Book Reviews

Rebel (415 Ink 1) by Rhys Ford at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Firefighters / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 09-January-2018

Book Blurb

The hardest thing a rebel can do isn’t standing up for something—it’s standing up for himself.


Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After Gus spends years running from his past, present, and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, karma delivers the one thing Gus could never—would never—turn his back on: a son from a one-night stand he’d had after a devastating breakup a few years ago.


Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family’s tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together… until the firefighter who’d broken him walked back into Gus’s life.


For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn’t the strength or flexibility to hold on to. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt, but Gus hadn’t wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul.


When Gus’s life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream.


Book Review

It never ceases to amaze me the number of different characters, storylines, and plots that inhabit Rhys Ford’s mind. I was caught by the blurb and the thought of a new series so it was with no lack of excitement that I began my read of ‘415 Ink: Rebel’. I was snared at the dedication and what the author said about individuals who have tattoos. I have two that I wear proudly and it’s because of this author, and her recommendation, that I even got the first one. I was grateful she was there to hold my hand even though it wasn’t literally. *grins*

His brothers who broke skin and bones to rebuild the house—brothers in both blood and something more—were the only family Gus had. Five souls, thrown together by a cracked system intent on driving its clients into death, jail, or insanity and the hard-nosed badass who’d pulled them out.

Gus and his family - the family who owns and operates 415 Ink - are a fascinating mix of men, bound by brotherhood and childhoods that I struggled to comprehend. Five brothers - Bear, Mason, Gus, Lucas, and Ivo - each with a childhood incomprehensible to me in its horror, and Bear, as the oldest, is the one who fought to get them all together as a family. Gus, the prodigal son I suppose I might call him, has been gone for a while taking guest inking jobs in various studios up and down the West Coast. He left because of what happened with Rey… he has come home because it’s time to put some ghosts to rest and Gus needs to figure out what to do about the son he just discovered he has.

“The night Rey told me to get the fuck out of his life, I went out, got rip-assed drunk, and hooked up with some chick—no, not some chick—Jules, and she got… fuck, Luke… I’ve got a kid, man. A little boy named Chris and I have no fucking idea about what to do.”

From the first moment Rey, at seventeen, saw Gus, at fourteen, Rey knew Gus was going to be trouble. Didn’t matter in the end because neither one of them could stay away from the other, nor did they try. But, three years ago, in a mess of misunderstandings, lack of communication, insecurities on both of their parts, and a lack of sharing on Gus’s part, Rey ended it thinking he had no choice. What he didn’t know then is going to change the way these two men head into the future.

Gus is not as complicated and screwed-up as I thought he was when I first began reading. Oh, he has issues, no doubt about it. Not a one of these five men escaped unharmed from their childhoods. Gus’s problems lie in massive insecurity that no one could really love him and why would anyone ever keep him? His own mother tried to kill him. There are things I can’t reveal as they are spoilers, but when Rey made the decision to end their relationship it simply justified in Gus’s mind that he really is too messed-up and unlovable. I enjoyed him beginning to lay those ghosts and a few others to rest, as well.

I find myself at a loss for words on how to end my review. Well, apart from the fact that I’m delighted beyond belief that there’ll be four more books in this series. The men, the brothers, of 415 Ink are definitely worth exploring. I’m eagerly anticipating more, and I’m grateful to know that combined with each of these men’s emotional and psychological issues, there will be a happy ever after for each of them. Hard-fought and hard-won. I look forward to the journeys and more wonderful secondary characters for me to adore, not to mention the various shout-outs to other well loved characters from equally loved authors.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 220 pages/83884 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-December-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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