Kian didn’t anticipate being dragged along while his friend got a tattoo to be anything but a waste of time. Then he meets Silver, a handsome tattoo artist who provokes all sort of x-rated thoughts and ambitions. More intriguing, Silver’s been waiting for a chance to get to know Kian. A relationship wasn’t what Kian was expecting when they fall into bed, but he’s not opposed. But the beginning of a relationship is the easy part, it’s everything after that’s a challenge-especially when the danger of disease and infection enter the picture.
After reading Scarred Souls, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Inked Souls. I knew that Silver had a tragedy in his past based on comments made in book one, but I didn’t know what it was. Truth be told, I was a bit worried to find out after all that was revealed about Damian and Josh in the previous book. While Silver’s past is indeed tragic, I was relieved to find out that it wasn’t the same kind of trauma as the other pair. In fact, despite Silver’s secret and Kian’s past, Inked Souls was a more upbeat read than I anticipated – so much so, that I spent a good deal of the book waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. Thankfully, it did not and I consumed this book in matter of hours.
The book opens with us meeting Kian on his eighteenth birthday, which is also the day he meets his father for the first time. Learning that Kian’s mother prevented his father from being in his life and finding out that Kian grew up being neglected by his mother, it was practically impossible for me not to feel for the young man. As his story progresses, I fell in love with him. Rather than becoming bitter about his childhood, Kian tends to look at what he has instead of what he doesn’t have. He is thankful that his father entered his life and that his stepmother and half-brother welcomed him fully into the family. It was obvious during Kian’s visits home that he was a full-fledged member of the family, so much so that I never would have guessed they’d only been in each other’s lives for mere months. But as much as I loved Kian’s interactions with his family and his best friend, Chloe, it was his adoration of and eventual love for Silver that made his character so likeable for me. Although the two hook up almost immediately, Kove writes the characters in such a way that it works. It wasn’t so much an insta-love situation as it was an instant connection, and from that, we got to see their relationship progress. With the book being told primarily from Kian’s perspective, we don’t get to see as much from Silver’s point of view, but it works because Silver’s actions and dialogue make it clear that he feels the same way about Kian. That the two were so well-matched sexually and hot as heck when they were together just added to their connection.
While Inked Souls overlaps some with Scarred Souls, it isn’t necessary to have read book one first. Being as I loved Scarred Souls, I do recommend reading it. For those who passed it up because of the warnings (which should be taken seriously), you can read this installment without issue because the overlapping scenes that are included are seen from Kian’s point of view and as Kian doesn’t know Damian or Josh as well, Silver’s explanations provide the information needed for a new reader (and Josh) to understand what’s going on. That said, if you did read book one, I think you will enjoy seeing how Kian and Silver got together – thank goodness for bribable flat mates – and how much easier their relationship seemed to form in comparison. And catching up with Josh and Damian was a nice bonus. I do hope the author plans to continue the series as I enjoyed Kove’s writing and would like to see more of these characters.