Title: Ink Illusions
Author: Val Kovalin
Publisher: Amber Allure
Buy Link: Buy Ink Illusions Here!
Rating: You Want To Read
Reviewed by: Layne
As a gay man, Aaron never dreamed he'd end up in Houston, Texas, helping a female friend raise her child. Then he learns that the child's father has just been released from prison. Will Travis threaten Aaron's new family? To find out, Aaron conceals his identity and meets Travis during the chaotic splendor of Mardi Gras, when no one is what he seems. Travis is ruthless when it comes to locating his child. Otherwise, he's not the criminal Aaron expected. Aloof and intuitive, he works as a tattoo artist. The intricate tattoos on his body celebrate his commitment to Asatru, a Norse pagan religion. Meanwhile, Aaron is his polar opposite, a talkative Jewish sales rep from Las Vegas, who never misses a chance to have fun.
What they have in common is neither man can turn down a fight. Neither can resist their affair, which turns into an intensely erotic struggle as each seeks to master the other. As their lust deepens to love, Aaron knows he must tell Travis the true reason they came to meet. Meanwhile, he fears that the darkness inside Travis's soul may lead him to break the law and end up back in prison.
Val Kovalin introduces the readers into the world of Mardi Gras, Norse paganism, and even some Viking mythology in Ink Illusions. Opposites Aaron and Travis meet at a masked ball and it’s attraction at first sight. Only Aaron is keeping secrets and those directly impact Travis.
Breathtaking descriptions and flawed characters make Ink Illusions a great read, but I couldn’t pin down a time frame. Ms. Kovalin had the characters jumping around from weeks to months, leaving this reader feeling as though something important was missed during the time jump.
Blocks of dialog with no action tags, or speech tags for that matter, bogged down the flow of the story and had me skipping pages.
I liked Aaron. I understood his dilemma in wanting to protect the little girl he loved and his growing feelings for Travis. Who I didn’t like was Rosemary, her attitude and her choices. I still don’t have a reason for why she thought Travis wasn’t fit to be in his daughter’s life.
Travis I loved. He was so misunderstood and really a softy who’d learned from his mistakes. I wanted more on his relationship with Aaron. I felt there could’ve been a bit more in depth fleshing out of those two. Still, Ink Illusions is filled with flawed characters and great love scenes.