Living Life in HIGH CONTRAST–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M romance form Tess Bowery. HIGH CONTRAST is the first book in a series, and features an odd couple romance between a geeky college intern and a smoking hot piercer… Rawr!

High Contrast (Evolution Ink, #1)About the book:
The deepest scars aren’t the ones that show.
Jacob Shain is your average member of Generation Screwed. He has a boring internship, no cash flow, and a tiny NYC apartment he has to share with Ethan, his much-cooler, tattoo-artist twin brother. Not to mention his love life is DOA. At least, until his brother’s shop hires on a new piercer, and Jacob’s humdrum life takes a turn for the weird.

Cody Turner is gorgeous, funny and kind—everything Jacob wants in a boyfriend. Except for the way he refuses to talk about his past, or where he lives, or anything about his personal life.

When Ethan is arrested while on a mission of mercy, the reason Cody is so tight lipped comes to light. And while Jacob and Cody fight to understand the depth of their feelings for one another, the police dogs catch their scent. So does the local mob.

Now Jacob has to make the hardest choice of his life: stay safe like a good boy, or dive headfirst into a world he barely understands…and hope Cody is there to break his fall.

Warning: Contains a good boy who wants to be bad, a bad boy who longs to be good, bodies that are canvases for living art and high-speed chases with police dogs.

My Review:
Jacob is a plain, geeky, out gay man, living with his wild, artistic, tattoo-artist brother, Ethan, in an apartment in NYC. He’s serving a summer as an unpaid intern in his BFFs father’s ad company, and pretty much hating life. A Lot. Jacob wants a man, he feels like a fuddy-duddy, and is currently having a major hopeless crush on the newest employee at Ethan’s tat shop: Cody, the piercer.

Cody’s a wet-dream of a man, in Jacob’s opinion. Tall and lithe, with long blonde hair, amazing tats, and soooo many piercings. His junk could set off the TSA body scanners, I bet. Jacob doesn’t know this, at first, he just hangs out at Ethan’s job mooning over Cody, wishing Cody was gay. Or bi. Or bi-curious…

Thing is, they really hit it off, and it turns out the Cody is totally gay, just not interested—-in getting Jacob mixed up in Cody’s messed up life. And that’s not cool in Jacob’s opinion. This book was so refreshing, with it’s motley cast of hell-raising tat artists, poor schmucky Jacob, and Princess Andi, Jacob’s bestie who is also Ethan’s girlfriend. I really dug the total dynamic, and the twists this book took were beyond the pale.

Ethan gets in trouble for running pot for disabled vets who can’t get a legal prescription filled, as a favor to his business partner. Turns out the “po-po” (NYPD) had been tipped off, and that brings the Russian mob, corrupt cops, Cody’s drug-running ex, and a masquerading old Slovak woman into the mix. We don’t know where the danger lay, but we do know that Jacob will save his brother any which way he can, and Cody feels indebted to The Brothers Shain for their assistance in his recent domestic problems, so he’s down for a Dumpster dive or a covert op, when needed.

I loved how Jacob and Cody totally bonded. They are “geeks of a feather” and that was really cool for this geek to read. Jacob’s an upstanding guy–and pretty much hysterically neurotic–so he’s all about not pressuring Cody into doing anything physical–while he’s also doing a serious solid for Cody. Can’t have the beautiful man feel beholden, or anything. Oy vey. It’s Cody who makes the moves here, and he’s so smitten with Jacob it’s swoony.

Expect bad guys who try to hurt good guys, funny guys who make fun of not funny guys, a couple of covert ops run by absolute novices–seriously, it’s like me and my sisters trying to take down a gang–that result in amazing stand-offs and heroic deeds. I really don’t want to give the plot away, but I can tell you this one ends on a really high note, and it’s only the beginning of the series.

Also, Jacob and Cody totally get it on, and Jacob learns the benefits of metal-augmented male appendages. *wink wink*

Interested? You can find HIGH CONTRAST on Goodreads, Samhain Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:

Tess has been a fan of historical fiction since learning the Greek and Roman myths at her mother’s knee. Now let loose on a computer, she’s spinning her own tales of romance and passion in a slightly more modern setting. Tess lives on the east coast, with her partner of fifteen years and two cats who should have been named ‘Writer’s Block’ and ‘Get Off the Keyboard, Dammit.’

You can catch up with Tess on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

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