by Holly Hood
Published: Self-published – August 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
Hope didn’t ask for much. Dancing, singing, hanging out with her best friend, Karsen, those are the things she loved. A worry free life is what she wanted.
But when her parents suddenly get a divorce, Hope is forced to choose between staying in Georgia where everything is familiar and comfortable, or leaving behind everything she’s ever known and follow her dad to Cherry, California where everything and everyone is not as it appears.
Choosing to move to Cherry is a life changing experience. Thrust into a world where she is surrounded by the high-class and over privileged, Hope finds it near impossible to fit in. That is, until Slade comes along.
Hope knows she should stay as far away from him as possible, but she can’t seem to help herself. Dark and mysterious, covered in tattoos and piercings, Slade is every parent’s worst nightmare and every teenage girl’s fantasy. Part of the local band Evil Kings of Ink, his voice makes girls go weak in the knees, and Hope is no exception.
Problem is, the longer Hope stays in Cherry, the more she learns its secrets. There is something strange going on in Cherry. Something sinister. A girl has already died and everyone is pointing at Slade. Could there be more to him than meets the eye, or are the people of Cherry looking for a scapegoat?
As Hope’s life takes a turn from the ordinary and depressing to dangerous and wild, she’s not sure who to trust. Will Slade steal her heart, or will she fall victim to the hype?
Once I started reading this book I could barely put it down. It has romance, heartbreak, nail-biting moments, and mystery. Every character had their own personalities and own agendas. Hood has created a world that’s both magical and nerve wracking, for evil is lurking in Cherry and Hope can’t always come out unscathed. But it’s the continuous guessing game on who Hope can trust that really thrilled me. Can she trust Slade, the guy with a bad reputation, who sings in a band, who has tattoos and a dark secret, but is the only one who is truly nice to Hope. Or can she trust Tucker, the mayor’s son. The popular guy with outrageous good looks and wandering hands. Of course Tucker and Slade are enemies and the fact that they both want Hope just adds fuel to the fire.
Hope was smart, loving, and all-around interesting. You easily feel and care for her character from the get go. She takes care of her father and twin brothers while trying to make friends in a town full of rich snobs.
Slade took a little more time to get use to. He’s more cutting in his comments but usually means well. He has had a bad life and only wants to be happy. When he finally reveals his secret I was so excited. I thought his background was very well thought out and gave a nice dash of paranormal to the story.
Reading about Tucker is like taking a shower while the washing machine is going: hot and cold. You get all hot and bothered by his self-confident demeanor and flirtatious nature, then you get smacked with cold water as he reveals a more sinister side of himself. But which is the true Tucker? That’s something you will keep wondering till the end. But his father just straight creeped me out from the start. Wouldn’t want to be trapped in a room with him.
The mystery in this book was amazing. I was always surprised by the turn of events and could never guess what was going to happen next. The premise was unique and made me want to read more. There were parts that terrified me, made me laugh out loud, and made me scream in frustration. The book overall was well written and the dialogue was very realistic.
Hope’s best friend Karsen frustrated me. I felt like she was unsympathetic to Hope when it came to the many terrifying situations Hope was put in. She easily brushed away reasonable fears Hope had, and I just didn’t understand why. Some things about Karsen really put me off to her, though she did have some funny moments.
I wish some things were explained more. I still had questions in the end. Some people’s actions were very odd throughout the book and I wish the reasons behind their behavior were explained more thoroughly.
Hey, it’s a paranormal romance, what do you think? Of course we get sex. Three sex scenes, a lot of heavy petting, and a little peep show (OMG, I am still laughing about what Hope walked in on). But these are very mild scenes. They are actually really cute and well written.
Hope is only seventeen so you would think the book was young adult. But I would not categorize Ink as young adult. This book is full of adult situations. This is what actually intrigued me the most: getting to read about a younger set of characters that face real life scenarios like sex and alcohol. My complaints are pretty minor and in no way took away from the book’s overall awesomeness (hey, it’s my blog and I can create words all I like). I thought the whole story was very endearing and it held my interest the whole time. Highly recommended.