Quickie Reviews: Winter Kill, Strong Enough & Permanent Ink

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Winter Kill by Josh Lanyon

Synopsis: Clever and ambitious, Special Agent Adam Darling (yeah, he's heard all the jokes before) was on the fast track to promotion and success until his mishandling of a high profile operation left one person dead and Adam "On the Beach." Now he's got a new partner, a new case, and a new chance to resurrect his career, hunting a legendary serial killer known as The Crow in a remote mountain resort in Oregon.

Deputy Sheriff Robert Haskell may seem laid-back, but he's a tough and efficient cop -- and he's none too thrilled to see feebs on his turf -- even when one of the agents is smart, handsome, and probably gay. But a butchered body in a Native American museum is out of his small town department's league. For that matter, icy, uptight Adam Darling is out of Rob's league, but that doesn't mean Rob won't take his best shot.

Review:  I didn't end up enjoying this one as much as I had hoped.  While I'm completely okay with a plot line taking over the romance in the story, especially when it's a suspenseful story, but I still thought we needed more moments with them just being together.  We were told a few times that the characters started developing more of an attachment to each other, but I never got a chance to feel it.  I couldn't connect with either character.  I also didn't love their super rushed ending.  I felt as if the mystery was a little "all over the place" and unbelievable as well. 

Strong Enough by Cardeno C.

Synopsis: When a casual hookup turns into the potential for love, staid Spencer realizes he wants to build a life with vibrant Emilio.

When twenty-two-year-old Emilio Sanchez sees handsome Spencer Derdinger walking by his construction site, Emilio makes it his goal to seduce the shy professor. Getting Spencer into bed isn’t difficult, but Emilio soon learns that earning the trust of a man deeply hurt will take time and patience. With a prize like brilliant, sweet Spencer on the line, Emilio decides he is strong enough to face the challenge.

Spencer is surprised when he’s approached by the gorgeous construction worker he’s admired from the safety of his office window. Acting spontaneously for the first time in his thirty-eight years, Spencer takes Emilio home. When the casual hookup turns into the potential for love, Spencer realizes that if he wants to build a life with Emilio, he’ll need to be strong enough to slay his personal demons and learn to trust again.
 Review:  This one was definitely a love-at-first sight type of romance and they also have an age gap, which normally I don't go for either of those things, but I ended up really enjoying this one.  Strong Enough was a really sweet and also sizzling romance.  Emilio was absolutely swoon-worthy and so patient and sweet with Spencer.  There was a little bit of ex drama here and there but nothing angst-worthy.  I did have to take off a star for Spencer's emotional trauma being so quickly "cured".  That always bothers me in books.

Permanent Ink by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

Synopsis: At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.

Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.

Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.

Review: Permanent Ink is a mixture of a bunch of different romance tropes.  We have a forbidden romance, age gap, slow burn, and some daddy kink sprinkled on top. lol!  Poe really annoyed me throughout a good part of this story because he acts like an immature brat.  Once his character started to "grow up" a little bit and take things more seriously, I started to enjoy him more.  I loved Jericho.  He was really sweet and willing to take a chance on someone like Poe.  I'm always interested in stories that have artists involved too.  I mentioned before that this one has a slow burn kind of romance, but once things start they burnt up the pages.  They have intense chemistry.  While I did think they were really hot together, I wanted to see their relationship grow a little more.  We didn't get enough moments of just them hanging out, cuddling or talking.  We didn't get to "see" their relationship develop because the story jumped a couple weeks ahead here and there.  I liked it but I didn't love it.

Have you read any of these books?


  1. Yeah, I definitely need to feel like the characters know each other. And I always need a balance between the plot and the romance in suspense, so this wouldn't work for me.

    Strong Enough, on the other hand, sounds good! It sounds like the perfect balance of sweet and sexy. And I like a good age-gap.

    I've been hearing so much about that Avon Gale book this week. I got curious, but daddy kink isn't really for me. The slow-burn romance sounds amazing otherwise though! Glad you liked that one overall.

    1. Strong Enough was definitely my favorite of the three, but I did still enjoy Permanent Ink for the most part. Winter Kill unfortunately didn't work for me at all. Thanks, Nick!

  2. Winterkill sounds like the same type of story as The Devil's Daughter. I felt the same way-the suspense was great, but the romance kind of became this side deal that wasn't really explored. Not necessarily bad, but not really romance either!
    Glad you liked the other ones! I can't stand the daddy kink stuff. I hate when a character calls the other 'daddy'. There was a Kristen Ashley book like that and I was just like 'No. Can't read this.'. Uck!

    1. I still haven't check out The Devil's Daughter. I've really been wanting to because I normally love Katee Robert and that seems so different than her normal style. I really enjoy suspense in romances but I still like the romance to be good too. I want it all! lol!

      I'm not a huge fan of the daddy kink stuff either, really but I wanted to give this one a try because I wanted to read more from Avon Gale. I can take it or leave it...unless it's too over the top, then nope! lol!

  3. oh wow....Permenent Ink sounds like a lot of tropes. I do think daddy kink is a bit odd...but some authors can make it work. I do prefer to see a relationship develop...and some of my favorite moments in a romance is the whole cuddling and cozy moments between them.

    1. haha Yeah, Permanent Ink was kind of a lot of tropes rolled together. I didn't feel as if the daddy kink aspect was "too much" in this one. Sometimes it's a bit much for me too but I didn't mind it too much this time around. And I agree, my favorite part of the romance are the sweet little moments and cuddling.

  4. I've heard good things about Permanent Ink, but I haven't read that or any of the others. Sorry Winter Kill was not that great, I would totally give it a low rating if I felt that the story was all over the place too. ~Aleen

    1. Thanks! Winter Kill just wasn't for me at all. It sounded like something I would really like but I didn't end up enjoying as much as I had hoped. I've been seeing Permanent Ink around a lot lately too.

  5. I *think* I read Strong Enough. I'll have to check and I was kind of bummed by Permanent Ink. Quite a few reviewers said there wasn't' enough of them together.

    I didn't really feel that way but they sort of went through the motions with all their issues...resolved...next and it was just okay for me.

    For What It's Worth

    1. I enjoyed Strong Enough out of the 3 books I reviewed here, so I would recommend that one. It's a little insta-lovey but it's cute. Permanent Ink bummed me out too. It sounded so good! It wasn't awful but it could have been so much better. Thanks, Karen!

  6. Some interesting sounding books on here. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy Winter Kill more because it does sound like a cool book and I do love romantic suspense from time to time. I mean, plot taking over isn't a usual complaint but then the romance has to be believed and if the mystery wasn't even great... well... I'll give it a miss.

    Strong Enough sounds interesting with an age gap and a casual hook up that becomes more. I may check that out as I've never read many books like that before. If it made you enjoy a love at first sight romance I am willing to give it a shot.

    Permanent Ink sounds like it could be good but an annoying MC who takes a while to grow up and the daddy kink does put me off a little. If I see more reviews I might read but for now that's one I'll miss.

    Great reviews.

    1. Winter Kill really did sound like one I would really love. I love suspense romances, but that one just didn't work for me at all.

      I enjoyed Strong Enough the most out of this group of reviews. Carendo C. seems to be an author that is really hit or miss for me, but I liked this one a lot. I'm not a big insta-love fan but I liked these two together

      Permanent Ink had a lot of potential, but I just didn't like the one MC very much. It was hard to believe the other MC would want to be with someone that acted so immature. He acted like a teenager when he was older.

      Thanks so much! I hope you love these if you decide to give them a try


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