OPENING UP by Lauren Dane (June 16, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Ink & Chrome Book #1)
The men of Twisted Steel are great with their hands. And they're not afraid to get dirty.
Asa Barrons is never lonely for long. Co-owner of the Twisted Steel custom motorcycle shop, he works hard and plays harder. But he never allows his after-hours affairs to interfere with business-until he meets racing royalty PJ Colman. While the blue-eyed blonde is all princess on the outside, on the inside Asa can see that this woman is ready to take a walk on the wild side.
PJ knows trouble when she sees it, and Asa is the complete package: fast bike, killer ink, and a sinfully sexy smile that has her imagining things nice girls never do. She talks her way onto the Twisted Steel team to prove her painting skill, and soon learns that Asa is eager to show off some skills of his own.
With the help of Asa's expert touch, PJ is initiated into a world of wicked desire. No limits. No inhibitions. No turning back. But as perfect as their passion seems, a new challenge awaits, forcing them to ask just how far they are willing to go . . .
Struck silent for long moments, Asa simply watched her. She clearly had something going on because she bent and took a picture of the area with her phone and then stood with a smile.
“I work freehand. If you don’t like my design I’ll remove it and refund your money. Can I work here or do you need me to take it off-site?” She waited for his reply, and then when it didn’t come immediately she moved to him. “Here’s the thing, I’m sure you’re thinking, What the hell, she should be grateful and do it the way I said. Maybe you’re right. But while I am grateful for the chance, this is creative for me. I have my own process and it doesn’t include you or anyone else but the owner of the car. I’m worth it.”
“That’s a bold claim.”
“I’m more than happy to show you.”
Oh danger, danger, danger.
Asa liked the way she flirted. Straightforward. She wasn’t overly coy.
He reminded himself she was too young. Even if she kissed like she was made for him.
And he had to admit, her refusal to provide three samples was reasonable. He liked her spark.
“You can do it here. We have painting bays. Client is male, thirty-eight. He’s a cop. Saved up for years for this job, so I want it to be fan-fucking-tastic, dig?”
One of her brows went up, the one with the ring. His cock hardened at the haughty expression it lent her features.
“Just so we’re clear, all my work is fan-fucking-tastic. You dig? I don’t do it if I don’t do it all the way. Why else would I be here?”
They stood there not speaking, letting that chemistry between them build. Again. It ebbed and flowed like that every time they were near each other. Playing with fire. He knew it. Suspected she did too.
Which made it even hotter.
Even harder to pull back each time from taking a step into something intimate between them. Which, of course, he’d complicated by kissing her. Still, he couldn’t find it in him to feel bad.
“We’re waiting on some custom pieces for the dash, so I’ll have one of my guys take the doors off and you can work on them while we wait.”
“What’s this guy like? Is he an Ed Hardy–wearing cop? Earnest cop next door? Hot cop you dated in secret back when you were a senior in high school?”
He scrubbed a hand over his face. He totally had to let that one go. There was no way he could go down that road.
“There’s a story?” he heard himself ask like he stood in another room.
“He was hot. Bad. Bad and hot. One of my best friends’ older brothers. He’s still hot, actually, but engaged. The stuff he taught me.” She drew in a slow breath, pleasured at the memory. Her lip caught a moment between her teeth and she looked up at him through her lashes. “I like older men, I suppose.”
He pressed the tip of one of his keys into his thigh to keep from taking her hint.
“He’s an inked cop who is super active in his community. Works with youth. He’s a very cool guy.”
She pulled a notebook from her bag—the one he still held—and scribbled things down here and there as they went back and forth for a while.
“If I get this right in one,” she muttered as she began to sketch, “when I’m done with this job you can give me the next one right after I deliver.”
He wished he’d had her kind of confidence at twenty-five. It had taken eight years in the army for him to learn how to get his emotions under control, and once he’d done that, he’d gotten his shit together and begun focusing on what he’d do in his life after he left the military.
But he shouldn’t be encouraging it.
“All right. And if you lose?”
Her gaze left the paper and locked with his. “Do you have some terrible punishment for me?”
And he planned to send Duke a case of beer for walking in right before Asa answered that question honestly.
Moment broken, she smirked and handed him the pad. “No need to discuss what happens if I lose. Because, duh.”
He looked down and then handed the pad over to Duke.
“This is for Mort?” Duke asked.
“Damn. You’re good, beautiful. And you have perfect timing because those parts just came in.” Duke looked over to her. “Can you do this now? This guy is one of our good friends. He’s waited for this a long time. If you can do it now we can get it to him a little earlier.”
“I need to run home and get my stuff. I can be back in an hour. I’m happy to do this for Mort.”
“I’ll have the doors moved into a paint bay for you.” Asa paused. “And when you’re done, your next job will be ready.”
She flashed them both a smile, grabbed her bag from Asa, and headed out, waving over her shoulder and saying she’d be back.
“Sweet fucking shit, she’s hot. Just like a really bad girl wrapped up in a sweet girl-next-door costume,” Duke said as they watched her drive off.
“She’s just a kid.” Asa flagged one of his guys down and told him to get the doors off and moved.
“That person who was just here, trading so much sexual whatever you two have that I could feel it five feet way? That’s a woman, Asa.”
And don’t miss FALLING UNDER, book #2 in the Ink & Chrome series, on sale August 4, 2015!
Duke Bradshaw, co-owner of the Twisted Steel custom motorcycle and hot rod shop, may devote his days to chrome and leather, but his nights belong to Carmella. His sultry redheaded neighbor has a smile like an angel and a body built for sin, and for the past year both have dominated Duke's dreams. When a problem at Twisted Steel requires a fast fix, Duke sees his chance to finally make his fantasy a reality.
Ever since she first heard the low rumble of his engine, Carmella Rossi has wondered if Duke Bradshaw handles his women as expertly as he handles his bike. When he shows up at her door offering her a much-needed job at his shop, she gets her chance to find out. Beneath Duke's masterful touch, Carmella soon submits to a world of unimaginable pleasure.
But history has taught Carmella how bad a boy boy can be. If she doesn't put on the brakes fast, her hard-bodied heartbreaker could drive her right over the edge . . .
About the Author
The story goes like this: While on pregnancy bed rest, Lauren Dane had plenty of down time, so her husband took her comments about "giving that writing thing a serious go" to heart and brought home a secondhand laptop. She wrote her first book on it. Today, Lauren is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 60 novels and novellas across several genres.