Sunday, June 8, 2014

{Review} Ink My Heart (Luminescent Juliet #2) by Jean Haus

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Publication Date: November 12th 2013
Series: Luminescent Juliet #2
Pages: 290
Format: Paperback
Source: Provided by author

Even if he weren’t the lead singer of the popular college band, Luminescent Juliet, Justin Noel would have his pick of women. And he does pick. Nightly. Tattooed, blonde, and green eyed, he flashes his dimples and females swoon. 

Except for one. 

Tattoo artist, Allie Landon, rarely dates, and especially not men like Justin. Though he’s hot enough to melt off permanent ink, she’s done with the bad boy type. But when the ex who broke her heart wants to reunite, desperation has Allie introducing her latest client as her boyfriend. Justin’s more than happy to play the part. He’s completely intrigued by the sexy artist and college student. 

However, Allie’s life isn’t what it seems. There’s little room in it or her shattered and confused heart for Justin. But as Justin remains persistent, ignoring the growing attraction—both physical and emotionally—between them becomes more difficult than tattoo removal.

*New Adult. Recommended for mature readers due to language, drug references, and sexual situations*

My Review:

Back in 2012 I fell in love with the first book in this series In The Band and the female drummer Riley it followed. That is where I met Justin Noel. As the bands lead singer and notorious man whore Justin isn't a guy I was expecting to knock my socks off or experience a significant amount of growth in his book but luckily I was proven wrong in my assumption. I only got brief glimpses of him in the first book and he came across as a playful and flirtatious guy that didn't really have much going on below the surface. Ink My Heart is Justin's story of growing up and falling in love.

There are some traits in my male characters that bother me occasionally but none more so than the over sexed man whores. I now guys will be guys but nothing is attractive about a guy who is willing to put his tender genitals into any woman with a pulse. Justin is said Man whore and while it didn't bother me as much in the first book, because I didn't really pay attention to him, in this book the spotlight was focused solely on him. He uses his status as the bands lead singer as a platform in his encounters, although he's attractive enough to reel them in on looks alone it doesn't hurt. When he stumbles into Dragonfly Ink after a show one night he meets tattoo artist Allie Landon. Justin being Justin tries his best moves on her, breaking out the dimples, his green bedroom eyes but...nothing. Allie appears to be the only female immune to his charms and right away I fell for her. He's not used to being turned down and it messes with his head. The more shenanigans he pulls to get her to bend to his will the harder she resists.

Allie should be the female role model to end all role models. Resisting a delicious piece of eye candy isn't easy but she made it look like child's play. It wouldn't happen to me because I think I'm dead below the waist but I have several friends who would walk away from their families for a night with their favorite rocker. Allie appeared to me as just another college student working her way through life trying to keep her head down. I was a little surprise by the fact that she was so young and doing tattoos because most artists have to apprentice for a while before they get to ride solo but Allie had serious talent. Getting to know her character was like being Jewish during Chanukah with the eight presents a night thing. Not only is she a talented tattoo artist but she's also a talented artist, period. Her paintings are just one of many things Justin discovers about her. Although she has her reservations I was glad that she finally gave Justin a chance and the two started slowly testing the waters. 

I was proud of my boy with the beautiful way he treated Allie and didn't think he had sweet romance in him especially seeing how his parents raised him. A wealthy upbringing is something I will never get to experience but along with the financial stability Justin had to deal with a sterile coldness from his mother and father having been raised by a nanny. His youth was spent getting into trouble in hopes they would pay attention to him instead of throw money at him to go away. I wasn't intending to love this slutty bastard so much but with a set of parents like that I couldn't but want to give him a break. The girls and the constant sex although gross to me, was a way to try and fill the void. When you grow up feeling rejected by people who are supposed to love you I guess it's natural to become an unfeeling prick so I finally got Justin on a deeper level.

With Justin and Allie on track to become an item roughly half way through the book I was blown away by a few of the cards Allie kept close to her chest. Mainly a toddler sized card that calls her "Mommy". Her story went much deeper than I ever expected with an ex husband and a business under her belt and I worried that Justin wouldn't be able to handle all the things. Once I picked my jaw up off the floor I began to see that it wasn't Justin I needed to worry about because Allie was the skittish one. The relationship that grow between the two gets stronger the more time they spend together and seeing Justin adjust to Allie's son Ben was nice. Usually with books I read I'm cringing, hoping the girl isn't the one who gets hurt but I found myself rooting for Justin not to get his poor tender, newly awakened heart broken. It took so much for him to grow and I hated seeing him to upset when Allie had to figure her life out and needed space. Some of the more light moments that made me smile was watching Justin squirm as his campus harem would interrupt his dates with Allie and the frustration he felt with all the forward females he used to think was attractive. It made my heart melt to see the actual change in Justin with him seeing and acknowledging how wrong it was to use all the girls he had been with and basically how skeevy it is.

Besides the ongoing drama between Justin and Allie there's a side story with the band members of Luminescent Juliet. Romeo and Riley are still going strong and adorable as ever but the new drummer Gabe and bassist Sam have some interesting issues going on in their lives. Gabe is an angry bird throughout most of the story always getting into tiffs with Justin. His home life isn't that great and a particular scene involving his father or the guy who raised him already has my heart squeezing for him. Apparently his mother ran off and left him with the abusive a-hole so I' curious to know more about him after that. Sam the bands bass player is a bit of a partier which surprised me. I guess I didn't really get to know him much in the first book but his constant cocaine habit poses a problem and with Romeo being the Nazi perfectionist he is I foresee a problem between them in the future.

I don't know why but Ink My Heart sat on my shelf for over a year and for some reason or another I kept pushing it back. Maybe it was because I was reluctant to get into Justin's head which is something I should be kicking myself for because Ink My Heart was just as good as In the Band and that was my favorite. Justin and Allie have something special and I loved every minute (even the difficult ones) of their journey. I was very pleased that Justin grew more than I knew he was capable of and getting to know Alie was a treat. To be young college students with a lot on their plates they handled everything better than most adults I have known in my life. Haus knows how to write some great stories with flawed characters who grow and adapt to their surroundings in such a beautiful way. She makes you believe in them, cheer for them and fall in love with them every step you take together. I'm looking forward to the next book and seeing my favorites band members again.


~ The band plays, he sings, and I drown i the emotional waves that are flowing between us. A crashing sensation washes over me again and again. Each time he sings the song's soulful refrain, each time he glances down at his guitar for a second then back at me, I'm drenched with longing. It's not lust, exactly, thought that is there in the surge. A fierce want I lost long ago--the sense that there is someone out there balancing me--fills me. Someone who understands me, Someone made for me. Page 77

~ "I'm not the driven type. I'm more the laid-back type who wants to enjoy life." His gaze wanders over my face. "But you make me want to be ambitious, to catch the stars on a starry night and pull them down for you." Page 201

~ Poised above, holding her face in my palms, I know it's to early, too damn early yet, but my heart is overflowing. "I'm falling in love with you," I say, entering her. Page 225

About The Author:

When Jean Haus isn't writing, she's usually reading. Anything from young adult to historical fiction as long as there’s at least a bit of romance, she'll load it on her Kindle. She also loves to cook. And someday she will create the world’s best potsticker.


1 comment:

  1. I love when a bad boy goes good for his perfect girl. You have me wanting to give this series a try. Thanks for the review!


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