Book Reviews

Permanent Ink by Jaime Samms at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / New Adult / Interracial / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 18-January-2017

Book Blurb

Beauty is only skin deep, but some marks—and what they represent—are impossible to escape.


Eric resents his comfortable college life and the restrictions his family’s expectations put on him. Dwayne, his best friend Angel’s cousin, is a pierced and tattooed ex-con trying to rebuild his life. Eric sees only the tattoos and the way Dwayne’s upbringing have dictated his future. It takes a surprising revelation from Angel to force Eric to see past Dwayne’s defenses to the generous heart beneath and to realize it’s time for him to break free of his own instilled beliefs. The men can’t keep apart, and they gradually learn that everything they thought they knew about each other might be wrong. 


Opposites attract as two men from very different backgrounds move from enemies to lovers in a story of understanding, compassion, and redemption.



First Edition published by Pink Petal Books, 2011.

Book Review

Prejudice is a terrible thing because, among other problems, it prevents people from seeing the person beneath the stereotype. Eric faces a particularly nasty form of it in this story: he is not even aware that his distrust of his best friend’s cousin, Dwayne, is based in a racial perception Eric doesn’t believe to be part of his world view. This is the story of Eric waking up to the truth of his mistaken perceptions, and his journey toward a more honest, accurate view of Dwayne.

Eric may resent the restrictions his family put on him regarding what college courses he has to take and what kind of woman he is supposed to date, but deep down, he is a product of his white privileged environment. His “rebellion” is mostly internal, limited to him playing basketball with his black best friend, Angel, and chasing men rather than building real relationships. When Angel’s cousin, Dwayne, comes to live with Angel, Eric is attracted to him but won’t let anything come of it because he doesn’t trust him. Dwayne is black, tattooed, pierced, and an ex-con. Eric thinks that is all he needs to know about the man.

Rather than trying to understand who Dwayne is and seeing that he is trying to rebuild his life by working very hard, Eric only perceives the badass exterior and the fact that Dwayne never seems to sleep with the same guy more than once. He rebuffs all of Dwayne’s advances, thinking he is a thug who is taking advantage of Angel, and generally makes an a* of himself. Until, that is, Angel confronts him with the truth, and makes Eric begin to use his brain and start to ask questions to find out who Dwayne is underneath the rough exterior.

The process of Eric’s change is written really well, and as Eric and Dwayne finally open up to each other, Eric discovers a few very surprising details about Dwayne, his life and what he had to do to survive, and how he and Angel see the world as black men versus what Eric has experienced and always assumed to be the case for everyone. It’s a truly eye-opening experience for him.  

If you like stories about characters who challenge the status quo of their beliefs, if you want to know more about two men who come from opposite ends of the social spectrum and have to learn how to create their own reality, and if you’re looking for a thought-provoking read about friendship, love, and redemption, then you will probably like this novella.  





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
Length Novella, 63 pages/17970 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-January-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link