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.
*****5- Mixed bag of tricks -Stars*****
~this review may contain minor spoilers~
A small tingle of arousal ran through me. Whether from the effects of whiskey, or Shayne's raw attractiveness, I kept my hand there. I would have felt bad that she wasn't my wife, but with everything considered, I didn't really care. She was nothing like Kendall, and I found that overwhelmingly attractive.
Well now, that was a boatload of fun & mixed emotions. There really was a bit of everything in here. Steam...obviously (and that was superbly done), angst, drama, and a shit-ton of laughs. I mean seriously, there were parts I was laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face- 'the Lube incident' – that's all I'm sayin' ;)
This author really does a fantastic job of dragging you through the emotional ringer, with both supreme highs and heartbreaking lows- she turned me on, cracked me up, broke me down & then pieced me back together- I just loved it!
His lips brushed my shoulder, sending goosebumps prickling over my skin. I paused, letting out a slow exhale. A mixture of happiness and unease moved through me at his touch, and I found myself wanting to pull away from him but craving more simultaneously.
Kieran has just had his heart run through the shredder when he walks in on his wife of five years screwing not just one, but five men in their own bed. And then to add insult to injury, she leaves him! He's devastated and questioning weather or not she ever loved him at all, it's affecting his writing and personal hygiene, and after some persuasion from his brother Niall, he takes the opportunity to get away before he loses his mind. So he heads to Midtown to spend some time with Niall and to reconnect with his brother Liam. That is how he meets Shayne, Liam's best friend and co-owner of their tattoo shop. She is unlike any woman he has ever met before- sexy, funny, tattooed and in no way looking for a relationship. That doesn't stop the sparks from flying, even after Kieran learns of Shayne's lifestyle.
Shayne has had a rough life, but she is finally in a good place. She has a few close friends, and a successful business, and though she is drawn to Kieran like she has never felt before, she is not in the least bit interested in a relationship. She has been burned too many times in life to wanna walk down that road again....that doesn't mean they can't have a little fun.
Kieran never saw himself as a dominant type of man, but with Shayne showing him the ropes/chains/paddles he is eager to learn. What he never expected was how freeing it would be, being with Shayne brings a side out of him he never knew existed. But when he starts to get a little too close to her, can she finally drop down her walls and give him a chance? What happens when their pasts collide with their present-will they survive the explosion?
He knew what things were between us and he was okay with that. But them why, every time I though about him, did that same pang come back? I wasn't under any disillusion that we had any sort of future together and I didn't want that. Right?
The one thing that took some getting used to in this book was the dialogue. Our main man, and his brothers obviously, is an Irishman and he speaks as such. In the beginning it caused me to have to re-read a few scenes, but I did get used to it early on so it didn't take away from the story for me. Now I have to stop myself from saying feck, shite and arse Lol. When all is said and done, I truly enjoyed this story and all it's characters. It was well paced and engrossing, sexy and funny, heartbreaking and full of drama without going into overkill territory. This was my introduction to J.A. Howell but it definitely won't be my last-very much looking forward to more.
abruptly, he pulled out and climbed off the bed, leaving me gasping.
Kieran sauntered around the bed so he was in front of me. He leaned down and gave me a lingering kiss, slowly pulling his lips away from mine so he was staring me in the eyes.
“I didn't say ya could come yet, did I?”
I swallowed hard, trying to catch my breath. “No, Sir.”
God, I've created a monster. A sexy, sexy monster.
There is a ton of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s on here because for some reason they seemed to resonate a lot with both Shayne and Kieran in this story. This tends to happen a lot with my characters which is why sometimes have a lot of just one artist on the book soundtrack. Other songs just fit really well with what was going on in the story at that point. Like, Lips Of An Angel and Paint It Black are for points in the story that aren’t so happy. Hope you enjoy my playlist and Marks On My Skin
1- Mr. Brightside- The Killers (appropriate given the beginning of the story).
2- Lover I Don't Have To Love- Bright Eyes
3- Hello Fascination- Breathe Carolina
4- Everybody Talks- Neon Trees
5- Animals -Neon Trees
6- You Wouldn't Like Me- Tegan and Sara
7- Gold Lion- Yeah Yeah Yeahs (The song they first hook up to)
8- S&M- Rihanna (Yep…)
9- Glory Box - Portishead
10- Only You- Portishead
12- Goodbye, Goodbye- Tegan and Sara
13- Feel Good Inc- Gorillaz
14- Paint It Black- The Rolling Stones
15- Lips Of An Angel- Hinder
16- Warrior- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
17- Turn Into- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
18- Sweets- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
19- Ho Hey- The Lumineers
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.