This light, chatty story of life in Los Angeles follows Jem
Mitchell's days working in a grocery store as he sets eyes
on the man of his dreams, a burly uniformed cop, and
wonders if his bad karma will let up for once.
SECRETS AND INK are not up for discussion as Jem progresses
to coffee and then sandwiches with Nick Davies. They get
along great. But after a fun night clubbing, Nick gets to
see the tattoo on Jem's back and realises that they've met
years before, when Jem was a rebellious kid out for quick
pickups - Nick was out of uniform and arrested him for
prostitution. Jem leaves at once, writing it down to the
ongoing curse he believes he carries, and wonders if he'll
ever meet anyone he could have a future with.
Jem is very likeable, with a caring sister who comes and
chats over a brunch, reminding him that his past mistakes
occurred because he followed a supposed friend's ideas.
Since then Jem had a building collapse onto him and had to
learn to walk and talk again, changing his demeanour
considerably. When his past friend comes back into his
life, Jem tells him to stop living in a dump and grow up.
Fate hasn't finished with Jem and Nick yet however, in both
good and bad ways....
The setting is excellently drawn, with random movie shoots
on the street and Jem's stocking boxes of green tea and
mango-flavoured mochi ice cream on the shelves. Homes of
the wealthy and the ordinary residents are described, and
nutty actresses and overpaid actors are part of the
scenery. I really liked the author Lou Harper's
deceptively casual writing style and sprinkling of clues in
what turns out to be a crime story halfway through the
tale. SECRETS AND INK is a fun adult read and as to
whether Jem is really carrying bad karma around, I'll let
you decide that for yourself.
If life was like the movies, Jem Mitchell’s wouldn’t be such
a mess. In LA’s glittering world of dreams, he works an
unglamorous job at a gourmet grocery store. His past is so
deep and dark, the details are lost even to him. All he
knows is he was once cursed by a meter maid, and ever since,
his love life has sucked.
When Detective Nick Davies becomes a regular at the store,
Jem dares to hope he’s un-hexed at last. He should have
known that sex with a remarkably normal guy, devoid of weird
fetishes and fatal personality flaws, was too good to be
During a post-encounter cuddle, Nick recognizes the tattoo
on Jem’s back—and remembers him as a young hustler he
arrested nine years past.
As Jem’s memories come crashing back, he flees from Nick,
but fate contrives to keep pushing them back together. And
when Jem’s old partner in crime is found murdered, the
stakes are raised for life, for love, and a dangerous drama
with no guarantee of a Hollywood ending.
Warning: Stars a mild-mannered store clerk with a shady
past, a hunky cop whose passion in the bedroom is as big as
his passion for justice, and celebrity sightings you won’t
see on TMZ.