Author: T.T. Kove
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju
Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/02/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult
Scarred Souls: On a cold, wet afternoon Damian stumbled across a young man huddled beneath a tree crying his eyes out. He’s got more than enough problems of his own, but is compelled to give the bloke a place to crash for at least the night.
Josh is used to being alone, and most days it’s easier than trying to deal with people who can’t, or won’t, understand him. When Damian takes him in for the night, Josh assumes it’s gong to be one more go round of sex and get out in the morning.
Neither of them expects the friendship that develops, and they’re far from prepared when friendship starts to turn into more.
Warning: This story mentions abuse and cutting
This edition has been heavily revised and expanded
Inked Souls: Kian didn’t anticipate being dragged along while his friend got a tattoo as anything but a waste of time. Then he meets Silver, a handsome tattoo artist who provokes all sort of x-rated thoughts and ambitions. More intriguing, Silver’s been waiting for a chance to get to know Kian.
A relationship wasn’t what Kian was expecting when they fall into bed, but he’s not opposed. But the beginning of a relationship is the easy part, it’s everything after that’s a challenge—especially when the danger of disease and infection enter the picture.
Scarred Souls and Inked Souls might be part of the same series but they couldn’t be more different when it comes to the tone of the two tales. This isn’t a bad thing and in fact shows the strength of the author in being able to successfully depict two very different relationships.
Book one features Damian and Josh, both very damaged young men with horrific pasts. They meet when Damian sees Josh crying in the rain and invites him to sleep with him. He doesn’t actually mean sex, however, which is what Josh assumes. Sex is what everyone has always wanted or demanded from Josh so he is confused when Damian turns him down.
As it turns out Damian is asexual, someone interested in romance but not sex. Josh suffers from his own demons as a result of child abuse but Damian is exactly who he needs. Their romance is sweet in some parts and very, very emotional in others. There were times this book was difficult to read because of the heavy subject matter.
Don’t go into this one expecting a light read because it is anything but. The second book is almost the exact opposite. Silver and Kian’s relationship is extremely passionate with them having sex right away and often throughout the novel. They are men who enjoy sex and aren’t afraid to admit it.
Both Silver and Kian are introduced in Scarred Souls. Silver is Damian’s roommate and plays a part in Damian and Josh’s story. The tales happened concurrently, which is something I did not like at all.
The main conflict in Silver and Kian’s story is Kian possibly being infected with HIV by a prior lover and the concern he may have passed it onto Silver. This is a topical tale to be sure and I would’ve liked to have read the story not knowing the outcome. However, because the two stories happened at the same time, I already knew how it turned out.
I enjoyed the different ways Silver and Kian dealt with the possibility of becoming infected, with Kian freaking out and Silver remaining calm and collected.
Kian and Silver used protection when it came to anal sex, but, like most gay men, didn’t with oral sex. In fact the source of Kian’s possible infection came from an unprotected blow job. I’m not saying it’s a wise choice to not use protection with oral sex, but the chance of infection from it is much lower than with unprotected anal sex. I’m not here to give anyone a sex ed lesson but I bring this up because I felt some of the information provided was inaccurate.
At one point Kian says:
“If I’ve got it, he’s got it.”
That simply isn’t true. Even if Kian was infected when he and Silver had oral sex it doesn’t mean he passed the disease on to his boyfriend. There are so many more factors to transmission such as viral load, open sores and more.
It’s possible Kian’s statement was simply meant as hyperbole and part of his hysterical attitude toward the whole ordeal, but I would’ve like a dissenting opinion informing Kian of the truth.
Overall I enjoyed both stories a great deal though Silver and Kian’s story was my favorite. I enjoy the author’s style and will look for future installments in the series. Though I do hope the author gets away from every person having to have a majorly traumatic event in their lives.
3.75 stars for Scarred Souls.
4.25 stars for Inked Souls.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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