Permanent Ink by Jaime Samms
Publisher: Pink Petal Publishing
Length: Short Story (50 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus
Eric has gone through life putting a lot of store in outward appearances, so when his best friend Angel's cousin, Dwayne comes along, with his tattoos and body piercings, Eric is sure there's a story behind all that armor. He's equally sure it's a story he doesn't care to hear. He's already written Dwayne off as a thug and player.
Finding out the truth behind Dwayne's tough exterior proves Eric really didn't know anything, not even his very best friend. Learning about Angel and Dwayne's past gives Eric a good look into his own truth, and he's not so sure he likes what he sees, but is it too late to change? More important, is it too late to convince Dwayne he was wrong?
You know a man is irresistible when just looking at him makes your ass twitch. Such is Eric’s dilemma. He has a lust crush on Dwayne, his best friend’s cousin but isn’t sure that Dwayne’s flirting really means anything. When the two are finally thrown together and take advantage of the obvious chemistry Eric is forced to deal with some real issues. Dwayne may just the one man Eric can’t run away from.
Permanent Ink offers two complex men that shouldn’t be together but fit anyway. Eric is a minor character from another Samms’ novel and it’s nice to see him get a happy ending. He’s never had a long term relationship and tends to get restless and bored easily. He’s contrasted with Dwayne, a man with a prison past and brittle emotions. The physical and emotional scars are present and not easy to get beyond as the two men find a way to connect. While the characters are developed, their issues are simply too big to put into such a short story. Both of these men needed more room to grow, come together, and get over their respective problems.
This is perhaps the biggest problem with the story. It’s too short. Everything happens way too fast, way too soon and loses some of its impact. The scene with Eric’s brother should be more important but instead it feels like a heavy manipulation to allow Eric to go in a certain direction. Also there isn’t really much tension to the story either. Due to Eric’s past most of the secondary characters are worried Eric’s going to hurt Dwayne but he says early on he won’t and that’s the end of it.
The writing gives as much credibility as it can but ultimately the short space just takes away most of the enjoyment and satisfaction with the speed of the relationship and resolution. It’s still worth reading, however. The short story has a really good idea with an opposite attract theme and interracial couple, which there aren’t enough of in gay erotic romance.