Erryn reviews ‘Daddy Ink (Get Ink’d Book 1)’ by Ali Lyda. The ebook was published April 23, 2020 and is 271 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Jack J. Maguire. It was released June 22, 2020 and is 9 hrs and 10 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I read the blurb and was interested.
He’s raising a baby, not looking for love.…
I don’t want a serious relationship, and certainly not with the single dad next door. But one look at Gordo? I’m smitten. Even though I might be a tough looking tattoo artist, I know that the ink does a lot to hide my own insecurities. It doesn’t matter how much Gordo seems to like me – I can’t bring myself to make a move.
Talking has never come easy to me – and I mean that literally. But Gordo doesn’t seem fazed by my speech problems or the mess in my head, and soon we’re forming a deep connection. But I learned a long time ago that nothing lasts forever…and when a blast from Gordo’s past shows up, it proves that everything was too good to be true.
At least, that’s what the old me would say. This time, I know that Gordo and his little baby are worth fighting for. I’m willing to walk through fire to get what I want. But can a tattoo artist with a checkered past really be any guy’s happily ever after?
Daddy Ink is the first of the Get Ink’d m/m romance series. The Get Ink’d crew are misfits from all walks of life who come together to create amazing art. They’re a family born of love, loss, and ink. In this first in series, ambitious single dad Gordo has met his match in heavily inked Javi, and sparks are ready to fly.
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I’ve struggled with this review even though I finished the book a week ago. When I read the synopsis I was super excited. Single dad? Check. Hero with a disability? Check. Tattoos? I’d never get one but I have great admiration for those who both give and receive. So the set up was everything I was looking for. And the book did deliver, in part.
I’ll start with what I loved – the damaged heroes. Gordo is a single dad and not by choice. He’s struggling to raise Guiliana facing all the angst a new parent does. Am I good enough? Will I make mistakes? What if I damage her for life? When will I ever get a good night’s rest? It’s not surprising he’s livid when the people at the house next door jack up the music. He takes his restless daughter over and raises a ruckus of his own. He encounters a beautiful inked man who is silent. But soon after the music dies down and Gordo is able to return to his house and put his daughter back to sleep.
Thus begins a series of chance encounters between Gordo and Javi. At times this was a slower burn. Javi has some serious issues in his life – not the least of which is his stutter. It keeps him shut off from people because he fears ridicule – and rightly so. I love that with Gordo’s support, Javi begins to come out of his shell. Is willing to take more risks. Tries harder to engage with the people around him and not just his inner circle. I also loved that there wasn’t a ‘fix’ for Javi’s stuttering. People live with issues like that and there’s nothing wrong with it. He doesn’t need to be miraculously ‘cured’ to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Here’s where I struggled – there were so many misunderstandings between Gordo and Javi that it felt they spent more time apart nursing hurt feelings than actually together building a strong relationship. A few times a simple conversation might have cleared everything up. I get being so hurt as to not trust, but a bit more faith would have been nice.
Finally I need to mention the narrator. At first I thought his delivery was different because of Javi’s stutter (something he did do well) but I realized it was an all-around thing. It felt lazy because he’d say area-er and media-er. There were many words where an ‘r’ was added to the last syllable. Then there were words that were just wrong – envelope-ing. Finally, there were no pauses between scene breaks and it disoriented me.
I wanted to love this book, I really did. I’ve already secured the next one because I want Dane and Christian’s story. And I’m relieved to see there’s a new narrator. I don’t want to discourage people from buying this audio because there was plenty I enjoyed. Perhaps try a sample before you decide.
7.5/10 Pots of Gold (75% Recommended) – Compares to 3.75/5 Stars