Review: “Ink” by Isabelle Rowan – M/M Vampire Love Story

InkInk by Isabelle Rowan

Dominic is tired, old and alone; weary of his existence to the point of withdrawing from any human contact…except to feed.
It’s been a while since he’s had a lover, one that touched him as much as the one from his past. For a reason not entirely clear to the reader, Dominic finds himself watching Ink every night, a tattoo shop emanating smells of blood and sweat that draw him and where he spots Michael, a young tattoo artist that stirs something in the ancient man that he has not enjoyed in a long time – something he has attempted to avoid over the many decades.

Michael is a young tattoo artist at Ink. He’s handsome, witty and insightful, yet somewhat aloof in his youthful grace. When a mysterious and alluring man comes into the tattoo shop one evening as it’s ready to close and asks for a tattoo, Michael quickly volunteers to “ink” the man. He is intrigued by the mysterious, brooding man.

But Dominic – the customer – erases the experience from Michael’s memory. However, Dominic returns several nights later for a tattoo that disappears by the next day.

Michael feels drawn to the mysterious man for reasons he cannot explain, or understand. He stalks Dominic, spying on him, inexplicably drawn to the man – a pull beyond his understanding. But Dominic will have none of Michael. He discourages Michael, even pushes the young man away with powerful impulses of his mind.

Dominic chooses to end his “life”, not wanting to bring any harm Michael. Michael still feels compelled to look for the man he’s feels drawn to, romantically and physically – to seek the man out, to understand his feelings, determine once and for all if there is any possibly of a relationship with Dominic.

Michael locates Dominic and excitement turns to fear as he realizes Dominic is dying, possibly dead. In a desperate attempt to revive the vampire, Michael shares his blood with the man and curls beside him in bed.

Through the first half of the novel, Dominic seems to do everything
he can to push Michael away, but the pull is too strong and soon, Dominic gives into his desires, only to attract the attention of his “maker”.

And all is not well when Dominic’s maker senses a chance to reclaim
his “son”, and interfere with Michael’s newfound love affair – the man’s very existence and that of his close friends, is suddenly in danger.

Ink is a dark, at times gothic, at times mushy, romantic tale of angst, fear and discovery, of an ancient vampire’s loss of hope and desire – a m/m romance with strong characters and plot; the writing is very good, save for a few references to modern pop culture that appeared odd. The novel builds very slow and deliberate until Dominic and Michael are finally joined as lovers, only to meet a fate stronger than either of them could have imagined.

Isabelle Rowan has created a very gratifying m/m love story – and thriller (the part I loved most toward the end!); a novel between opposite men, unlikely lovers – men destined to meet in this lifetime (or perhaps the next.)

The story drags at some points in the beginning, but pushing forth to the thriller portion of the last fifty pages or so are well worth the wait.

A very enjoyable read indeed!

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