July 30, 2012

Review: Ink, by Isabelle Rowan

Author: Isabelle Rowan
Title: Ink
ISBN: 9781613722541
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 12th 2011)
Disclaimer: Copy received for review purposes

Buy your copy:Kindle | Paperback

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Roman centurion Dominic drew his last human breath during the time of Hadrian. In the centuries since, he’s seen much of the world change around him, but the vampire finds himself held captive in Melbourne, Australia, by his fascination with young, passionate, fun-loving, and alive tattoo artist Michael Chapman. Unable to resist the lure of Michael’s beauty, Dominic finds himself entering the parlor to get a tattoo he knows will fade.

The attraction he feels only grows, and despite Dominic’s extreme reluctance to get involved with a human, he and Michael form a bond—a connection that all too soon attracts the attention of a dark specter from Dominic’s bloody past. Soon, a dangerous game of cat and mouse threatens not only the budding romance, but also their humanity.

This is an expanded novel based on the novella Ink originally published in the Desire Beyond Death anthology by Dreamspinner Press.”
GoodReads’ blurb

I’ve had this book since it was out... But I kept putting the reading back. I got it along with another vampire gay romance, and I was unlucky enough to start by the other novel. I couldn’t push past the first few chapters and this discouraged me from dicovering Ink. I’m glad I remedied the situation, though! This is actually a very sweet romance that I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys the genre.

The thing I liked the most was the voice, but at the same time I realize that some people might not like it. The tone is dark and deep, moody. Dominic is a broody hero like no other! He sees only the glum and doom and the dangers to his relationship to Mike... which is what some readers might find familiar, as it’s a recurrent theme.

But what can I say? I love broody characters, as long as their melancholy doesn’t render them stupid.

I have to admit, Dominic was a close call because he made some very poor choices when faced with someone from his past. The good news is that while protective, he did let Mike make his own choices and he tried to prepare his lover to the best of his abilities of the life of a vampire, so that mostly redeems him.

Mike, on his side, also made some silly choices. The most obvious is listening to someone you don’t know at all instead of waiting and asking the one you love and trust. But I think I can see why he would listen to this other person... I found myself attracted to the character as well. He was so broken, so clearly an innocent and a psycopath that I felt my saviour instincts kick in. Well done in that aspect!

There were some things that bothered me,  I won’t lie. Vampire existence was accepted a bit too easily. The romance was a bit too fast, too deep, too much like a shooting star. But when that’s the only complain I have about a book, I count myself happy. Ink in particular outweighted the misgivings presenting a tender side to the love story, and dwelling in friendship and acceptance as integral parts of the plot.

All in all, if you like the genre, I think you should give this novel a shot.


  1. Wow, this sounds like a very unusual book! I think I need to check it out despite the 3 stars.

    I loved that line about the broody characters and I totally agree with you on that!

    Great review, Ron!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

    1. Hahaha! Hey, 3 stars still is a pretty good rating. It just means that I won't shove it into your face, specially not if it's not your usual genre ;)

      That said, I've read a number of books in this line and this is, for now, the best. I sure recommend it as a way to get started in the genre, because it's very sweet and not graphic at all.

  2. This sounds pretty good. I find it a bit unrealistic when humans know of vampires and they are too open and accepting. I know there has to be some fear, some prejudice, some hate crimes, etc. People ALWAYS fear what is unknown and different from the accepted and comfortable "norm".
    I LOVE how the author combined vampires and the main character is a Gay Vampire! Thats awesome imo.
    Bout time LGTB characters are becoming the main characters in stories.
    I swear books really open a lot of doors and minds so if we introduce ppl to these fictional characters it paves the way for acceptance and tolerance IRL.
    I know its not THAT easy. I am realistic if not a bit cynical about people now a days.
    I just like to hope, ya know?
    Good honest review.
    Thank you.

    1. Agreed. And talk about an awesome cover...

    2. As Philip says... agreed. I have become a gay fiction fan with time, and I really look forward to more well written books in the genre. Same thing happens with interracial characters, and I believe you're onto something when you say that we need books to pave the way.

      And... Yep. When people accept paranormal stuff as if they were saying "the sky is blue", I go nuts. Luckily, it was more or less subdued in this one novel... I've seen another one where it threw me off my game so badly that I had to give it up!

    3. By the way, talking about awesome covers... Do we know the cover artist? Do we? :)