Brian “Berzerker” Anderson has been one of the ink-artists at Twirled World for several years. He very much respects his boss, Gib Phelps, and wouldn’t dream of hitting on Gib’s only son, Landon. Zerk, as everyone calls him, has a close and affectionate relationship with Landon, however it is “friends only.” And, that’s why Zerk moves in with Landon when Zerk’s boyfriend moves into his new home and “forgets” to tell Zerk that he’s not invited.
So, homeless and suffering a severe attack on his self-esteem, Zerk doesn’t want to live with his Twirled buddies, and Landon has two spare bedrooms in his apartment. Plus, Landon travels a lot for his work as a forensic accountant, so the place is empty most of the time. But, Landon’s hoping he can convince Zerk to be more than his roomie and friend: he wants all the tatted, hairy bear can offer—starting with giving Landon his first ink.
Berzerker is the first book in a contemporary romance series that features tattoo artists in Atlanta working at Twirled World Ink.
Okay, so this is a friends-to-lovers novella that has a premise I usually enjoy: how do you become more than friends without screwing up the friendship, or piss off your boss? A little twist with the dad factor, perhaps, but otherwise simple and straight-forward. The execution was okay, with interesting characters and a bit of slapstick humor. Zerk’s ex is a jerk, and he keeps sniffing around trying to cause enough trouble to win Zerk back, for reasons that weren’t clearly articulated and defied all logic. This made the tone—with all the verbal smack downs and posturing—feel more “juvenile high school drama” than adult contemporary, or even New Adult.
Also, and I admit this is a trigger for me, the grammar, spelling, and editing of this book are terrible and thoroughly distracting. When I have to jump over misspelled/misused words and re-analyze all the dialogue to figure out who said what, and what they meant, because dialogue tags are hard to come by and a comma is not a period and never will be? It became a real slog to get to the end. Honestly, if I picked up the book on my own, without committing to review it, I would have DNF’ed before the third chapter.
I want to say I’d try a future book in this series, but I really can’t commit at this point. Maybe if I knew it had been professionally edited I’d pick it up. Otherwise, no, and that’s a shame because I didn’t hate the story. I just struggled to connect when I had so many writing hurdles to surmount.