More Than Meets the Ink by Elle Aycart
Published: June 28th 2011 by Loose Id, LLC
About the book: Wickedly sexy James Bowen is a bad boy of the highest order -- tattoos and attitude included -- which unfortunately ranks way up on Tate's not-a-chance-in-hell list, right there along with skydiving naked over Teheran and juggling Ebola vials just for kicks. But what the heck, she's on holiday, the guy is absolutely irresistible, and she needs to unplug from her life. With her dad and brother gone, Tate is left to deal with the family restaurant, which is fast going down the drain. Her employees are acting out, her boyfriend has bailed out, and her very own private stalker is emailing her to death with lovely threats of doom, fire, and dismemberment. So yeah, maybe a little holiday fling is in order. Strictly sex though, and no follow-up whatsoever once.
She hadn't counted on her take-charge holiday fling having an opinion of his own and stubbornly sticking around, before and after the sex, making himself at home in her life. There is definitely more to James than meets her prejudiced eye, and even if she's not ready to look deeper, James isn't prepared to permit her not to.
Tate is in Florida visiting her mother while on vacation. While there she meets James, the son of a neighbor. He's the perfect picture of a "bad boy" if she ever saw one with devastatingly good looks and prominent tattoos, she knows his type. At least she thinks she does. He's exactly the type her sister goes for and those doomed romances never end well. So when James shows an obvious interest in Tate, she is initially hesitant. She doesn't have time for drama and she needs to guard her fragile heart. She's already nursing wounds. She just lost her father and brother in a tragic accident a year ago. Add to that, she is trying to keep the family restaurant afloat. However, her close proximity to James and instant chemistry is wearing her down. She's on vacation so she decides, for the time being, she'll give into her desire and have a sex-only, no-strings attached relationship. Here's Tate's initial thoughts on James:
"This man belonged on the front cover of a firefighters' calendar, for God's sake, not in the common area of the senior community skyrocketing everybody's blood pressure to the moon. He should come with a warning from the health department: Handle with extreme caution and use at your own peril. Looking will cause palpitations, dizziness, and hyperventilation. She knew, for she was having all of those and then some."
Let me tell you, I was hyperventilating right along with Tate!
James for his part will take anything she's willing to give but as he spends more time with Tate, he finds he's getting more, and more attached to her. Suddenly, this no-strings attached business is not going to cut it for James. So when Tate returns home, James, who lives close by, follows, not willing to let her go. He knows she's afraid of getting hurt, whether she'll admit it or not, but he's determined to gain her trust and help her get her life and restaurant back on track.
I absolutely and completely fell for James! He was such a sweetheart. He was so patient and loving with Tate, determined to protect her and help her get past her issues. I felt bad for Tate and all she went through, so her constant reluctance to admit her true feelings for James was bearable. Plus, she would only try to push him away with her words, for like two seconds, and then with her actions, pull him close. This is such a sweet romance with a lot of humorous scenes, as well. The beginning with these two always getting caught by the senior citizens was pretty hilarious.
I think on the Spicy Scale this would rate: LETHAL!! Oh my stars!
Heavy Issues by Elle Aycart
Published: May 29th 2012 by Loose Id, LLC
About the book: Steering clear of relationships has never been difficult for demolitions expert Cole Bowen, but now, with his brother's engagement sending the female population into full-blown hysterics and the town of Alden's month-long festivities helping along, he finds himself in hell. When he discovers Alden's new resident and the object of all his wet dreams, Christine Sheridan, has sworn off relationships and is going to hire a gigolo to get professionally laid, he decides to kill two birds with one stone.
Christy is so not drinking again. Thanks to José Cuervo she has her friends signing her up for stud conventions and Cole frigging Bowen offering sex in exchange of fake dates, which is so out of the question it isn't even funny. She knows the domineering man will push her boundaries, and after battling all her life with self-esteem issues, she isn't ready for that. Too bad he won't take no for an answer.
Cole is determined to strip away all of her defenses but refuses to lower his ever-present walls, so when Christy realizes she wants more, she's left with only two options; walk away or crack his shield and risk her heart in the process.
Well I think Elle Aycart topped herself when she wrote this one.
I loved More than Meets the Ink, but I think I loved Heavy Issues even more!
Both Christy and Cole have plenty of baggage! These two had heavy issues, pun intended! They end up together as part of a no-strings-attached, sex-only bargain that ends up being so much more. Turns out when they took away the pressure of a regular relationship, they freed themselves up to caring and trusting each other. They confided their deepest, darkest secrets and in the process they formed a relationship. Something neither one of them wanted or thought they needed.
I really loved Christy. She struggles so much with her demons in the past and was ashamed of her problems but she continued fighting and never gave back in. Cole helps Christy work through her insecurities and find some self-esteem. Christy, in turn helps Cole deal with his abandonment issues getting him to open up more emotionally.
Of course all of this started with the sex! Let me tell you, this was one of the steamiest reads I have ever read! It rivaled Fifty Shades of Gray, in my opinion! Cole was possessive, bossy, intense, demanding and ran the show! Very alpha-male.
I'm officially an Elle Aycart fan-girl and can't wait to read the next Bowen brother's story. Max is going to be a difficult one to tame!
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