**I received this copy in exchange for an honest review**
Goodreads Blurb: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 Neil’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.
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This Book Nerd Says:
This book is a nice fast read with a decent plot. Hailey Jakes is a college student who finds herself desperate for a job after a phone call from her father changes all her plans about school. She finds herself at Sinful Skin as the new receptionist. But this place soon becomes more than a job for Hailey as she comes to regard it as a haven away from everything else in her life. Within the walls of the tattoo shop she not only gets much needed reassurance about her future she gets a heaping dose of man candy in the form of her new boss, Neill Vanderhaven.
Neill is hot, tattooed, and a motorcycle riding twenty four year old guy who is less bad boy more sweet and sensitive boy.
The drawback to this is he is a little too sensitive at times.
Neill has his own dark memories from his childbirth and his previous relationship, both of which have left him a little on the insecure side.
That comes to a head when Hailey, going through her own drama, seems oblivious to the brush off she's giving more and more frequently. Both of these things left me frustrated with them, wondering when they were going to get their 'ish' together and freaking talk about what they were going through/feeling, like a couple should.
Despite that I honestly enjoyed the story from start to finish. I liked that though their pasts may have been different, their connection through art drew them further together. I appreciated the undertones of how Hailey recognizes that being a tattooist would give her art a new level of life, how it could give her life new hope.
It had a different element which I won't give away to keep it all spoiler free. I kind of picked up on it right away (my spidey senses) but it was still intriguing to watch it develop over the course of the story.
Plus, the other backstory characters from the tattoo shop were probably my favorite element of the story.
Overall I'm going to give this story a solid 3.5 stars!