It’s Halloween. And I’m being a bit of a scrooge, I’m afraid. I have candy, which my daughter made me buy (yes, made. have YOU ever dealt with a teenage girl? if so, you know what i’m talking about…). But, I’m not feeling much in the answer the door, hand out candy, answer the door, hand out candy… Rinse, and repeat.
Told ya, Scrooge.
I do, on the other hand, have something I am willing to share with you. A new release. Some of you know about it. Some of you don’t. Either way, here’s the blurb, the cover, an excerpt, and buy links…
Once Brax traded in his suit and law degree for part ownership in his best friend’s tattoo parlor, Love and Tattoos, he never looked back. Inked from head to toe, full of business smarts, and an affinity for classical music and hard sex, he’s got life right where he wants it.
Until the woman he can’t stop craving comes home. She’s full of luscious curves, looks a little unsure of herself, and has taken to acting a little odd around him. Brax can’t help but wonder why.
The corporate advertising firm in Philadelphia that Annie buttoned up her carefree personality for has laid her off. Now, back in North Carolina, she’s trying to find her sparks again. Her career is changing direction, her sex life is nearly dead, and the one thing worth having in the midst of it all is supposedly off limits.
Brax’s cockiness and Annie’s own desire to for the tattoo artist, dares her to believe he might know her better than she thinks he does. And when he promises that he can help her find what’s missing in her life, she agrees to his little after-hours game.
The challenge he lays out comes with a few strings, the suggestion of stripping, confessions, and the temptation of ink. But, they’ve never been that close, so how could she possibly lose?
“You really should’ve let me take you back to my place tonight.” Brax leaned heavily on the refrigerator door in their closet sized break room. Not the walk-in size either. No, this was nothing more than a bi-fold closet with a fridge, a microwave, and a set of free standing cabinets
“There’s nothing to eat in here.”
“Nothing at all?” she asked, peering under his arm.
Annie backed up and opened the cabinet doors “Nothing in here, either. This is sad. Who’s the designated stock person in the shop?”
“We don’t have one.” He slammed the refrigerator shut and braced his back against it. “Jamie’s is closed too.”
“Wait.” Annie bounced on the balls of her feet and clapped her hands together in rapid succession. “Do we have more water bottles?”
“Yes.” Brax’s tone was wary at best. Annie understood. She did seem a little too excited.
“Grab a couple. Do you know how to pick a lock?”
“Breaking and entering? Okay. Who are you and what have you done with my staid and stand-offish Annie?”
“Yep. Joe’s desk.” Annie fairly skipped into the office. “Joe always keeps a package of cookies in the back of the bottom draw.” She stopped and faced him. “What do you mean staid and stand-offish? I have not been that way with you tonight.”
“Not since you had to get naked. And what do you mean by Joe always keeps cookies in his desk drawer? I’ve never seen them.”
“I know. They’re behind the hanging files. He about killed me the first time I found them.”
“What if he ate them all?”
Annie shook her head. “He never does that. He always makes sure there’s a full package.”
“Okay.” Brax wagged his finger in her face, but pulled it back when she made to bite it. “If we get in trouble for it…”
“I know. I know. I’ll blame it on you.” She barely made it out of swatting range.
She had her shirt and panties back on and he had his pants on and for some reason they hadn’t left. He hadn’t pushed about taking her to his place and she hadn’t invited him to hers. It was fun in the tattoo shop in the middle of the night. It was familiar, but not. It was like being somewhere they shouldn’t be, but not for any reason she could think of.
He knelt on the floor at her feet, with two metal files; one that looked like a pick, and one that looked like it had a flat blade at the end. She wasn’t paying as much attention to the illegal activity of lock picking as she was to the man committing the act. She stared to her heart’s content at his body. “Did Joe do the wings on your shoulders?” she asked, tracing the edges with her fingertips. He was warm to the touch and small freckles dotted his skin.
One wing was white, spread over his right shoulder. The other was black with red tips, spread over his left shoulder. Annie had admired them all night, since he first took his shirt off, she’d just been distracted by other pieces of his ink, other parts of him.
His hands stilled and he lowered his head to let her explore. Ink stood out and he had so much of it. He wasn’t afraid to be who he was. He never had been. His bosses told him to keep his tattoos covered, her bosses never had that chance. She never let her guard down long enough for them to see her. Maybe that had been a good thing. Maybe not.
“They’re beautiful. Who designed them?”
“I did. Joe did the ink.”
Annie opened her palm over the black wing and spread her fingers, the ends just touching the edge of the red tips. Her hand looked small and fragile against the dark shading. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“I hadn’t either. Angel’s wings didn’t seem to fit me. I looked through hundreds of drawings and images and photos of other tattoos. When I couldn’t find what I wanted, I drew it. Took me several weeks to get it right. Good, and evil.”
“Which side were you listening to tonight?”
“They were in agreement?”
Brax looked up and captured her gaze. “The good side said go with my heart. The evil side said go with my baser instincts. I did both.”
If she could’ve melted into the floor, she would have. Brax would be her undoing before the sun rose. “Cookies,” she said. “My evil side is saying cookies.”
Brax shook his head. “My evil side is saying forget the cookies and eat the girl.”
“After cookies,” she promised.
“After cookies,” he grudgingly repeated.
If you’ve picked it up already, thank you. If you haven’t, I hope you’ll be tempted enough to do so… I would appreciate any reviews you care to leave.
And, if you are in the Charlotte, NC area, author Selena Blake and I will be meeting up and would love it if you could join us:
And one more thing… Starting tomorrow, I will be participating in the following blog hop! It’s going to be loads of fun…