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 HR job, she’s just inherited Wicked Brand, a struggling West Palm Beach tattoo parlor…along with the virile dude who runs it. 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 and score a new position in the corporate world.
Dante’s sinfully hot with a killer smile and beautifully inked biceps. He sees the heat in Lauren’s eyes despite her conservative appearance, recognizing 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.
Unwilling and unable to keep their hands to themselves, Lauren and Dante turn to carnal games and seduction. Until lust turns to surprising need and friendship to something deeper that might just change their futures.
Dante considered asking her for ID.
She was Frank’s little girl?
He had expected Frank’s daughter to eventually show up and claim her inheritance. However, he hadn’t been prepared for anyone like the woman who stood before him.
She and her dad looked nothing alike, not even within the same family tree or forest. Frank had been short for a man, no more than five-five, and painfully thin even before his heart problems. His hair had been curly and red, his features on the homely side, given his big nose and protruding teeth.
Lauren’s mouth was exceptionally nice. Plush lips tinted a delicate rose and further enhanced by a tiny mole to the side.
Something shifted inside him, and he tried to ignore the pleasant feeling but couldn’t. It nagged and kept building. Her delicate features were sweet and pretty rather than sensual. Her deep blue eyes went really well with her honey-blond hair. Cut shorter than his, a few strands brushed her cheeks.
He wanted to ease them back. Good sense warned him against touching her and coming on too strong.
Lauren’s blush had gone from pink to bright red, which gave her some color. If she lived in Florida, that was a major surprise. She was as pale as a corpse and dressed like a modern-day nun.
Dante inhaled deeply. Thankfully, she didn’t smell like incense but rather a subtle floral fragrance tinged with musk.
Heat pooled in his groin.
Lauren blinked rapidly and lifted her face, her lips not far from his. For a woman, she was tallish, probably five-seven, five-eight, without her heels.
She stepped back.
He resisted the urge to follow. Wasn’t easy.
Her prim clothes didn’t hide her lush, womanly figure. He’d never been into the skinny women that advertisers coveted. He liked Lauren’s curves and the innocent yet sexy vibes she gave off. Still waters running deep and all that.
He edged closer.
Her fingertips touched his abs.
Not to stroke him. She was reaching out to shake hands.
Her fingers were soft and moist, a delight to hold. He squeezed them gently.
New color flooded her face and throat. A soft smile touched her lips.
He liked that. “So you’re Frank’s little girl.”
Caution replaced her earlier sweetness. Hurt filled her eyes. “We’re related.” She spoke barely above a whisper. “Or were.”
Her reaction wasn’t a surprise. Frank had told him what had happened long ago. Stuff Dante wasn’t about to bring up now. Not his place. He called himself a fool for bringing attention to her relationship—or lack of one—with her dad.
Her tightly bunched shoulders eased from their protective stance, but she didn’t fully relax. “And you are?”
He’d forgotten to tell her. “Dante Avana. Your dad hired me on as manager, though I do my share of piercings and tats.”
Lauren stared at his left biceps. She got a dreamy look. So did she like the design or his arm?
He puffed up, strangely proud about the possibility of either.
She shifted in place and glanced around, taking in the parlor.
Before their silence grew too uncomfortable, he took command. “Want me to show you everything you own?”
Lauren slanted him a look.
He gave her one right back. She’d be fun to tease and share laughter with. “You know—furniture, equipment, computers, other stuff?”
She got soft and feminine again, then composed herself quickly, like she’d flipped an internal switch.
In his experience, transformations like that generally happened with cops or attorneys. He suspected she might be a lawyer.
She smoothed her suit jacket. “Can I ask you something?”
He hoped it wouldn’t be about her dad, given the history Frank had revealed. “Shoot.”
Tina is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic novels were Readers’ Choice Award winners. Another three were named finalists in the EPIC competition. One of her erotic contemporary romances was chosen Book of the Year at the French review site Blue Moon reviews. The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for one of her erotic romances. Two of her titles received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition. Another two won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.
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