Tag Archives: Loving Link

Sweaty and Sexy? Sizzling Summer Nights Blog Hop

What more could we ask for than what is looking back at you from the left? Okay, winning that kindle fire would be sweet too!

I love summer – although this one has not been nearly as hot and sweaty as previous years. So, to solve the problem I had to get a little more salacious in my writing. My most recent release, Darling’s Desire, is a mix of mystery at the lake, murder, rock and roll angst and sizzling sex.  The reviews have been great and I hope some of you will give the book a read and a review. I am giving away one free copy but sure hope a few readers will pick up theirs from amazon:

Here is the blurb:  When world-famous drummer Ross Daniels agrees to spend the weekend at Darling Roberts’ lake house, he becomes a distraction she doesn’t need … her cursed house is distraction enough! A secluded lake house with a dark history … a rock star and a sheltered young woman … you’ll find all the passion and suspense you could wish for in T. D. Hassett’s hot new romance Darling’s Desire.

Darling Roberts is going back to the lake house her mother disappeared from thirteen years ago. She needs to decide to stay or sell. The locals believe the place cursed, but her best friend thinks it would be a blast to spend the weekend there before heading to Europe. BFF Madison is determined to set Darling up, even if that means dragging a recently widowed rock-and-roll drummer to the scene of a murder.

Ross Daniels has a secret. He can’t stand the pitying looks well-wishers have given him since his wife’s accidental death. The European leg of the Becket tour can’t come soon enough. A weekend stay at a mutual friend’s lake house seems like a decent way to kill a couple of days before hopping a plane, at least until he spends some time with temptation herself.

Passions ignite and Ross feels his heart beginning to beat again. Darling isn’t who he thought she was, and he can’t get enough of her sweet soul and lush curves. Darling is determined to take charge of her life, and the lake house is just the place to begin. Ross is a scrumptious distraction, but she knows she has to keep things in perspective. Why would a world-famous drummer want to hang out with her in a small town even the locals want her run out of?

The Romance Reviews is Turning 3

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http://www.theromancereviews.com

Stop by and win some great prizes. Click link above to continue your adventure…. But while I have you for a moment can I entice you to read an excerpt?

http://www.lsbooks.com/loving-link-p845.php

http://www.amazon.com/T.D.-Hassett/e/B00CJE2MPQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Tdhassettauthor@twitter.com

Mini Blurb:

Can two artists salvage true love out of the unexpected consequences of one night of passion?

A young tattoo artist. A seasoned rock star. Both focused on their careers. What harm can there be in giving in to their desires for just one night? They’re about to find out as their scandalous relationship sweeps the internet. Will they stand together to face the world? Or will their emotional scars tear them apart? T.D. Hassett takes you to the heights of passion in Loving Link, Book 2 of her hot, sexy series Love and Music.

 

 

 

Excerpt:

Madison had just finished up with her second to last client and was tired. She thanked him for trusting her to do such an involved and powerful tattoo.

“No, thank you Madison. You’ve no idea how much this means to me. It’s absolutely beautiful.” the young private explained quietly, and then surprised her by wrapping her in a big hug and kissing the side of her head. It seemed to be an impulsive gesture and it took her off guard. For perhaps the first time she understood how important body art could be to somebody, how it truly was more than just something inked. She broke free of the embrace as her boss, Lori, came into the room. Madison froze in place seeing Link Jacks standing behind her boss and scowling. The private slipped her his card and was forced to squeeze by Link, who stood with his arms crossed, practically blocking the door.

Lori interrupted the awkward silence. “Madison, you might know Link Jacks through your brother-in-law. He’s been having a dragon done over the last couple of months and I’m thinking you’re the perfect person to do some of the scale work. I’ve seen you do some mythological pieces where the coloring is almost luminescent. That would be perfect for this piece. I’ve done all the lines and a good chunk of the fill but think if you wrapped up the scales it would be American Tats Magazine worthy.” Lori stated in her no-nonsense way.

Crap, there’s really no way to just say no, especially if Lori was thinking of putting the work on display. She had one more customer left for the day and was looking forward to a quiet night back at the apartment. She and Darling would probably just order pizza and watch a movie.

Maddie’s befuddled brain flashed back to the spiel Lori had given her about no drama and she braced herself for whatever this could mean. I just need to keep my focus on the work.

“Sure, as long as Link is comfortable with me doing the work. I’ve got one more customer tonight but I’d be happy to make him an appointment,” replied Madison.

Link’s icy expression slipped. He smiled at her and gave her a little wink, suggesting her stall tactic wasn’t going to work.

“No need, I’ve switched your last appointment to someone else so that you could have time to work on this piece now,” Lori smoothly added.

So much for putting this off until a later day. Lori walked away, leaving Link and Madison alone. Great, this would be a nightmare after what had transpired between them last week. She was already anxious around him and now she’d be spending hours touching his half-naked body. How did Monet ever paint those incredible nudes with such beauty just within reach?

Madison busied herself getting out sterile gloves and new needles. She focused her head on how best to color in the scales that she recalled so clearly from running her hands up his chest and arms. His low voice startled her when he asked what to do.

“Should I take my shirt off now and lie down, or just stand here feeling stupid?” Link questioned.

“Sorry, go ahead and lie down and you know, take off your clothes. I mean shirt.” Maddie blurted out awkwardly. She finished assembling her things on the tray and turned around in time to see him pull his tight black shirt up over his head exposing a broad, well-muscled chest that her fingers ached to touch. It was going to be torture to put needle to skin, to have her hands running over his washboard abs and strong arms, yet the full sensation would be blocked by the latex of her gloves. She studied the work already done on the tattoo. It was a masterpiece in the making. She’d never seen such a large, detailed mythological piece and couldn’t stop herself from tracing the line of the dragon’s tail from the waistband of his jeans up and across his chest and over his shoulder to where it ended on his back. The dragon’s head looked across his shoulders, its eyes done so realistically you felt like the beast was watching. She could see the mix of colors and shading she’d need to complete the work. The artist in her was clamoring to get started but the woman was afraid to keep touching him lest she lose her head again. She looked up from his skin to notice his eyes had been watching her with an expression of longing. His hand was clenched tightly against the arm of the chair and she noticed the telltale bulge in his pants. Memories of him pulsing in her sent a wave of moisture to her core.

She needed to put aside the tantalizing images flashing through her head. He was just a man who could only hurt her if she let him. Isabel had shared stories about Links escapades with women while on tour. It seemed everyone in the band but Link had settled down, so they all laughed at his adventures. Now that Madison had been one of his conquests, she hated every other woman who had ever looked at him and she hated herself even more for feeling that way.

“Okay, I’ll get started but as you probably know, work around the ribs and other bony areas can get pretty painful, so let me know when you need a break. Any questions?” Maddie was proud of how calm her voice was despite the rolling pit of emotions swirling around her belly.

“No questions. Baby, I’m ready for whatever you want to do to my body; bring it on.” Link answered with a cocky smile.

Damn him, he had to make this extra difficult. She’d made a mistake in what she did with him; she’d just been too curious a cat and she’d gotten her heart involved. But there was no way she would put that tail out there again for him to play with. Maddie had seen what heartbreak did to her mother and she knew better than to get involved with anyone who could do that kind of damage to her. Besides if Isabel ever found out what she’d gotten up to with Link she’d probably lecture her to death. And Thomas would probably kill Link; after all he had become quite the protective big brother to her after he and Isabel met.

Madison needed to focus on the task at hand and stop ogling him like … well, like some kind of groupie. She prepped a gun and tested the foot pedal, and then dipped her color, steadied her hand, and pressed needle to skin. The gentle vibration of the gun hummed to her as she worked a lower portion of the design over his right ribcage. She peaked across his chest, noticed another tattoo under his heart, and jabbed the needle in too hard.

Author Bio

T.D. Hassett grew up reading the romance greats—Jackie Collins, Julie Garwood, and Judith McNaught. She was certain that life should be like a romance novel, with lots of passion, some incredible adventures, and a guaranteed happily ever after. She attended college in New England, earning a B.A. in History and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology before changing her mind again and studying education. Currently Ms. Hassett lives in Connecticut with her very patient husband and two young children. Her rambunctious family shares their home with three crazy cats and a darling golden retriever named Delilah. Her eccentric relatives and their quest to make her feel like the only normal nut in the family tree inspire her writing.

 

Romance….My Way Blog Hop

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So glad you could join us on this timely hop!

I don’t know about all my readers but I have to really fall in love with a book boyfriend.  He has to be extra special, no annoying habits, smart, good looking and handy in the sack. I recently started widening my reading pleasures by adding some science fiction and paranormal romance into my kindle.  It felt a little off at first but in no time I was enthralled with the new options I had for falling in love. Okay, and handcuffs never hurt a plot line, IMHO.  Feel free to leave a comment and I will enter your name in to win a copy of Loving Link my newest release. I will warn you that I choose winners by letting my siamese cat paw the computer screen.

Loving Link

T.D. Hassett

 

Can two artists salvage true love out of the unexpected consequences of one night of passion?

 

A young tattoo artist. A seasoned rock star. Both focused on their careers. What harm can there be in giving in to their desires for just one night? They’re about to find out as their scandalous relationship sweeps the internet. Will they stand together to face the world? Or will their emotional scars tear them apart? T.D. Hassett takes you to the heights of passion in Loving Link, Book 2 of her hot, sexy series Love and Music.

 

 

 

 

 

Link Jacks is done with women and determined to focus solely on music and rock-band Becket’s upcoming album. He’s been living as a marketing-prop bad-boy rock star for so long he doesn’t remember who he really is anymore. Not until he meets Madison, the emotionally guarded and theoretically off-limits younger sister of his best friend’s wife.

Madison just wants to get her fledgling tattoo career off the ground and stop relying on the generous charity of her wealthy brother-in-law to get by.  She knows she should never get involved with the likes of Link but his presence is downright intoxicating. Her indiscretion will lead to Internet sex video and media frenzy.  Their one wild night of passion will have scandalous repercussions and force each of them to confront their inner fears and emotional demons.

 

http://www.amazon.com/T.D.-Hassett/e/B00CJE2MPQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

Excerpt:

Madison had just finished up with her second to last client and was tired. She thanked him for trusting her to do such an involved and powerful tattoo.

“No, thank you Madison. You’ve no idea how much this means to me. It’s absolutely beautiful.” the young private explained quietly, and then surprised her by wrapping her in a big hug and kissing the side of her head. It seemed to be an impulsive gesture and it took her off guard. For perhaps the first time she understood how important body art could be to somebody, how it truly was more than just something inked. She broke free of the embrace as her boss, Lori, came into the room. Madison froze in place seeing Link Jacks standing behind her boss and scowling. The private slipped her his card and was forced to squeeze by Link, who stood with his arms crossed, practically blocking the door.

Lori interrupted the awkward silence. “Madison, you might know Link Jacks through your brother-in-law. He’s been having a dragon done over the last couple of months and I’m thinking you’re the perfect person to do some of the scale work. I’ve seen you do some mythological pieces where the coloring is almost luminescent. That would be perfect for this piece. I’ve done all the lines and a good chunk of the fill but think if you wrapped up the scales it would be American Tats Magazine worthy.” Lori stated in her no-nonsense way.

Crap, there’s really no way to just say no, especially if Lori was thinking of putting the work on display. She had one more customer left for the day and was looking forward to a quiet night back at the apartment. She and Darling would probably just order pizza and watch a movie.

Maddie’s befuddled brain flashed back to the spiel Lori had given her about no drama and she braced herself for whatever this could mean. I just need to keep my focus on the work.

“Sure, as long as Link is comfortable with me doing the work. I’ve got one more customer tonight but I’d be happy to make him an appointment,” replied Madison.

Link’s icy expression slipped. He smiled at her and gave her a little wink, suggesting her stall tactic wasn’t going to work.

“No need, I’ve switched your last appointment to someone else so that you could have time to work on this piece now,” Lori smoothly added.

So much for putting this off until a later day. Lori walked away, leaving Link and Madison alone. Great, this would be a nightmare after what had transpired between them last week. She was already anxious around him and now she’d be spending hours touching his half-naked body. How did Monet ever paint those incredible nudes with such beauty just within reach?

Madison busied herself getting out sterile gloves and new needles. She focused her head on how best to color in the scales that she recalled so clearly from running her hands up his chest and arms. His low voice startled her when he asked what to do.

“Should I take my shirt off now and lie down, or just stand here feeling stupid?” Link questioned.

“Sorry, go ahead and lie down and you know, take off your clothes. I mean shirt.” Maddie blurted out awkwardly. She finished assembling her things on the tray and turned around in time to see him pull his tight black shirt up over his head exposing a broad, well-muscled chest that her fingers ached to touch. It was going to be torture to put needle to skin, to have her hands running over his washboard abs and strong arms, yet the full sensation would be blocked by the latex of her gloves. She studied the work already done on the tattoo. It was a masterpiece in the making. She’d never seen such a large, detailed mythological piece and couldn’t stop herself from tracing the line of the dragon’s tail from the waistband of his jeans up and across his chest and over his shoulder to where it ended on his back. The dragon’s head looked across his shoulders, its eyes done so realistically you felt like the beast was watching. She could see the mix of colors and shading she’d need to complete the work. The artist in her was clamoring to get started but the woman was afraid to keep touching him lest she lose her head again. She looked up from his skin to notice his eyes had been watching her with an expression of longing. His hand was clenched tightly against the arm of the chair and she noticed the telltale bulge in his pants. Memories of him pulsing in her sent a wave of moisture to her core.

She needed to put aside the tantalizing images flashing through her head. He was just a man who could only hurt her if she let him. Isabel had shared stories about Links escapades with women while on tour. It seemed everyone in the band but Link had settled down, so they all laughed at his adventures. Now that Madison had been one of his conquests, she hated every other woman who had ever looked at him and she hated herself even more for feeling that way.

“Okay, I’ll get started but as you probably know, work around the ribs and other bony areas can get pretty painful, so let me know when you need a break. Any questions?” Maddie was proud of how calm her voice was despite the rolling pit of emotions swirling around her belly.

“No questions. Baby, I’m ready for whatever you want to do to my body; bring it on.” Link answered with a cocky smile.

Damn him, he had to make this extra difficult. She’d made a mistake in what she did with him; she’d just been too curious a cat and she’d gotten her heart involved. But there was no way she would put that tail out there again for him to play with. Maddie had seen what heartbreak did to her mother and she knew better than to get involved with anyone who could do that kind of damage to her. Besides if Isabel ever found out what she’d gotten up to with Link she’d probably lecture her to death. And Thomas would probably kill Link; after all he had become quite the protective big brother to her after he and Isabel met.

Madison needed to focus on the task at hand and stop ogling him like … well, like some kind of groupie. She prepped a gun and tested the foot pedal, and then dipped her color, steadied her hand, and pressed needle to skin. The gentle vibration of the gun hummed to her as she worked a lower portion of the design over his right ribcage. She peaked across his chest, noticed another tattoo under his heart, and jabbed the needle in too hard.

 

Blurb below:

40 Is Going to be My New Fabulous

40 Is My Fabulous

Follow your dreams. Find yourself.

 

I recently turned the dreaded 40 years of age. I had been scared of that milestone as if it meant I would turn into a dried up husk of middle-aged womanhood overnight.  This was it, my life was probably more than half over and I hadn’t done many of the incredible things I had planned.  I spent my days working and my evenings herding cats, actually trying to get my school age children to be decent human beings but it is just as difficult. I would worry about making them and my husband happy and I catered to them.  They picked the television shows, the days when we attended sporting events and what the dinner menu would consist of. I had let go of my power and had had enough.  I was no longer a vital, sexy and smart woman, I was a wage-earning pod that shuttled her children around on weekends and nagged her spouse to do household repairs. This was no way to live happily ever after.  My own thoughts were sabotaging me!  I gave myself the figurative kick in the butt and decided to look at turning 40 as a chance to try some new things that I had always dreamed of but been afraid to embrace.  For years I wanted (quietly since I feared anyone finding out my aspirations and laughing at me) to try my hand at writing a novel. It was time to go big or go home.

 

Inspiration to get going came from an unlikely source.   I teach in a tough inner city high school as my day job and while it is challenging it can also be rewarding.  It was in this setting that I learned to go for it. One of the students in my history class gave me the motivation.  She was an urban teenager with more baggage than I’ve ever come across. This girl was a smart kid with a ton of charisma.  Often times I would catch her on the computer typing away but not about what was assigned.  I’d try and redirect her and she’d say, “Miss, I can’t do that, I’m writing my novel.” I would get her to do a little bit of the class work and then she’d be back at her writing.  It was both frustrating and inspiring. I went home and reflected on this student’s determination to write and it was contagious. 

 

I started a book that evening and by the end of a week had forty pages written.  It was slow going, but whenever I wanted to give up I just thought about my student who kept writing despite all the very real roadblocks life had thrown at her.  What was my excuse for quitting?  Could I really give something up because I had some writer’s block or was too busy?  What would I be too busy doing at nine at night?  It took me six months to get a polished draft ready to send to the publishers for consideration but it was worth it. I got some rejection letters but finally three publishing houses offered contracts and I chose Liquid Silver Books because the acquisitions editor reached out to me with all kinds of support and encouragement. 

 

I waited until I had a contract to tell my family and friends (and that inspirational student) that I had been writing.  I suppose I was afraid to let them know about the writing for fear of it not being ‘good enough’ whatever that means.  My first romance novel was out and the reviews were very positive.  I had done something I’d dreamed of doing and it worked. Once I came out of the writer’s closet I began enjoying some wonderful support from friends, family and fellow writers. 

 

But writing wasn’t the only thing I embraced. I recently took up horseback riding lessons.  It was scary to be a first timer at a horse training facility since I had zero prior knowledge to pull from but totally worth it.  My teacher is incredibly patient and supportive which is huge.  I am now able to groom, saddle, walk, trot and do some simple dressage with a delightful quarter horse named Sancho.  It is going so well that my daughter is taking lessons with me at this point and we love it. 

 

My new zest for living and leaving behind old insecurities led to some unanticipated physical changes.  I dropped those last annoying fifteen pounds that had taken up residence on me since the birth of my second child.  I wasn’t intentionally dieting so it was a pleasant surprise when I noticed the looser clothes and changes on the scale. Probably all the horseback riding, walking and better attitude helped me burn more calories and eat a bit differently.  I didn’t try to find happiness in snacks and began cooking dinners with more of the foods I wanted to eat and less of the kid type foods that my family wanted.  After all, I love asparagus, grilled fish and cucumber salads but hadn’t made that type of meal in years because the kids didn’t like it.  Did that mean my wants weren’t as important as the rest of the family’s? In short, I started thinking of myself as an important and talented person and not just as a wife, mom and employee.  I no longer felt guilty for wanting to do some things just for me, whether it be spending time writing, pursuing a new hobby or having a manicure and facial.  Being more mature has meant being less molded by the opinions of the rest of the world and more introspective of my own nature.

 

I have since written and had published two romance novels and am working on a third.  The reviews have been great and I love the e-mails I get from readers.  This was one of the best things I have ever accomplished and it gave me the confidence to try other new things.  I am a better wife, mother and teacher because I am modeling ways of following your own path and not the herd.  My children see me valuing myself and they respect that.  They also know that if they tell me about their hopes and goals I am going to say, “then do it” and expect them to drop the excuses and make it happen.

 

I still teach full time and am better at it.  I feel more creative in the classroom and more confident about what I am doing. The epiphany I had at turning 40 has lasted.

 

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/T.D.-Hassett/e/B00CJE2MPQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1386173011&sr=8-1

 

PS:

 

Here is a recent reader review:

 

“Isabel’s Awakening is a smoking romance blossoming between a naive school teacher and a British musician after they meet when Isabel crashes into his arms when she trips over a stepstool at her local bookstore. He gives her tickets to tomorrow night’s show and she brings a friend, never in a million years expecting him to be the lead singer of a popular band.

 

It’s safe to say that by the end of the book Isabel is no longer as naive as when the book starts.

 

I loved the story, I loved Isabel and I especially loved Thomas, despite all of his British slang, but I do think the story and the mystery of Thomas’ postcard stalker wrapped up too quickly and neatly at the end. I would have loved to see it drawn out a bit more or have the existing epilogue as the final chapter and a new epilogue included showing us where Izzy and Thomas are a bit into the future.

 

Overall though, very good book. It was hard to put down once I started reading it and I look forward to more books by T.D. Hassett in the future!”

 

Author Biography

T.D. Hassett grew up reading the romance greats, Jackie Collins, Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught.  She was certain that life should be like a romance novel, lots of passion, some incredible adventures and a guaranteed happily ever after. She attended college in New England earning a B.A. in history and a M.S. degree in clinical psychology before changing her mind again and studying education. Currently Ms. Hassett lives in Connecticut with her very patient husband and two young children.  Her rambunctious family shares their home with 3 crazy cats and a darling golden retriever named Delilah.  Her eccentric relatives and their quest to make her feel like the only normal nut in the family tree inspire her writing.

 T. D. Hassett

https://naughtyandniceromance.wordpress.com

http://www.lsbooks.com/isabels-awakening-p779.phpImage

JUST ROMANCE ME BLOG HOP

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Whatever is an author to do when snowed inside for a few days?  Write!  So I picked up the pace on a new project last night while the snow was falling and it warmed me up considerably.

I am working on a romantic suspense novel about a Texas ranch hand who makes it into the big time. He finds unexpected fame and fortune as a drummer in a rock band but is still not satisfied with his life. His wife has died and he’s stuck in a small lake town with a friend of a friend until he can get his travel visa in order.  Love will find him in this special town but first he will have to prove he is ready for it. 

The heroine of the story is a teacher spending her summer getting the family lake house ready for sale.  She is ambivalent about selling but unusual incidents such as the mysterious disappearance of her mother years earlier and the death of a local handyman have tarnished her feelings for the beautiful property. Now she has an unwelcome houseguest forced on her by a close friend.  She’s torn between attraction and suspicion and must resolve her fears and doubts before she can have a happily ever after.

Well writing about summer in the midst of a storm has been a little treat for me.  I hope you enjoy the blog hop and best luck on winning the prizes!

Author Links:

http://www.lsbooks.com/loving-link-p845.php

http://www.amazon.com/T.D.-Hassett/e/B00CJE2MPQ/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Tdhassett@facebook.com

http://TDhassett.wordpress.com

Tdhassettauthor@twitter.com

Mini Blurb:

Can two artists salvage true love out of the unexpected consequences of one night of passion?

A young tattoo artist. A seasoned rock star. Both focused on their careers. What harm can there be in giving in to their desires for just one night? They’re about to find out as their scandalous relationship sweeps the internet. Will they stand together to face the world? Or will their emotional scars tear them apart? T.D. Hassett takes you to the heights of passion in Loving Link, Book 2 of her hot, sexy series Love and Music.

 

 

 

Author Bio

T.D. Hassett grew up reading the romance greats—Jackie Collins, Julie Garwood, and Judith McNaught. She was certain that life should be like a romance novel, with lots of passion, some incredible adventures, and a guaranteed happily ever after. She attended college in New England, earning a B.A. in History and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology before changing her mind again and studying education. Currently Ms. Hassett lives in Connecticut with her very patient husband and two young children. Her rambunctious family shares their home with three crazy cats and a darling golden retriever named Delilah. Her eccentric relatives and their quest to make her feel like the only normal nut in the family tree inspire her writing.

Excerpt:

Madison had just finished up with her second to last client and was tired. She thanked him for trusting her to do such an involved and powerful tattoo.

“No, thank you Madison. You’ve no idea how much this means to me. It’s absolutely beautiful.” the young private explained quietly, and then surprised her by wrapping her in a big hug and kissing the side of her head. It seemed to be an impulsive gesture and it took her off guard. For perhaps the first time she understood how important body art could be to somebody, how it truly was more than just something inked. She broke free of the embrace as her boss, Lori, came into the room. Madison froze in place seeing Link Jacks standing behind her boss and scowling. The private slipped her his card and was forced to squeeze by Link, who stood with his arms crossed, practically blocking the door.

Lori interrupted the awkward silence. “Madison, you might know Link Jacks through your brother-in-law. He’s been having a dragon done over the last couple of months and I’m thinking you’re the perfect person to do some of the scale work. I’ve seen you do some mythological pieces where the coloring is almost luminescent. That would be perfect for this piece. I’ve done all the lines and a good chunk of the fill but think if you wrapped up the scales it would be American Tats Magazine worthy.” Lori stated in her no-nonsense way.

Crap, there’s really no way to just say no, especially if Lori was thinking of putting the work on display. She had one more customer left for the day and was looking forward to a quiet night back at the apartment. She and Darling would probably just order pizza and watch a movie.

Maddie’s befuddled brain flashed back to the spiel Lori had given her about no drama and she braced herself for whatever this could mean. I just need to keep my focus on the work.

“Sure, as long as Link is comfortable with me doing the work. I’ve got one more customer tonight but I’d be happy to make him an appointment,” replied Madison.

Link’s icy expression slipped. He smiled at her and gave her a little wink, suggesting her stall tactic wasn’t going to work.

“No need, I’ve switched your last appointment to someone else so that you could have time to work on this piece now,” Lori smoothly added.

So much for putting this off until a later day. Lori walked away, leaving Link and Madison alone. Great, this would be a nightmare after what had transpired between them last week. She was already anxious around him and now she’d be spending hours touching his half-naked body. How did Monet ever paint those incredible nudes with such beauty just within reach?

Madison busied herself getting out sterile gloves and new needles. She focused her head on how best to color in the scales that she recalled so clearly from running her hands up his chest and arms. His low voice startled her when he asked what to do.

“Should I take my shirt off now and lie down, or just stand here feeling stupid?” Link questioned.

“Sorry, go ahead and lie down and you know, take off your clothes. I mean shirt.” Maddie blurted out awkwardly. She finished assembling her things on the tray and turned around in time to see him pull his tight black shirt up over his head exposing a broad, well-muscled chest that her fingers ached to touch. It was going to be torture to put needle to skin, to have her hands running over his washboard abs and strong arms, yet the full sensation would be blocked by the latex of her gloves. She studied the work already done on the tattoo. It was a masterpiece in the making. She’d never seen such a large, detailed mythological piece and couldn’t stop herself from tracing the line of the dragon’s tail from the waistband of his jeans up and across his chest and over his shoulder to where it ended on his back. The dragon’s head looked across his shoulders, its eyes done so realistically you felt like the beast was watching. She could see the mix of colors and shading she’d need to complete the work. The artist in her was clamoring to get started but the woman was afraid to keep touching him lest she lose her head again. She looked up from his skin to notice his eyes had been watching her with an expression of longing. His hand was clenched tightly against the arm of the chair and she noticed the telltale bulge in his pants. Memories of him pulsing in her sent a wave of moisture to her core.

She needed to put aside the tantalizing images flashing through her head. He was just a man who could only hurt her if she let him. Isabel had shared stories about Links escapades with women while on tour. It seemed everyone in the band but Link had settled down, so they all laughed at his adventures. Now that Madison had been one of his conquests, she hated every other woman who had ever looked at him and she hated herself even more for feeling that way.

“Okay, I’ll get started but as you probably know, work around the ribs and other bony areas can get pretty painful, so let me know when you need a break. Any questions?” Maddie was proud of how calm her voice was despite the rolling pit of emotions swirling around her belly.

“No questions. Baby, I’m ready for whatever you want to do to my body; bring it on.” Link answered with a cocky smile.

Damn him, he had to make this extra difficult. She’d made a mistake in what she did with him; she’d just been too curious a cat and she’d gotten her heart involved. But there was no way she would put that tail out there again for him to play with. Maddie had seen what heartbreak did to her mother and she knew better than to get involved with anyone who could do that kind of damage to her. Besides if Isabel ever found out what she’d gotten up to with Link she’d probably lecture her to death. And Thomas would probably kill Link; after all he had become quite the protective big brother to her after he and Isabel met.

Madison needed to focus on the task at hand and stop ogling him like … well, like some kind of groupie. She prepped a gun and tested the foot pedal, and then dipped her color, steadied her hand, and pressed needle to skin. The gentle vibration of the gun hummed to her as she worked a lower portion of the design over his right ribcage. She peaked across his chest, noticed another tattoo under his heart, and jabbed the needle in too hard.