Title: Honor Me
Author: Chelle Bliss
Series: Men of Inked, #6
Release Date: May 10, 2016
I had everything I ever wanted—a wife, a kid, with two more on the way. I was living the American dream. After the babies were born, we hit a rough patch. I did everything to prove my love, to show Suzy that nothing was more important than her. After some work and a lot of time, we found our groove again. Just when life had evened out, a familiar enemy came back to haunt us. It wasn’t my past that followed us, but my brother’s. When the danger gets too close, I’ll do anything to defend my family. There’s nothing more important than the people I love, and I’ll protect what’s mine—even if it costs me my life.
Chelle Bliss takes readers back home to the Gallos in Honor Me. This crazy, lovable family does not disappoint, serving up another sexy, thrilling, and heartfelt novel. Honor Me continues Joe aka City and Suzy’s story, picking up in the middle of Suzy’s second pregnancy and following the highs and lows of married life. Chelle Bliss isn’t afraid to get real with this one, putting this couple through the wringer as they face the raw and sometimes devastating storm of emotions that come with parenthood and getting older. There was still plenty of sexy fun, especially with the rest of the Gallo couples around to swap stories with and in true Chelle Bliss fashion, I found myself blushing on more than one occasion. Chelle Bliss writes with undeniable passion and care, putting her heart and soul into these characters and demonstrating her love for the Men of Inked world. Honor Me is another memorable piece of the Gallo story.
“My road to happiness wasn’t paved in gold. It was more like a cobblestone walkway, filled with dips and ridges.”
I very much enjoyed the emotional journey that Joe and Suzy’s relationship took in this book. Their lives were unpolished and their problems weren’t easily resolved, but it was this realistic portrayal that made their journey feel so incredibly genuine. Chelle certainly didn’t gloss over the issues that come with being parents and maintaining a marriage and my heart definitely ached before she made it flutter, but ultimately this struggle made Joe and Suzy’s marriage more meaningful and gave this book the emotional depth necessary to balance the steamy encounters and hilarious banter. I loved how Chelle Bliss unraveled Suzy, exposing her insecurities and vulnerabilities to readers and making it ok for her to feel those things. I felt much more connected to the character because of her flaws and the way in which she accepted them, grew from them, and eventually owned them.
“We fall in love with the soul of another human being.”
The Gallos embody the unconditional love, unwavering loyalty, and emotional turbulence that define family and I always end a Men of Inked novel with a familiar feeling of contentment. This time around, Chelle Bliss ties in the ALFA PI series, crossing over characters to create an even larger circle. Having not read the ALFA PI series, I felt as if their relationships with the Gallos, while briefly mentioned, were not explained sufficiently enough to demand my investment in those ties. The plot also exhibited some discord that caught my attention. The personal battles Joe and Suzy faced in their home life seemed so separate from the danger they faced as a family during the second half. I would have liked to see a bit more continuity in the storyline, hints of the danger peeking through in the beginning, in order to better maintain the flow of the story. Overall, I enjoyed Honor Me and had no problem falling in love with Joe and Suzy all over again. I loved seeing the Gallos a little more grown-up but still just as dirty!
I was so excited when I learned that Chelle Bliss would be returning to the Gallo gang in her newest novel. There’s something about this loud, rowdy crew that makes it so fun to read about them on the pages. Bliss writes so inclusively that you can’t help but feel like a part of their family which means that all throughout the pages of Honor Me, I felt like I was coming home. This latest edition to the Men of Inked series surely made me smile and giggle at times, bite my nails in anxiety during others, and develop an overall feeling of closure.
“You wouldn’t love him less with flaws or fifty pounds, and he doesn’t love you less with baby weight and stretch marks.”
In the first portion of the novel, Suzy is pregnant again which provided a great avenue to catch readers up to where everyone was in their lives. I really appreciated the way Bliss took her in the aftermath of giving birth because it allowed us to see a more vulnerable side. She always presented this strong, take charge attitude and it made her feel more real in a way. She still had her struggles and I loved that the author chose to depict that. However, I also loved once she came flaring back to life in a blaze – especially when she used her powers against City! Joe is still everything that he has been in the previous novels; he’s strong-headed, determined, protective, and even more so now that he has added daughters to the mix. I will admit that it melted my heart to see him all settled down and be a daddy. I swear that’s the ultimate way to make a girl swoon over a book boyfriend!
“They’re what make you you. They’re the storyline of our life.”
For as much as I enjoyed revisiting these characters, there were a couple things that hindered me from rating it a five star. First of all, it kind of felt like two different novellas packed into one. There was a very clear divide of events and I wasn’t sure of the purpose for it. For my personal taste, I wish the transition was a little bit smoother or each section was more inclusive of the other. Second, there were a couple little things that I didn’t really understand the point of. It felt like it was just thrown in, rather than serving a purpose in the story itself. Finally, I was saddened to see the addition of the ALFA characters. I haven’t had a chance to read the books yet so I didn’t understand those relationships and so it kind of distanced me from the book. I am a HUGE fan of Chelle Bliss and will continue to read whatever it is that she writes. She incorporates humor, alpha heroes, and steamy fun all into one amazing punch, and she definitely did that with Honor Me. I can say without a doubt that I’m super excited to see her next venture and how she continues to grow as an author.
Suzy glared at me. “What’s this we shit? I’m the one with two aliens inside of me, trying to claw their way out of my body. I’m the only one pushing them out of my tiny vagina. Not you. Not her. Me!” She waved her hands frantically in the air. “I’m the one doing everything while you sit there calm, sexy, and without your body splitting in two. I’m going to be the one tearing wide open as I push two humans and their giant Gallo heads out of my body.” She collapsed, gasping for air, and closed her eyes.
I bit my lip. Pregnant Suzy was unpredictable, but in-labor Suzy was just downright scary. “I know, sugar. You’re doing all the hard work. I’m just here to cheer you on and support you.”
Her nostrils flared and her eyes grew wide when she glanced up. “Support me? If you want to support me, you’ll never knock me up again. You want to cheer me on?” She rolled her eyes and made a noise low in her throat. “Stop fucking talking.”
I braced myself, waiting for her head to do a 360. I brought my mouth right next to her ear. “My sweet little wife, you beg for my cock every day. It takes two to tango, sweetheart. I didn’t put you in that bed.” I lowered my voice further, whispering, “Your sweet little cunt did.”
She closed her eyes again and moaned. “You’re just too damn good. I can’t keep my hands to myself. It’s still your fault, my dear husband.”
I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I burst into laughter. “Now, I fuck you too good?”
“Yes!” she screeched, pounding her fist on the crappy, plastic hospital bed. “If you weren’t so good at it, I wouldn’t be lying here right now.”
Just as I was about to reply, the nurse walked in. “I hear someone is ready to push.” Her voice was so chipper, kind of like my wife’s used to sound like before pregnancy. “Are we excited?” she asked, moving a tray of instruments next to the foot of the bed.
“I just want this over. I’m so freaking uncomfortable.”
“That makes two of us,” I muttered and nodded at the nurse with a fake smile on my face before leaning over and kissing Suzy’s forehead. “Ready, sugar?”
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Don’t miss the rest of the Men of Inked series:
The Gallos (Men of Inked #0.5)
Throttle Me (Men of Inked #1)
Hook Me (Men of Inked #2)
Throttled (Men of Inked #2.5)
Resist Me (Men of Inked #3)
Uncover Me (Men of Inked #4)
Without Me (Men of Inked #5)
Men of Inked Christmas Novella
Worship Me (Men of Inked #7)
Chelle Bliss is the USA Today bestselling author of the Men of Inked and ALFA P.I. series. She hails from the Midwest, but currently lives near the beach even though she hates sand. She’s a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, coffee fiend, and ex high school history teacher. She loves spending time with her two cats, alpha boyfriend, and chatting with readers.