Monday, April 27, 2015

Reviews: Love & Ink Series by J.A. Howell



Marks On My Skin
Love & Ink # 1 
By- J.A. Howell 
Genre- Erotica
Publication Date- March 15th, 2014
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing

~Blurb~

**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.

~Book Links~

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

~My 4.5* Review~

Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for nothing more than an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

This book was thoroughly enjoyable. I have read and enjoyed the Possess Saga; and I miss those characters, so it was great to see some of them cross into Marks On My Skin.

Marks On My Skin is Shayne and Kieran's story. And what a story it is. When we meet Kieran he's married and lives with his wife, he's an author and hoping to have one book turned into a film. After returning home early one lunchtime Kieran finds his wife in bed with not one but 5 men!! Kieran heads to Midtown to see his brothers Liam and Niall. This is where he meets Shayne.

Shayne co-owns the Knotted Needle with Liam, they're also best friends too. There's no denying that when Shayne and Kieran meet there's chemistry between them, but Shayne doesn't do relationships and Kieran is still married. Will that stop them???

Kieran witnesses a part of Shayne's life that she keeps from everyone, her mother. And he sees Shayne's true friendship with Darren too. Darren is a dom, and not just any dom. Darren is Shayne's dom. He runs a club for dom's and sub's, and he helps to teach them to be a dom safely. Darren has played a big part in Shayne's life. He's caught her at rock bottom and helped her to become the woman she is today. Between Shayne and Darren they introduce Kieran to a world he never thought he'd be a part of let alone want to be a part of.

But as things seem to be going well for them Kieran's wife makes an appearance. Completely unannounced and unwanted, but boy, when she does the shit really does hit the fan for everyone involved!!

Will Kieran find out the truth before its too late?

The characters are really good, they're down to earth, realistic and so easy to love and connect with. As I mentioned earlier there are a few faces from The Possess Saga that pop up as well as all the new faces too.

The conversations and dialect have been written as they would be said; with the Irish and Scottish this may be a little harder to read if your not used to it. But this also gives a stronger and more realistic impression of the characters actually being Irish or Scottish. I really like it.

The plot is really good, there's lots of twists and turns that kept me on my toes. They also kept me hooked from start to finish. I have again loved J.A. Howell's writing style. It flows and has emotion throughout. I was sucked into the lives of the characters and I felt as though they were real people and friends.

I've loved reading Marks On My Skin and I cannot wait to start reading Scratches Down My Back.

I'd recommend this to anyone over 18, that loves a spicy, erotic romance and who loves guys and gals with ink!

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Scratches Down My Back
Love & Ink # 2 
By- J.A. Howell
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing
Genre- Erotica

~Blurb~

**Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language, explicit sex, and adult situations.**

Liam Donovan can’t connect with women. The only woman he thought he had something with was his best friend Shayne, but she chose his younger brother over him. Single, bitter, and with a non-existent sex life, he’s accepted the only good things he’s got going in his life are his tattoo shop and fighting in the cage.

When Lucy Stevens walks into his shop for a tattoo, he dismisses her like so many of the beautiful but vapid girls he’s met over and over. Unfortunately for him, this five foot blonde bombshell is more than capable of going a few rounds, easily putting Liam in his place. He finds her ability to keep him on his toes both intriguing and annoying. But he isn’t just afraid of being able to keep up with her verbal jests. Despite nothing being medically wrong with him, Liam hasn’t been able to “perform” on that front in years…

But Lucy isn’t one to back down from a challenge. When she gets this man in a compromising position and it seems once again his body won’t cooperate, Lucy takes control of the situation. A little tough love never hurt anybody, and it seems with Liam, that’s just what he needed. 

For someone that’s spent the last decade having to be in charge, Liam finds complete release in handing it over to her. But Lucy is keeping a few secrets from Liam. Secrets that have previously destroyed her life and her past relationships. As she falls for Liam, she knows she needs to tell him. But will he still want to submit to her once he finds out the truth? Or will this be the one fight he walks away from?

~Book Links~

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

~My 4.5* Review~

Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for nothing more than an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Scratches Down My Back is Liam and Lucy's story. 

Liam is the co-owner of the Knotted Needle. He is the eldest of the 3 Donovan brothers. Liam was forced to grow up quicker than his brothers in order to look after them and keep them from the clutches of their abusive father. Liam hasn't had a relationship in a very long time, and he has issues that are preventing him from trying now. Liam is a fairly grouchy person and Lucy's arrival in town doesn't help!

Lucy is a friend of Niall and she's in Midtown doing a project with Niall and Grant. Lucy wants a tattoo so Niall suggests paying Liam a visit. When Lucy and Liam meet there are sparks of something between them. However Lucy is all she appears to be, she has a double life. Her hidden life is that of La Belle Dame the infamous Dominatrix! She keeps being La Belle Dame a secret because in the past when people of found out they don't want Lucy they want La Belle Dame. 

Can Lucy break free of La Belle Dame? Can she find someone who wants her; the real Lucy? Will that someone be Liam or is he like all the others??

The story overall is really good. It continues with the dominant/submissive theme, but this time it's the male who submitting. I really like how J.A. Howell has taken Liam; the big, grouchy, hunky Irishman and made him bow to Lucy.

Scratches Down My Back is full of romance, suspense, passion and fear of the unknown and uncontrollable. J.A. Howell has written the sex scenes well, they are sensual, smoking hot, sexy as hell and at times full of raw emotion. Shayne and Niall bring fun filled comical moments throughout the entire book too.

The only flaw for me with Scratches Down My Back is that it the plot and its layout are very similar to Marks On My Skin, but other than that it;s a great book. Scratches Down My Back hasn't failed to capture my attention and hold it until the very end. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Liam and Lucy's story.

Now that I've read book 1 and 2 I can't wait to read book 3 Exposing The Flesh and see what J.A. Howell has lined up for us next.

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Exposing The Flesh
Love & Ink #3
By- J.A. Howell
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing
Genre- Erotica

~Blurb~

**Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language, explicit sex, and adult situations.**

Niall Donovan is a talented photographer. When it comes to women, he can have his pick and has. But beneath the flirtatious, joking smiles he's hiding long buried pain and traumatic memories. Memories that are breaking the surface once more. Memories that he’ll do anything to shut up. When suicide doesn’t work for him, he indulges in pills, drugs, and physical pain. They seem to help some, but they barely take the edge off.

London Black has been put through the wringer. Between a car accident that nearly killed her, months of physical therapy, and finding out the boyfriend she moved to Midtown for has been cheating all along, she’s done being the sweet wholesome girl everyone thinks she is. A one night stand with the sexy photographer she meets at a club is just the thing she needs to boost her ego. It does more than that when the explicit photos of them are the main exhibit at the local art gallery. Embarrassed, angry, and now without a prospective job, she confronts him on opening night. But when he offers her a generous deal with room and board in return for more photos, she accepts. Taking naked photos with him for a large sum of cash doesn’t seem like that horrible of an option, and besides they both intend to keep things completely professional.

When the shutter starts snapping, however, it’s hard for either to deny what's developing between them. Neither are in a good place and prefer those desires stay hidden in the dark, but the camera doesn’t lie. Baring it all may expose more than their bodies. But exposing their hearts may be more than Niall or London bargained for.

~Links~ 

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

~My 4.5* Review~

Disclaimer: I received a free ecopy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

**Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language, explicit sex, and adult situations.**

Exposing The Flesh is Niall and London's story. Niall is the youngest of the Donovan brothers and the one with the most emotional issues. He feel guilty over his parents deaths, he feels responsible for everything bad that has happened to the people he loves. When the feelings of guilt become too much, Niall tries to take matters into his own hands. 

This is where we meet London, London is on her way to Midtown when she is involved in a car crash. After getting out of hospital London has to undergo physical therapy; when her boyfriend Jordan doesn't show one day she heads home. When she arrives at their place; London finds more than she bargained for.

London leaves and stays with her friend Kim. One night they go out to a club. In the club Niall is there to take photo's of the band that is playing. Niall notices London. One thing leads to another and that changes the course of London's future.

Will Niall open up and let London in? Can Niall overcome his demons? Is Niall what London really wants? Will London want to stick around once she learns the truth about Niall's demons? Can Niall stop the self-loathing?

This book is deals with a lot of serious issues and it is packed full of emotions too. It was clear to me that J.A. Howell has done a lot of research regarding these issues as they felt real, the way everything was described I could easily feel myself being in the shoes of each and every character.

Niall's life never seems easy. At the start of the book he's clearly on a big downward spiral, but then things begin to look up for him, and then something happens and he begins to retreat again; Niall's life is like a roller coaster of epic proportions and I was there with him.

It's clear from Niall and London's first encounter that they have chemistry, and its the sort of chemistry that as a reader you feel it emanating from withing the pages. I saw their relationship as so much more than another romance through; It's almost as if London could be the missing piece to Niall, the key ingredient for him to fully heal.

J.A. Howell offsets the amount of serious issues in this book by adding in some of her humour, which causes some very laugh out loud moments. Exposing The flesh has everything you could ever really want drama, passion, lust, love, violence, heartbreak and turmoil. The characters have grown into amazing people and I'm really sad to be saying goodbye to them.

I have loved this book and all of this series. I'm looking forward to seeing what J.A. Howell has in store for me next. :)

~About the Author~

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.

~Places To Find The Author~

Website Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | YouTube | Amazon Author Page 

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