Welcome to my stop on the tour for this incredible book! Read on for my review, then go get it for yourself!
Ink Exposed (Montgomery Ink #6), by Carrie Ann Ryan
Publish Date: November 29, 2016
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author and Inkslinger PR
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(Synopsis) Alex Montgomery lost his first love and then proceeded to leave himself in the bottle. Only he and his ex-wife truly know why he fell so hard and so fast down a path he never thought he’d take. Now he’s clean, out of rehab, and learning how to be a Montgomery once again—a task that isn’t quite as easy as some of his family assumes.
Tabby Collins is an honorary Montgomery and the organizational mastermind behind Montgomery Inc., the family’s construction company. She loves her planners, friends, and a certain dark-haired man who’s never given her a second glance.
Alex is slowly re-immersing himself back into the world, but the demons he faced before aren’t out of the picture, and he’ll have to learn to rely on others to make it out whole. When Alex discovers that Tabby’s life is in danger, he not only finds a way to help her but also learns the true woman behind the soft smiles he’s always seen. Their romance won’t be an easy one, but nothing this passionate and heart-pounding ever is.
Finally, FINALLY, we get Alex Montgomery's story. Since book one, he has been an absolute mess, drowning his troubles at the bottom of a bottle while his family watched helplessly. Since that very first book, Alex's story was the one I wanted the most. His was the one whose eventual HEA would be the most fulfilling and satisfying and well-deserved. I wasn't wrong.
There's a lot of time that passes between Ink Enduring (Montgomery Ink #5) and Ink Exposed - 16 months, actually. It marks the amount of time that has gone by since Alex got out of rehab and got clean. Immediately you can tell the difference in him from how he was in the first five books in the series. Although he's still broody and troubled, he no longer has this seething anger under the surface of his barely-there composure. Alex is sad. And he made me sad too.
His family loved him. He knew that. They were the ones who'd forced him to look at himself and had been there to pick up the pieces when he'd fallen apart. He hadn't been strong enough to do it alone, and while he didn't resent them for it, he did resent himself.
Luckily, Tabby was waiting in the wings to help him. She's always been there, and only now is Alex in a position to be there for her too, even if he doesn't believe that's true at first. First, Alex had to come to a place where he believed he was both worth and capable of a relationship. And that process wasn't aways an easy one for either he or Tabby.
Alex has already gotten a hold on his addiction, and he's determined to never get addicted to anything ever again, be it alcohol, greasy food, or a woman. He's so determined to stand on his own two feet, that he takes his dedication a bit too far, refusing to eat even the tiniest bit of bad food, and refusing to acknowledge his attraction to Tabby for fear he could get addicted to her presence in his life.
She deserved someone who hadn't carved his path through the world with a broken bottle. And he deserved... well, he wasn't sure what he deserved, but it wasn't her. It would never be her.
Tabby has the patience of a saint, and is willing to wait until he figures his crap out. Alex was so frustrating at times! I get his logic, but with the truth in the form of sweet, capable, loving Tabby standing right in front of him, I wanted to shake some sense into him more than once. But, seeing his protective nature come out when Tabby needs him made it all better again. And then when the truth comes out about all his horrible, HORRIBLE ex-wife has done, I wanted nothing more than to wish him real so I could give him a hug. Truly - I've read a lot of books with a lot of despicable villains but what this woman did might just be the worst thing of all.
It's fun watching the Montgomery clan continually grow and expand with spouses and children. They're all in Ink Exposed, along with the heads of the family. And the great thing is, there's still two brothers left who need a story...