Inked With a Kiss
Grade : A

Inked with a Kiss is a wonderful, sweet and chemistry-laden tale about two ordinary women falling in love under the ordinary pressures of real life.

Thirty-seven-year-old Jamie Winston is a tattoo artist and shop manager with a dysfunctional family – a twelve-year-old-daughter, Riley, whom she adores but clashes with occasionally, her ex-wife, and two helpless, shifty, manipulative alcoholic parents whom she’s forced to care for as they refuse to care for themselves. Because of them and their dramas, she rarely thinks about what she wants or needs from life.

But she’s desperately attracted to Sierra Clark, a lively social butterfly of a twenty-five-year-old social worker. Sierra is fighting budget cuts at work, and when Jamie agrees to help her organize a fundraiser through the tattoo parlor, they begin to grow from smitten strangers to true lovers.

While Jamie encourages Sierra to start thinking of forever, Sierra starts giving Jamie the support she needs in order to draw a line between herself and her parents for good.  But Sierra, still haunted by the death of her mother, has been rigorously avoiding commitment for years. Can Jamie and Sierra overcome their family wounds to finally find real love with one another?

Reading Inked with a Kiss is like spending time with two good friends whom you’ve always rooted for and hoped would get together.  Jamie is hilariously awful at flirting; she’s a loyal daughter whose loyalty is being abused, she’s a great tattoo artist who loves her own child but must learn to communicate with her.

Sierra, meanwhile, is a spark of humor and joy and independence that hides the wounded child within her.  She’s lively and free but not childlike in the least respect.

When the two meet, their romance is both sweet and tempered with hang-ups.  Some readers may find Jamie’s tendency to infantilize Sierra or make a big deal of the twelve-year age gap between them annoying, but she gives good grovel about that by the end of the book, so it became less of an issue for me, especially when compared with their titanic chemistry, which brings the book to its wonderful and stirring conclusion.

The quality of the writing is very high and the author does a great job of making the reader feel like they’re settling down with two old friends, in an upper-middle-class (and lower middle-class) world of genuine emotions.

I loved Riley, who felt appropriately adolescent-ish, and Jamie’s parents are so great to hate.  For readers of the Thorn & Thistle series, MJ appears in this volume as well and continues to be wonderful.

In the end, Inked with a Kiss lands a high recommendation for the beauty of the romance between its characters.  It’ll make you consider getting a tattoo – well, at least looking in next time you pass by your local shop.

Buy it at: Amazon or shop at your local independent bookstore

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Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes
Grade : A

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : April 13, 2020

Publication Date: 04/2020

Recent Comments …

  1. What kept me reading was the sheer unpredictability of the storyline. I knew David’s and Chelsea’s paths would cross again…

Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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