Title: Inked Magic
Author: Jory Strong
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Series: Inked Magic Series (Book 1)
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback, 384 Pages
ISBN-10: 0425245373 (Penguin/Berkley)
ISBN-13: 978-0425245378 (Penguin/Berkley)
Reviewed by: Sheila
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.
Quick & Dirty: Dark and sensual tale about a magical tattooist and the two men who want her.
Opening Sentence: Fog turned the cemetery into shades of black and gray.
Etaín is as exotic as her name implies. She is a strong, independent woman and a gifted tattoo artist. She also has the rare ability to read memories and emotions via skin. This ability makes her an invaluable asset to her brother in the FBI by helping get information from traumatized victims, most recently targeted by the Harlequin Rapist. Her involvement has always been kept a secret, but her gifts have become known to others with their own brand of justice in mind.
Etaín’s life is her own. She is estranged from the family that raised her, except for the occasional work with her brother. Her talents are fulfilling and allow her to help those in need of her particular abilities with great personal and physical sacrifice. Etaín does what she can to make the world a better place, whether inking a memorial tattoo or reliving the memories of a victim of abuse, without thought of personal gain. She is also very comfortable in her sexuality. So when she finds herself drawn to two different men, she just goes with it. There is no internal war over which she should choose. This could be from her unknown heritage or from years of neglect from her family. These attributes make for an unforgettable character.
Lord Eamon is a faerie in charge of the local Territory that Etaín lives in, hidden from human eyes. The first time he sees Etaín, he knows her as the changeling she is; she is one of his people. His physical responses to her and her rare talent make her an ideal wife-consort. He starts his campaign to win her over, but not necessarily away from his supposed rival, Cathal Dunne. He is far more accepting of Etaín having multiple partners, if that is what her magic requires. Though he lets on that he can help her control her magic, we don’t see much progression of it in this book. His aloofness makes him seem more arrogant than anything else. I look forward to learning more about Eamon and seeing more emotional growth from him.
Cathal Dunne is a human and a fascinating character. His family and their “business practices” make for divided loyalties for Cathal. The only reason he gets involved with Etaín to begin with is on their behalf. After spending time with her, he must decide what is more important to him, his family or the woman that seems to be stealing bits of his heart; one piece at a time. The relationship he is forced to have with Eamon is most confusing to Cathal. He wants to see Eamon as a rival, not as a partner in bringing Etaín the most amount of pleasure she can experience. He struggles with the idea of sharing. Can he reconcile his feelings before he loses the only woman he may ever love?
The sexual nature of this book far from tepid. If the guys were food: Cathal would be chocolate, sweet and bitter and addictive, while Eamon would be more like caramel, thick and delicious slowly spread over the skin. The two of them make for a delicious duo that any woman would be nuts to deny.
The plot of this story is about taking down the Harlequin Rapist; a man that has his sights on Etaín being his next conquest. While Etaín does what she can to help, Eamon hints that she can no longer control her magic like she has in the past. It hints of a destiny for Etaín far above what she ever had pictured for herself. With two hotties helping her out, what could possibly go wrong?
Overall, this was a good book; dark and sensual without losing the plot. I look forward to more from the Inked Magic World.
The dress fell away easily, becoming a silky pool of dark blue at her feet and leaving her in heels alone. “Dinner was a torment for me,” he murmured against her lips. “Sitting, making casual conversation, eating, all the while knowing you wore nothing beneath the dress I’d given you.”
“Most would say you brought it on yourself.”
Her hands went to the front of his shirt, fingers taking their time over each button as the fabric slowly parted to reveal smooth flesh and small, hardened nipples. She brushed her thumbs over them and was rewarded by the catch of his breath and a flush of need across his cheeks.
“Is this my punishment then?” he asked.
She kissed downward, tongue replacing the pad of her thumb, hands free to undo his belt and pants. “You tell me.”
Inked Magic Series:
1. Inked Magic
2. Inked Destiny
FTC Advisory: Penguin / Berkley graciously provided me with a copy of Inked Magic. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payments I receive are hugs and kisses from my little boys.
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