Title- Marks on my Skin
Series- Love Ink # 1
By- J.A. Howell
Publication Date- March 15th, 2014
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing
**Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language, explicit sex, and adult situations.**
Kieran Donovan has always been a doormat to the women in his life. Begging his wife not to leave after finding her in bed with not one—but five men—only provides further proof of that.
In need of an escape from an empty house and a broken heart, Kieran heads to Midtown to see his estranged brother, Liam. There he meets Shayne Wickham, Liam’s best friend. Shayne’s dark and sexy with a wild streak a mile long and a sexual appetite for things Kieran’s never even dreamed of doing. But after an intense, and all too brief encounter, he’s more than willing to learn. Despite the usual safeguards Shayne keeps around herself and her own wounded heart, she finds herself more than willing to show him the ropes…and the floggers…and the paddles.
Kieran’s never seen himself as dominant in any aspect of his life. But when Shayne submits herself to him, it ignites an inner strength and hunger he never knew he had—and feelings Shayne didn’t know she could have. So used to keeping others at an arm’s length, the ease with which she finds herself trusting Kieran is both exciting and unsettling. Could Kieran be someone she could finally trust her heart to—or will he leave her scarred like everyone else?
Just another mark on her skin.
Lunch with Kieran had become a daily ritual over the last couple weeks he’d been in Midtown, and I was finding I rather enjoyed his company—minus the occasional snarky comment regarding my choice in extra-curricular activities. Liam had relaxed some, seeing that our interactions had turned quite platonic for the most part.
“Gino’s again?” I asked as we walked out to my car.
“Sounds good to me.”
I nodded and tossed him my keys. “You can drive Betty today. My wrists are killing me.”
A playful smirk tugged at the corners of his mouth and I rolled my eyes. “From tattooing, perv.”
He made himself the picture of innocence, drawing his lips into a pout and batting his long dark lashes.
“I didn’t say anything.”
I pulled the passenger door open and slid inside so he didn’t see my smile. “You didn’t have to.”
Kieran let out an indignant grunt, but mischief played behind those eyes of his and a grin spread across his lips. He pulled out of the alley and fifteen minutes later we were at Gino’s. We went inside and Kieran slid into the booth we’d sat at the first time we came here. I slid in across from him and sat down a little too hard. With a wince, I eased down against the seat. Kieran took notice, a wide toothy grin crossing his lips.
“Ya alright over there?”
“Yep, just fine.” I answered and flipped open one of the menus. I refused to give him anymore fuel.
The waitress came, placed our drinks in front of us, and took our orders. Calzones this time. Kieran gnawed at his bottom lip, gears turning behind his eyes. Here we go again. I shifted against the padded bench, winced, and his eyes lit up.
“Arse a little sore?”
“Maybe.” My eyes darted up to him. Two could play this game. Admittedly, I found his attempts to pry more than entertaining. He grinned at this little morsel and stabbed his straw in his drink, waggling an eyebrow at me. “Was somebody a naughty girl last night?”
I took a long sip from my soda, narrowing my eyes at him speculatively. The minute I answered him, he’d blush and change the subject, I just knew it. So I answered him. Honestly.
“Yeah, I was. Darren bent me over his kitchen table and spanked me with a wooden paddle.”
Kieran blinked and his eyes widened a little, but to my surprise he quickly returned to his former, teasing expression. “Ya really like getting spanked, don’t ya?”
A trickle of warmth moved through me and I sat up, amused and somewhat turned on by this bolder side of Kieran. I wondered just how far he would take it.
“Yeah, I do. I’ve got a paddle in my trunk if you want to go outside and give it a couple swings.”
Kieran’s eyes went round again and he sucked in a breath—and soda, which he promptly sputtered across the tabletop. Lucky for him, the waitress came back with our food, though she frowned at the spray of soda. She wiped down the table then placed our dishes in front of us and Kieran gave her an apologetic look. His cheeks flushed and I turned my attention to the hot calzone on my plate, giving him a chance to recuperate.
“So ya said ya had ta pick up a few things fer the shop?” He asked, finally looking up from his plate.
I smiled. Of course he changed the subject.
When I say this was truly one of the best books in this genre I have read this year so far I do mean it. This is the first book in the series but the second book that I have read by this author and I have to say she is very talented. All throughout the book you know exactly what is going on, if there is a time lapse she actually lets you know so your not wondering how long the time has passed. The plot she has created is one that will keep you entertained and probably not want to put the book down until the very end (I stayed up until 3 am just to finish it because I didn’t want to put it down). Marks on my Skin is erotica but it has some humor in it that had me laughing out loud. These characters that are in the story are so full of life and you can feel their what they are feeling no matter which part of the books, I enjoyed that it was both from Kieran and Shayne point of view but it still worked perfectly. You were able to see how these two characters struggled because they didn’t want a relationship but of course things do change. Especially as Kieran takes a step into a new world of wonders that he has never touched before BDSM, that was definitely funny on some parts; however, you have to start somewhere. Kieran came home to a huge surprise involving his wife so he decided to take a get away vacation to his brothers. Shayne you find out that her life has definitely not been perfect growing up and it made my heart hurt for her just to know the things she went through. I highly recommend this story and look forward to hopefully see a story about his brothers.
J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.