Dana reviews Savior (415 Ink Book 2) by Rhys Ford (Published by Dreamspinner Press, September 18, 2018, 220 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read the review for Rebel, (415 Ink Book 1) click here.
415 Ink: Book Two
A savior lies in the heart of every good man, but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside the savior.
The world’s had it out for San Francisco firefighter Mace Crawford from the moment he was born. Rescued from a horrific home life and dragged through an uncaring foster system, he’s dedicated his life to saving people, including the men he calls his brothers. As second-in-command of their knitted-together clan, Mace guides his younger siblings, helps out at 415 Ink, the family tattoo shop, and most of all, makes sure the brothers don’t discover his darkest secrets.
It’s a lonely life with one big problem—he’s sworn off love, and Rob Claussen, one of 415 Ink’s tattoo artists, has gotten under his skin in the worst way possible.
Mace’s world is too tight, too controlled to let Rob into his life, much less his heart, but the brash Filipino inker is there every time Mace turns around. He can’t let Rob in without shaking the foundations of the life he’s built, but when an evil from his past resurfaces, Mace is forced to choose between protecting his lies and saving the man he’s too scared to love.
Well, this is going to be an emotionally tough series from Rhys Ford. Lets start with a basic explanation if you have not checked out this series yet. 415 Ink is a tattoo shop owned by 5 brothers, two biological and three chosen. Bear is the oldest and heads up this group. Ivo and Gus are brothers and cousins of Bear’s, Mason and Luke met the others in the foster care system. I know that kids in foster care often have bad experiences in life before they end up there. I didn’t expect how hard some of these stories would be. Gus, the main character in book one, made me want to hug him tight and cry for his past. In this book, I felt it even more for Mason. I only hope the others’ stories won’t be as hard. Not because I won’t read them, but because, yes, I hurt for these fictional characters and don’t want to see them abused and damaged.
Mason was kidnapped and abused physically and mentally by his cruel father. He was taught to think white, straight men were superior to all others and made to do things that no kid ever should to avoid being hurt himself. Remarkably, as an adult, I thought Mason had it all together. He rescued his best friend, Rey, from a fire similar to one he lived through. They even went into firefighting together. He holds all his insides together with his job and his brothers, but keeps so much secret of how broken he is inside.
Rob is a tattoo artist. His well off parents more or less kicked him out because of his career choice. They don’t understand each other but deep down I think he knows they love him. His intact sense of self worth seems to show that. He and Mason have a lot of chemistry but because of a rule not to date employees, they seem to fight their own feelings and each other. When Mason’s dad is released from prison, his whole world tail spins and with fear and chaos filling him up he doesn’t have the strength to fight his feelings anymore. Rob and Mason are good together. Rob pushes Mason to be open and honest with him and his brothers. It’s all very scary for Mason, though, because he can’t forgive himself and doesn’t expect anyone else too.
There are a few scary moments in this book, and some violence, but it’s not a mystery or suspense novel in the way some of the author’s other books are. There is some really good romantic moments in this book, too. But some of it felt rushed. For me, I would have liked to see the relationship development take a little longer. It felt as if once the two gave in to desire that they just accepted they were in love and not just attracted. Time elapsed in a way that I think some of the falling happened off page, and I can accept and feel the realness of their feelings by the end, but I love the falling in love part and kind of felt like it was missing.
Ultimately, the story is about the love of family and Mason’s need to love himself, to move past doubts and self loathing for the things he did before he met his new family. Each of the brothers become more special as I read this series and I can’t wait for all of their stories to be out there. I definitely recommend this book and series. Rhys Ford creates such unique stories in her books, and I love the mixing of cultures she always includes. If you haven’t read anything by her, do yourself a favor and check out her books.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.
Rhys Ford: http://rhysford.com