Ink by Isabelle Rowan

Publication Date: December 12th, 2011
Dreamspinner Press
Format: Kindle Edition
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Roman centurion Dominic drew his last human breath during the time of Hadrian. In the centuries since, he’s seen much of the world change around him, but the vampire finds himself held captive in Melbourne, Australia, by his fascination with young, passionate, fun-loving, and alive tattoo artist Michael Chapman. Unable to resist the lure of Michael’s beauty, Dominic finds himself entering the parlor to get a tattoo he knows will fade.
The attraction he feels only grows, and despite Dominic’s extreme reluctance to get involved with a human, he and Michael form a bond—a connection that all too soon attracts the attention of a dark specter from Dominic’s bloody past. Soon, a dangerous game of cat and mouse threatens not only the budding romance, but also their humanity.

Ink is a story about an old vampire who fell in love with a human.

That’s not even remotely ground-breaking, isn’t it? Almost majority of the books dealing with these  nocturnal creatures had them fighting off their bloodlust with the people they’re supposedly in love with. I must admit, the pull of this book lies in the fact that it’s an m/m PNR. And while I normally don’t put too much stock into how the book is packaged, the beauty of its cover was also an added bonus.
Surprisingly, this book was a bit more than just your average vampire drivel. It has a well-evolved history even if some of its elements were a bit pedestrian. Some vampire novels tend to try hard to be original but this one, I felt, kept closer to the lore. 
Dominic spends his nights wandering Chapel Street; he sits at a café without ever drinking what he orders. Across the street, a young tattoo artist is unaware of the fact that he’s being watched. Until one night when a walk-in client decides to let his presence known. Plagued with self-loathing for what he’s about put Michael through and the possibilities of the harm he can do to him, Dominic pulls away. From the moment on, his connection to Dominic is all-consuming that it literally feels like he’s missing a limb when he’s not around. He also feels everything Dominic feels: loneliness, pain, love, and lust.
The next time they meet, Michael wouldn’t let him go until Dominic cut off all ties and decides to let his existence slowly perish by not feeding. But Michael made his own decision: he’d rather die than live without Dominic.
The love story is a little typical of the story line: an ancient vampire who fights off his nature (and fails) and a human with no sense of self-preservation. There was too much self-hatred on Dominic’s part and too much self-sacrificing affinity on Michael’s. They have such a staid connection and the author was very adept in making sure it comes off the pages. It’s in the way they communicate – telepathically and otherwise. It’s in every look and every touch and it’s in the way they feel each other’s presence, regardless of the distance.  While I usually am not so forgiving when it comes to instant love between characters, I feel like I could give this book a pass. There’s just something about a supernatural being that’s hard to resist. And I get it. 
Ink is dark and vivid, with a world that could give Anne Rice’s Lestat Chronicles a run for her money. The problem I had with this book was the lack of details on Michael’s change. It seemed so rush considering how much Dominic loathed changing him. Michael also didn’t seem to have struggled with it; his sharpened senses didn’t bother him too much. In fact, the only instance I felt like he had a hard time was when he was assaulted with the need to hurt one of his best friends. The author didn’t get hung up on Michael’s hunger especially when he was briefly separated from Dominic. I thought it wasn’t realistic. But then again, this is a vampire book. There’s nothing realistic about that. 
I also did not understand why Dominic would stay away from Michael when he knew it would kill him. I’m not being melodramatic either. I meant that Michael wouldn’t feed on anyone else but Dominic. Knowing this, he still chose to stay away because he thought he was doing Michael a favor.
Overall, I think this book was entertaining enough if you’re like me who’s been looking to resuscitate her appetite for vampires.