free of his own instilled beliefs. The men can’t keep apart, and they gradually learn that everything they thought they knew about each other might be wrong.

Opposites attract as two men from very different backgrounds move from enemies to lovers in a story of understanding, compassion, and redemption.

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Jaime Samms is one of my auto-buy authors. She writes her stories in such a way that I am ALWAYS captivated and thoroughly invested in her characters. From rock stars to ballet dancers to troubled boys, Jamie hasn't let me down yet. I read Permanent Ink ages ago, and loved it, but when I saw it was being re-released--with a GORGEOUS new cover--I knew I wanted to read it again. And boy am I glad I did. I forgot how utterly fantastic Eric and Dwayne are and how much I enjoyed their story. 

As a novella--only 68 pages--you might think that there isn't much depth to this story. You'd be wrong though. Way wrong. How Jaime Samms manages to pack so much into so few pages just goes to show how talented she is. Eric is a very privileged guy ...comes from a wealthy family, is expected to follow in his father's footsteps into being a doctor (never mind that he's a basketball player), and really doesn't want for much in the way of material things. He's a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy who is bisexual, though his parents like to ignore this fact, and his best friend is fellow teammate, Angel, who he happened to grow up with. Angel is black, but he's smart, athletic, and driven (more so than Eric actually) and has his head on straight. Angel is also where he is today thanks to his cousin, Dwayne. You see, Angel was involved in a fatality and when the police showed up it was Dwayne who took the blame, and the one who spent six years in prison. When he emerges, he's tatted up, pierced, has cornrows and an attitude that is all bark. But beneath lays a good man with a big heart and is endearingly vulnerable. 

The shortness of the book dictates that things move fast, and they do, but there is enough so that you get a true sense of who these two guys are. Eric is quick to judge everyone and everything. Being an upper class privileged white boy will do that to a person I guess but between Angel and Dwayne, Eric learns that everything is not what it appears. There isn't just black or white, right or wrong, but variations in between. And in the case of Dwayne, who was the quiet, good boy to Angel's rebelliousness and compunction to find trouble, Eric sees first hand that first impressions are not always correct.

Like most people, I would have loved this book to have been longer, but I can certainly appreciate what Samms was trying ... and succeeded in doing which is to show a world that we don't see enough of, especially in M/M. A racially diverse cast of characters and a glimpse, albeit a brief one, of people and circumstances that aren't so cookie-cutter. This is a book about race and family and sacrifice and love. It's about expectations, both real and imagined, and how sometimes there is more to what you can see. I really enjoyed Permanent Ink and can't wait to see what Jaime writes next!


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