From the Publisher: Buyer beware . . .
Looking for a tattoo-and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using his unique potions-a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks-to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart’s desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price.
No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment-execution-will be swift.
Though he’s tried to fly under the radar, Gage can’t hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead-or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage just might make it through this enchanted world alive.
**I received an ARC from the publisher but that did not affect the review**
Celeste’s review: 3.5 stars. I was so excited to get my hands on an ARC of this book as it seemed like it would be a dark and gritty read…I was so right. Then it was topped off with the fact that the story is told from Gage’s POV, which is always refreshing to hear from the hero as opposed to the heroine.
The story: Gage gave up the life of a warlock because he didn’t agree with the superior mentality witches and warlocks felt they deserved. However, his differing opinion made him an outcast with a huge target on his forehead. Instead of a life in the Ivory towers, he opened a tattoo parlor in a seedy section of town. However, not all of his work was about ordinary tattoos…many times (for a price) the ink was mixed with potions to find luck, money, love or whatever the customer was willing to pay for. He didn’t do his job alone, he employed Trixie (a gorgeous elf with her own secrets) and Bronx (a troll with a loyal heart).
Before long Gage finds himself wanted dead, and not by just one person. This book tells the story of him sorting out many situations at once, including the romance.
While I was definitely interested to see where the story headed, I found it was still easy to put the book down.
The romance: It was good, but the fact that Trixie was an elf was a serious issue. I could only picture Peter Pan with pointy ears. I know she was supposed to be voluptuous with beautiful curls in her blond hair, but frankly, the term “elf” just could not be anything but that image I just mentioned.
The hero: Gage is not a bad guy, he is just trying to get by and do the right thing…but it seems like he can’t catch a break. Anyone and everyone seems to want him dead. While this seems like a lot for the reader to keep track of, even with all the threats, the story is told clearly and I never found myself scratching my head or needing to go back and double check facts. The author tells a very fluid story that built effortlessly.
The ending: It came together really well, with quite a few twists and turns and lots of action. It ended in a great place that wasn’t a cliff hanger, but there is oh so much more of the story to be told.