Release Date September 28, 2017
Release Date September 28, 2017
I shouldn’t peak into Brendon’s sketchbook, even if the tattoo artist is as brooding and stoic as the day is long. I can’t help myself. I peel it open, run my fingers along the paper, soak up every ounce of him.
His drawings are as beautiful and bold as his dark eyes and his cocky smile. Only, there, on the third page--that’s no tattoo mockup. That’s me.
Waiting in his bed.
There’s no denying it--those are my blue glasses, my green eyes, my flushed cheeks.
Brendon wants me.
The smoking hot, ten thousand miles out of my league bad boy wants me-- a good girl virgin with thick glasses and no game.
Only it’s not.
He’s my best friend’s older brother. He’s off limits.
But damn is he tempting.
This was an okay book for me, but it was a little angsty and had too much I want her but I can't have her. I felt like this book dragged on. Maybe the reader is supposed to feel like Kaylee, but it got old after a while. While I appreciate the author making us get in the characters' heads and lives, I was ready for them to either move on or actualize their feelings. I felt bad for Kaylee, in how her parents handled her with kid gloves and didn't actually talk to her. However, I wanted to know more than we got in that piece of the story. And while I liked these characters, I feel like it took too long to go anywhere and I had to push myself to keep reading in order to see how things would end up for Kaylee.
I take a shaky step into Inked Hearts.
The lights are dim.
The walls are adorned with purple, teal, and hot pink tinsel.
There's even a Welcome Kaylee banner hanging from the wall. It's in Emma's messy scrawl with a drawing—a tattoo mockup—in each of the fourcorners.
One from each of the guys. I recognize their styles.
I blink back a tear.
Emma bounces out from behind the desk. "Surprise. Sort of." She throws her arms around me. "I really am glad you're here."
"Me too." I hug her back. Emma is the best. This would be impossible without her.
"Didn't you throw her a party last week?" Dean moves out from his suite.
"It was her birthday." Emma steps aside. "This is different. And it's for you too. It's so cool that you're buying the shop." She turns to me. "You should have seen that meeting. Dean actually wore slacks."
"Really?" That's hard to believe.
"Don't worry. I don't mind you picturing me without my jeans." He winks. "All these parties too much fun for you, yet?"
"No. It's sweet." It really is.
He moves in to hug me hello. It's sincere—a rarity for him. I really do feel like he's glad I'm here.
I pull back with a smile. "Why are you complaining about the chance to get drunk and make a fool of yourself?"
He laughs. "That's why I like you. Sharp tongue."
My gaze flits around the room. There's Ryan and Walker lining up bottles on the front counter. But where's Brendon?
"I'm not complaining." He releases me and turns to Em. "I'm making sure I get an invite."
"You're a little old..." She smiles, reveling in her teasing.
He mimes being stabbed in the gut. When that gets her laughing, he takes it further. Pretends to double over. Falls to his knees. Mumbles his last words as he falls backward and lands on the floor, splayed out.
Emma nudges him with the toe of her shiny silver stilettos. "Dead. Let's check his pockets."
"Pervert," he mumbles.
"Not the word I'd use." Ryan steps forward. He nods to me in that I don't think there's any reason why we need to show compassion toward each other Ryan kind of way. "You're always welcome here, Kaylee."
"Thanks." I study his expression. Should we hug? Shake hands? Uh... I step forward. Move my hands out from my sides.
Ryan pulls me into a hug. It's quick. Messy. Awkward. He steps back, wipes his brow, sighs. Let's never do that again.
Dean jumps to his feet. He actually jumps from his position flat on his back. That's circus acrobat stuff.
He looks to Walker. "You joining this party too?"
Walker shrugs, effortlessly cool. He's the type who takes everything in stride. Nothing bothers him. Or so he claims.
He's a lot like Brendon, really. He's tall and broad with dark hair and dark eyes. He has that same tendency to keep everything to himself. But, with Walker, his typical state is fun, party boy. With Brendon it's serious, quiet artist.
They're the same, but they're opposites too.
He takes his turn hugging me then motions to the booze set up behind us. "What are you drinking?"
Uh... making a fool of myself at my party was bad enough. I'm not doing it in front of everyone.
But I'm not going to be the weird girl who doesn't drink either.
About the Author:
Crystal Kaswell writes fun, sexy new adult romances with damaged heroes and the strong women who unlock their hearts.
She is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Her best knownseries are Sinful Serenade and Dangerous noise–both follow the men in a rock band the the women they love. She adores writing bad boys, alpha males, and tortured heroes (and sometimes men who are all three).
Her weaknesses include dark chocolate, homemade chai lattes, Netflix marathons, and tattooed men in skinny jeans (especially if they’re wearing eyeliner). She is a diehard defender of pop-punk music, the present tense, and Katniss Everdeen.