She’s just inherited a tattoo parlor…and the hunk who comes with it.
Lauren’s in a helluva mess. Not only has she lost her corporate job, her long-absent father just left her a struggling tattoo parlor along with the virile dude who runs it. Dante’s sinfully hot with a killer smile and inked biceps. Lauren’s full-figured, sorta pretty and wanting him badly. Dream on. She’s here to sell the place as quickly as possible for some much-needed cash.
Dante sees the heat in Lauren’s eyes despite her conservative appearance. He recognizes the dynamite woman she could be if she’d just loosen up and have some wicked fun. Dominance and submission. Making love in a public place. Having her lush body always accessible to and ready for his.
Carnal games that seduce them until lust turns to surprising need and friendship to something deeper that might just change their futures.
At a sound from behind, she turned. A guy came down the hall, his attention on the clipboard he held.
Lauren’s heart stalled then raced.
She guessed him to be in his early thirties, a mountain of a man, possibly six-three, not a trace of fat on his hard body, just smooth bronze skin and slabs of muscles. Lord, lord, lord. He wore faded jeans and a gray sleeveless tee. His bulging biceps sported tats. The one on his right arm was an armband of what appeared to be thorns. The design on his left arm had a tribal look about it, possibly Celtic, a series of thick black swirls that intertwined.
Lauren pressed her toes into her heels to keep from swaying or moving closer.
His hair was shoulder length, like a pirate’s, a dark brown color, thick and silky that encouraged a woman to run her fingers through it to ease those strands away from his gorgeous face. Masculine. Decidedly Latin. Virile to the extreme. Even though it was barely two o’clock, he already had five o’clock shadow and more testosterone pumping through him than the law should have allowed.
She imagined him nude. Hell, she imagined both of them naked, his bristly cheeks tickling the insides of her thighs, his tongue lapping her cleft, settling on her clit but not rushing her climax. No damn way. Lauren figured a guy who looked as great as he did wouldn’t let her come quickly. He’d make her wait for pleasure. Once she was blubbering in delight, he’d bend her over the front counter and warn her to behave, which meant she couldn’t moan too loudly as he spanked her. Her cries of delight would come later when he plunged his meaty cock into her juicy cunt, taking what he wanted, because that’s the kind of man he was.
Uninhibited. Alpha to the core.
Despite the strains of Spanish guitars flowing from the sound system, he’d obviously heard the noise she’d made. Halting suddenly, he lifted his face, his dark brown eyes meeting hers. He smiled easily, confidently.
Her bones went soft.
“Hey,” he said.
Lauren’s belly fluttered at his deep, rich baritone.
Noting her office wear, he put the clipboard on the front counter and moved closer, his stride smooth and assured. His fragrance wafted toward her. Something clean and citrusy that reminded Lauren of summer days, an ocean breeze, sun baking naked skin.
She locked her knees to keep her balance. Her attention inched from his impressive Adam’s apple to his luscious mouth, his full, kissable lips.
“Did you lose your way?” he asked.
With him, any woman would. Not only was he beautiful, intelligence burned in his eyes and reflected in his surprisingly educated speech. “I’m sorry, what?”
He regarded her suit and heels. “Are you looking for another shop?”
Surprise registered on his face. “You’re here for a tat?”
Lauren stared at the ones on his biceps, unable to help herself. Damn, they were hot. “Not exactly.”
He nodded. The ends of his hair swayed over his broad shoulders. Mesmerized, Lauren watched.
“A piercing?” he asked.
“Are you here for a piercing?” He gestured to another wall filled with pictures. The muscles in his upper arm flexed.
Lauren bit back a sound of approval at that and the silky dark hair in his pit. She pictured her face pressed to it as she smelled his wonderful, male scent.
“You can see what we offer in those photos,” he said. “We also have binders of what we’ve done for past clients to give you an idea of what you might like.”
Lauren nodded absently, wondering if he was dating the young woman who’d left here earlier. If not, the spring in her step was probably from him inking a hidden part of her. “Do people really get their tongues tattooed?”
He grinned, showing perfect teeth. “You bet.”
He shrugged good-naturedly. “Why not?”
Clearly, he wasn’t uptight as she’d always been. How Lauren envied that. “Have you?”
“Have I what?”
“Had your tongue tattooed? Or are the ones on your arms all that you have?”
His smile broadened. He spoke conspiratorially. “I have another, though not on my tongue.”
Uh-huh. Lauren wondered if he’d inked his balls and cock, hoping he hadn’t. His equipment had to be as awesome as the rest of him. No way could anyone improve on nature’s perfection.
He regarded her thoughtfully, really taking in her short blonde hair, clothes and finally her features, including the small mole near the side of her mouth. There, he lingered, as though he liked the beauty mark.
Are you nuts? A guy like him? Get real.
He continued to study her mouth.
A wave of desire and embarrassment rushed through Lauren so quickly, her throat and cheeks got hot.
He smiled softly this time, as though he felt bad for making her uncomfortable. Lightly touching her arm, he murmured, “Let me get those binders so you can look through them.”
“No, don’t. Please. That’s not why I’m here.”
His dark eyebrows lifted a bit. “You’re selling something?” His attention went to her purse as though her product line was in there.
“Uh no. I’m here to take over.”
He looked lost. “As in what?”
“This place.” At his continuing confusion, she blurted, “I own this place and everything in it, including you.”
Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.
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