I have that thing… you know, that thing where when I read a book I can see everything that is happening in it as if it were a movie or TV show. Perhaps it’s because of the way I have such vivid dreams and I’m a crazy daydreamer? Or the photographer in me that captures images of all kinds… Maybe it’s just the fact that I have to see things to understand them. Why do I mention this here? Because Marie Lark’s Indelible Ink had me picturing the nearest “downtown” to where I grew up in by the second page of her novella and her characters felt like home too. I couldn’t help but see the entire setting of her book as Scranton, PA.
Indelible Ink isn’t going to be one of those romances that sweeps you away and has you caught up in some idealized world of hot as hell, buff as a bodybuilder and sexy as a rockstar tattoo artist and a romanticized tragic hero from the wrong side of the tracks. Marie has written the most realistic love story I have ever read and I wasn’t sure when I was reading it, at first, if I liked it or not. It took me a little while to get into because who wants to read about the love story you have lived when you can escape into one that sounds effing fantastic… because after all, it’s supposed to be fantasy, right? When I got into such an honest love story, the one Marie wrote, those human touches began to add something to the novella that was absent in others not of it’s ilk.
Jon Park has just moved to the East Coast from the Left Coast and the fresh start he is searching for with his new business and partnership with college friend, Valerie, is all in play. He’s a man with a plan and he’s working to put his past behind him dig his heels in and make something of himself; create something he can call his own and be proud of. Stumbling upon a couple of beefers beating down a kid and trying to loot him and take his coat on a frigid winter night isn’t cool with Jon; that’s how he finds himself bringing Arthur back to his place.
Being on the make and manipulating people is how Arthur has learned to get by since he was a teenager. Life for a system kid who needs to look out for number one teaches hard lessons quick. Jon is a pretty easy mark and Arthur is spun a little between wanting to help Jon and wanting to make sure Jon helps him. It doesn’t take too long for Arthur to see that Jon’s faith in him and his belief that Arthur won’t do him a wrong turn has Arthur wanting to prove him right. Soon he isn’t trying to make Jon help him by manipulation; he wants Jon to keep him because he loves him.
This is pretty angsty at times because Arthur can be an angsty guy, but it isn’t that angsty crybaby stuff that makes you roll your eyes and bounce your head off your reader. No one in this book sparkles and no love is forbidden; this is not a May/December affair. The emotional rollercoaster that does come to be is the one you and I come to face anytime we enter a relationship and come to see that first: “Do they?”–“Don’t they?” Jon is your everyman and Arthur is that guy that your friends always shake their head about and tell you is an eff-up, but you can’t seem to stay away from. But they work.
Marie Lark does a phenomenal job on this novel. I wish I could recommend another title like it but I’m just not familiar with another book with as realistic figures as this one has. I highly recommend her newest novel, a lesbian romance called Stripped Down.
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Stripped Down Synopsis:
While a standalone story, for maximum enjoyment we recommend reading Indelible Ink first.
Saro has worked as an exotic dancer for four years and she’s one of the best in the business—beautiful, glamorous and talented to boot. But she’s on a downhill slide, stuck with a bitter attitude and sagging tips.
Never let it be said that Saro is without a plan, however. When she meets Red—a fiery, attractive amateur—and brings her on as her dance partner, they take Savannah’s strip club by storm. With big plans to make a name for themselves on the party circuit, the sky’s the limit.
But when Saro’s strict rules about the nature of the partnership begin to fray and unravel in the face of their obvious chemistry and attraction to one another, Saro confronts a difficult choice—to learn to bare herself to Red, or lose her for good.
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