Thursday, August 13, 2020

Book Review, Feature, Excerpt, & #Giveaway ~ Two Ink Minimum by Michel Prince

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michel Prince will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Contemporary Romance

In book one of Permanent Hangover, all Finn Gardner wanted was a breath of fresh air when he stepped into the alley behind the Permanent Hangover Bar and Tattoo Parlor. At first sight, he’d thought it was just another homeless person to shoo away from the building. Instead, he found someone who needed help - his help. Having been given a second chance himself, Finn believes in paying it forward. The Hangover has taken more than one lost soul in over the years.

Bailey Parson needed to get away. She left her life in Chicago behind and escaped to St. Paul, but she never once thought far enough ahead to what her next step would be when she arrived there. To her, what she was running from was much more to worry about than some half-baked plan. After a month stuck on the streets, a new need arose, as the temperature started to drop - survival.

Given a chance by a stranger, Bailey works to find her way. Not only winning over customers and the staff with her smart wit and empathy, she wins over the standoffish tattoo artist. Keeping their relationship forward focused, Finn hoped to avoid both of their baggage. However, when Bailey’s past threatens to destroy everything they built together, Finn’s left with decisions to make.

Does he give up the beautiful curvy woman, the only one whose touch calms him? How much of his dark past would he need to unlock to save her? A past with the potential to destroy what they have together. More importantly, can the lovers turn the scars of the past into a design strong enough to see them through any challenge? Or, will the permanent ink leave them with open wounds and no chance of healing?
My Review:

Everyone has a past. How you deal with it often times defines you. When your past is full of pain, abuse, and darkness, it's hard to think about a future - a future where you are actually able to outrun your demons.

Bailey Parson tries by leaving her Illinois life and landing in Minnesota. Walking into Permanent Hangover, the bar and tattoo shop, Bailey wins over most of the staff, all of her customers, and the tattoo artists, especially Finn Gardner. She tries to keep her life in Illinois a secret but when her past rears its ugly head, she has choices to make - let her past consume her or finally live for herself and her future.

Finn Gardner just needed a break when he spotted Bailey behind Permanent Hangover. What he saw was a young woman in need of help. Given his past and second chance, Finn pulls her in, finds her a job, a place to live, and reason to believe in herself. Since his youth, he's stayed away from people, away from their touch, and out of relationships. Bailey's different though. Her entire being changes him but it may be all for naught if he can't convince her that their love is worth more than what's waiting for her in Illinois.

The book affected me on deep, emotional levels. Bailey and Finn are both damaged by pasts they had no control over. The loss of control and pain caused by others put a doozy on their abilities to open up, trust, or even love others. Neither know what a real relationship is all about and when Bailey and Finn find each other, there is awkwardness, insecurity, denial, and a refusal to open up about their past traumas. It's hard to build anything with a foundation that is rocky and unstable. When they finally open up to each other, I felt the pain and sorrow, the shame and embarrassment, and ultimately the snaps and cracks in their walls.

The character development was great. The world building was vivid and painted pictures of the story in my mind. I felt the emotions of all of the characters from anger to relief. I was drawn in and the story kept me engaged, not wanting to put the book down. Two Ink Minimum isn't your typical contemporary romance. There is depth to the characters, a realistic plot, and conflict that will leave you shaking your head. The book also has some jaw-dropping moments that I didn't see coming. This book is excellent and I'm glad to have been given the chance read it and reflect on it's characters. I can't wait to see who book 2 is about since all of the secondary characters are great.

Review copy courtesy of the author.

Read an Excerpt

“How you know her?” Cain asked.

“Didn’t you hear, he plucked her from the trash and begged Alice to hire her,” Mick said as he continued to change ‘sweet Tina’ to ‘sweet titties.’ Along with the body of a woman to match.

“It wasn’t like that.”

“You know why he knows what she’s wearing?” Mick goaded.

“Not again?” Cain moaned. “Seriously, dude, are you a fan of buying flat screens?”

“I didn’t let her stay with me,” Finn growled in reference to his last female roommate who cleaned him out before taking off.

“No, this jackass is letting her stay, rent-free in the upper apartment.”

“It was empty,” Finn said. “All she has is a shitty mattress left by the last tenant.”

“Tell the truth,” Joey said as he joined the conversation. “You gonna get her on welfare, then section eight your duplex. That would make sense. She gives you like eight dollars, but you get two grand.”

“My whole plan is to manipulate the system,” his droll response had all the enthusiasm of a drunk regretting decisions the morning after.

“Work it, or it’ll work you,” Mick said. “Seen it a million times before.”

“If you hear thumping on your ceiling tonight know I took her home,” Cain said with a broad smile. The mahogany skinned man crossed his arms. Covered in black ink from all the artists currently renting space as well as a few others.

“What will you be doing?” Joey laughed. “Stomping on roaches in Finn’s rat trap of a slum? Seriously, dude, in what world has that place not been condemned?”

“It’s historic,” Finn replied as he waved over his next client.

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author, Michel Prince, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science. Michel writes new adult and adult paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance.

With characters yelling “It’s my turn damn it!!!” She tries to explain to them that alas, she can only type a hundred and twenty words a minute and they will have to wait their turn. She knows they’ll eventually find their way out of her head and to her fingertips and she looks forward to sharing them with you.

When Michel suppresses the voices in her head, she can be found cheering for her son in a variety of sports. She owes a huge thanks to her family for always being in her corner and especially her husband for supporting her every dream and never letting her give up. Michel was awarded Elite Status with Rebel Ink Press in 2013, the service award for her local RWA chapter Midwest Fiction Writers in 2013 and 2014, and Sweetest Romance at IRAE 2015.

She resides in the Twin Cities with her husband, son, and dogs, Bolt and Sawyer.

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Purchase Links:

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