Jo Raven has created a world I have a hard time leaving. In her series, The Inked Brotherhood, she tells the stories of a group of 5 boys who have struggled to survive. Each has his had to deal with so much in their lives and we get a glimpse into their world as they come to grips with the inevitable changes happening in their lives. Asher is the first and the one who hooked me into the series, but I couldn’t wait to read about the rest of the group. All of the characters are included in each of the books so you know what happens to them. The books are stand alone according to the author, but I love the way they blend together. I read each of the books in a day- could NOT put them down. The relationships are strong, the sex is hot and every time I finished one, I wanted more! Well worth the time! Synopsis of the Inked Brotherhood Series:
Five boys brought together by fate. Five young men trying to overcome their troubled pasts. Five tattoos marking them as a brotherhood built on tragedy. Will they find understanding and rise above the pain?
Five girls tied by friendship. Five young women fighting their own demons. Five lives laced with sorrow. Will they be strong enough to save the men they love and make them happy?
Kiss Me Goodbye: (Prequel to Asher) tells us of Asher’s life before we get to his book and the relationship he has with his best friend, Audrey. We get a picture of him before his life changes and he says goodbye to her. They are best friends and afraid to cross the line from friends to something more. It is a sweet story set in high school and I loved the way it set things up for Asher’s book. Asher: Synopsis: Almost three years ago, a car crash took Audrey’s dad and scarred her for life. Now eighteen, she returns to her hometown for the first time after the accident.
She’s here to start again. Go to college and have fun. Make new friends. Get over the past.
But the past won’t let go.
Asher is here—her first kiss, her first heartbreak. More handsome and distant than ever, he’s still the boy who used to be her best friend. That was before he changed into someone she hardly knows anymore—the boy who started getting into fights and gave her the cold shoulder for years.
Asher isn’t what she needs. In fact, she hates him and should try her best to keep away from him.
Yet her body doesn’t seem to care about how she feels, and maybe, just maybe this time her body got it right. Not that she has much of a choice. Asher draws her like a bright flame, and if she isn’t careful, she’ll burn.
And that may not be such a bad thing after all...
My review: We meet up with Asher and Audrey again, but their lives are drastically different than when they parted ways in high school. Asher is working hard and getting his act together, but he struggles with his past and the demons he refuses to face. He feels abandoned by his big brother, Tyler, and there is no love lost between them, but Ash knows he will have to deal with him and the memories eventually. Audrey returning to the scene and pushing her way into his life, demanding answers throws him off and forces him to really look at his life. He’s intimidating and sexy, and women want him. He makes no excuses for the way he lives his life and has no trouble being with any willing woman. Audrey pushes all his buttons including the guilt he feels for the death of her father- that part of the story is touching and watching them work through the pain caused on both sides is what made me fall for Asher. He takes care of everyone around him, but not himself. This seems to be true for most of the guys he’s surrounded himself with and without each other, none of them would have made it to where they are now. Audrey and Ash have a lot to work through and while the emotional side of the book is well written, the sex in the book is hot. Tyler: Synopsis: Four years have passed since I left home, my parents, and my brother Asher behind – since I shut out my past.
And Erin. Four years since I last saw her, since I heard her voice and held her in my arms. I’ve spent my time forging a path from woman to woman, from bed to bed, trying to find an answer. But I think I’ve lost my way. There’s no light at the end of the dark.
No big surprise. I carry the dark inside me. I’m a bastard – branded as such from the start. I never give my phone number and address. I take my pleasure, and don’t come back for seconds. No commitments, no promises and no happy endings. Yeah, I’m a bastard down to the bone and I don’t give a damn.
But now I’m back in my birth town, the town I fled at eighteen – back to make amends to the brother I abandoned and watch from afar the only girl I’ve ever wanted. Hope isn’t a currency I can afford. I learned that lesson long ago.
Yet when she looks at me and says my name, I can’t help but hope. My review: The hardest part to read in this book is the story of Tyler and Asher’s childhood. They had a difficult home life and when Tyler left, Asher felt abandoned to deal with the harsh home life on his own. By the time Tyler reappears, Ash is struggling to pull things together and keep his friends out of trouble. At the same time, Asher himself has a near death experience and it forces Tyler to step up and be the older brother he was always meant to be. The struggles they face as brothers are real and pull you in as a reader. I could imagine all of it happening and I ran through a gamut of emotions as I read. On top of the family issues, Tyler wants to reconnect with Erin,
who he has never forgotten. She has always been it for him, but he left and she had to pick up the pieces of her life and heart. Now that he’s back, she has to deal with those old feelings resurfacing and telling him why she pushed him away in the first place. She has a huge secret she’s kept from her friends and it will affect Tyler in a big way. Being pulled in so many directions was difficult for Tyler and Asher made things less than easy for him. He wasn’t sure he would ever understand why his brother left and even if he did, would he be able to forgive him? Again, all the characters from the first book are blended into Tyler’s story and the sense of family and commitment is strong throughout. Zane: Synopsis: They call me Zen-man, the cool-headed one, the protector. I keep an eye out for everyone, take them in, find them homes. They think I’m the calm and collected one, the self-assured one, the one who knows the way. They think they see me. They think they know me.
But they’re all wrong, because inside I’m broken. I have a jagged hole in my soul I can’t fix, a festering blackness. I’ve been to the pits of hell, and nobody comes back unscathed. Life in foster care fucked me up, and now a thread is all that’s holding me together.
So I sleep around and never date, keeping chicks away. One day I’ll snap, and when I do, there’s no telling who I might take down with me.
All the same, there’s this one girl who won’t be scared away. Dakota. She’s hot, and I won’t deny I want her. But she keeps coming back, pushing me, trying to get me to talk, to open up to her.
She has no idea she’s playing with fire. When the demons come, she’d better be far away from me, just like everyone else.
My review: Amazing! Zane, who we met in the previous two books, is the steady one. He’s the one everyone goes to and trusts to listen. He forces his friends to talk things out and he brings in kids he finds on the streets to make sure they are safe and secure. He and the guys work at the same tattoo shop and are a strong family unit. He’s watched his best friend, Ash work through a lot of demons from his past and find the love of his life in Audrey. He’s also seen Ash’s brother, Tyler, who he’s grown to appreciate and respect, come to terms with his past and reconnect with his one and only girl to become a strong family unit. He’s got a line of women waiting to let him have them, but he has rules and if you don’t follow the rules, he doesn’t touch you again. Dakota, who is an addition to the group in Tyler’s book, has fallen hard for Zane, but is afraid he won’t even realize she is alive. Little does she know, he is all too aware of her and has no idea what to do with her. He sees himself as damaged goods and doesn’t want to burden anyone with his problems, even though he is always pushing the rest of them to do depend on each other. He buries all of his pain and insecurities and tries to show a strong face to the gang, but he’s hiding what is happening with his adoptive sister and her family. He’s also facing his past in his nightmares and can’t remember everything, but knows he was terribly abused in the foster homes he lived in after he was abandoned as a baby. His revelations tore my heart out. His biggest fear is being alone and he is terrified about the results of medical issues his adoptive sister is facing. Dakota slowly but surely chips away at his defenses and shares her scars with him to show him he is not alone. The battle they have to face together is heart wrenching, but well written. I could not put the book down. Rafe’s book is next and it can’t come soon enough!
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