"Scorching hot and full of heart! An unputdownable must-read!" - New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kaye
There's sin, and then there's literally going-straight-to-hell sin...
Being in lust with my dead brother's wife pretty much guarantees that one day I'll be the devil's bitch. But Eden Gordon works with me, so it's getting harder and harder to stay away. I promised my family—and him—I would, though.
My days as an MMA champion are behind me. But whenever I see her, with those wicked curves and soft mouth created for dirty deeds, it's a knock-down fight to just maintain my distance. "Hard Knox" becomes more than just the name of my tattoo shop. However, surrendering to the forbidden might be worth losing everything...
About the Author
Naima Simone's love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown, and Linda Howard many years ago. Well, not that many. She is only eighteen...ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading, and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights—creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bulletproof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Come visit Naima at www.naimasimone.com.
Read an Excerpt
Several sins could send a man to hell.
Lusting after your dead brother's wife, especially when you were responsible for his death, might not top blasphemy, but it must be on the list.
Which means I have a one-way ticket to hell with my dick riding shotgun.
"It's pretty. You did good," my own living, breathing mortal sin praises over my shoulder. Eden Gordon, my sister-in-law — or former sister- in-law. Shit, I don't know how that works — straightens, and thank God. I can breathe again. With her leaning over me, I drag her scent into my lungs. Like peaches left out under a summer sun — warm, sweet, sultry, and fucking edible.
I bend closer to the young woman in my chair and finish up the last of the color and shading on her shoulder. Not because I've suddenly developed a Mr. Magoo case of nearsightedness, but to insert even a little more distance between Eden and me. When it comes to her, distance is good.
Sitting up, I shut off the tattoo machine and spray the tat with tincture of green soap and water, washing off the excess ink and blood from her shoulder. Eden's right. The butterfly is beautiful — 3D turquoise, purple, and black art that appears to lift from the woman's skin.
And if I have to ink one more goddamn butterfly on another coed, I'm going to junk-punch myself. There are tens of thousands of students enrolled in Chicago's "Loop U," and I swear, it seems as if every female student who enters Hard Knox Ink looking to get her tattoo virginity popped, wants a butterfly.
At least from her squeals and twisting and turning in the mirror, it appears this Loyola student likes it. There's a warm satisfaction in seeing her pleasure — or any client's joy in one of my tattoos — that's incomparable to anything.
"I. Love. It." She whirls around, wearing a huge grin.
"I'll go ring her up," Eden says, laying a hand on my back. Fuck. I briefly close my eyes, that simple, small touch like a blowtorch to my insides. There should be branded flesh under her palm because, I swear, the heat burrows past skin and muscle. And I want it. I hunger for the burn.
Nodding, I bend my head on the pretense of removing my gloves and dumping the extra caps of ink. My jaw is clenched so tight, I'm surprised something doesn't snap.
Eden's a toucher; she hugs everyone, sweeps gentle strokes over cheeks, hair, and arms. Affection — and showing it — comes easy to her. Her caring, friendly caresses are every championship win, orgasm, and Christmas morning wrapped into one shiny package. They're also every hell.
And I crave each one, hoarding it like I need an intervention on one of those A&E TV shows.
A greedy, goddamn masochist. That's me.
"Thank you. It's just what I wanted," the brunette continues to gush as she turns back to the mirror for another peek at her new ink.
With her long, shiny hair, jeans with rips that were obviously done at the hands of a manufacturer, and the necklace with its single diamond resting against her collarbone, she looks like one of those girls from the Gold Coast. Or from a North Shore suburb with its mansions, golf courses, and country clubs.
Do her parents even know she's slumming it in a Ukrainian Village neighborhood tattoo shop owned by a former MMA fighter? Highly doubtful. If so, they'd probably be shitting bricks — gold bricks.
"Let me bandage it up for you." I stow the bottles of ink and pull open the second drawer of my work station, removing the roll of gauze and tape.
"A couple of my friends came in a few weeks ago," she says, crossing the room and giving me her back. "They told me you were the best." She glances over her shoulder. Smiles a smile that has my inner Oh- shit-o-meter pinging like a ten-alarm fire. From her driver's license, I know she's twenty, but that curve of her mouth and the DTF gleam in her eyes tells me this girl has been around a few suburban blocks. "Now I know they weren't lying. You're great," she damn near purrs.
"Thanks. I'm glad you like it." I cut off a piece of gauze and carefully place it over her skin, taping it down on either side. "Leave that on for at least an hour."
"I will," she promises, turning around to face me. "Is it true you were an MMA fighter?"
I toss the gauze and tape back in the drawer. "Yeah."
Most people would've taken the short, "drop it" tone for what it was and gotten the hell up out of the room, but not her. She trails her fingers over the tats on my forearm that are exposed by the pushed-up sleeve of my black Henley, tracing the trunk of the family tree inked there. Stroking the faded, brown leaf falling from the branch ...
Controlling the urge to flinch, I deliberately move my arm, but she just shifts her hand to my stomach, flattening her palm against the muscle there. That hand slowly slides down, bumping over my belt, and lowering until it's right over my cock. Her fingers curl around me through my jeans. And squeeze.
It's not the first time a customer has come on to me, offered me pussy or head. Hell, it's not even the first time one has grabbed my junk like it was their own personal joystick. And yet, a bolt of surprise still wings through me. A little flirtation, yeah, I'd kind of expected that. But I'd underestimated this girl.
"Another thing my friends weren't lying about. You're hot as hell," she murmurs, lust darkening her blue eyes.
I know what she sees when she looks at me. A big, tatted motherfucker who could be either a fighter or an ex-con. Maybe both. She sees a man who would shut the door, push her up against the wall, and fuck her six ways to Sunday right next to the framed black and white photograph of a woman with my art on her back.
She's not wrong. On either of those. In my twenty-nine years, I've been in the ring and on both sides of the law. And after a match, with the adrenaline still raging through my veins, I had no problem finding a woman at the club, bar, or even around the ring willing to let me pound out the rest of my energy in her body. Even now, I'm far from a saint or a monk. Sex is still an outlet — maybe even more than it used to be since I don't have fighting anymore.
But too bad for her, I don't fuck clients. Or employees. I never shit where I eat. That's just begging for trouble.
Not that I'd take her up on the invitation in her stroking hand anyway. She's too goddamned young.
She's only a couple years younger than Eden.
Yeah, and Eden is even more off-limits than this coed.
Gripping her wrist in a gentle but firm hold, I pry her hand off my junk.
"Thanks," I reply to her earlier compliment. "You can pay up front."
I half expect her to storm out of here, hissing asshole or something, along with a dramatic exit. Instead, her lips curl into a wicked smile that probably has those frat boys at Loyola coming in their khakis.
Damn, I almost feel a flicker of sympathy for her parents. No doubt, they're hosting fancy dinner parties up in their big-ass, gated home, blissfully ignorant, thinking their precious, beautiful daughter is at her school studying and doing sorority girl shit. When, little do they know, she's at a tattoo shop, attempting to give a hand job to an ex-fighter in a neighborhood that would send them into heart palpitations.
This is just one of the reasons I don't plan on having kids.
They never fail to break your fucking hearts.
I should know since I've cracked my parents' hearts into so many fragments, they resemble jigsaw puzzles. With a few missing pieces.
The familiar, corrosive burn of guilt scalds my chest like acid, even more painful because it is familiar.
"I'll see you out there," she says, sauntering out the room, the fragrance of her floral perfume trailing behind her. Hell, it smells like it cost a bill. But it still can't compete with the summer and peaches scent that I could identify in a damn perfume factory full of open bottles.
Shaking my head, I grab the bottle of disinfectant. For the next few minutes, I spray and clean the black leather seat and arm cushions on the massage chair I use for shoulder and back tattoos. Collapsing the equipment, I stow it along the wall and head out.
Stepping into the main part of the shop, the loud, grinding mix of metal, electronic, and classical music that is Igorrr's hit song ieuD blasts out of the state-of-the-art sound system, one of the first things I had installed after I bought the shop three years ago. The drone of tattoo machines and the hum of voices buzz beneath the pounding heavy metal.
This is home. A home I created for me with the family of my choosing, if not birth.
Pride swells inside me, pressing against my chest wall, as it does whenever I walk in and stop to think how lucky I am to do something I love. The big storefront window still looks out on busy N. Western Avenue and its bars and cafes. Exposed brick still covers one wall, and cubicles dot the wide, open floor plan. Art decorates the walls, along with the hanging portfolios containing stencils, drawings, and pictures of past tattoos.
In front of the long desk stands a couple of glass cabinets stocked with Hard Knox Ink merchandise — shirts, hats, chains, jewelry. That had been Eden's idea. After retiring from the Bellum Fighter Championship, or the BFC, I'd wanted to completely separate myself from that part of my life. Hell, I'd named the shop after my fighting name only at my brothers' insistence. That had been as much as I'd been willing to concede.
But when I hired Eden a year ago as my receptionist and, later, office manager, she'd informed me I would be stupid not to capitalize on my career and reputation. After a lot of nagging, I caved. Honestly, I didn't give a damn what brought people through the door. Every artist here, including me, can hold our own once we have the client in our chairs. Yeah, some people might walk through those doors to rubberneck and find out what happened to Hard Knox Gordon, former two-time BFC heavyweight champion. But most come because our tattoos are the best in Chicago.
"Hey, Knox. What the fuck is this, man?" Hakim Alston yells from his cubicle. The wheels of his stool roll over the tiled floor, and then he appears in the doorway, his long dreads held back from his face by a black bandana. "I mean, some of the shit your brother listens to I can tune out, but this? It's weird even for him."
"I'm sitting right here, asshole," Jude calls from the space that adjoins Hakim's. "And I'm just trying to expose you to different kinds of music, elevate your taste."
"I got one thing that elevates, and I don't need your help with that," Hakim shoots back.
"Yeah." My other artist, Heaven Travers — who refuses to answer to anything but V — chimes in as she walks past us. "He handles that all by himself. Emphasis on 'hand.'"
"Now, that's just wrong," Hakim grumbles. Then, as Taylor Swift replaces Igorrr, he shakes his head as V, the resident Swiftie, cackles from her cubicle. "And that's worse. Really, Knox?" he continues. "Isn't it some kind of cruel and unusual punishment to work under these circumstances?"
I snort. "File a complaint." I happen to like Taylor's latest CD and work out to it. Not that I'll admit it to Hakim, or anyone else, for that matter. That kinda shit you take to the grave.
Pausing a moment before continuing to the counter, I peek into his space, checking out the piece he's working on. Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons cover a wide back from shoulder to waist. Eden is a Game of Thrones fanatic, which is the only reason I recognize the characters. Hakim has been working on this guy's back piece for weeks now, between the outline and adding color. And even though it's only the fifth session and about halfway done, it's stunning. Each of us specializes in a certain style, and Hakim's is realism. The tattoo could've been ripped from the pages of any graphic art book and superimposed on this guy's back. That's how detailed it is, with color that pops off the skin.
"Damn. That's coming along good," I murmur.
"I know." The tattoo machine buzzes to life in Hakim's hand, and he grins at me. "It's what I do."
Shaking my head, I turn toward the counter. And I brace myself.
Back in my private room, I'd forced myself not to turn around and look at Eden. But now, I don't have a choice. And with her profile to me — and those dark, chocolate eyes not fixed on me — I don't hold back.
I drop my gaze, starting at her booted feet, moving up and over the dark denim encasing her toned, slender thighs. She's petite, no more than five- feet-four, but the curves on this woman. I lock down the growl rumbling in my chest and rolling up the back of my throat. She owns a round, firm ass, perfect for filling a man's hands. The dip of her waist only emphasizes the feminine flare of her hips and the fullness of her breasts, which are a shade too large for her small stature and delicate build. In other words, goddamn flawless.
Dragging my starving scrutiny from her tits and up her elegant neck, I linger on the graceful line of her jaw. The sexual invitation that's her mouth. The straight nose and slightly wide nostrils. The spatter of cinnamon- colored freckles across her cheek, nose, the slash of her cheekbone, and her forehead. They were an inheritance from her Polynesian grandmother, along with her golden, hot-sand-on-a-beach skin.
Long, thick, black-brown hair flows over her shoulders and down her back. The color reminds me of the bark on the trees in San Jose's Japanese Friendship Garden. Deep. Rich. When I trained at a mixed martial arts school and gym out there years ago, I would go to that garden to think, to rest. That's what Eden does to me. Her presence calms me even as she turns my body into a marble statue — hard as fuck.
Even now, I struggle to fight back the lust that's always right under the surface, simmering, just waiting to be let loose like an inferno ... or wild beast. Because that's how I feel around her. Like a caged, hungry animal just waiting for one slip, anticipating that one time when the lock on its prison is left open so it can break free and feast.
She brushes her hair over her shoulder, revealing more of her profile. And like the animal I am, I watch her lips curve into her signature sweet smile as she slides the receipt across the counter for the coed to sign. All the while, I'm imagining those lush, sensual lips offering me that same innocent smile just before they part, giving way for my cock. Her mouth has always been my obsession. I want to take it, bruise it, corrupt it with mine, and with my dick. I want to come in it, watch her swallow every fucking drop of me, and then drag her back to her feet and taste us on her tongue.
Yeah, I'm a dirty motherfucker.
And the absolute lowest piece of shit walking to fantasize about my dead brother's wife that way. Especially when partial blame for his death weighs on me like the world on Atlas's shoulders. Connor had been the genius in our family — entering college at seventeen, graduating at twenty. We'd all expected him to be the first of us to get a job using his head instead of his hands or fists. Instead, he'd followed me into MMA. And eventually to his death.
The crushing, smothering guilt wouldn't strangle me so tightly if all I wanted was to fuck Eden. To bury myself balls deep inside her. If that's all I lusted after, then maybe the taint on my soul wouldn't be as black.
But it's not all I hunger for. I want it all. Her body, her affection ... I want her to gaze at me the way she used to look at Connor. With that soft, secret gleam in her eyes that said they shared something that was completely mysterious to everyone else but them.
I want her. I have from the first moment I saw her five years ago — even after she met, fell in love with, and then married my brother.
And that makes my sin unforgivable.
I can never have Eden; I can never touch Connor's wife. Because yeah, he's gone, but she will always be his wife. And I am not worthy to breathe the same air, much less touch her. I know it. God knows it ... My own mother knows it.
Women who know what's up, who are willing to fuck or blow me in bathroom stalls or in the back room of a bar or club, those chicks are my speed. All I deserve. Quick, emotionless, nameless screws.
I made a promise to keep my hands off Eden. And after all the other things I've broken in my life and others' — hopes, dreams, hearts — this is a vow I refuse to break.
"Hey." She glances at me, arching a dark eyebrow. "We're just about done here."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Sin & Ink"
Copyright © 2018 Naima Simone.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Beautifully written and filled with gut wrenching emotion. I was easily lost in these characters. First time reading this author. Can't wait the read another one!
Amazing book. Loved it. Knox OMG! More please stories of the two other brothers.
Steamy forbidden romance Readers need to know up front that Naima Simone's Sin and Ink reads as erotica more so then a steamy romance. Well written, angst filled story.If you are ready to be taken out of your comfort zone this book is for you. I received an advance reader copy via Netgalley.
Scorching hot read! This book is an emotional roller coaster with all the dips, turns and twists that leaves you breathless and exhilarated. This was my first book by this author and won't be my last.
4 stars Review by Leah Late Night Reviewer Up All Night w/ Books Blog Sin & Ink by USA Today bestselling author Naima Simone is a sexy, steamy, hot, forbidden love story. Tall, dark hair, green eyes, MMA fighter/tattoo artist = Sex on a stick. Come on, just look at the cover of this book, good gravy! One of the hardest battles Knox has ever fought was to step away from Eden. Conner and Knox met Eden at a bar on the same night but Knox bowed out letting Conner step in and sweep Eden off her feet. After all these years, the flame still burns bright for Eden. The push and pull between Eden and Knox, the “This is wrong, you are my dead brother's wife” seems to go on for most of the book but the pull creates some of the best parts. Knox is a dirty-talking alpha through and through. He has fought hard for the title of MMA Champion but all it took was one night for him to throw in the towel. Losing his brother, Conner, after an MMA fight devastated Knox. Fighting his own guilt over losing his brother is hard enough but his mother adds to it by blaming Knox saying he is the reason Conner got into MMA. After losing Conner, the family adopts Eden going as far as moving her into their home. Eden eventually takes a job at Knox’s tattoo parlor and starts to blossom. She struggles with how to tell them it's time for her to stand on her own two feet. Truthfully, I am missing something with Eden and I cannot put my finger on it. Her backstory and marriage were downplayed quite a bit. She married Conner for a reason, I get he might have been a bit vanilla compared to Knox but still. I also wish she had a bit more gumption and backbone. I do love the banter between Knox and his brothers. I am curious to know if there will be a book about Jude. The mother, on the other hand, needs to work through her issues. This is an HEA told by both Knox and Eden.
This whole story has such a rich feeling of pain, healing, and love. You could feel the pain and guilt Knox carried around on his shoulders and the sadness radiating from each member of the Gordon family. The connection between Knox and Eden was powerful. I loved how he devoured her, treasured her, and supported her. Goodness he is such a strong man. His dedication to her, in any manner, was intense, yet beautiful. Their whole story made my heart ache and just want both of them to heal and find happiness. For me, this was a heart gripping and beautiful story. I would love a continuation of some sort to see how their relationship with his mother played out. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
All caps ANGST because of all caps GUILT. Sin & Ink, the first book of Naima Simone's new series The Sweetest Taboo doesn't let up on the intensity. With its dual first person POV from the hero Knox and the heroine Eden, we're taken on a few hours journey of deep, heartrending emotions. I'm glad I read a romcom before this, because the themes here are heavy. Knox has been in lust and in love with his dead brother's wife for years. For her part, Eden is as intensely attracted to Knox. Both of them hold back their feelings for each other because such a relationship is perceived to be taboo. Both fight the sexual chemistry radiating between them until they couldn't help but succumb to the inevitable. When they finally gave in to the want, whoa. Hot. Hot. Hot. I like both MCs. Knox, for all his intimidating physique and grumpy demeanor, is actually quite sensitive, a softie. He's admirable in providing for his family, in understanding his mother's favoritism of her dead son, in trying to keep his promises. Eden is also likable and relatable in that she's trying to be independent and take what she wants, but still has some self-doubts. Naima made them both real. As I enjoyed a huge chunk of this book, especially the sexy times, I'm giving this four stars. I don't personally agree with the taboo aspect, I didn't like the uber-dramatic mother conflict, and I'd have liked a little more humor to balance all the self-flagellation. Having said that, I'm looking forward to the rest of the series as I like the little glimpses Naima gave us of Knox's brothers, who I suppose are the next MCs.
Not a taboo to read I loved the start of this new series by the fabulous Naima Simone, she never disappoints. Knox and Eden are a forbidden couple because she was his brothers wife, But sometimes you have to break the rules. This was a steamy read and I could not put this book down. I cannot wait for the next book by naima Simone because she disappoints.
Sin and Ink is the first book in a brand new series by Naima Simone. MMA fighters, tattoos, a forbidden, taboo-y romance. I’m so ready for more! First, THAT COVER. Even the cover gods are jealous. Hot. Dog. And then you open to page one, and you’re sucked into a darkly delicious read that just keeps hitting all the right notes. Knox has had it bad for his brother’s wife for a while. It doesn’t change when a horrific event happens, and all of a sudden, his brother’s wife is widowed, and Knox is losing everything solid. But what happens when a line is crossed and suddenly, temptation is too hard to resist? I adored all of these characters, first and foremost. I’m a sucker for the tortured hero with a heart too big to contain. Then there’s Eden. She has been through hell and back, and she is finally ready to make a change. My heart just broke for her. I can’t even imagine…but she tackles all her problems head-on, and I just had mad respect for her. The sex is always smoking hot, and boy howdy, does this book deliver! But you’re going to get teary-eyed and sigh and smile, and that amongst many other things is what makes this one of my favorite romances this year! 4.5 stars!
Rating: 3.75 rounding up to 4 “Angsty and scorching” Stars Oh, the angst!!!! Oooohhhh, the hotness!! So, let me start this review by stating that I’m not overly into angst. I can take some in my romance as long as it is balanced and closer to non-existent. That said, after reading the blurb to Sin and Ink, I couldn’t resist. Also, why I didn’t figure out this was going to be extra angsty, I don’t really know. In my defense, I saw MMA fighter+taboo and my brain went “GIMME!” Knox has been in love with Eden since the moment he saw her across a dance floor but his baby brother just managed to beat him to her. Five years later, the last two in which she’s been his brother’s widow, Knox has been keeping his hands and his feelings to himself. Eden is finally starting to move forward after losing her husband, and she owes it all to Knox. He was her rock, her motivator, her protector… if only she knew how to handle all these new feelings and wants he awoke in her by simply being himself. With Eden in the process of finally finding her true self, and Knox dealing with the misplaced guilt of his brother’s tragedy they have major issues to overcome if they decide to pursue their incredible chemistry. I loved Knox. He was stoic and grumbly, alpha and possessive and he had all kinds of moves in and out of the cage. He had the biggest heart and wanted to take care of everyone. The fact that he was a bearded, hard-muscled, tattooed, dirty-mouthed, kinky MMA fighter/tattoo artist totally worked in his favor. It took me a little longer to connect with Eden, as she was just coming out of her shell and had some serious issues from her childhood. She was sweet, a bit sassy and really nice. I just wish her backbone had taken a bit less time to solidify. With this being such an angsty “I-want-you-but-this-can’t-ever-be” back and forth, I had to take a couple of breaks in between chapters as both Eden and Knox could go into serious guilty, insecurity filled monologues. Their incredible chemistry and their combustibility when they were together was the one thing that kept me going. I was really invested in the story, I just had to take it slow. An angst-fest, Sin and Ink also has the hottest sex ever with the sexiest and kinkiest alpha male. Though I struggled with all the angsty stuff, I really enjoyed this romance, and can’t wait to see if Knox’s other brothers and all the tattooists at the shop get their own stories. *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
4.25 stars--SIN AND INK is the first instalment in Naima Simone's contemporary, adult SWEETEST TABOO erotic, romance series. This is former MMA fighter and tattoo artist Knox Gordon, and receptionist Eden Gordon's story line. Told from dual first person perspectives (Knox and Eden) SIN AND INK follows the forbidden relationship between former MMA fighter and tattoo artist Knox Gordon, and receptionist Eden Gordon. Five years earlier, Knox and his brother Connor came face to face with their future but Connor married Eden, and Knox remained on the sidelines lusting after his brother's wife. A tragedy in the MMA arena made Eden a widow, and Knox grieving the death he blamed on himself. Fast forward to present day wherein Knox's feelings for Eden continue to grow, as Eden slowly becomes aware of their burgeoning attraction to one another. What ensues is the building but forbidden relationship between Eden and Knox, and the potential fall-out as Knox's guilt over his brother's death continues to ride heavily on our leading couple. Knox Gordon struggles to get past the guilt of his brother's death, a guilt that is exacerbated by his mother's accusations and inability to let go, as well as his attraction, and love for his late brother's wife. Eden Gordon knows it is time to move on but moving means letting go of what was, and into a future of what will be. The relationship between Knox and Eden is one of the forbidden but a relationship that has been developing for several years. Knox's guilt, not only for his brother's death, but also his attraction towards his brother's wife is compounded by the promise he made to keep his distance from the woman he loves. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense. We are introduced to Knox's brothers Jude and Simon, as well as their parents Dan and Katherine Gordon; and Knox's former trainer Jake Reece. I am hoping the author has plans for future story lines focusing on Jude and Simon. The world building follows the building relationship between Eden and Knox, as Knox tries desperately to stay clear of his late brother's wife. The MMA story line focuses on Knox's return to the ring, a return met with controversy and grief. SIN AND INK is a dramatic tale of death and loss, lust and love, forgiveness and moving forward. The premise is engaging and emotional; the characters are broken, colourful and dynamic; the romance is a second chance at happiness, seductive and heart breaking. The story line ends on a happily ever after -for now-here's hoping, once again, the author has plans to further their story.
Holy Hotness!! This book is seriously sexy and full of wonderful forbidden lust. The chemistry that sizzles between Knox and Eden pulses from the the pages and the more they try to deny the hotter it burns. Lusting after his dead brother's widow will surely send Knox straight to hell but he's wanted her long before his brother saw her and it's not something he can just turn off. This author did an amazing job telling these characters story and if you're like me you won't be able to put it down. I highly recommend it.
I loved Eden and Knox. They are two folks who craved each other but they had so many obstacles blocking their path. I'm glad they found a way to overcome! You only have one life... you better live it. Happy reading.
(3.5-3.75 stars) This is a new to me author and was immediately drawn in by the blurb. I’m not sure if it’s this series or the writer’s style but SIN AND INK is not for those looking for the run of the mill, hearts and flowers romance Know has been in love with Eden for years. An ex MMA fighter turned tattoo shop owner, Knox carries around the guilt of his brother’s death every day. He’s made a promise not to add to that guilt by moving in on his brother’s widow. Eden was a shell of herself for a long time after Connor died. She was forced to return to the world of the living and owes that all to Knox. Now she owes him for bringing other emotions back to life. While Knox is the furthest thing from a classic romantic, this story is still packed with emotion. When he does open up, it means something. Both struggle with their feelings for each other and the possible repercussions. I though it was done quite realistically and never diminished what Eden and Connor had. Even though the ending could be considered wrapping their story up in a bow, I feel there is much more to explore with these two. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt for all the buildup. I don’t know what is in store for the rest of the series, whether it’s a continuation of their story or will focus on his surviving brothers, I do hope to get more of Knox and Eden.
This is the first book I have read by Naima Simone and after this one it won't be the last. This book is about former MMA fighter Knox and his brother's widow Eden. Knox has had a thing for Eden since the moment he met her but knew she was in love with his brother and stayed away. Now his brother is gone and he still keeps his distance because of the guilt he feels over his brother's death. Eden is finally starting to move on after losing her husband, but now that she realizes her life will go on she can't get Knox out of her head. Or stop imagining him doing hot, dirty things to her. Especially after seeing him with another and seeing how he is. But if they cross that line can they come back from it? I really liked this one. Knox is a hot, tattooed beast of a man who will do anything for the people he cares about. Including shoulder guilt for something that was never his fault. And the way he is with his family is definitely stand up. Eden is a sweet woman who managed to move on with her life even after being kicked down. And I love how she manages to figure out exactly what she needs and stands up for it, even with those that it may hurt and she cares about. The brother's were awesome and I hope they get a story but they definitely helped win me over towards the end with how this went. My only drawback was Knox seemed to be drowning in guilt for something he had nothing to do with and couldn't seem to stop thinking about it. But after finding out why, it did make more sense. I just wish it had been mentioned why closer to the beginning. All in all, a good read for me!
A somewhat different story from Naima this go around. Past MMA fighter, turned tattoo shop owner who blames himself for his younger brothers death in the ring. Add to that he's nursed a serious long term thing for his brothers widow, who he now employs at his tattoo shop, along with his other brother as well. When his brother died, Knox left the world of MMA behind. Knox is guilty, if ever their were a man who loved self flagellation this man wins the prize. His guilt over breathing, he blames himself for his brothers death, his desire for his brothers widow and his list is endless. You can add to that him being unwelcome in his family home because his nut job of a mother blames him for his brother's death. She blames him for everything. Enough said. Eden is living with Connor's parents and is ready to move out and move on. She's ready to get on with her life. She's happy working at the tattoo shop and clearly there is a chemistry between the two of them. One that just burns off the pages. Smoking hot! And let's talk about that cover!
HARD KNOX INK is owned by Knox who used to be a boxer and now does tattoos. Pretty cool name. It's a story of guilt, jealousy, a haunting past, and bit of erotic romance. This is a quick read that makes the reader yell "Just Get over IT Already!' A lot of Love is going on along with grudges and promises that are held tight. "A copy of this book was provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
DNF at 41%. First off, let me say that this is my fault, I failed to see that this book was labelled as erotica (okay I just saw that gorgeous cover and hit the request button so hard I damaged my finger!). Knox used to be a famous MMA fighter until the day his younger brother Connor died after a fight. Now he owns a tattoo parlour and employs his sister-in-law, Connor's widow, Eden as a receptionist. Eden is everything he isn't: clean; pure; perfect, and he has lusted after her since the first moment he saw her. Eden loved Connor but he has been dead for a while now and she needs to move on with her life, she wants to start by moving out of her mother-in-law's house. She also has started to have lustful thoughts for her brother-in-law but the only time she even sort-of made a move he shut her down and leapt away as though he'd been scalded, but nevertheless he's been there for her. This was typical NA/YA fare. Lots of plump lip biting, swearing, tattoos, angst-angst-angst etc. Also lots of push-me, pull-me back and forth between wanting each other and feeling inadequate. Disir is someone whose reviews I trust (don't always necessarily agree with), she wrote a brilliant review here and I think it sums up my feelings far more eloquently than I can. Having read that the rest of the book was more of the same I decided to bail. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is first in a new series for this author, and boy was it SUPER HOT!!! 4.5 Stars. Knox Gordon is a former MMA champion, and a current tattoo artist, and owner of Hard Knox Ink. He loves his job, and his employees and clients. He especially loves his office manager, Eden Gordon. But he's been fighting that love for 5 years, all while she met, fell in love with, married, and was widowed by, his younger brother, Connor. Connor died 2 years ago from a burst brain aneurysm in the middle of an MMA fight. Knox blames himself for his brother following him into the sport. Their family would never forgive either of them, and he promised his mother the night Connor died that he would never pursue her. But that promise is getting harder to keep... Eden Gordon has been living with her in-laws since her husband died, but it's time for her to strike out on her own. She has been loving her job as the tattoo shop's manager, though she also has to manage her overwhelming attraction for her completely off-limits boss. It feels so wrong, but so right at the same time. She loved her husband dearly, but he was her first love, and she has to try and find a way to move on. She has no real family of her own, and leaning on her in-laws since Connor's death has been a blessing, but she needs to move out and get her own life. She plans to go back to college to finish her degree in business management, to be of even more help to Knox and his shop. She just has to continue to fight this chemistry between them and everything will be fine. Right?? Knox and Eden's chemistry was explosively hot, and I loved the whole will they or won't they vibe, and the slow burn romance. Usually something so high on the angst-o-meter is not my jam, but with the situation they were in, most of that angst was perfectly understandable. Knox carries a huge burden of so much guilt. Guilt over Connor's death. Guilt over his feelings for Eden. Guilt from his mother's blame of him for everything. Eden is also feeling guilt over her feelings. She feels guilty about wanting to move on, and she especially feels guilty over her lust for Knox. They had a lot of things to overcome in order to have any hope of a chance together, and I loved watching them really fall for each other. Knox's brothers and other employees at the shop were all great side characters, and I loved getting to know them all. I know his brother Jude is next, and I'm very much looking forward to that book, even though it appears there will be some major crazy ex-drama. So not my favorite, but I'm starting to think this author can make me like anything. One of my biggest issues with the book was Knox's horrible mother. I've never lost a child, and I hope to God I never have to experience that pain. But the things she said to Knox after his brother's death, and the way she continued to make him feel afterward was totally unacceptable, in my opinion. I don't care about the circumstances, or her pain. The night of his death is maybe one thing, and I could accept that things are said in the horror of the moment. But 2 years later on?!? How could you ever lose one of your babies, and then alienate another one so much that he doesn't even like coming around anymore because he knows you blame him? She was a monster imho. That whole situation, and Knox's feelings about it hurt me so much, and I wanted to let her have it. I highly recommend this sexy romance, and I'll be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!
Sin & Ink is a forbidden, taboo and super hot story that I simply adored. It features a tortured, grumpy, man-bun wearing, bearded hero *cue swooning* and a sweet with a bit of bite heroine. I enjoyed their journey and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. ARC provided by publisher through Net Galley
Eden is his dead brother's wife, but that doesn't stop Knox from wanting her. Truth be told, he loved her from the first day they met, but his brother got to her first. Even though she's off-limits, the chemistry between them grew hotter each day ... until .... I couldn't help but fall for Knox, he just seemed to be this big, hunky guy who is protective over those he loves. I felt sorry for him because he took the weight of his family on his shoulders. His mother ... I just wanted to slap her and say "he is your son! He picked up your slack by parenting his siblings when your husband died ... he was grieving too!" And Eden was just this girl who wanted to be loved by her family. I really liked this book, but it ended way too soon ... I think there could have been more of Knox and Eden's story. Unless there is a 2nd book, which I think there will be because there sure are stories for Knox's brothers. I received an ARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.
Sexy and hot enough to melt your kindle, this is a wonderful book that fans of the genre will love. Eden is a widow whose husband's (Connor's) family had "adopted" her after his death, especially important to her since she doesn't have a family of her own. Knox is the Connor's older brother whose mother blames him for his death. As a MMA champion that retired to own a tattoo shop, Knox is the ultimate bad boy and Eden is smitten and can't stop fantasizing about him. When Knox returns her interest, their "forbidden" relationship adds complications to their family and their lives, but they can't seem to stop.... If you enjoy the genre, you will love this book. Sexy, sexy, sexy, and HOTTTTT with a bit of spice. I loved the relationship between Knox and Eden and the way their hidden secrets were revealed. Put this one at the top of your TBR list. The author is on my must read authors' list.
Emotional angst (the guilt!) and steamy sex are about equal in this intense, forbidden love story. Knox, an MMA fighter turned tattoo artist lost his brother Connor, also a fighter two years ago. It devastated his family, and his brother's wife Eden who works with him at his tattoo parlor. But Knox has kept a secret all this time - he's in lust with his brother's widow. Little does he know that Eden feels the same! Can they work through their issues together, give each other multiple orgasms, and get their happy ending? This delivers exactly what's promised - a hard hitting, intense, super steamy romance. The guilt that Knox and Eden feel over being attracted to each other is a constant in their lives, but doesn't stop them from finally acting on their chemistry. Knox feels responsible for his brother's death as Connor followed in his footsteps with his short lived fighting career. Eden is ready to put Connor's death behind her. She feels more guilty about moving on (no matter whom it's with) because of the effect it will have on Knox's parents whom she lives with at the start of the story. Dealing with all these feelings takes its toll on them both until they can acknowledge that they love each other and want a future together no matter what anyone else thinks. Knox's brothers are on board (wondering if they are going to get stories?) and it all works out in the end. The steam factor is high in this one so consider yourself duly warned! I've been a big fan of Naima Simone since I first discovered her and while this one has a more limited plot than some (I particularly like the Bachelor Auction series) it's another great read.
Whew! *fans self* "Sin and Ink" is a hot and steamy romance/erotica. Knox is a former MMA fighter and current owner of a tattoo parlor (Hard Knox and Ink). He quit MMA, despite being a champion, when his younger brother, Connor, died the same day he won his title two years before the book begins. Connor had a brain aneurysm that ruptured when he was punched during a fight and died almost immediately. Knox and his family were left reeling- Knox even more so because he was the one who started in MMA and Connor had followed in his footsteps. Connor also left his wife, Eden. Connor and Knox met Eden on the same night, at an after-party. Knox was just about to say hi to Eden when Connor slipped in front unknowingly and got there first. Since then, although Knox has remained undeniably attracted to Eden, he has hidden his attraction down deep. Since Connor died, Eden has put her own life on hold. She has been living with Connor and Knox's mother, Katherine, and their stepfather, Dan (their father died when Knox was 15). A year before, Knox came and pulled her out of her funk, hiring her as the business manager for the tattoo parlor- a place where she really found her stride and shone. As time has gone by, Eden has found herself attracted to Knox in a way that feels forbidden (since he was Connor's brother). The book gets started with a bang, so many intense and deep moments from small things- I don't think I've ever read such steamy touches/kisses. The author really describes everything so deeply that what you would think would be small moments feel so intense! If you can get past Eden and Knox being brother/sister-in-law (which is certainly helped by them meeting in the past/outside of the context of her dating Connor), then this is a very intense and passionate romance. This book moves fast! It is a quick read in terms of pace- I read it in two sittings. I will say there is quite a bit of angst from both of the main characters- both feel a lot of guilt about Connor and what it would mean to be together. If you are in the right mood, this can be a really great read- so hot/steamy- their passion just leaps off the page. The angst felt a little drawn out (but maybe this is realistic considering how awful Katherine was in terms of reacting to Knox), but I understood the way it all worked out, and I think it was overall well done. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book for people who are looking for an intense relationship with much hotness! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.