Review – High Contrast by Tess Bowery

High Contrast cover imageTitle: High Contrast
Series: Evolution Ink, #1
Author: Tess Bowery
Publisher: Samhain
Rating: 4 stars

Publication date: May 3, 2016
Genre: M/M romance/Contemporary
Length: 237 pages

Review Summary: A sweet romance set around a tattoo/piercing parlor, with a cute and funny geek matched with a gorgeous but damaged piercer.

Plot Summary/Description

Jacob Shain has a boring internship, no cash flow, and a tiny New York apartment he shares with Ethan, his cool, tattoo-artist twin brother. His love life is DOA, until his brother’s shop hires on a new body piercer, and Jacob’s humdrum life takes a turn for the hot and awesome.

Cody Turner is gorgeous, funny and kind. He’s everything Jacob wants in a boyfriend–except for the way he refuses to talk about anything in his personal life, including where he lives.

When Ethan is arrested, Jacob finds out why Cody is so secretive about his past. And while Jacob and Cody explore the depth of their feelings for one another, the police catch up with them–and so do the local mob.

Now Jacob has a tough choice to make: stay safe like a good boy, or dive headfirst into a world he barely understands… and hope Cody is there to break his fall.

High Contrast Review

There was so much to love about this book! Jacob was very sweet and I loved him from the start. I liked that he was very unsure of himself, having grown up in the shadow of a more extravert twin brother, who is now working in a tattoo parlor and the total definition of cool, while Jacob is on the sidelines. Even Andi, Jacob’s best friend, is Ethan’s girlfriend. Jacob seems to have nothing that is his alone.

Until he meets Cody, the new piercer in the tattoo parlor, who totally dazzles Jacob from day one. But if Jacob is insecure, Cody has his own issues, which have left him with a past he doesn’t want to talk about.

The action between them is hot and I loved the way that their relationship develops. Jacob is all over Cody and taking things way too fast, but Cody manages to hold things back a little without hurting Jacob or pushing him away. When his past catches up with him, they fight side by side, and I liked the way that the story ends.

The only thing I didn’t like were the mob action scenes. The whole thing with Ethan being arrested seemed unnecessary and over-the-top dramatic. It took away attention and reduced the impact of the battle at the end, which focuses much more tightly on Cody and Jacob and should have been the real climax. Something seemed unreal and comic-book-like about all of that for me, and I couldn’t believe the participation of the attorney, who was doing things no attorney would ever do for fear of losing his license.

Four enjoyable stars, and not to be missed if you like tattoo/piercing stories with a New York setting.

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