Review: Sin and Ink by Naima Simone

Reviewed by Sara

Sin and Ink is a Contemporary Romance that follows the story of Knox, a former MMA fighter and now proprietor of Chicago tattoo shop, and Eden, Knox’s office manager and his late brother Connor’s widow. Eden’s was widowed two years before the book begins when her husband, also an MMA fighter, was knocked out and a previously undetected aneurysm bursts. She’s just now starting to crawl out from under her crushing grief and gain her independence. She is also in love with Knox.

Luckily for Eden, Knox has been secretly in love with her since the first time he saw her, before her marriage to his brother. He never would have said anything or done anything, but his mother saw and when Connor died, Knox’s mother confronted him in a state of hysteria accusing him of Connor’s death and making him promise never to touch Eden. Knox tries to bury his feelings in meaningless sex and by treating Eden as if she were a sister. One chance encounter ruins all Knox’s best laid plans and the two discover their feelings for each other and give in to the chemistry they create. The question is, will it last? Can Eden become independent and begin her life again, this time with Knox by her side and will Knox allow the secrets of his past and the accusations of his mother destroy his chance at love?

There’s nothing wrong with Sin and Ink. It’s really sexy and includes a lot of themes and tropes that many readers are looking for. Bearded MMA fighters/tattoo artists are huge both figuratively and literally in Contemporary Romance and who doesn’t like a little bit of forbidden romance? The doesn’t really break any new ground, though, and aside from maybe Eden being Knox’s brother’s widow, I’m pretty sure I’ve read this book before…a couple of times. That being said, the characters are likable and the Naima Simone really seems to have understood the traumatic effects of grief on both individuals and families and demonstrated that debilitating trauma aptly.

There were only two real negatives for me here. The first was a complete lack of fighting. Knox is an MMA fighter, and though mostly retired, there’s a fight in the book, but it fades to black. Simone does a great job, relaying his workout routine, but then skips the fight all together. Not cool. The second is that the characters, at least three times ( I counted.) refer to their attraction or relationship as incestuous. No. Each and every time that word was used it was like a giant record scratch that took me completely out of the story. There’s nothing incestuous about Knox and Eden’s relationship. Some of the other characters may have considered it wildly inappropriate, but not incestuous. It was just something that completely irked me.

Naima Simone’s Sin and Ink doesn’t really bring anything new to Contemporary Romance, but it’s an sexy read, with good characters and an excellent handle on the subject of grief.

Rating: C+

*ARC provided by publisher for honest review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Sin and Ink
by Naima Simone
Release Date: October 15, 2018
Publisher: Entangled

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