Monday, December 31, 2018

Sarah's Review: Merry Inkmas

Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert
Publisher: Nixon House (December 1, 2017)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Enjoy this festive romance by Talia Hibbert, author of A Girl Like Her. Christmas just got sexy…

"There's a beast inside of me. I keep it caged. You drive it wild.”

Cash Evans has come a long way since his troubled childhood, but all the wealth he's earned as a tattoo artist can't fix the hole in his heart. He knows that the sweet barista who haunts his dreams is off-limits... But life doesn't always go to plan.

”There isn’t a man on earth who could ruin me.”

Bailey Cooper is determined to learn from her mother's mistakes. She's seen how cruel love can be, and she's not about to sacrifice her self-respect for a relationship. But when a bad boy with a heart of gold comes to her rescue, she finds herself wondering if this beast might just be her Prince Charming.

Will these two lost souls find a happy ending under the tree this Christmas? Or is their love doomed to wither with the mistletoe?

Merry Inkmas is a steamy Christmas romance starring a brooding, bad boy hero and a curvy, black heroine. Be warned: this love is hot enough to melt any winter frost! ***Please be aware: this story discusses topics that could trigger certain audiences, such as domestic abuse, homelessness and intrusive thoughts.

Where to Buy*:
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Reviews for Hibbert's books:

Sarah's Review:

Come for the Christmas story, stay for the way that mental health and issues are skillfully woven into Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert. I really appreciate an author who can tell me a fun, sexy story, present me with realistic, strong characters, and intertwine social issues that we all face into her writing. Talia Hibbert has done that so well in this book.

Cash Evans likes plain black coffee, but for weeks has been going to the fancy coffee shop just to see barista Bailey Cooper. One cold night, she stands up for a friend and is out of a job. Cash jumps from the frying pan into the fire by offering her the receptionist spot in his tattoo shop.

Cash is fresh off a tattoo world tour, but struggles with a history of family violence and his own self-worth. Bailey’s mom spent her life chasing relationships with men, but when she died a couple of years ago she left her daughter completely alone. Both our hero and heroine have survived troubled childhoods and struggle with their own ideas of what love is, how it should act, and if they are worthy of it.

Because they are both working through their own issues, readers see flashes of social justice brilliance in Hibbert’s writing. Cash opens up that his mom made him see a therapist as a kid. It seems an embarrassing admission in a budding relationship, but Bailey reminds him she is studying cognitive psychology and “taking care of your mental health isn’t weird  to me”

Bailey is a self described geeky heroine, one of my favorite kind. She references Disney princesses, Harry Potter, and Merlin as we get to know her.  Her own self reflection is brilliant:

It never occurred to people that a woman might possess more than two dimensions.  That she might be awkward, geeky, and horny all at once.

Yes, Bailey! She reads at work and really likes studying psychology. It helps her to understand the world around her. Because Cash is dealing with his own violent history it is hard for him to admit or understand how much he likes Bailey.  He pursues her, but doesn’t want her...he runs hot and cold, but she’s not having any of it:

Now that I’m getting to know him better he’ and cold, I don’t like it. That shit’s manipulative.

I like reading stories where this kind of stuff is called out and worked though. That is what is great about this story. It is two people finding themselves and each other as they work out what it means to be a good human in the world...all wrapped in a fun Christmas package.

All in all, I give Merry Inkmas 4 stars. It read like a long novella or a short novel and there were some issues with the pacing. I felt like the end just came...bam! And while it is set at Christmas, there was nothing particularly “Christmas-y” about the story. It could have really been set at any time of the year.


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Source: Bought

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Thanks for the review, Sarah! I loved this one as well. I mean, it's Hibbert!


Until Next Time,

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