Author: Vona Logan
Reviewed by: JustJen
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary
ISBN 13: 9781623806354
Kegan Andrews wears his heart on his sleeve, or rather his skin—his tattoo is a testimony to those he’s loved and lost. The losses are piling up—like his young cousin’s suicide and his fiancée’s betrayal. He needs perspective, and the New Zealand trip he planned months ago seems to promise him that. Then Kegan meets Dominic, a man wrapped in so much grief and guilt it’s as if his own heart died two years ago with his long-time partner.
Dominic can’t move on—can’t even imagine it until Kegan jumpstarts his frozen heart. Dominic knows Kegan isn’t gay, so he fights his growing feelings, but Kegan embraces his new self-knowledge about whom he might love. Will Dominic stay mired in the safety of past heartbreak and become a distant memory etched into Kegan’s skin, or will he risk himself for the promise of a new beginning?
This story had a lot of potential.. Kegan is freshly getting over the loss of his cousin who committed suicide. They grew up together and were more like brothers who had drifted apart when Kegan began his relationship with his fiancé. Before boarding a plane for a preplanned trip to New Zealand, the fiancé ends up leaving him at the altar, or in this case, the airplane. Kegan decides to make the most of his trip anyway.
He soon meets Dominic and his friend, Lisa. Dominic is getting over the loss of his lover/partner of 15 years, Alex, who was killed in a car accident two years prior. Then there is Lisa, who is also interested in Kegan.
Eventually, everyone learns that Kegan would choose Dom over Lisa. Dom seems interested but he hasn’t felt anything for anyone since Alex. He also believes Kegan to be straight. Kegan is interested but not sure how to get past Dom’s barriers. Even though Kegan seems to awaken something in Dom, he is still too afraid and feels to guilty to act on it. Unfortunately, Kegan is not able, nor does he want, to compete with Alex’ ghost. It takes some soul searching and Kegan’s absence for Dom to find the courage to go after what he wants.
Tats of Honor actually refers to the tattoo Kegan has on his arm which consists of a vine and different flowers and things representing different people or events in his life. This sounded great until it was mentioned that there were names next to each item. At one point, he thinks about having to remove the ex-fiancé’s name. This sort of made it less sexy to me, but I really liked the idea behind the rest of it.
My biggest issue with this story is that these guys spend most of the book thinking about, envisioning and daydreaming about how they would be together. In other words, there are more solo scenes than not. First Kegan does it, then Dom, then Kegan, then Dom. Aside from a brief hot, but somewhat disastrous, encounter, they don’t actually have sex together until the end. I was really hoping for more interaction between the characters.