Friday, March 23, 2012

Inked Magic by Jory Strong

Title:  Inked Magic
Author: Jory Strong
My Rating: B+

Genre:  Paranormal Erotic Suspense
Series: Inked #1
Main Characters: Etain, Cathal, and Eamon
Release Date: February 2012
Publisher: Penguin

Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Healer's Choice comes the story of a woman with the power of touch. Skin doesn't lie to her. It is her gift, sometimes her curse. She feels what others felt, and sees the things held in their memories...
With the touch of her palms to the skin of a crime victim, San Francisco tattoo artist Etaín can see the faces of the guilty and draw them. Changeling elf but unaware of it, at odds with her police captain father and FBI agent brother, magic and gift have put her in the path of two compelling men.
Cathal Dunne, the son of an Irish mob boss, needs Etaín's help finding the rapists who left his cousin for dead. Eamon, a powerful elf lord, is determined to make her his consort-wife.
Her gift once made permanence impossible when it came to a lover. Now, as she approaches the transition to fully Elven, her survival depends on keeping two. One of the men is willing to share her. The other isn't-until the search for a sexual predator turns deadly, and only by paying magic's price will there be any future at all.

My Review:
I will admit, even after finishing this book, there is a lot about this world that I still don't think I understand. The beginning of this book drops you right into the story and there are a lot of characters in this story to keep track of. As a result, I found myself floundering trying to keep track of who was who at the beginning. At one point during the middle of the book, I even went back and re-read the first couple of chapters just to clear up exactly how the chain of events happened and it helped so much.

That being said though, I did enjoy this just took me a while to settle into it. There are a couple of unrelated rapes in this book that Etain is helping to solve. She can take the victims memories through her palms. It's a gift that she doesn't understand, but she knows that she can find justice for the victims so she's willing to do it, although it costs her a great deal mentally and physically. 

There are two love interests in this book for Etain. The first is Eamon who is an Elf Lord who recognizes her gift and Etain as Elfish in origin, although she doesn't even realize it. He fully plans on making her his wife and mistress and is willing to accept Cathal in her life to make that happen. Cathal is related to one of the rape victims. His mob family wants to exploit her gift through any means necessary. He's simply trying to keep her safe.

There are several things I really like about this book and at the heart of those is Etain. She's a tattoo artist, which is incredibly fascinating. Everything about her world was interesting...from her friends (one of my favorite parts of the story is her tattooing Quinn and the subsequent hook-up...just a great side story within this wonderful book) to her gift. She is being used by her family and accepts that because she knows that she's helping the victims, but my heart broke for her over their callousness. I love how honest she is with both men throughout this book. There is absolutely no subterfuge about what she is doing or how she's feeling. She's a no-holds-barred kind of gal and you can't help but admire her. I never thought I could enjoy a book where the heroine was involved with two men separately (which is the way this book through almost the entire story), but Jory Strong wrote this incredibly well and I never once questioned the dynamics between the three as being genuine. Really well-done.

This is a complex book filled with two extremely powerful men, two very violent crimes, a rapist stalking Etain, and a childhood and family that Etain just doesn't understand. I honestly feel like I need a re-read just because I know that I missed things along the way, but regardless of that, it was still extremely hot and suspenseful. I stayed up till 2:00 in the morning just to finish it. What I didn't realize until the last paragraph though, is that this is going to be an ongoing series and there is MUCH MORE to this story and explanation. OMG!! 

I have a feeling we are about to enter much more into the Elfin world and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. While Eamon is okay with Cathal's presence in their lives, Cathal doesn't feel the same about Eamon...and that's before he realizes about all the Elf issues. Cathal is human and has had only the slightest hint about Etain's gifts/origins. It's liable to be an interesting ride and I can't wait to see where it goes. 

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