Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 3 stars
In a world where warlocks, vampires, trolls, elves, etc. walk among humans, Gage Powell just wants to be a tattoo artist/potions stirrer. That’s easier said than done, however, since Gage left the warlocks’ White Towers some years before. In doing so, Gage was forbidden from using magic except in self-defense. The fact that they let him walk away was a miracle in and of itself.
He now runs his tattoo shop with his friends Bronx (a troll) and Trixie (an elf). He’s kept himself mostly under the radar, that is, until a young woman walks into his shop asking for a tattoo.
The act of potion stirring can have quite an effect on tattooing. For the right price, and with the right ingredients, someone can be made to seem more attractive, gain intelligence, or get some extra luck. When Tera walks into Gage’s shop she’s dying of cancer and wants the tattoo of something beautiful to see her through to the end. Gage, trying to be a good guy, draws Tera up a beautiful set of angel wings, and adds a little something extra intended to help Tera with the cancer. Little does he know this simple act of kindness will end up spiraling out of control and drawing the attention of the warlocks, the grim reaper, and other factions.
If you can’t already tell, Angel’s Ink is full of complications for Gage starting at page one. When you think that he may finally be on the right track, something else happens and he ends up in someone else’s debt. I suppose the readers are coming into the story when everything hits the fan, but it does start to feel a bit overwhelming.
It is apparent very early on that Gage is a good guy. He goes out of his way to help the people he cares about and keep them safe, but he doesn’t expect the same in return. Therefore, he tries his hardest to keep Bronx and Trixie out of the mess he’s created. The simple act of keeping secrets usually leads to nowhere good and this is where Gage becomes frustrating. After two years of working with Bronx and Trixie, as well as going so far as to call them family, he doesn’t want to trust them with his secrets. He also doesn’t give them enough credit because he really should know that they are smart enough to see through the lies. To give Gage a little credit though, he’s not the only one with secrets.
Still, even with the frustrations, the friendship between the three is a bright spot in the book. They are truly and extremely loyal to each other. Everything seems to work out when they act together as a team. Hopefully in the next book they will come to fully understand that.
Jocelynn Drake definitely didn’t hesitate to make things difficult for Gage in this series debut. Gage may have assuaged enough people to give himself a breather, but he’s by no means sifted through all the debts he’s garnered over the course of Angel’s Ink; there’s still plenty left to carry over into the next book.
Sexual content: Graphic sex