Title: Permanent Ink (Art and Soul: Book One)
Authors: Avon Gale and Piper Vaugh
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 256 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Age Gap
At a Glance: This book is every bit as good as I expected a collaboration from these two authors to be, and sexy as sin too.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.
Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.
Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.
Review: I’m such a huge, huge Age Gap fanatic. The May/December thing is by far one of my favorite fictional tropes; there’s something unnameable and inherently romantic to me about the idea that it’s not the number but the person and the heart that complements you and yours that matters. I also have a Daddy kink, apparently, as well as a thing for grownass men. One of those things has always been true. The other, I didn’t know about myself until Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn introduced me to my new fictional daddy-boo, Jericho McAslan.
The writing team of Gale and Vaughn seems as natural a collaboration as any two authors I’ve ever read. Their writing styles are individual enough to be distinct without the changes in point of view being jarring, and I’m chuffed to bits that Piper Vaughn is getting their writing groove back. The great thing about what these two talented storytellers have done with Permanent Ink, and that aforementioned age gap, is that while Jericho and Poe Montgomery are two unique personalities, and though there’s a seventeen year difference in their ages—not to mention that Poe’s dad, Landon (who I loved), is Jericho’s best friend—their relationship came together so organically that to think they wouldn’t have found a way to make things work was inconceivable to me.
Poe, as the disaffected millennial, is a good guy with a big dream who is deeply discouraged by…well, life in general. He’s artistic, talented in spades, and he along with his best friend, Blue, have turned the urban landscape into their personal canvas. I loved the debate over what constitutes true art, and the graffiti artists who make bold artistic statements that much of society sees as criminal rather than creative, versus tattooing and that being every bit as much of an art form only on an intensely personal canvas.
I said above that I loved Poe’s dad, and I truly did because I related to Landon’s belief that his son, although a pain in the arse, was a good kid who just needed some direction, which is where Jericho knocked into Poe’s life so perfectly, first as a mentor who knows what it means to have someone believe in them, and then as a lover who offered Poe a different sort of discipline he craved. Landon wasn’t an enabler—he was just his kid’s biggest believer and had faith that Poe could become so much more than what he was. So, yeah, I dug Landon a lot.
As for Jericho, what else can I say about him? I loved that he enforced the no BS zone right from the start with Poe, which Poe responded to with obstinance on the surface, though it spoke to him on a deeper level that craved Jericho’s dominance. To parallel that, though, was the challenge for Jericho not to come off as a secondary father figure to Poe, a balance Gale and Vaughn acknowledged and then navigated with savvy. The fact that Jericho gave Poe an opportunity to earn his place at Permanent Ink rather than handing it to him worked so well as the means to close the gap in their ages just a bit more—Poe grew up a lot—and that elusive thing we call chemistry, when two people just click with each other, is all the way there for these two.
The enormous conflict that ties the beginning of the book to its end also—unless I’m mistaken—sets things up for the next book and Poe’s friend Blue (the authors have some redeeming to do with him. So, so bigly, if that’s where this is headed), and Jericho’s ex, Callum, who I think I could love a lot too, with some more page time.
If Permanent Ink is indicative of what these two authors can do when they pool their storytelling talents, I’m on board for everything they want to throw out to us readers. Unless you have a particular aversion to the daddy/boy thing, which is a-okay—everyone has their limits—I can recommend this book without reservations. It’s sexy as sin, and then some.
You can buy Permanent Ink here: