Thursday, 22 December 2011

Book Review: More Than Meets the Ink by Elle Aycart

Title: More Than Meets the Ink
Author: Elle Aycart
Release Date: 28 June 2011
Number of pages: 288 pages
Publisher: Lose Id.
Source: review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: Wickedly sexy James Bowen is a bad boy of the highest order -- tattoos and attitude included -- which unfortunately ranks way up on Tate's not-a-chance-in-hell list, right there along with skydiving naked over Teheran and juggling Ebola vials just for kicks. But what the heck, she's on holiday, the guy is absolutely irresistible, and she needs to unplug from her life. With her dad and brother gone, Tate is left to deal with the family restaurant, which is fast going down the drain. Her employees are acting out, her boyfriend has bailed out, and her very own private stalker is emailing her to death with lovely threats of doom, fire, and dismemberment. So yeah, maybe a little holiday fling is in order. Strictly sex though, and no follow-up whatsoever once.

She hadn't counted on her take-charge holiday fling having an opinion of his own and stubbornly sticking around, before and after the sex, making himself at home in her life. There is definitely more to James than meets her prejudiced eye, and even if she's not ready to look deeper, James isn't prepared to permit her not to.

This review was originally posted at Book Lovers Inc.

My Thoughts: Tate Cooper is visiting her mom in a retirement home in Florida when she meets gorgeous but completely unsuitable James Bowen, son of her mom's middle-aged nemesis neighbour.
With the sun right behind him, she still couldn’t see him clearly, so she shaded her eyes with her hand and faced the jerk. The jerk was gorgeous.
Tate considers James perfectly unsuitable for anything romantic related as he has several tattoos, and Tate knows very well that tattoos mean bad boy, which means irresponsible, dangerous, heartbreaker, bad-news-guy.
Duh. What was she thinking asking such a stupid question? Of course no girlfriend. These guys never had girlfriends; they had babes, bootie calls, fuck buddies.

“Disliking tattoos is like a Pavlovian reflex for me.”
She came to this conclusion through the numerous and always badly ending experience of her sister Elle, who has something for irresistible macho bad biker boys, but who each and every single time got her heart broken. So witnessing her sister's romantic misfortunes Tate swears off tattoo-sporting guys, because she knows very well they are the kind with whom a sensible intelligent woman never mixes, unless she wants to screw up her life and sanity. I very much enjoyed reading Tate's monologue-analysis of bad boys, even if she sounded somehow snobbish Elle Aycart wrote these potentially insulting parts in such a way that with James I found it entertaining and at times even amusing. (I have to confess but in mere whispers that I also shared some of her prejudices.)

But after Tate admits to herself that the attraction between James and herself is too much to resist she finally gives in with the reassuring thought that whatever they will have will be nothing more than a fling, just sex, nothing else.
she was after vacation fun and sex. No love, no commitment or long-term anything. James was…hormonal relief—fucking material.
And that's where More Than Meets the Ink went from hot to scorching! The chemistry and make out scenes between James and Tate made my Kindle burst up in flames! Elle Aycart did an amazing job portraying James, who despite his impressive muscled physique and several tattoos is deep down an honest and generous good guy, but still retained some of the sexiness of bad boys in their bedroom antics.
Let me come over, and I’ll prove it to you. You’ll come so many times you’ll be limp by the time I’m done with you.”
James bedroom talk was blunt, sometimes even a bit shocking in its vulgarity, but I have to tell youo it worked amazingly well! I thought I wasn't someone who enjoyed this kind of crude dirty talk, but James makes it really sexy! Reading their make out scenes I continuously went from getting goosebumps then fanning myself, Elle Aycart masterfully mixed sexual tension and release giving the reader the perfect concoction of sizzling scenes.

Despite being a strong and independent woman, inside Tate is very vulnerable. She lost half of her family recently and she still hasn't gotten over her loss. She is in a fragile place of her life, with the family business being in bad shape, having debts up to her ear, having to deal with her broken up and grieving family as well as an irritating stalker. She is not ready emotionally to open up to someone, least of all to a bad boy she considers James to be. But what made my heart melt was that James knew quite early what he wanted (=Tate in his life) and wouldn't give up. He gave as much space and time to Tate as he could, but always waiting at the end for her to finally get on board. His possessiveness and the intensity of his feelings towards Tate made him a wonderful and completely irresistible hero:
He grabbed her by her shoulders, looking ready to strangle her. “You haven’t gotten the dynamics of our relationship down yet, have you? Let me explain it to you: we’re involved, very involved. You’re mine, and your problems are also mine. No one messes with what belongs to me. Don’t fight me on that, because you’ll lose, baby.
Besides the amazingly hot and well orchestrated love scenes, I mostly cherished the constant humour in More Than Meets the Ink. Be it Tate or James' dad, every character had some lines which made me burst out in laughter:
“I’m going to take a wild guess here and say the hard-on you’ve been sporting all afternoon is not on account of Mr. Nicholson continually bending over to pick up the golf balls, right?”
I enjoyed getting to know the supporting cast, Elle Aycart introduced a lot of interesting and likable secondary characters I would like to see again soon in a sequel.

I understand the reason for including the suspense part in the story, but I still think it could have done without it, it was my least favourite part, and wouldn't have minded if it were cut.

Verdict: More Than Meets the Ink is a fantastic erotic romance! Besides showing us the burning scenes Elle Aycart also explores the more subtle but equally powerful emotional changes and development in her characters. I never would have guessed if I haven't been told that Elle Aycart is not a native English speaker. Her narrative flew freely and naturally, her writing was both gripping and savoury. All in all More Than Meets the Ink is a scorching hot read I recommend to everyone who loves their contemporary romance sizzling!

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Cover: 7/10 - suits the story perfectly but I find it a bit too purple

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