Amazon • Narrator: Elizabeth Louise, Steve West
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Ivy Lee, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have finally found it working in her uncle’s tattoo shop in San Francisco. But all that changes when a robbery turns deadly, compelling her to pack up her things yet again. When they need the best, they call him. That’s why Sebastian Riker is back in California, cleaning up the mess made after a tattoo shop owner with a penchant for blackmail got himself shot. But it’s impossible to get the answers he needs from a dead body, leaving him to look elsewhere. Namely, to the twenty-something-year-old niece who believes this was a random attack. Who needs to keep believing that until Sebastian finds what he’s searching for. Ivy has one foot out of San Francisco when a chance encounter with a stranger stalls her departure. She’s always been drawn to intense men, so it’s no wonder that she now finds a reason to stay after all, quickly intoxicated by his dark smile, his intimidating strength, and his quiet control. That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter was no accident—and that their attraction could be her undoing.
Ivy Lee was first introduced in Chasing River, Book 3 in the Burying Water Series, and she was a feisty tattoo artist who was visiting Dublin. It was my second favorite in the series after Chasing River. I do like that Ivy was a more complicated character than Amber.
Ivy is back in San Francisco working her uncle Ned in his tattoo shop until one day when Ivy walks in on her the murder of her uncle and a client. Ivy quickly becomes a loose end that the murderers need to tie up. But first the perpetrators need to know what Ivy knows, and if she has any incriminating documents. So they send in an assassin extraordinaire, to retrieve the evidence and clean up the unfinished business.
Say hello to ex-navy seal Sebastian Riker
Sebastian begins by befriending the loner tattoo artist to probe her awareness into her uncle’s affairs. He is quickly intrigued by the smart mouthed girl. They just seem to click and Sebastian quickly finds that this assignment will require him to make hard choices, requiring sacrifices he may be unwilling to make.
I liked Ivy because she was both strong and vulnerable at the same time. She was rude, yet sweet. She seemed aloof but she was caring. She seemed like a loner but she enjoyed the company of those who accepted her. Most of all, she was true to herself. Ivy was a great match for Sebastian because he needed to be needed. This was his shot at redemption and he took it!
K.A Tucker did a great job developing the characters. Ivy and Sebastian’s story was a little dark, but it was not depressing. It was almost like the story was a tattoo. She sketched, then outlines, then shaded and filled in. There was mystery and suspense; there was love and romance too.
The story was about Ivy and Sebastian’s evolution as solitary figures into a unit. It was how they able to sow seeds of trust and eventually depend on it. It wasn’t insta-love, nor was this story a fast paced romance. It was the progressive growth of Sebastian and Ivy as they made peace with their past and decided what they wanted for the future. This was romantic suspense done right. The writing was really good. I really enjoyed this book and the series as a whole.
***e-ARC provided by Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.