Saturday, June 8, 2013

More Than Meets the Ink by Elle Aycart

** 4.5 out of 5 Stars **


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.

This was a great book.  Hot tattooed alpha male doing everything he can to make the girl fall in love with him, what's not to love?  I feel in love with James at the very beginning.  It has a great writing style.  It was easy to follow and I stayed wrapped up in the story from page one.  I have a thing for guys with tattoos, especially the guys who get them for a reason and not to just get ink all over them.  The only thing I didn't like about this book at times was Tate.  She drove me crazy at times, especially toward the end of the book.  I went from being ok with her, not really liking her but being ok with her, to not liking her at all at about 85%.  After the way she acted I still don't like her.  Knowing that I have another book to read about them, I'm hoping she grows on me again.  Right now, I just don't like her.

Tate is beautiful.  She has Italian in her, long dark hair, wolf eyes, and she's small.  She's very feisty and independent   She doesn't want to have to depend on a man for anything, and not just a man but anyone.  She lost her brother and father in a car accident, her mother took off to Florida as did her sister not long after the funeral, leaving her in Boston alone to handle the family restaurant that was left behind.  She's got a lot on her shoulders and it's obvious she's at her breaking point.  She hates guys with tattoos and all they bring with them because of the line of men her sister has always dated.

James is everything Tate doesn't want.  He's got tattoos and automatically assumes he's the bad boy she needs to stay away from.  He is instantly attracted to her and drawn to her in a way that he can't explain.  He's a "love and leave'em" type, not having any kind of a serious relationship since his divorce.  He's a possessive alpha male and can be controlling at times.  He's pushy but not in a bad way.  A protector by nature, he automatically wants to help fix all of her problems.  He puts up with a lot out of her, and you have to give him credit for sticking around.  

Tate is on vacation at the retirement resort in Florida that her mom has retired at.  Her mom is a little on the wacky side.  Tate and her sister are pretty sure that she is on the very of a breakdown, that or killing her next door neighbor.  She and her mom are army crawling across the back yard when she meets James.  He is her mom's neighbor's son.  There is an instant connection and they decide to have a "no strings" vacation romance, well she decides.  He lets her get away with it.  After many attempts at being together and being caught by curious senior citizens they finally spend the night together in a hotel the night before she leaves to go home.  He all but begs her to wait a few more days and take the road trip home with him.  She's very cold toward him the next day and pretty much leaves without saying goodbye.  They had spent just about every minute together after meeting.  They had gotten to know each other pretty well and he wanted more than no strings.  He didn't see a problem with this since they both lived in the same city.  He doesn't do relationships but he's more than willing to try with her.  

He returns home early not really knowing what to do and his brother's convince him that he needs to meet up with her.  He shows up at the restaurant she owns and she's not really happy about it but she doesn't make him leave.  Following that night, he spends every night in her bed.  She still maintains that they have nothing more than a "no strings" relationship even though it comes with more strings than she cares to admit.  He begins fixing her problems at the restaurant, he's around all the time and she misses him like crazy when he's gone.  He comes to her apartment every night even though its very late and his place is closer.  She gives him keys to the restaurant (she says they are on loan, not his.  He disagrees), and they are getting closer and closer by the day.  

She is hiding a very big secret from him.  She doesn't tell him because she doesn't want to involve him in her problems and because she's afraid he will leave and not come back if she tells him.  Her ex was a douche bag who took off because he wasn't getting what he needed from her while she was trying to mourn the loss of her family and the new responsibilities that came with taking over.  She's scared she's going to be clingy and needy with James and he will leave.  It never crosses her mind that he wants her to be needy.

Tate has a stalker.  He's wanting her to sale the restaurant and when she refuses he starts making threats toward her and not just the building.  James hits the roof when he finds out.  He goes all protector on her and refuses to let her be alone.  That's after he gets angry and hurt because she didn't trust him enough to tell him in the first place.  

From here, he eventually tells her he loves her and she becomes even more skiddish.  At 85% I almost had a nervous breakdown.  Out of left field, it dawns on her she's in love with him.  She doesn't embrace this, she flat out runs.  She breaks things off with him so harshly.  One minute she was fine, laughing and smiling and the next she's lost her mind.  If it had been me, I would have walked away and never looked back.  She was that horrible to him.  After the things she says to him, he leaves his keys at the door and walks away.  She knows she's made a mistake but she to scared to fix it.


The stalker situation comes to a head.  He turns out to be her ex boyfriend.  He plans to kill her and burn down the restaurant.  The guy is crazy.  James shows up and saves her but then he leaves her as soon as she wakes up at the hospital.  He's had enough at this point.

Once she stops being a coward, she goes after him.  Tells him how she really feels and why she ran and then is about to turn around an run again.

He couldn't believe Tate was in front of him, fidgeting and on the verge of tears, telling him she loved him. And trying to run out on him again. “Oh no, you aren't walking out on me.”  “You don’t get to come here to tell me you love me and then walk away.”

He grabs her and kisses her and they make up.  He informs her that he will not do the "no strings" thing with her anymore.  If she doesn't want all of him then he's out.  He informs her that she is going to marry him, move in with him, have babies with him, the works.  He didn't ask this time and she agrees.

This was a really good book, aside from how Tate acts most of the time.  I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars because of her.  She drove me nuts.  I would recommend this book though.  It's a good read and you will enjoy it.

My Tate/James


Favorite quotes

“You haven't gotten the dynamics of our relationship down yet, have you? Let me explain it to you: we're involved, very involved. You're mine, and your problems are also mine. No one messes with what belongs to me. Don't fight me on that, because you'll lose baby..."