Series: 415 Ink #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reece Notley
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Length: 220 pages
Reviewed by Erin
A savior lies in the heart of every good man, but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside the savior.
The world’s had it out for San Francisco firefighter Mace Crawford from the moment he was born. Rescued from a horrific home life and dragged through an uncaring foster system, he’s dedicated his life to saving people, including the men he calls his brothers. As second-in-command of their knitted-together clan, Mace guides his younger siblings, helps out at 415 Ink, the family tattoo shop, and most of all, makes sure the brothers don’t discover his darkest secrets.
It’s a lonely life with one big problem—he’s sworn off love, and Rob Claussen, one of 415 Ink’s tattoo artists, has gotten under his skin in the worst way possible.
Mace’s world is too tight, too controlled to let Rob into his life, much less his heart, but the brash Filipino inker is there every time Mace turns around. He can’t let Rob in without shaking the foundations of the life he’s built, but when an evil from his past resurfaces, Mace is forced to choose between protecting his lies and saving the man he’s too scared to love.
As a die hard and long time Rhys Ford fangirl, anytime there's a new book out I think it's a reason to celebrate. I mean, new words from Rhys is always worthy of squeeing loudly, but I have to say her 415 Ink Series has me excited like I haven't been since Sinner's Gin. Don't get me wrong, EVERY book Rhys writes is amazing, but this series is something special. This found family of five, these men who are all so fierce and loyal and broken have something extraordinary to them. Rebel, the first book of the series, was fabulous and I was immediately enraptured by Bear, Luke, Gus, Ivo, and Mace and their dynamic. Rebel was about Gus and second chances. In Savior, it's time to find out all about Mace.
I've got to honest, of the five brothers we were introduced to in Rebel, Mace Crawford wasn't exactly my favorite. He came off as a bit-or a lot depending on your viewpoint-of an asshole. Judgmental and brash and condescending, there was definitely something a bit unappealing about him. At least in my opinion anyway, but I trust Rhys in all things, so I knew there had to be more to this guy and boy was I ever right! By the end of Savior, I was madly in love with Mace and my heart ached for all he's been through. I mean, yes, I KNEW there had to be a reason for his attitude and there was no doubt he loved his family with his whole heart but man it took some work to get underneath all those layers. You just knew it was going to take someone special to be up for the job and Rob Claussen was just the guy to do it.
Rob's been working at 415 Ink, learning from Bear and lusting after off limits Mace. Not only is he Bear's brother, but he's also part owner of 415 Ink and even though Rob knows he shouldn't, he can't help but want Mace. The feeling is mutual, as we are shown, and their chemistry is on fire (pun intended since Mace is a firefighter!) hot and though they try, they really can't stay away from each other. In time, and little by little, Rob begins to chip away at Mace's walls and then there's a nasty encounter with Mace's truly evil and vile father that brings them even closer together. Mace has been afraid of his father his whole life and he's kept secrets from his childhood deeply buried to the point that's he's kept people from getting too close.
Once Mace comes clean not only to Rob but to his family about the horrors of his childhood, it was so awesome watching Mace bloom into this guy that just melted my heart. He's got this vulnerability to him that is SO appealing and it's no wonder Rob fell head over heels in love with the man. I love how Rhys shows his growth, from this guy who snarls and snaps into one who calls his neighbor Grandma and lets himself fall in love with Rob. There's not a ton of page time spent on Rob and Mace together, but I didn't mind that. I really enjoyed getting to know each of them and seeing Mace with his brothers and Rey was fabulous. As always, Rhys's storytelling is engrossing and evocative, leaving me alternating between smiles and tears. The way she writes families of all kinds, man, I'm not sure there's anyone that does it better. How she captures each nuance, how there's frustration and anger sometimes but it's always rooted in love and that ALWAYS shines through her writing.
To say that I'm dying for the next book and Ivo's story is an understatement if there ever was one and I can't wait to see more of Gus, Mace, Luke and Bear as well. If you haven't started this series, what are you waiting for? It has some of everything, laughs and angst and heat and so SO much heart! Be sure to start with Rebel then Savior so you can anxiously wait with the rest of us for book 3 because I guarantee you'll want more 415 Ink!
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