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Free On KU

Inked with a Kiss by Jennie Davids

⭐⭐⭐☆★


There are some books that seem shorter than they are despite covering a lot of ground. This is one of them.

Sierra Clark is a social worker with a passion for her job. She also loves getting tattoos of chibi animals for not reason other than that they make her feel happy. She also has mad attraction towards her preferred tattoo artist, Jamie Winston. Jamie, older than Sierra by a dozen years, considers herself too old and too boring for her vivacious client and tries to keep a distance. Jamie is the oldest child of functioning alcoholics and has taken responsibility for her parents and younger brother at a very young age. A responsibility that she still carries. Additionally, she has the responsibility of a teenage child, daughter of her ex-wife. But Sierra is just too winsome, too alive, too everything to resist and despite herself, Jamie finds herself drawn irresistibly to the younger woman. Both, Sierra and Jamie aren’t really ready for a relationship, except that they aren’t doing ‘casual’ with each other too well.

Jamie comes across as stodgy and pedantic in everything including her emotions. Also, she seems to have a huge chip on her shoulder about having been too giving and too responsible in her past. This whole self-crowned preoccupation with seeing herself as always having taken care makes her incredibly self-centred and incapable of really opening herself to give, receive, embrace and accept in her interaction with Sierra. We’re sure this wasn’t quite the personality that the author was aiming for, but this is what Jamie turns out by the end.

In contrast, Sierra is a buoyant personality. She is alive, open and expansive in the depth and breadth of her emotions. Though younger, she is way more mature and sensitive to her partner. She is also wonderfully accepting, resilient and giving – all without seeming to be impossibly unreal.

To her credit, Davids manages to make the relationship work. Despite Jamie’s failures as a partner, you don’t feel Sierra absolutely shouldn’t be wasting her time with Jamie. In fact, this book really underscores the truth that a person doesn’t have to be perfect to be right for someone who chooses them.

The pacing is totally on-point. The characters are completely developed. This one is a fast, engrossing read.  

⭐⭐⭐☆★
 


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