Some things are permanent.
And they cannot be changed back.
Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.
Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.
Somewhere between reality and myth lies…
It’s a rare thing indeed to stumble upon a paranormal romance that’s different from nearly all the others out there. Thankfully, for me at least, Indelible was exactly that: different, fun, and extremely enjoyable. I’m calling this a paranormal mostly because I haven’t quite found a genre that I like better. This is a hard book to classify, because the creatures that appear in its pages are different from those we’re used to seeing – no vampires, werewolves, mermaids, etc. here – and in particular, our love interest, Ink, likewise cannot really be pushed into any usual molds. This was also a different sort of read for me because I actually loved the romance aspect the most. I just found it refreshingly different, with an inherent sweetness that’s found throughout the entire book. Ink and Joy just made me smile, and definitely account for my overall reaction to this book.
Joy was not your typical high school student. She used to be a gymnast, but quit after her mother left her and her dad for a new (younger) lover and moved across the country. She’s dealing throughout the book with feelings of abandonment, which pop up pretty much constantly at the start, and even towards the end whenever she thinks about her mom and her friend Monica, who has a new boyfriend and therefore isn’t spending as much time with her. I actually found the dynamics of her and Monica’s friendship to be really well done – she’s not just a humorous sidekick, but an actual friend who’s trying to make sure Joy fits into her life even when she starts dating someone. I liked their conversations, their shopping trips, and the way they tried to find time to meet up with each other. Their motto of “No Stupid” also gets mad props from me, because so often we see our paranormal heroines diving headfirst into stupid. While Joy makes some mistakes in this book, I never personally saw her veering into “stupid” territory, which just furthered my enjoyment of her character.
But this book would not have been anywhere NEAR as good if it hadn’t been for the romance between Joy and Ink. Ink is a paranormal with a unique job that’s actually too complicated for me to relate in this review. Through an accident, Joy winds up “bound” to Ink as his lehman, or messenger, and thus their relationship is born. Through starts and stops at first, they slowly get to know each other and Joy finds herself being pulled more and more into Ink’s world, which is full of True Names and interesting creatures, as well as danger and intrigue and deceptions (thankfully not involving Ink). Because Ink isn’t human, he watches others to see how he should act and react in certain situations, and I loved the scenes in which he studied Joy in order to mold himself more in her fashion. Because he has an inherent innocence about him, the romance is slow-moving and slow-burning, and I found it absolutely wonderful to read. There’s something extremely enjoyable about watching two people fall for each other, and with Indelible we got a first-rate romance. I would recommend this story just for that aspect alone, it was so well done. There were several times when I was making flailing hand gestures and practically cooing because they were just so gosh darn cute!
Indelible has more going for it than just the romance, although obviously I just laid out exactly how much I loved that aspect of the story. If you’re looking for something different, and don’t mind some not-so-explicit world-building full of interesting side characters and back stories, then I think you’d like this book a lot. I personally found it to be a fairly quick read with plenty to keep me entertained, and even more to love. I will most definitely be checking out the next book in the series upon its release.
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.