Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: Inked Magic (Inked Magic #1) by Jory Strong

Title: Inked Magic (Inked Magic #1)
Author: Jory Strong
Source: Self-Purchase
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Menage
Length: Novel
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 4

From the New York Times bestselling author of Healer's Choice comes the story of a
woman with the power of touch. Skin doesn't lie to her. It is her gift, sometimes her curse. She feels what others felt, and sees the things held in their memories...

With the touch of her palms to the skin of a crime victim, San Francisco tattoo artist Etaín can see the faces of the guilty and draw them. Changeling elf but unaware of it, at odds with her police captain father and FBI agent brother, magic and gift have put her in the path of two compelling men.

Cathal Dunne, the son of an Irish mob boss, needs Etaín's help finding the rapists who left his cousin for dead. Eamon, a powerful elf lord, is determined to make her his consort-wife.

Her gift once made permanence impossible when it came to a lover. Now, as she approaches the transition to fully Elven, her survival depends on keeping two. One of the men is willing to share her. The other isn't-until the search for a sexual predator turns deadly, and only by paying magic's price will there be any future at all.
Two strong men and one strong woman make for an interesting story - throw in a serial rapist and the mob and it gets even more interesting.  Etain doesn't do relationships - she hasn't since her mysterious "gift" caused problems.  She can see and feel things - things she doesn't always want to see and feel.  But she does the best she can with it, uses it to help others as much as she can.  Etain is so bad ass that she was a bit much.  I wish she had been a little more real.  She was a motor cycle riding, tattoo artist, magic wielding, tough girl that didn't seem to be afraid of much of anything.

Cathal and Eamon are both strong controlling men that don't really like to share.  Somehow Etain manages to have her way with them without making the seem any less masculine.  Their tenderness and care for her made them some amazing leading men.  I liked that one of them struggled for a long time with the idea of sharing her with the other.  But Etain needs them both, for different reasons.

The story unfolds around Etains budding and developing abilities, the search for the Harlequin Rapist, and Cathal's mission to find who is responsible for his counsin's attack.  Three big storyline manage to converge very nicely and wrap around each other very well.  Although at first I thought the Harlequin Rapist was the one Cathal was after as well, but I think that's because I midread something.

There are some fairly dark scenes in this book, especially when dealing with the victims of the rapes.  While there are no very detailed scenes of the attack, the emotional impact and impression is very tangible.  The author handled this very sensitive subject with taste, but with honesty as well.  This book had a definite noir feeling to it.  I pictured the scenes in dark tones with flashes of vibrant colors.  Book two, Inked Destiny, in on the shelf waiting for me.

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