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High Contrast (Evolution Ink, #1)
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High Contrast

(Evolution Ink #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  45 reviews
The deepest scars aren’t the ones that show.

Jacob Shain is your average member of Generation Screwed. He has a boring internship, no cash flow, and a tiny NYC apartment he has to share with Ethan, his much-cooler, tattoo-artist twin brother. Not to mention his love life is DOA. At least, until his brother’s shop hires on a new piercer, and Jacob’s humdrum life takes a turn
ebook, 226 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Samhain Publishing
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3.75 HEARTS--If you love wisecracks, an ensemble supporting cast that read like an alternative Scooby gang and piercings...a lot of piercings with a slow burn romance between comic lovers mixed in...let me introduce you to Tess Bowery's High Contrast (Evolution Ink #1), her first published contemporary.

Jacob Shain is the less cooler twin. He's an unpaid marketing intern to his older twin's tattoo artist. Jacob is used to his role in life, he's fine with it. Until he lays his eyes on his broth
Arch Bala
I had a total blast reading this one. I didn’t expect much from it but I totally got more in return! I’ve never read anything from the author before this and now, I’m thinking of getting her two other books released in 2015!

High Contrast is highly relatable, at least on my end. Jacob Shain is a lowly unpaid intern who shares an apartment with his twin brother Ethan and is the geeky-comic-book-video-games-loving brother in contrast with his much-cooler-tattoo-artist twin. I mean, I’m basically li
3.5 stars rounded up to 4. "High Contrast" focuses around Evolution Ink : Tattoos and Body Piercing, founded by Ethan, Travis and Valentina with Cody (the new gorgeous mysterious piercer) and Priya behind the front counter. Add in Ethan's twin Jacob, Ethan's girlfriend Andi, the landlord Mr. Ashton and his dog, then toss in the mysterious Russian guys from the Cash-for-Gold store next door, Drew Sullivan (Jacob and Andi's creepy coworker), legal aid attorney Marc, Uncle Joe, Cody's ex Vincent an ...more
Riina Y.T.
High Contrast (Evolution Ink, #1) was my first book by Tess Bowery and will definitely not be my last. I am already dying for Evolution Ink #2!!!

I LOVED the writing, super fun, very engaging, the flow was easy and overall quite addicting. Page turner. There was humor, drama, some angst and a lot of love and friendship.

I LOVED the way Jacob and Cody’s friendship progressed slowly but had that spark right from the start, and you were just waiting for it to finally, finally ignite. When it happen
Joyfully Jay
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.25 stars

High Contrast is a fun story that has a nice balance of romance and lighthearted adventure. The blurb says it’s the story of “a good boy who wants to be bad, a bad boy who longs to be good” and this describes these guys perfectly. Though Cody isn’t really a bad guy as much as one who has fallen into very hard times, made some mistakes, and is trying to turn his life around. But he is still sweet and kind and beating himself up, but trying to do better. So I’d say
Julie   (*Happily Ever Chapter*)
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I have to say that I loved Jacob's character so much! My heart really hurt for Cody and the life he had lived before he met Jacob. These two were perfect together, and I really enjoyed all of their dorky moments together. All of the secondary characters were a lot of fun too. I really enjoyed this one a lot. I had a little bit of everything that I loved: humor, heartfelt moments, and of course steamy sex. Jacob and Ethan cracked me up with their teasing back and forth too. It reminded me of me w ...more
Veronica of V's Reads
Jacob is a plain, geeky, out gay man, living with his wild, artistic, tattoo-artist brother, Ethan, in an apartment in NYC. He's serving a summer as an unpaid intern in his BFFs father's ad company, and pretty much hating life. A Lot. Jacob wants a man, he feels like a fuddy-duddy, and is currently having a major hopeless crush on the newest employee at Ethan's tat shop: Cody, the piercer.

Cody's a wet-dream of a man, in Jacob's opinion. Tall and lithe, with long blonde hair, amazing tats, and s
Lustful Literature
May 03, 2016 rated it liked it

Jen's Review

This is a first time, new to me author and I didn’t know what to expect from this story. The blurb intrigued me. Honestly that warning sold me because who doesn’t love a bad boy wanting to be good or a good boy wanting to bad. I’m a sucker for hot tattooed guys so there was no question that I’d jump in head first into the story.

This story has a little of everything. It’s a sweet, feel good romance with little angst, a bit of mystery mixed in with a Russian mob. I’m a little torn on
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was not at all what I expected. From the looks of the cover I expected something a little darker or grittier maybe? More of a serious read at the very least. However I found that High Contrast was more of a mixture of humor, romance and a touch of drama and angst.

High Contrast was not just a story of straight laced Jacob, a self confessed nerd and Cody the reformed badboy tattooed piercer. There is an entire cast of great characters from Jacob's twin brother Ethan, his bestfriend and Ethan
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
High Contrast, Tess Bowery M/M 4.5 Stars

I just love Tattoo shop stories so this one was right up my alley. With a whole cast of crazy characters from the start this was a lively story. Jacob and Cody are your main characters and love interests. These two seem to be opposites when the story starts but you see they really do have a lot of the same issues.

This is a bit of a social struggle story with some major crime drama tossed in. The author did a great job of writing all of these characters i
Really good!
Erica Chilson
I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

4.5 Inked & Geeked Stars

I had no idea what to expect when I started High Contrast. I try to begin a book with no expectations and an open mind. From the get-go, I adored Jacob's narration. I loved being inside the intern's head. Jacob was a mix of self-deprecating man, adorable geek, and a Jewish grandmother who wants to feed you.

High Contrast follows Jacob and his Scooby Doo gang of friends and family. Half of a set of id
Feb 19, 2016 rated it liked it
This is an enjoyable, feel-good, kick back and tune out the world read. There are no Big Misunderstandings, no Dramaz, no huge Angst Issues that lead to Big Misunderstandings. The plot and characters are quirky and fun.

High Contrast is, simply, a sweet romance.

Jacob is your classic geek working some kind of soul-sucking unpaid internship. His bestie is the CEO’s daughter Andi who can do no wrong. Ethan is Jacob’s twin who co-owns Evolution Ink with Turner and Val. Cody is Evolution Ink's new pi
Ellen E. Baldwin (Quest Reviews)
I made a promise to myself, years back. It was to review every book I read, even the ones with shirtless dudes on the cover. So here, I am saying to you, “Yes. I read this somewhat silly book. Let me tell you about it.”

High Contrast: Evolution Ink by Tess Bowery

High Contrast was a pretty standard romance novel — a New Adult M/M. Our protagonist, Jacob, is a self-doubting marketing intern from NYC. He’s living off the support of his parents and successful twin brother while his office career gets
books are love
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Quick and dirty-this was a terrific book. Loved all the characters especially Jacob but Cody sleighs me. He is so resilient and trying to redeem himself but he doesn’t think he is worth it. Jacob is so sweet and dorky but kind and caring. You can’t help but fall for these two. Both like each other but afraid. Jacob because he is a geek and awkward not thinking someone as cute and happy as Cody would want him and Cody because he is trying to get himself on his feet and lost his guilt of the past. ...more
Lila Hunter
Rating: 3.25 stars

My View: This was my first book by Tess Bowery, and I enjoyed the writing style and the characterization, not only of the MC but the rest of the characters. Everyone involved had a reason to take part of the story, and their background added to it. The pace flowed, and the situations were interesting enough to keep me reading.

One thing I like about contemporary fiction is the opportunity to mix real and unbelievable events. This story started strong, and I had high hopes for it
Caroline Brand

2.5 Stars

When High Contrast hit my radar and I first read the blurb I thought it was going to be quite a dark story but it proved to be the exact opposite. There were a lot of funny moments but not a lot of progression as far as the story was concerned and I needed it to progress more than it did.

The main problem I had were the number of characters and the confusion I felt trying to remember who was who and their relevance to each other and actually even their rel
Ruthie Taylor
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~

Oh, this promises to be a good new series. We are introduced to the team that work together at Evolution Ink, and one of the tattooist's twin, Jacob. All manner of adventures befall the team - or do they bring them on themselves ... it depends, I guess! Anyway, it is a good ensemble cast, and I am guessing that we will follow them through their highs and lows - a couple are already in relationships, but there is definite
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
This was a sweet, nice, cute story with amusing banter and an eccentric, accepting group of friends. There was some hurt/comfort and a rather slow burn romance. Jacob works with his brother's girlfriend Andi, and Ethan, the twin brother, works as a tattoo artist. Jacob is lusting after Cody, the new piercer at the shop. Cody is a bit standoffish but he and Jacob start building a friendship. Jacob is an out and proud nerd and Cody is the perfect foil for much amusing banter over comic and movie c ...more
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads Review Team~
I wasn’t sure what to expect after reading the blurb but I was pleasantly surprised. The story had some hot sex and had me laughing out loud at times. I liked the total differences between Jacob and his twin Ethan that was appealing to me. The slow burning relationship building between Jacob and Cody was awesome. When Jacob asks Cody how many piercings/tattoos he has and he can only count 14 of the 23 I couldn’t
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, wrrt
I received a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads

I got hooked by this book right away. The characters came to life and were written in such depth I connected to them right away. Jacob Shain is the geek of the crowd, a computer programmer with a dead end job. His twin is a bad boy tattoo artist. While hanging with his brother and the gang at Evolution Ink he meets the new hire. Cody is the new piercing guy with a jaded past and Jacob is star struck by him. While Cody is a bit "ha
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgtb
¡Me ha encantado! Este es un fanfic de Billy y Teddy de los Jóvenes Vengadores que tuvo bastante éxito entre las lectoras de esta autora, entre las que me encuentro, y se lo han comprado y ahora pues va a ser una serie donde los protagonistas de cada libro serán una pareja distinta.

Jacob es genial, muy divertido y sarcástico, sobre todo con los comentarios internos, está un poco atormentado con su trabajo de becario y es un poco, bastante, nerd (le encantan los cómics, etc.). Cody es el nuevo ch
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this blend of action-mystery-geeky-build-your-own-family book.

Jacob, our MC is a nerd, completing an (unpaid) internship with a rich (female) BFF who happens to be boinking his twin brother. Ethan, the twin is a tattooist, and the parlour is where most of the action takes place.

Jacob kind of wants to live on the wild side, but when he meets the angelic piercer, Cody, and danger comes knocking, he quickly embraces it, then wants it all to go away.

There's a lot of laughing and hi
Morgan  Skye
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Jacob is the nerdy twin who falls for his cool twin Ethan’s new co-worker. Ethan has every inch inked and the new co-worker, Cody, has every bit pierced. Jacob is untouched.

When Jacob realizes Cody has a comic-loving side and a sad story to tell, he falls instantly in lust with the guy and quietly pants after him. After a very long few months, the couple begins to explore the feelings between them and it’s up to Jacob and his friends to help Cody with his troubles with the ex.


This was a very s
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another victory for Tess Bowery.
The trials and tribulations of a gang of lovable goofs in an urban tattoo parlor.
Beautifully realized characters in a believable, realistic setting complimented by some fun and wacky hijinks. Covers the full range from edge-of-your-seat drama, wonderfully funny dialogue and satisfying comeuppances. Wholeheartedly recommended!!
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-romance
This book turned out to be more cute than anything else. I went in thinking there would be a lot of action and the description kinda made you think there would be some comedy. There was a slight amount of action and a couple of parts to laugh at, but mostly it was about Jacob and Cody.

Don't get me wrong. I had fun reading this. The characters were all unique, even the non-main ones. I liked how they interacted and constantly gave each other crap. It is what I would expect to see amongst friends.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtqia
lol i don't know how to review this as an independent literary experience because i feel like half my fun lay in trying to work out who was who in the original young avengers fic form of this. i feel like it works as a decent contemporary romance? might feel a little farfetched for someone not coming in with the superhero context though

2.5 stars

oh! almost forget to say; i'm hoping travis gets the next book. would also accept marc if he is david alleyne as i suspect he may be

(also i am PRETTY SUR
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for Just Love Romance

Tattoo shop stories are my jam so I jumped at the chance to read High Contrast. Bowery is a new to me author so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m pleased to say that this was a fun book to read. The story revolves around Jacob, the comic book and movie loving, gamer geek. Jacob’s much cooler twin Ethan is part owner of Evolution Ink where Jacob finds a tight-knit group of friends, including the gorgeous and mysterious new piercer, Cody.

If I didn’t like Jacob so m
4.5 out of 5 stars

Description ~

The deepest scars aren’t the ones that show.

Jacob Shain is your average member of Generation Screwed. He has a boring internship, no cash flow, and a tiny NYC apartment he has to share with Ethan, his much-cooler, tattoo-artist twin brother. Not to mention his love life is DOA. At least, until his brother’s shop hires on a new piercer, and Jacob’s humdrum life takes a turn for the weird.

Cody Turner is gorgeous, funny and kind—everything Jacob wants in a boyfriend.
Hot Stuff for Cool People
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Also, this review originally appeared on Hot Stuff for Cool People.

I started reading this on a long airplane flight. I almost never do that, because I hate flying, and I really need to be deeply absorbed in what I’m reading in order to pretend I’m not flying‐ and it’s so hard to get really into a new book, right off the bat. Especially when it’s an author you’ve never read before, and you don’t know what to expect. But I s
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Tess has been a fan of historical fiction since learning the Greek and Roman myths at her mother's knee. Now let loose on a computer, she's spinning her own tales of romance and passion in a slightly more modern setting. Tess lives on the east coast, with her partner of fifteen years and two cats who should have been named 'Writer's Block' and 'Get Off the Keyboard, Dammit.'

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“Holy shit.” Ethan’s voice floated out to them through the open window. “Would the two of you just shut the fuck up and screw already?” 2 likes
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