Ink or Treat by Eliza Madison (Liz Lincoln)
Series: Men at Work #3
Published: October 12, 2015 by AGD Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Grace Lockwood doesn’t do repeats. Guys get one shot with her, that’s it. As a social worker, she knows it’s not a healthy lifestyle, but she can’t help the damage her addicted, abusive parents did to her. She’s no good for anyone past a one-night-stand. Josh may have slipped past her defenses and gotten a second chance, but he doesn’t get a third. Never mind that the sexy tattoo artist can make her laugh, even during sex, or that he shows up at Halloween dressed as the Dread Pirate Roberts to her Buttercup. Rules are rules for a reason.
But when Josh witnesses Grace’s dad taking a swing at her, he can’t stay away. And Grace can’t resist the escape he offers. One hot night leads to another, which leads to time together out of bed. Slowly, Grace opens herself to the possibility of more. But when her mom shows up with cruel words and harsh demands, will Grace finally be ready to put the past behind her and take a chance at her fairy tale?
I’ve been enjoying the Men at Work series but this one didn’t really work for me for several reasons. As a note for other readers, the cover of this book might say it’s a “sexy romantic comedy” but there is nothing funny about Ink or Treat. While’s it is sexy, it’s also filled with drama, pain, anger, and a lot of self-destructive behavior.
Grace is deeply scarred from growing up with her drug addicted and flighty mother and her abusive, drug dealing father. Grace doesn’t let anyone close, trusts no one, and lashes out when she’s angry and hurting. Because of this it made it very hard for me to connect with Grace since she resists connections like they’re the plague. Only her best friend, Becca, and her step-brother, Brady, are allowed close to her and I really hurt for how much Grace sabotages herself. She’s never let go of her past and with her father still showing up and harassing her it’s not surprising that she hasn’t been able to move on.
It was tough to believe that Josh would continue to pursue Grace considering the crappy way she treats him. Grace deserves someone to love her, don’t get me wrong, but I just couldn’t figure out why Josh would keep coming back when Grace keeps ghosting him and treating him terribly. Without Josh’s POV it’s honestly hard to see what’s keeping him around. All that being said, Grace is aware she has a lot of problems and needs to work on them, but it takes her almost the whole story to truly acknowledge that.
While Ink or Treat didn’t work for me I do plan to keep going with this series because I like Eliza Madison’s writing.
**Reader Safety: Heroine has abusive, addicted parents (on page); Heroine is attacked by her abusive father (on page)
3 stars – it was good
Men at Work reviews
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