Hidden Ink Montgomery Ink Book 4.5
The Montgomery Ink series continues with the long-awaited romance between the café owner next door and the tattoo artist who’s loved her from afar.
Hailey Monroe knows the world isn’t always fair, but she’s picked herself up from the ashes once before and if she needs to, she’ll do it again. It’s been years since she first spotted the tattoo artist with a scowl that made her heart skip a beat, but now she’s finally gained the courage to approach him. Only it won’t be about what their future could bring, but how to finish healing the scars from her past. Sloane Gordon lived through the worst kinds of hell yet the temptation next door sends him to another level. He’s kept his distance because he knows what kind of man he is versus what kind of man Hailey needs. When she comes to him with a proposition that sends his mind whirling and his soul shattering, he’ll do everything in his power to protect the woman he cares for and the secrets he’s been forced to keep.
until he could know for sure that the darkness within him wouldn’t touch Hailey, he had to hold himself back. He’d known he was playing with fire by waiting, by watching for years and never doing more. But she’d held back, too. She’d known it wasn’t the right time yet.
Or maybe he was wrong? Maybe he’d screwed up and now he was about to lose it all. Lose it to someone closer to her age, someone who made her laugh and her eyes sparkle.
Sloane wanted to be the man that made her throw her head back and laugh like that. He wanted to be all of those things and more. But he couldn’t. Not yet. It wasn’t the time, and now it might not ever be the time.
Jesus, his head hurt from going back and forth. He wanted her, he ached for her, but he wasn’t good enough for her. He’d never be pure for her. But at some point he may have to let that go. Realize that while he wasn’t light—instead, darkness—he was still hers. And that would have to be sufficient.
Sloane might not be good enough for Hailey, but damn it, nobody was. This Brody, with his too-gelled hair, wasn’t even close to being what she needed.
“Are we taking a break?” Brody asked as he looked over his shoulder. “Everything looking good back there?”
Maya cleared her throat, and Sloane forced his attention away from Brody and toward the other tattoo station. His other boss and friend pressed her lips together, surprising him. He’d have thought Maya would have a sarcastic quip or something to say about what the hell had just happened. Even Callie stood by Maya’s side, wide-eyed and a little surprised. He didn’t blame the younger woman. For as long as he’d known her, she’d been trying to figure out why he wasn’t with Hailey.
How was he supposed to tell them he wasn’t worthy of the blonde bombshell with secrets of her own? That if he was with her, he’d taint the beauty of her soul, the exquisiteness of her smile. That’s what he did. He brought in the shadows, carved deep inside, and rotted the core of someone because of what he’d done, what he’d seen.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan never thought she’d be a writer. Not really. No, she loved math and science and even went on to graduate school in chemistry. Yes, she read as a kid and devoured teen fiction and Harry Potter, but it wasn’t until someone handed her a romance book in her late teens that she realized that there was something out there just for her. When another author suggested she use the voices in her head for good and not evil, The Redwood Pack and all her other stories were born. Carrie Ann is a bestselling author of over twenty novels and novellas and has so much more on her mind (and on her spreadsheets *grins*) that she isn’t planning on giving up her dream anytime soon.
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