Note: These ebooks and this ARC was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
Gah! Major series hangover going on at the moment. Going into the first book in the Tattooed series, I was quietly hoping that it would offer something fresh with as far as the usual tortured, alpha billionaire story line goes, and boy did it ever. I read all three books--Tattooed Emotions, Tattooed Scars, and Forever Tattooed--back to back to back, and by the time I finished, I found myself absolutely sated, which is what happens when my expectations aren't merely met but are blown out of the water with exceptional writing and story and character development. The fact that it didn't happen in just one book but three that all belonged to one series? Well, color me impressed. So, I've decided to write one review for the full series, but I'm not going to be giving away too many details because spoilers are called spoilers for a reason. Alicia Rae may have been a new author to me but now she's one I've got on my radar. Five-plus stars is my overall rating for the Tattooed series, and it's on my list of 2016 favorites.
“Nothing has ever felt so right, Raelyn.” He pressed his lips into my hair to kiss me. “Nothing…until now.”
Tattooed Emotions introduces readers to twenty-five-year-old Raelyn Jennings, co-owner of Adam and Jennings Accounting Services, and thirty-year-old Damien Heathman, CEO of Heathman Enterprises. From the moment these two meet, the connection between them is electric and palpable and unlike anything either of them have experienced before. Damien is a man who likes to be and stay in control, but Raelyn proves to be a challenge, her being an independent woman who has survived a life-changing event in her life. I loved how these two didn't waste too much time pussyfooting. Damien wanted to pursue Raelyn and while she did give him a run for his money by not easily acquiescing to every single thing he demanded, she, too, knew she wanted to be captured by him. Raelyn's recent past does seem to be making its return and this first book does end in a cliffhanger, but there's a sense of hope in the knowledge that now she has someone like Damien who promises to be by her side.
“My life is with you, Raelyn. I won’t let you go, so don’t ask me to.”
Tattooed Scars picks up right after the events in the series starter, and soon enough, Raelyn and Damien get the much dreaded confirmation to what they were both afraid would now be facing them. Their reactions are different, with Raelyn choosing to simply accept and make the most of the situation while Damien would prefer to look at all the possible options that they have before them rather than throwing in the towel. Seeing the situation from both their perspectives had me pausing and wondering what I would do in either one's shoes, but goodness, I could only wish to have someone as determined as Damien by my side. There are also added complications to their new relationship as Damien's very dark and secret past seems to be insistent in not going away anytime soon. This second novel in the series brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion, not only because I empathized with what Raelyn and Damien were experiencing but also because of how strong their love was truly proving to be.
“I love you, Damien. Every single part of me loves every part of you.” The words were spoken slowly and meaningfully. “You’ve captured my heart, completely and irrevocably, and your past has absolutely no effect on that. My love for you is unbreakable.”
Forever Tattooed is the final novel in the series and it begins three months after the end of book two. After Damien and Raelyn not just survive but triumph over the return of the greatest challenge in Raelyn's life, we find Raelyn trying to adjust to life as the new version of her. She has her struggles but she tries to overcome them the best way she come while dealing with her new normal. On the other hand, Damien's past refuses to go silently away, and while he still insists on leaving all the details of what happened in the first half of his life, forces are making sure that Raelyn's curiosity isn't just piqued but that it's stirred to the point that ultimatums may be made. My heart so broke for Damien as everything that happened to him before came to light, but I also felt like it was about time Raelyn know the truth because the past could've held them back or, worse, snatched everything away from them. This brought this wonderful series full circle, not just for Damien and Raelyn, but for those closest to them as well. ♥
Learn more about Alicia Rae.