Irene Evans has only known sin. As the daughter of a pastor, she shouldn’t be able to see the souls of the dead. Her father sees her as possessed, and calls in an expert on exorcism. When she sees a chance to escape, she flees to a nearby circus where her life is turned upside down.
Booker Ward is known by many names. Assassin. Freak. The Tattooed Man. He’d given up on life itself until she walked into his life. Now, he’s realizing there may be a future for him yet, if only he can figure out a way to convince her to love a monster.
Now he must convince her that her life is her own. If she wishes to become a circus act, then she can and he will help her.
The second lesson, that love is freedom and it can overcome all things.
Romance | Paranormal | Adult Fiction | Fantasy
So yeah, when I saw one of my favorite authors was releasing a new series, a Circus Paranormal nonetheless, and oh my lanta, you know how much I enjoyed the novella for Cirque de La Lune, you bet your bottom dollar I am all hands on this series! I definitely wanted more of this freak show galley and by-golly I got it. Emma Hamm never disappoints. I know, it is insane, I truly get freaked out by circuses, yeah I don’t like clowns but (and I admit this wholeheartedly) I was a fan of huge AHS Freak Show – yep there it is.
So lets dive in? Shall we? Because I got a good bit to say...
I obviously got what I wanted. I loved the novella to jump off this series, seeing Evelyn and Frank again was absolutely sublime feeling when I first opened INKED. I felt this eased closure for the novella only to lead into the next introduction, set a tone honestly for what would come. I am even more ecstatic of the first official character we get – Booker. I am obsessed with tattoos, having a character where his showcase is the tattoos that are beautifully inked on his body come alive was perfection. I wanted this character, I needed this character. He was this dark, brooding alpha-male. He owned this presence in the book that literally kept my heart pounding every moment he was present. I enjoyed his softer nature as well, though I did love the darker malicious and dangerous side, it was his kind, almost protector side of the group that made me swoon.
And speaking of his protecting side, it was very clear from the start his main focus was Irene. Truly though, Irene was great as a leading lady, I think Emma is really portraying interesting female leads this round of series. The females appear timid, slightly broken but truly they are strong, fierce women. Like Evelyn, Irene really depended on Booker to really shine her growth, and for once this is definitely not bad in the least bit. I loved this aspect of her character. Irene grew in a very sheltered, hard religious background, very corrupt, again which is really where I think this series is going to take things, and this just made such a damsel affect for Irene. She needed to be shown how her gift is beautiful, that she is beautiful and strong. I loved her growth, it was magical.
Obviously there is a romance, I mean – really, it was there. This is what I love about this type of writing style. I can always pick up a Emma Hamm book and actually feel the story-line of whether it is a fantasy or a paranormal, I get the essence of the basis for the genre without being overshadowed by a lovey-dovey romance. This is a beautiful slow burn, deliciously slow. As Booker and Irene get close, you feel the passion and trust growing between them, the chemistry is absolutely bleeding from the pages. There are moments – the tattoo scene, the graveyard scene – just honestly, it took my breath away.
Something I really enjoy about the plot is the paranormal attributes. I love the freak show and how the supporting cast has powers that are just intriguing; in INKED, we finally get more tidbits of each character more than previously given. Clara is someone I would really love to see next. Perhaps Noah? I love the dynamics of each person and their gifts, how Irene describes them is just beguiling. On top of this, I really enjoyed the darker side of the demons for INKED. I loved the religious angle. It had this burning trigger that really made your heart pound, sends chills down your spine and goosebumps just rise from your skin.
Bottom line, I loved it. I cannot gush enough about this series thus so far. I loved it, I will scream it to the top of any mountain top. I love the darker tones that are being represented in INKED, well heck, just in general, there seems to be a more darker, deeper tone that Emma is setting for the Cirque de la Lune series. I absolutely cannot wait to see what comes out of this series.