Read my reviews of previous books in the Irons and Works series:
Free Hand (#1) | Blank Canvas (#2) | American Traditional (#3) | Bio-Mechanical (#4) | Stick and Poke (#5) | Scarification (#6) | Scratcher (#7) | Ornamental (#8) | Snakebites (#9) | To Touch the Light | Last-Minute Walk-In
Though this book fits in the larger scope of Lindsey’s Irons and Works series, it is a good place for new readers to enter this world because it features the opening of a tattoo shop in a new setting. A few characters are familiar from earlier works in the series, but we also meet plenty of new faces that I’m excited to read in stories of their own. Overall, this book presents the lovely dichotomy of new beginnings, with Paris settling somewhere new, and reluctant homecoming, as Ben has returned to Key Largo to take over the family hotel.
Instead of a meet-cute, Paris and Ben have a hilarious meet-awkward that incorporates Ben’s Deafness in a manner that does not make it the butt of a joke but instead a facet of his life. One thing I especially appreciate about how Lindsey features characters with various disabilities in their fiction is that these characters never feel repetitive. For example, Lindsey does not present a Deaf monoculture across books or even for the characters within this specific text.
Ben and Paris are drawn together due to attraction and obvious chemistry, but there is no insta-love. There’s not even “insta-sex,” and I appreciate the slow burn between characters that comes from a place of intentional emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, that’s about the limit of Paris’ emotional capacity, especially in the face of Ben’s efforts to care for him. The dark moment in this book is a twist on the traditional misunderstanding, but Lindsey layers in the obvious communication complications and capitalizes on timing that coincides with some of the book’s other major character elements.
I was originally bummed to learn that we were moving away from the Colorado Irons and Works shop, but consider me corrected after reading this excellent book. I’m all in for more Florida humidity if it accompanies excellent romances with Lindsey’s particular touches of amazing characterization.
Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.