Jagged Ink is the just released third book in the Colorado Springs spin-off of the Montgomery Ink series by Carrie Ann Ryan. I keep reading this books, but I’m not sure why. I loved the original series, although even it “jumped the shark”, so the point that characters within one of the later books comments about a similarity with all their “finding each other” stories.
To my mind, the characters in the spin-off series (Gallagher Brothers, Whiskey and Lies, Colorado Springs) are getting repetitive and whiny. There are still at least some kind of external blocks to the relationships, but mostly they are only problems because the couples aren’t willing to talk to each other without some life or death style event.
Jagged Ink is a change, but only in that it’s almost too realistic. Roxie and Carter’s marriage is falling apart because they each get stuck in their own heads and stop talking to each other. The whole first half of the novel is watching them spin their wheels over the unspoken event in their lives. Then a fairly minor action provides the motivation for them to start talking and rebuild their relationship. I watch couples around me do variations of this all the time and I bash my head against the wall when it happens. I’m really not sure why I need to read another variation of it. Honestly, this book reads more like dreary contemporary literary fiction than a romance novel.
Winter has set in with enthusiasm here, so it’s definitely a good time to be cuddled up with my monster dog, my tea and my Kobo. I need recovery time in between all the rounds of shoveling!
Next up for review is the final book for the original Montgomery clan. Inked Memories is Book 8 in the Montgomery Ink series by Carrie Ann Fisher. While I’m a fan of the series overall, there have definitely been some ups and downs in quality throughout the series, so I was both excited and apprehensive about this release. Looking at it from the perspective of the author, a long running series like this does present some different challenges. The world is well established and a lot of the cast of characters is already known, so the world building takes on a different character. It has to become smaller and more intimate and in some ways, the developing relationship of the two main characters has to carry more of the story.
I really did enjoy this book though. Our heroes, Wes and Jillian do face different concerns, since they are both known to the overall cast, so they have to be worried about a different sort of judgement. But these are the Montgomeries, so of course that’s not going to happen. The running trope of this series has been that someone always ends up in the hospital, and some of the plot machinations to get them there have been better than others. Even the characters themselves are getting sick of it, so the internal references help to break the frustration with that. The mechanism is this book is a bit of a stretch but not too horrible, and it’s the last one, so I’ll let it go.
What I do like is that the Wes and Jillian are actually applying lessons learned by the earlier couples in tackling their growing relationship. It’s refreshing to see them sidestep some of the drama by recognizing that it hindered, not helped, other HEAs that ended up happening anyway. I was slightly disappointed by the references to Wes being kinky that were never followed up on. They have some hot sex, but none of it even remotely kinky. *sad face*
Once again, I wish this book had been put through a more thorough review process, although it was definitely better than earlier books in the series. (I love the story in Ink Enduring, but I can barely read it for the horrible string of errors.) There are a small smattering of minor errors and two big standouts in this one – but to be fair, one of them made me laugh like a hyena, so it gets some kind of points for that. This one is walking the line on losing a star for editing problems, but it’s not awful so I gave this one four stars on Goodreads.