author: Kaylee Ryan
series: Everlasting Ink #1
published: 14 November 2023
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
rating: | series rating:
It’s not like I planned to fall for my older brother’s best friend.
It just happened. With a perfect body covered in tattoos, and a dirty mouth, Roman is the kind of guy women notice—and believe me, I noticed. Even when I tried not to.
When he finally gives in to temptation, there’s no going back. At least for me. Too bad Roman doesn’t see it that way.
He thinks he needs to protect me and my relationship with my brother, but I don't need him to fight my battles. I just need him.
My name whispered from Emerson’s perfect pink lips is all it takes for me to betray my best friend.
Before that night, I kept the green-eyed beauty at arm’s length. Watched her from afar and told myself that the chemistry between us was one-sided.
I pretended that I didn’t want her more than my next breath. Which is what’s on the line if her brother ever finds out we’ve been sneaking around behind his back.
But I can’t stay away. Especially after knowing what it’s like to have her and lose her.
Now, I’m given a second chance, and I have every intention of making her mine—consequences be damned.
- a few notes
- mini review in 5
- full review
- read this if…
POV: dual; 1st person
keywords/phrases: tattoos, alpha male, family
tropes: age gap, brother’s best friend, virgin FMC
- The attraction between Roman and Emerson was always looming, almost palpable.
- The relationships (romantic, familial, or between friends) were great, super important to the story and character development.
- I didn’t love the infantilizing of Emerson by both Roman and her brother. She was constantly treated as a child, rather than the educated woman she actually was.
- The age gap was not all that significant, only ten years, but it was treated as if it were many times more than that.
- The ending felt somewhat rushed.
The sparks between Roman and Emerson were obvious from the very first page. Their attraction was always there, ignited whenever they were in close proximity to one another. The relationship dynamics—whether romantic, friends, or family—were strong, supportive, and extremely important to the story. They were all so close, like family even when there was no blood.
One thing I didn’t love was the over-the-top infantalizing of Emerson. Yes, this is an age-gap/alpha-male trope romance, but their age gap wasn’t that significant, nor was she that young. It just felt a little too much, to the point of becoming vaguely cringey.
Which brings me to my other issue. There was just SO MUCH about the age-gap, so much emphasis and repetition. It was made out to be scandalous, but it was only ten years. It was treated as if it was three times that. The age gap was trotted out for just about every situation, with Roman the wise elder and Emerson the innocent girl. It was just too much.
The ending wasn’t bad, but it felt a little rushed. I would have liked it to be a little more developed, to see some aspects of it played out a little further.
Read this if you love spicy romance and great family dynamics.