Title: Merry Inkmas
Author: Talia Hibbert
Target Age Group: Adult
*Review Contains Spoilers
Goodreads Summary:Cash Evans has come a long way since his troubled childhood, but all the wealth he’s earned as a tattoo artist can’t fix the hole in his heart. He knows that the sweet barista who haunts his dreams is off-limits… But life doesn’t always go to plan.
Bailey Cooper is determined to learn from her mother’s mistakes. She’s seen how cruel love can be, and she’s not about to sacrifice her self-respect for a relationship. But when a bad boy with a heart of gold comes to her rescue, she finds herself wondering if this beast might just be her Prince Charming.
Merry Inkmas is a steamy Christmas romance starring a brooding, bad boy hero and a Black, BBW heroine. Be warned: this love is hot enough to melt any winter frost!
As I have said, I am not a huge romance reader but this title piqued my interest because of the Christmas theme. I was very curious on how the author would tie in a Christmas setting with a tattoo shop and sex. Also, the cover art made me think this was going to be an uber cheesy romance.
However, I ended up giving it 5 stars on my rating scale and 5 stars on my smut rating scale! For a romance, this book is great! It has an actual plot and very sexy elements. Now, I will say that this has tropes in it but before I could even eye roll, the characters were making fun of the tropes within the story itself. I thought that was a great way for the author to handle unavoidable tropes in romance novels. It had me laughing!
The author didn’t shy away of the character qualities she created. The characters talking about each other in a teasing manner makes the tropes far more likable.
I really liked the characters in this book and the diversity of them. I loved that Bailey is plus size and that she is desired by the male main character. Having a plus size protagonist being lusted after is not something I’ve seen often as a reader. I appreciate the author not sticking to societal standards of beauty to create her main characters.
Another thing I was impressed by was how Hibbert incorporated the Christmas themes through out the novel. It didn’t seem forced because it just happened to be the setting. Both of our characters love Christmas and it flowed so well into the plot that it makes it a great cozy Christmas read. Here are some examples:
Could he tell that she was drinking this experience down like hot chocolate on a winter’s night?
The air was icy cold, a slap in the face that made her giddy because it meant Christmas was coming. Of course, it would still be this cold after Christmas—in January, and February, and probably even March—but there wouldn’t be magic in the air anymore. Not like there was now.
There are a few sex scenes in this story and some major sexual tension. The scenes were exactly what you would expect from a romance novel: amazing. But the author didn’t use weird/awkward language to describe what was happening. It was really well done.
Even though this is billed as a romance, the plot is actually good and the characters are likeable. There was a big part about Cash’s back story and why he is so troubled, but I also felt connected to his mom since she was the one telling it. I think it takes talent to make such dimensional characters for this genre.
I was skeptical about how this story would be wrapped up because of how short it is but the author again impressed me by having a “flash forward” scene at the end. The reader sees what happens 5 years later and I was left satisfied with the story closing. I felt warm and fuzzy which is exactly what a Christmas read is all about!
If you have ever been curious about the romance genre, please give it a try with this author. I can’t wait to read more of her work!
Small Confession: I didn’t know what “BWWM Romance” meant so I had to google it!