Black Hawk Tattoo

Black Hawk Tattoo - Aundrea Singer I was impressed with the characterizations in this book. Mainly with Jake and Gabe, since both are so lovingly drawn, well-wrought and realistic. Jake may be caught in a vicious cycle of guilt, nightmares, sleep-deprivation and depression, but he’s still capable of falling in love with Gabe, of feeling affection and responsibility for his family and friends. Gabe is used to cutting his own path, headfirst though walls if necessary, and Jake’s stonewalling confuses and irritates him to the point of giving up. But Gabe is not averse to seeing his own mistakes and learning from them. He and Jake go through an admirable growth over the course of the story, in conjunction with each other and together, and I could really see them share a future.The secondary cast was well-drawn too, particularly Jake’s sister, one of the most complex females I’ve met in m/m romance so far. She has a story of her own, carries guilt and trauma and problems of her own in spades–in a way, she’s the least suited person imaginable to take care of Jake. And yet, at the same time she was the only one who loved him enough to care about him at all. For this once, the caretaking family member isn’t portrayed as either a saint or a bitch. Alice is a real person who worries about Jake but also loses patience with him, who guilt-trips and nags and bullies Jake but also stands up for him and would always have his back if he’d but let her. The relationship between the siblings is as complex and multi-layered as their respective characters; I found this awesomely well done and again, totally life-like.The romance between Gabe and Jake was inextricably interwoven with Jake’s struggle with PTSD, the latter was actually the former’s front, back and center. Up to the crucial plot turn where Jake’s focus turned away from his self to their them, from his past to their future. I thought this particular scene the strongest in the book and the weakest at the same time, since I couldn’t quite fathom where Gabe found the wisdom and maturity to act and talk like he did. However, the pitfall of “love conquers all” was successfully avoided, and with a little suspension of disbelief and from a romance reader’s point of view, the solution they found was beautiful and uplifting.Parts of the background of this story were just as amicably detailed as the characters, namely the tattooing and Gabe’s artistic work. Other things were so sketchy they were hard to comprehend, at least for me, for example what happened to Jake directly after his return or how he came to live with his sister in the first place. However, these were minor niggles that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this story.If you’re in the mood to accompany Jake and Gabe on their bumpy road to happiness, try this book; for me it was an intense and very enjoyable ride.Review originally written for www.reviewsbyjessewave.com