Every month the ladies of the Cocktail Society Book Club (on Goodreads) select a read to review and discuss on the first Wednesday of each month. The host that month also choses a fabulous cocktail that compliments the book to go along with her review.
This month’s book is Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake and I’m super excited to be hosting! Angel’s Ink is the first book in the Asylum Tales series. It’s a dark and gritty supernatural world with imperfect characters, magic and tattoos! Our hero Gage is a practical “man’s man” so I decided on a cocktail that I think he would enjoy after working a long shift at the Asylum.
Cocktail of the Month:
2 oz whiskey
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz tsp sugar
½ lemon slice
Put all ingredients in mixing glass and add ice cubes. Strain into highball glass. Add lemon slice and cherry to garnish.
Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake
Series: The Asylum Tales #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Harper Voyager on October 16, 2012
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Add to Goodreads
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 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 might just make it through this enchanted world alive.
I’ve found a new urban fantasy hero in Gage!
In a world where humans and the supernatural co-exist, rogue warlock Gage prefers to practice his magic in the art of tattooing. His sanctuary is his tattoo parlor, Asylum, where he infuses his ink work with special ingredients and a touch of magic to deliver luck, wealth, or whatever desire his client wishes. Working alongside Gage are his friends Trixie and Bronx, an elf and moody troll who have secrets of their own and never ask questions.
When a young girl walks into Asylum looking for an angel wing tattoo as her dying last wish, Gage gives in and adds a little extra to her ink. His intention was to give her a little bit of happiness during her last days and it all backfires when he accidentally turns her immortal.
“Sometimes I had too much ego and not enough common sense.”
Soon after Gage receives an unexpected visit from the Grim Reaper who demands he reverse what was done or take the place of the soul he was sent to collect. If that weren’t enough, Gage is being hunted by the warlocks he deserted long ago who’s motto is “join us or die.” All the magic in the world isn’t enough to get Gage out of his latest predicament, but lucky for him he has friends that are willing to join in him in the fight to stay alive and keep his freedom.
“I thought the grim reaper was supposed to wear a black shroud and carry a scythe and maybe even an hourglass. You’re really destroying all of my beliefs here.”
This might be my first urban fantasy told by the male POV and I absolutely loved it! Gage is not your typical alpha hero but his down to earth attitude and knack for running into trouble at every turn make him intriguing. He’s a powerful mage that stood up to his own kind and prefers to live by his own rules and not apologize for it, who doesn’t love a rebel? Gage is an imperfect hero with a troubled past but while he may seem to have a rough exterior, he has a heart of gold and will stop at nothing to protect those he cares about. I love that the author lets us explore more than one facet of his character and his relationships with others throughout the story.
When there’s a monster under your bed, sometimes it really is best not to look.”
I wasn’t expecting a budding romance in ANGEL’S INK but am thankful to Ms. Drake for including one. After everything Gage goes through you want the guy to at least get a little action! I enjoyed the flirty banter between Gage and Trixie so I had no problem when these two finally put all that tension to good use. The author adds just enough of a romantic element without taking away from the story at hand.
“No, I didn’t know her secrets, but I felt like I knew her soul.”
ANGEL’S INK has a supporting cast of characters just as engaging as its protagonist. From Bronx, the mysterious troll to the charming Gideon, a fellow warlock following Gage to a witch turned talking cat named Sophie, every character brings something to the table. The world building is beautifully laid out without confusion or too much detail. This fast paced novel gives us a few different story lines that keep the suspense at a high level from beginning to end so there’s never a dull moment! ANGEL’S INK is sure to appeal to urban fantasy fans who prefer their heroes flawed and their supernatural worlds dark and gritty.