Ink & Flowers by J.K. Pendragon


 About to lose his apartment, and desperate to avoid having to move in with his horrendous relatives, shy art student Luke impulsively agrees to a deal from hell: sex with a man he doesn’t know in exchange for a couch to sleep on.His new “roommate” Cooper is everything that Luke hates: crude, uncouth and covered in tattoos, not to mention openly gay. Luke has all but resigned himself to a miserable fate when it turns out Cooper might want something a little different than he expected.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21856773-ink-and-flowers?ac=1
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this book. Parts of the blurb seemed to indicate that the reader is in for a bit of hedonistic M/M reading, yet at the same time pushing you to expect more than what is on the surface – which is exactly what Luke must do when he moves in with Cooper: look beyond the surface and see the man within. I found Ink & Flowers to be a story about acceptance – accepting oneself and accepting those around you.
Luke is in a bad situation. Life has beat him down and kicked him while he’s down, just for good  measure. His relatives are awful! Nothing like a collection of judgmental and controlling family members to rip your self-esteem to shreds. Seriously, who needs enemies when you have family like his? And in strolls his knight in shining armor … a tatted-up, openly gay, bad boy who offers Luke a place to sleep in exchange for sex. Luke is disgusted by the offer because he’s not gay – or at least he’s never allowed himself to contemplate it. As awful as the arrangement is, it’s not as bad as moving in with his aunts. When moving day arrives and Luke is faced with “paying rent” he cannot do it – not because he doesn’t want to, but because he’s not supposed to want to. Because Cooper is dealing with  his own issues (and you’ll have to read the book to find out what they are), he decides not to collect rent that night. Rather, he goes for the stealth approach to make Luke want to be with him. While much goes on before they finally seal the deal, Luke’s first time is HOT and you cannot help but feel that everything they went through to finally get there was worth it.
Ink & Flowers is a great story that shows Luke learning to admit and embrace his sexuality, while standing up to his family when they attempt to force him into their mold. Cooper has to learn to live with and accept his part in a tragic situation. Fortunately, the two are able to help one another in this endeavor and begin to build a relationship. Although there is nothing that indicates that this is the beginning of a series, I do hope that the author decides to make it one as I would love to read more of Luke and Cooper’s story and see their relationship evolve further.

J. K. Pendragon is a queer writer hailing from British Columbia, Canada. They have been writing and telling stories from a young age, and enjoy writing in a variety of different genres, mashing them together whenever possible. A social recluse at heart, J. likes peace and solitude, with the exception of attention from their doting boyfriend and cold disdain from their snot-bag of a cat. J. loves receiving messages and feedback, and you can reach them by email at jes.k.pendragon@gmail.com and jes.k.pendragon@gmail.com, or tweet them at @JKPendragon.