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Publisher's Summary

The hardest thing a rebel can do isn't standing up for something - it's standing up for himself.

Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After Gus spends years running from his past, present, and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, karma delivers the one thing Gus could never - would never - turn his back on: a son from a one-night stand he'd had after a devastating breakup a few years ago.

Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family's tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together...until the firefighter who'd broken him walked back into Gus's life.

For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn't the strength or flexibility to hold on to. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt, but Gus hadn't wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul.

When Gus's life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream.

©2017 Rhys Ford (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration!

Get ready to have your heart broken and pieced back together.

There were two things I absolutely loved about this audiobook - Tristan James's narration and the cameo of narrator Greg Tremblay to voice an established character from Rhys Ford's Cole McGinnis series.

Gus Scott hasn't had it easy. In fact, in the grand scheme, once could argue he's never had anything easy. He's had his heart broken by almost everyone, including firefighter Rey Montenegro. Three years ago Gus was shattered after a devastating break-up with Rey. It was just one more time that he was disappointed by someone who should have been there for him.

"I’m sorry I wasn’t what you wanted me to be, but you know what? You weren’t what I needed either, even if you were all I wanted.”

Gus left town six months ago, but he's back and ready to pick up the pieces of his life, and Rey is determined one of those pieces is going to be him. Told from both Gus's and Rey's third-person POV Rebel focuses on Second Chances, found family, loss, and love. There is some romance here but it's not the main focus, though Rebel does offer up some heart-melting moments.

"Listen to me carefully. I’m not going to spend my life anyplace other than with you, and I love you. With all of my heart. All of my soul and most of my sanity… I love you."

Tristan James provides a nuanced, textured, and beautiful interpretation of Rhys Ford's text.

Quite a bit happens off page, many of which I think could have added more depth to the story overall, but in the end I enjoyed Rebel and I'm looking forward to getting the stories for the supporting cast of characters here - especially Bear and Ivo. Looks like Mace is up next and (hopefully) we'll also get a feature for Luke.

I, for one, really hope Tristan will be back to narrate the rest.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great start!!

What a great story to start off a new series! Wonderful combination of writing and narration -- Rhys Ford and Tristan James are a perfect twosome!! You can't find better.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Series Opener

This is an engaging and heartstring-tugging story with the strong character work for which Rhys Ford is known. “Rebel”, the opener for the new 415 Ink series, is about found family, confronting demons and stepping up for people even when it seems impossible and features a second chance, slow burn romance.

Gus’s childhood is ugly and traumatic and in multiple, sometimes horrific ways reinforced the idea that he is unworthy and disposable, a belief that contributes to his inability to recognize the good things about himself and being open with people he cares about, even family. After discovering he has a child, Gus is forced to examine who he is and who he wants to be in order to be a good dad, a task that also involves confronting his unresolved feelings for his ex and close friend of the family, Rey. Unbeknownst to Rey, Gus was in love with him and in Gus’s mind, the breakup was just another nail in the coffin of his disposability.

To me, the story is more about Gus opening his baggage and being honest about what it costs him to carry it so that he can finally move forward with his life and be better for himself and his son instead of continuing in the directionless limbo he wrapped himself in. In some ways, Gus and Rey’s romantic history serves more as a tangible example of this process than as the main storyline.

Having the central romance be of the second chance variety is a good way to begin a series that features characters with complicated and heavy histories since a large part of the story is concerned with the intricacies of how their family came together and the after effects of the trauma that dominated Gus’s childhood and shaped his behavior. There is much angst and emotional turmoil in “Rebel”, but it is also full of love, hope and the wonders of inking.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I liked it.

This is a good story. I had some trouble with the narrator. It was sometimes hard to tell who was talking between the brothers. It was also kind annoying how he would say "brotherss" or "kidsz". I'm pretty sure it was probably written brothers' as in plural possessive but the narrator liked to add on the extra s at the end of the words. Very strange.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story, Tristan James was fantastic!

Rebel is the first book in Rhys Ford’s new series 451 Ink. Centered around a group of men who’ve worked to make a safe place for their extended family, the novels will tell their stories. Coming from broken homes, these guys have all been through horrific events, which results in some intense relationships and a dynamic that promises to never be dull. Knowing the writing of Rhys Ford, I think it’s safe to say that future books in this series will be as heart-wrenching and compelling as Rebel.

There are some exceptional factors that play into this group of men, and there’s so much damage my heart just went out to these guys. We get to see some of the support networks they’ve set in place, and they’re all looking out for each other, but I can’t imagine how anyone can truly overcome the horrors they’ve lived through.

Three years after their painful breakup, Gus Scott and Ray Montenegro bump into each other when Gus moves back to town. Their friends and family are completely intertwined, so these two have got to find a way to co-exist. Their intense attraction is clear from the moment they meet, and it’s almost as strong as the animosity and the bad memories.

Communication between Gus and Ray is direct and honest, which turned out to be one of my favorite parts of this story. A slow-burn doesn’t work for me when the characters are constantly misunderstanding each other, or failing to just say what the heck the problem is. Gus tells Ray how much it hurt when Ray kicked him to the curb. He explains why other factors in his life make it impossible to consider getting back together right now. Likewise, Ray publicly vows to win him back.

As the horrific events of Gus’ life come to light, it becomes clear that anyone looking for a relationship with him is going to need patience and understanding. The abuse, neglect, and downright cruelty he lived through as a boy made me cringe. Please note the trigger warnings if you’re sensitive about stories of child abuse. Rhys Ford has created an intense backstory for Gus and she doesn’t spare the details.

Ray realizes right quick that he screwed up. Gus is everything Ray wants and he goes all out to prove he can be there, in whatever capacity Gus needs. While Gus welcomes all the support he can get, and admits the attraction to Ray is still there, he stresses he can’t become involved with someone who is going to distract him or kick him to the curb when the going gets rough. A true partner for Gus is going to have to learn the details of his damage, accept it, and incorporate that knowledge into becoming the person Gus needs in his life right now. Ray is going to have to do some serious work to prove he’s the right man for Gus.

The sexual tension between Ray and Gus mounts continually throughout the story and waiting for them to get together wasn’t easy. After all, what would a Rhys Ford romance be without the smokin’ hot sex? Well trust me when I tell you that, WOW was it worth the wait!

Rebel is filled with the beautiful writing I always expect from Rhys Ford. Her descriptions of everyday things always make me smile. The color of the sheets on an unmade bed are dark, “a blue found in the fold of twilight and shadows.” Isn’t that a moving way to describe a messy bed?

There are some seriously fun, lighthearted moments in Rebel too. There were a couple good Easter eggs for us die hard fans, and I probably missed a few, distracted as I was by Tristan James’ soft, sultry, sexy voice. The low rumble that naturally comes out when he reads the romantic scenes? Gah, I’m a molten puddle on the floor. Let’s just say Tristan James could read me the phone book, but when he has the opportunity to read the beautifully poetic writing of Rhys Ford, I’m a goner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

good

i like this book looking forward to the other brother story and i hope the other story are on audible as well

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A little too much Rhys

Normally I love Rhys Ford, author of several of my favorite series (Sinner's Gin was my first and still one of my favorites). But 'Rebel' goes too far with the Rhys Ford mannerism of making every description a metaphor. It can be effective to hear of a young man's heart beating against chains of his own forging, or blood burning with the fires of his past--but not when it's Every Paragraph on Every Page. Tristan James is a great and skilled narrator, but he responds to this flowery, mannered language with a languorous reading.

The plot was mainly about the backstory--there's very little conflict in the present--which might be what lent itself to the touch of excess style. And the backstory is powerful, but I would have liked for it to be mirrored by trouble in the present of corresponding magnitude, something Ford normally does extremely effectively. The characters have a lot of potential and my loyalty to Ford got me to stick it out to the end, but it was a little heartbreaking to have to 1.25x Rhys Ford and Tristan James.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A- rating...

My Review:
Overall: 4.25
Performance: 4.0
Story: 4.25


I've had this book forever, but when I saw it was available in audio, I grabbed it knowing that I was more likely to get it off my TBR list that way. I'm so happy that I got to read it...and just in time since book #2 is coming out really soon.

So...this book...It hits one of my weak spots for tropes...the second chance at love story. Rey and Gus were together until Rey blew them apart three years ago. That breakup completely blindsided Gus. He never saw it coming and it completely broke him. He's been avoiding coming home ever since because he can't see Rey without it shredding him inside.

But something's changed which means he can't avoid home...and Rey...anymore. Rey and Gus both have a lot of messed up emotions that they have to sort through in this book. They were both really hurt by what happened between them and that isn't something that just suddenly heals. And all of this is happening in the middle of lots and lots of family drama and side-plots. It really made for an interesting and entertaining read.

Wow, this is a group of seriously messed up guys. The brothers (Gus's) have been through hell and back, but they're even closer for it. But all those mental scars and hangups are still there. It's going to be a phenomenal series that I think will probably get better and better with each book as the story deepens.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Rebel, 415 Ink

•Family is what you make it…

•Blood is not everything…

•And I Freaking LOVE this rag-tag family…

Gus, the tattoo artist.
Rey, the firefighter.

This book, story, premise, plot, whatever you want to call it… The entire thing was fantastic. I loved every minute of this book right from the first few words. This was just the book I needed in my life right now. I love second chances and what both of these men had to go through from the start of their lives right up to where this book brings us is just a heartbreaking journey to see on both sides. The fact that they are able to get a second chance at living their lives together and loving each other just shows how strong these two men are separately and then at the end when they finally get their crap together. Both Gus and Rey made mistakes, had a ton of baggage and miscommunication, in the past as well as the present. Once they are able to shift through all of their hurt feelings, and deceptions and truths, and dig to the source of their issues they come out stronger. God, I loved this book. I was completely fascinated with all of the “brothers” their family dynamic and their friends we met along the way and I can’t wait to see their HEA’s play out in the upcoming books of this series.

Audio – Tristan James’ voice is super sexy. I was a little lost a few times trying to figure out which character was talking at the time, but I honestly think it was me just lost in Tristan’s voice and not by any fault of his own doing on the way he was delivering this story. He did a great job with the main characters and all of the minor ones as well giving them each their own voices to be heard. I really, really hope the author sticks with him for the rest of these books as well. I loved this one. OMG, and let me add, at about 7hrs in… When Tristan does the mocking voice for Gus’ French (Pepe Le Pu) sounding ex, I almost died laughing.. That was the funniest thing I’ve heard in a while, totally perfect, and I loved it. This audiobook was great.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awesome !

A favorite narrator and favorite author, can't beat that. Tristan James always delivers and amazing performance. He is one I look for the narration then the book.