Author: Sarah Goodwin
Characters: Eli Thompson, Daniel Fischer
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Incest
Eli Thompson is the once golden-boy son of Oak Island’s preacher. Since the death of his mother, Eli has fallen foul of everything his father holds dear – indulging in drink, drugs, women and men.
With a dark and desperate secret weighing on him, Eli is determined to lose himself to vice, no matter what the cost.
Daniel Fisher is a twenty-six year old high-school janitor. He spends his days cleaning the school, and his nights taking care of his seventeen-year-old brother, Cory. With an alcoholic father to support, Daniel’s plate is full, even before one of the school’s students decides to seduce him.
When Eli enters his life, Daniel is too lost in his own despair to consider the consequences of their fling, and as he grows closer to Eli, and to the boy’s damaged former choirboy persona, he realizes that all is not as it seems with the teenager.
However, neither of them knows the secret that connects them and their families. A secret that will eventual break their hearts afresh, and test their new relationship to its limits.
A secret that lies in their very blood.
Ink is the second book I’ve read by Sarah Goodwin. I totally fell in love with her other book, Me and Mine, and I knew from reading it, that Ms. Goodwin likes to push boundaries when it comes to writing romance. I will say, if you are looking for a light and sweet read…her books are not for you. Ms. Goodwin writes dramatic, brash characters with a realism that really resonates with me as a reader. Her heroes are very far from perfect, and they often make mistakes, which in many ways makes them realistically written and very easy to sympathize with and care for.
I knew once I finished reading the book, this was going to be a difficult review to write. Not because I didn’t like it, because I loved it, but because I really don’t want to spoil anything. I also believe the blurb does an excellent job at describing the story itself. So, I’ve decided to tread lightly with reviewing the storyline, and instead concentrate my review on why I really loved this book instead. Going into this, I do need to inform readers that I realize this book will not be for everyone. Unfortunately this will mean I will have to give out some spoilers, so if you want to go into reading this book without a clue as what some of these things are, please stop reading here.
As you can probably tell from the blurb and by what I’ve noted on the subgenre, this is a forbidden love story and those who do not care for these types of stories, the blurb surely will push you away. This story is unlike any other ‘forbidden love’ book I’ve read before. Instead of quickly washing through the forbidden aspect of their relationship, Ms. Goodwin meets this issue head on and takes no prisoners. It’s not always an easy romance to read. It’s dark, forbidden and angsty with just the right amount of well…love and romance which makes it very well written and very addictive to read.
Another thing I think I need to point out is the age difference between the two heroes. Eli is 17 and travelling on a road of self-destruction. He meets Daniel which is 26 and their relationship begins. Now, I’m not into reading underage sex, but for some reason their age difference didn’t bother me. Eli is such a tortured character, he reads older, but also very naïve about the destructive things he does to himself. Both men have their issues in which brings them together and although it should have given me the willies, it didn’t. I came to understand what they needed from each other and what drove them to be together. This within itself made this an excellent read.
Both Eli and Daniel are not perfect heroes, nor are they your typical cookie-cutter heroes we read so much these days. They both have dark issues they are dealing with, as well as their own vices which make them come across very human and very authentically written. Even though there are times I wanted to shake some sense into them and/or hug them. All in all I really loved them both and wanted to take them both under my wing and protect them from the ongoing drama that stays in their lives. One thing I really loved is how much both characters really evolved throughout the story. Eli in particular is very self-destructive at first, and as the story progressed and ended, ended up making some positive changes in his life.
The story itself is a fast read. It’s a long book, but it really doesn’t read like one. From the first page it starts off quickly and doesn’t let up until the last word. Once I started it, I ended up reading it in one setting, so be prepared to get enthralled with these characters and their story and know it’ll be late in the night before you finish it. Make sure you have a hanky or two, because as I read their story, I experienced many different emotions while I read this book. Now, don’t get me wrong here. It can be a dark read, but there is an appropriate and in my opinion very positive ending and there are some sweet moments in the book too.
So, I’m officially hooked on Sarah Goodwin’s books. I know when I’m in the mood for a dark, emotionally written and character driven romance she’ll be the author I’ll chose. I’m looking forward to reading more books by her and highly recommend this book for those who are looking for a darker, intense romance.
Reviewed By: Gabbi