Series: 425 INK #3
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reece Notley
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Length: 201 pages
Reviewed by Erin
From the moment SFPD Detective Ruan Nicholls meets Ivo Rogers, he knew the tattoo artist was going to bring chaos to his neat orderly life. A hellion down to the bone, Ivo is someone Ruan not only doesn’t understand but isn’t even sure he needs to. Everything about Ivo is vibrant, brash, cocky and arrogant and Ruan wants no part of him.
Or at least that’s the lie he tells himself when he damps down his desire for the social wild child life tosses into his path.
For Ivo Rogers, his life revolves around two things; his family and 415 Ink, the tattoo shop he co-owns with his four brothers. His family might be stitched together by their battle scars from growing up in foster care but their brotherhood was tight—and strong enough to hold Ivo together during the times when he fell apart.
Now Ivo faces a new challenge when he falls for a cop with an old-school mentality on what a man looks and acts like. Ruan is the promise of a life Ivo thought he’d never have but their thunderous clashes threaten any chance of a relationship. Being the family’s hellion makes it easy to be misunderstood yet Ivo has faith Ruan will not only embrace who he is but love him as well.
It seems like I’ve been waiting forever for Hellion, book 3 in Rhys Ford’s fantastic 415 Ink Series. It hasn’t REALLY been forever, but Ivo Rogers is a character I’ve been dying to get to know more about, and boy did I ever! He’s every bit as charismatic, complicated, and fabulous as I hoped he would be…and then some. Throw in a detective with some major misconceptions about the world around him, and I knew we were going to be in for a fascinating and emotional story.
Ivo Rogers has had a difficult life so far. In and out of foster care until he was finally home with Bear, Gus, Luke, and Mason when he was a teenager, his family both by blood and found. He loves them all fiercely, almost as much as he loves art and tattooing. Brash and confident, it has taken Ivo a long time to be comfortable in his own skin, whether that means wearing a pair of sky-high red stilettos with a kilt or jeans and combat boots. His brothers love him and protect him, sometimes too much for his liking, and when he and Ruan Nichols cross paths, though they briefly met years ago, it seems like Ivo might have found someone who might understand the real him. If Ruan can manage to get out of his own way that is.
I really appreciated the way Rhys wrote Ruan’s character. He’s older than Ivo, by a bit, and he’s set in his ways. He might live in San Francisco, might be gay, but that doesn’t mean that he understands what drives Ivo, what makes him want to dress in heels and wear makeup. Ruan’s education, for lack of a better word, is slow and sometimes it’s a one step forward two steps back process, which I found very authentic and realistic. He’s attracted to Ivo, there’s no doubt about that, but he struggles with the whys and how’s and I really enjoyed that, especially Ivo’s patience (when at first glance he might appear to not have much of that) and willingness to talk to Ruan about what his hang-ups are, while staying true to himself.
There isn’t a whole lot of conflict in Hellion, but instead it’s a rather hopeful and dare I say (because this is Rhys Ford we’re talking about here!) light book. There’s romance and plenty of emotion, some inner turmoil too, but at the heart this is a book about growth and love. Ivo is amazing, one of my favorites, but I’m so looking forward to the rest of the series and finding out more about Luke and Bear. If you haven’t checked out the 415 Ink series yet, you’re missing out and in for an awesome treat!
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