Draw Me In
By: Regina Cole
Releasing November 4th, 2014
In Regina Cole’s steamy novel of hot ink and delicious angst, two tortured artists take a leap of faith—but the past threatens to tear them apart.
After her parents pull the plug on her college fund to finance their nasty divorce, Hailey Jakes is desperate to pay her own way and finish her degree in graphic design. She can hardly believe her luck when the sexiest guy she’s ever seen hires her to be the receptionist at his tattoo shop. With sea-blue eyes, jet-black hair, and full sleeves of tattoos on his muscular arms, Neill Vanderhaven looks like the kind of guy who wouldn’t give her the time of day. In fact, he’s mesmerized by her—and it doesn’t hurt that she’s talented as hell.
But Hailey and Neill have more in common than instant chemistry: They’re both carrying serious baggage. Hailey’s parents split after years of blowout fights and sloppy affairs. Neill just got out of something serious with a woman who loved her bad habits more than she loved him. When they take the plunge on a new relationship, they’re both breaking their own rules.
But then a terrible misunderstanding brings Neill’s worst fears to life, and their connection threatens to come crashing down. What they have is more than skin-deep, but now Hailey and Neill need to decide whether the kind of love that lasts forever is worth such exquisite pain.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/draw-me-in-by-regina-cole.htmlGoodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22551565-draw-me-in?ac=1
God, it was gorgeous in here. Almost too nice. Maybe this was a bad idea. I wasn’t a tattoo artist. I could draw, but what if they wanted someone with experience? I wasn’t even sure what kind of job they were offering. What if they laughed me out of the place? I gripped the bag’s strap a little harder. It would probably be better to leave than to embarrass myself again. I wasn’t twenty yet. They’d probably want someone older, someone harder. More than a scared college girl.I couldn’t do this. Why had I ever thought I could?
Turning on my heel, I crossed to the door. Better to leave now than face another disappointment.
“Hey, can I help you?” The deep, masculine voice was like a punch to my gut. I gulped, then turned. Good God, he was tall. Well, compared to my five-two, everyone was tall. But he had to clear six feet. I took him in slowly. Vintage jeans, a simple black tee, and arms full of colorful ink. Strong jaw dusted with five o’clock shadow, and silky black hair that curled around his ears. And then his eyes. Dark blue, so dark it was like the sky before an awful storm. He smiled, and I fought the urge to sway. It should be illegal to be that attractive.
“Sorry,” I stammered. “I’m sorry. I was just, well, I didn’t mean, and it’s . . . Oh, shit.”
He laughed, a deep rumbling sound that made me fight against melting. “Hey, it’s okay. Relax. I’m Neill.”
He stuck out his hand, which I shook while trying to clear the bewildered fog from my brain. His hand was strong and big, mine nearly disappearing inside it. “I’m Hailey. Hailey Jakes.” I cleared my throat as he released my trembling hand. I wiped the sweat from my palm onto my jeans as he looked straight into my eyes. Why’d he have to be so hot? “I . . . uh, I saw your sign in the window.”
Neill nodded, one corner of his mouth curled in a lazy grin. “Yeah, I just put that up. Our receptionist is leaving.” He indicated the woman at the counter, who was laughing with the customer. “You interested?”
“Well, actually, yeah,” I said quickly, my mouth running much faster than my brain. “I mean, if you’re okay with that. I love art. I’m a graphic design major over at Leesville, and I thought tattoos, hey, why not?” “Come over here with me, and we can talk about it.” Neill gestured toward the back wall of the shop. He started walking through the lobby area, and I hesitated for a split second. A tattoo shop? Really? But it was beautiful, and if anyone understood how I felt about art, it would be these people, right? And Jesus, was Neill gorgeous. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to look at him every day. I pinned a confident smile on my face and followed him, passing by the array of doors. Some of them were closed, others were half open, and the sound of a harsh buzz assailed my ears. Laughter and conversation flowed like water through the studio, the whole assortment a happy, comforting sound.
I followed Neill into the room at the back corner of the shop. The decor in here matched the lobby, with blues and blacks and silver accents all around. A large drafting table was set up against one wall, and a light box occupied the majority of a nice desk. Unsure whether to sit or stand, I hesitated.
“Have a seat,” he said as he pointed at a comfy armchair nestled in the corner. Instead of sitting behind the black and chrome desk, he grabbed the seat next to me and turned it so we were facing each other. His knees were only an inch or so away from mine, almost close enough for me to feel his body heat. I wondered, only for a second, what it would feel like if he pressed forward, touching me. Innocent enough, but I wasn’t sure I’d want innocent with him.
Regina Cole, lover of manly muscled arms, chest hair, and mini-marshmallows, has been reading romance since her early teens. While she loves a love story of any heat level, she’s been drawn to the erotic side and is loving every minute. When she’s not frantically pounding away at the keyboard, she can be found fishing with her family, playing with her dogs, trying out strange new recipes, or snuggling with her hubby. She also writes mainstream romance as Gina Lamm.
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