It's been six months since Ashlyn Daniels was kicked out of her home. Six months since she stood up to her abusive stepfather and got a busted rib-and seeing all her things set ablaze in a backyard bonfire-for her trouble. Never going back. She doesn't need trouble...especially if trouble is tattoo artist Lane Garrett, who's six-feet-plus of tattooed hotness and a complete ass.
Lane has spent the last decade fighting to support his family. To protect them. There's no room for romance, even with a fragile (yet amusingly feisty) stunner...even if she somehow manages to invade his world and his heart.
But while some secrets are as visible as ink on the skin, others must remain hidden at all costs...
Each book in the Written on my Heart series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Written on my Heart
Book #2 Seared on My Soul
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
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Written On My Heart
By Cole Gibsen, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Cole Gibsen
All rights reserved.
A girl — she can't be more than sixteen — stands on the other side of the counter from me, twirling her long blond hair around her finger. She stares at the ceiling and huffs loudly. "God, can this take any longer?" she mutters to the polo-shirt-wearing boy next to her, but I know her words are directed at me.
I snap a clear, plastic lid on her cup and slide it over to her. "There you go!" I force a wide smile even though what I really want is to rip the obvious fake extensions off her bitchy, little head. Unfortunately, I need this job too badly to risk doing anything that would get me fired. "Thanks for visiting Live Wire." Now please go away.
The girl curls her lip in a sneer. "What is this?"
I manage to keep my smile from slipping. "It's a nonfat double shot mocha frappe. Just like you ordered."
"Uh, no. It's not just like I ordered" — her eyes dart to my nametag — "Ashlyn. I specifically asked for no whip."
I twist my fingers in my apron to keep from reaching out to strangle her. I make it a point to write a customer's order on the cup exactly as they say it, when they say it. And there's nothing on the damn cup about no whip.
The guy beside her shifts uncomfortably. "Becca, it's not that big a deal."
She glares at him, and even though he's a foot taller than she is, he flinches. "Fine. I'll remember next time to dumb down my order, because obviously doing things right is too hard for some people." She flings a hand in my direction, and her fingers hit the side of the cup. It wobbles, balancing on the bottom rim before tipping over. Mocha frappe and whip cream erupt through the straw hole in the domed lid and all over the counter. She gives me a blank look. "Oops."
I don't know what does it, exactly. Maybe it's the lack of remorse in her eyes, her callous words, or the mocha that continues to gurgle out of the cup, but whatever it is, when I look across the counter, I find she's transformed. My stepdad stands in her place, glaring at me, his lips pursed, ready to spew venom more deadly than that of any viper.
Panic squeezes my ribs in a too-tight embrace. He doesn't have to speak because I already know what he'll say. His voice never stops whispering inside my head. First, he'll call me stupid for screwing up the order. Then he'll tell me how clumsy I am for not catching the drink. And finally, he'll tell me how lazy I am because shouldn't I already have a rag in hand to clean it up?
Right. I need a rag! My pulse thrashes inside my head, drowning out all sound from the coffee shop. I kneel and frantically push aside bundles of napkins and stacks of Styrofoam cups in my search for a rag. I have to clean up this mess. I have minutes, no, seconds before —
A hand clamps down on my shoulder, and I gasp.
"Don't sweat it, Ash," a girl's voice says behind me. "I got this."
I blink several times, and slowly the coffeehouse falls back into place around me. I glance over my shoulder and find Emily — the human equivalent of a tattooed and pierced Tinkerbelle. My coworker slides a freshly made frappe — sans whip — beside the fallen drink and leans against the counter, leveling her gaze on the girl. "Have a great day," she says, but her tone implies anything but.
The girl's eyes narrow and she opens her mouth to speak, but Emily cuts her off by biting onto her lip ring and softly clicking the metal against her teeth. The girl takes a step backward, and when the guy next to her follows, she elbows him in the ribs and motions to the cup on the counter.
He grabs it, but not before giving Emily a wink. The girl behind him tugs his arm and pulls him out the door.
"What a bitch," Emily mutters and pushes off the counter. "Her parents should be publicly flogged. I mean, good God, you know a girl like that has never heard the word no spoken once in her entire life."
"Just one more reason not to have kids," I say before I can stop myself.
"One more reason?" She quirks an eyebrow. "You got a problem with kids?"
"Can't stand them," I answer. "All the whining and crying ...ugh." I make a face. I actually really like kids. But the lie is so much simpler than explaining that, given my upbringing, I haven't the faintest idea how to raise a child without scarring them for life.
Emily stares at me a moment longer before finally shrugging. "Huh. Well, to each their own."
"Yep." I stand, dust my hands on my apron, and try to appear as though I didn't almost have a panic attack five seconds ago. But then I look at the counter and the mocha still spilled across the laminate. My pulse quickens. "I have to clean that up or else —" I swallow the words before they leave my tongue.
"I got it." Emily glides past me, snatching a towel and spray bottle from a hook on the wall. "If you want, you can take five. Go outside and have a cigarette or something."
"I don't smoke." I shake my head and watch, holding my breath, until she tosses the cup in the trash and wipes up the mess.
"Maybe you should start," Emily says as she returns the rag and cleaner to the wall. She turns to me and folds her arms across her chest. "You look a little ... stressed."
Understatement of the year. But it's not like I can afford to tell anyone just how thin the rope is that I'm walking on. I need this job too badly to do anything to jeopardize it with my brand of crazy. Instead I say, "I don't get a lot of sleep."
"Ah, a fellow insomniac." Emily grabs her own iced latte from beneath the counter and raises it in a toast before taking a long draw from the straw.
"Uh, yeah," I agree, because it's much easier than admitting the real reason I don't get much sleep is because of the paper-thin walls of my apartment and the endless stream of men visiting my roommate at all hours of the night. So rather than blast Emily with TMI, I direct my attention to the tattoos decorating her arms. There's so much going on, it's hard to pick out just one image. But among the cluster I spot the hecklers from the Muppet movies, a heart wrapped in barbed wire, and what appears to be an espresso maker. "I like your ink."
"Yeah?" She grins and twists her arms around so I can see them from all angles. "My guy does great work."
She relaxes her arms at her side. "My tattoo guy. Not my guy as in my boyfriend or anything because, ew, gross."
I can sympathize. The guy who'd given me my first and only tattoo was bald, about three hundred pounds, and desperately in need of deodorant. That was a fun hour.
"So." Emily leans back on the counter and crosses her legs. "How about you? Do you have any ink?"
"Uh ..." Shit. I remember too late why this isn't a safe topic for discussion. I reflexively hide my arm behind my back, but her eyes widen and I know she's already seen it.
"Oh, no. You didn't!" She pushes off the counter and snatches my arm before I can pull away. Once she reads the evidence in the crook of my elbow she groans and throws my arm back at me. "You did. You got inked with a guy's name!" She shakes her head. "Fuck. That's the number one tattoo rule, and you broke it!"
My cheeks burn fire-hot, and I self-consciously clasp my hand over my arm. "I know, I know. It was a stupid thing to do. I just thought —" But the words trail off because I can't bear to admit out loud that I thought a lasting relationship was something that could happen to me. And now I have this guy's name etched on my forearm as a permanent reminder that the only person I can trust not to hurt me is me. I won't be caught off-guard again.
Emily clucks her tongue. "You can't walk around with some douchebag's brand on your body like a damn cow."
I shrug. "I haven't had the time to get it fixed." Or, more accurately, I haven't had the money. As someone who'd spent several months living out of my '05 Jetta, I have more important things to spend my cash on — like food.
"You have to make time. Look, I don't mean to pry." She puts a hand on my shoulder, and it's all I can do not to back out of her grasp. It's not that she's hurting me, but I'm not used to being touched, much less by someone I hardly know. My skin itches beneath her fingers. "But you seem like you're dealing with ... something," Emily continues. "It's not my business to ask what that is. All I'm saying is, having some guy's name on your skin, where you see it every day, isn't good. Once it's gone, I'm sure you'll feel a whole lot better."
Would I? I look at the elegant, loopy script of Chris's name, and my stomach twists into a knot. Chris insisted it would be the ultimate declaration of my love. And like the fool eighteen-year-old I was then, I believed him. I was scared, and alone, and desperately needed to believe someone cared about me. But now he was gone and I was forced to wear my mistake like a scarlet letter. I rub my palm against the tattoo as if I could smudge it away like Crayola marker. "It would be nice to have it covered. But I haven't had the money —"
"Psh." Emily waves, cutting me off. "Don't worry about the money. I'll take care of it."
My hands fall to my side. "Oh, no, I couldn't."
She gives me a pointed look. "Yes, you could. C'mon, Ash. Walking around with an ex's name on your arm is bad luck."
I don't believe in bad luck. As far as I know, I'd never walked under a ladder, broken a mirror, spilled salt, or done anything else to bring about the day my mother came home with the man who would become my stepdad. Sometimes shitty things happened whether you deserved them or not, and no crystal, no clover, and no horseshoe would change the fact. I knew this because back then, when I was ten, I'd tried all of those things, only to have them let me down like the frauds they were.
"How about tonight?" Emily asks, breaking through my thoughts. "After work?"
I blink at her, trying to sense her motivations. People don't do something for you without wanting something in return. "But the money ... I don't know when I'll be able to pay you back."
She shrugs. "It's not about the money. Besides, if it makes you feel better, I won't actually be paying. My guy owes me a favor. So how about it? I'll make the call, and after work, you and I will go to the tattoo parlor where you'll get that covered" — she motions to my tattoo — "and that Chris guy will be nothing but a faded memory. You'll have a fresh start." She smiles at me — a wide, warm smile that displays all of her slightly coffee-stained teeth.
There's something about her. Maybe it's her infectious smile or the hope brimming in her eyes, but I can't turn her down. Besides, it would be nice to pretend my problems extend no further than where to get a tattoo on a Friday night and what party to hit afterward. To be a normal twenty-year-old. For once.
"All right." I laugh. "Let's do it."
"Yay!" She claps her hands together. "You won't regret it. Again, my guy is the best. I'll call him right now."
She reaches for the phone, and my eyes flick to the digital clock above the bags of ground coffee we have for sale on the far wall. At ten until ten, it's nearly closing time, but we'll still be here another forty minutes or so, counting the registers and cleaning equipment. Despite the bright lights in the seating area, darkness creeps around the front windows, seeking to come in. Ten miles away, there's a house shrouded in darkness, where every light is extinguished promptly at ten, and noise is forbidden to the extent that television and phone cords are pulled from the walls, bundled up, and hidden inside locked drawers.
I fight the memory away, and to hide the tremor in my hands, I grab a sleeve of cups from under the counter and stack them on the shelf. "It's probably too late to go tonight," I say. "Don't most tattoo places close at ten?"
Emily nods and punches the numbers on the telephone keypad. "Yeah. But my guy will stay open late for us. Like I said, he owes me."
Must be some favor. Still, I shrug and resume my stacking. Whatever Emily has going on with the tattoo guy to warrant special favors, it's none of my business.
"Hey!" she practically shouts into the receiver. "Don't close up yet. I'm coming by after work because I have a friend who needs a cover up." She's silent as the person on the other end speaks. I can't hear what they're saying, but Emily's mouth twitches into a frown. "Don't be an ass, Lane. You know you owe me." This time, she smiles. "I know. But it's not like you have plans or anything." She waits a second before laughing. "Awesome, you're the best!" She hangs up the phone and turns to me. "We're on!"
I force a smile even though some of my own excitement has faded after listening to her exchange. "Are you sure? I mean, it didn't sound like he was too thrilled about it."
"Lane?" Emily rolls her eyes as she walks to the front door. "He's not excited about anything. God forbid we keep him from watching whatever car show happens to be on cable." She flips over the open sign, locks the deadbolt, and leans against the glass. "Don't worry. He'll get over it. But just to be on the safe side, ignore everything that comes out of his mouth. He can be kind of moody."
A lump wedges in the back of my throat. Great. Another Friday night spent with an asshole. And this one would have a needle jabbing into my arm. "I don't know, Emily. This is sounding less and less like a good idea. Maybe I can just make an appointment for a time when his shop is open?"
"Don't be ridiculous!" Emily skips behind the counter and hits a button on the register. A second later the cash drawer shoots open and the end-of-shift report spits out. She thumbs through the dollar bills in the drawer. "It's no problem, really. It's not like he has anything better to do. And if he says anything to you, just tell him to shut the fuck up."
She shrugs. "That's what I do."
I don't doubt it.
As I gather the dirty ceramic coffee mugs and saucers from the tables and deposit them inside a bus bin, I can't help but wonder what it would be like to be Emily — what her childhood must have been like to have made her so confident and unabashed. I bet she never had rules about what areas she was allowed to occupy when her parents were home. Or that she never had assigned seating in every room. And she certainly didn't have a novel-length list of things she wasn't to touch inside the house.
"You should try it sometime," Emily tells me as I walk past her on my way to the dishwasher.
I pause. "Try what?"
"Telling someone to fuck off. You need to stand up for yourself, Ash."
I rest the bin of dirty dishes against my hip and turn to face her. "I stood up for myself, once," I say, though I don't know why — I've never said anything to anyone before about my time in the house. Maybe it's because I'm out now, and the worst is finally over. Or maybe it's because I feel like I owe Emily an explanation for my earlier breakdown.
"Just once?" Emily quirks an amused eyebrow. "What happened? Did you tell the priest and he made you do a dozen Hail Mary's?"
"Not quite," I answer, surprising even myself with the truth. "A busted rib, kicked out of the house, and all of my stuff burned in a bonfire in the backyard — that's what standing up for myself got me."
The pennies Emily is counting slip through her fingers and clatter to the floor like copper raindrops. A few of them roll beneath the edge of the counter, where we'll never reach them, and I cringe. I know our manager will have a fit because the register will be short.
But Emily appears not to notice — or maybe she doesn't care about things as trivial as registers a few cents short. Her lips part, but for the longest time she doesn't move, doesn't say a word, until finally she whispers, "Jesus, Ash, I —"
I shake my head, stopping her. I don't want her sympathy; that's not why I told her. And it isn't until this very second, when the ropes of tension ease just a fraction from around my chest, that I realize why I told her. I wanted, just for a moment, to spit out the secret that's been sitting on my tongue like a mass of needles.
"That was over a year ago." I readjust my grip on the bus tub. "I'm fine now," I tell her in a way I hope sounds convincing — both to her and myself. I mean, maybe the exact definition of fine isn't struggling to pay rent for a shabby two-bedroom apartment that I share with a stripper, but it sure is a hell of a step up from living out of my car like I had been a year ago. And even if I'm not fine, I will be someday, when I have a place of my own and am making my living as a poet. After all, when you're a writer, suffering is just more ink for the page.
The thought pulls the corners of my lips into a smile. I still have hope. It was the one thing that bastard wasn't able to burn to dust in the backyard.
Excerpted from Written On My Heart by Cole Gibsen, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2015 Cole Gibsen. 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
Such a beautiful and inspiring story of two broken people fixing each other.
Great story, worth the money.
Loved this book. Hard to put down. It was a powerful story about a young woman that was very abused. Her struggles to overcome that abuse. It was a story about a man that was forced to grow up early. Loved it. Very well written!
Loved the characters and their strength. Great writing. Highly recommend!
I'm a fan of author Cole Gibsen. Her book, Life Unaware, blew me away. And Written on My Heart is good. I enjoyed it. But it didn't blow me away. The story centers around Ashlyn and Lane. Ashlyn is damaged after a decade of verbal abuse by her stepfather. Lane is also damaged. He's been raising his ten year old daughter, Harper, as a single father from the age of 17 when both of them were abandoned by Harper's mother. Both Ashlyn and Lane are slow to trust, but for very different reasons. It's a given these two will end up together, we just don't know when or how. Much of the story is predictable, but there were a couple of surprises. The writing is solid, because, well, Cole Gibsen. I think maybe for me, the biggest issue was I didn't much care for Ashlyn. From the beginning she bugged me and that never changed, and I feel really bad that I dislike an obvious victim of abuse. Plot The plot is about Ashlyn and Lane and if they'll get together. There are some subtle subplots involving Ashlyn and her living situation, Ashlyn's familial relationships, and Lane's daughter, but this is primarily a romance, and as such, follows a pretty straightforward formula. Characters While I didn't like Ashlyn, I can't deny that she's well-crafted and her motivations are clear. Lane is far more likable from my perspective and just as well-crafted. Lane's sister and Ashlyn's friend, Emily, is also interesting and rounded. I did feel like Ashlyn's mom and stepfather were somewhat two-dimensional, but they have limited page-time, so I think that's fine. The Writing Once again, I think Cole Gibsen has an excellent voice and a wonderful way of writing that engages the reader. The Ending It ended as I expected, and it was a satisfying conclusion. It wasn't particularly powerful, nor surprising, but it was a solid ending for the genre. Top Five Things I Enjoyed About Written on My Heart 1. Hank. The abandoned pit bull puppy was an adorable addition to the story, and I love that the author used a typically feared and misunderstood breed. 2. Emily. She's fun, feisty and loyal. 3. Lane. I love his toughness and his commitment to his daughter. 4. Harper. She's a little spitfire of freckles and curls. 5. Roommates from hell. Even if you've never had a stripper for a roommate, who hasn't had at least one roommate who left your place trashed? Bottom Line Written on My Heart is an enjoyable, if predictable, new adult contemporary romance. Disclaimer I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Six months ago, Ashlyn Daniels lost everything ... all her possessions, her family, any semblance of security or safety or affection, however little she might have had. Now she's working her fingers off to make ends meet, living in a dump with an unpredictable and carefree stripper as a roommate, and trying to manage her recurring panic attacks and nightmares. She doesn't need any more complications. Of course, she gets them anyway. First comes a puppy. Then comes an invitation from her coworker that leads her to meet Lane Garrett, a talented tattoo artist who can cover up the tattoo on her arm she got in a moment of impulse and now regrets. He's also off-limits because it's clear he's got his own secrets and issues. So why does she feel safer with him than with anyone else? Entangled Publishing's Embrace imprint presents the newly released New Adult romance WRITTEN ON MY HEART by author Cole Gibsen. Part of what I really love about the New Adult genre and the novels classified as such is the way the authors work to exceed expectations and push the limits. Gibsen's work is an excellent example, featuring "his" and "hers" chapters in the first-person point of view for each of the protagonists. It's a unique experience to get inside the hero's perspective, and one I thoroughly enjoyed, given how realistically Gibsen writes in the male point of view. Themes explored in the novel include consequences and repercussions (good and bad), faithfulness, betrayal, loss, trust issues, independence, creativity, and many more, expertly intertwined in the lives and desires and quirks of the characters and in the sweet and sexy romance that blooms between them. Obstacles notwithstanding, Ash in particular is a beautiful young woman, compelling, striking, a little reluctant, a little unsure of herself, but determined to make her own way and keep herself safe. Lane is equally full of surprises and unexpected twists, committed to his work, devoted to his family, and almost certainly horrified, to some degree, by how much Ash affects him. A worthy pair of opponents, indeed. The only thing that threw me off, really, were the emotions toward the end of the book, as the story built to a climax. Everything got heightened to the extreme, and almost spilled over into melodrama rather than more believable or genuine connections and character actions. It isn't bad enough to warrant eye-rolling because Gibsen is a gifted author, but the outpouring does, in some places, make for an awkward and discomforting read. That said, I'm honored to have been able to read the work, and equally honored to recommend it to my readers (especially you who love the romance, coming-of-age, and New Adult genres) for your enjoyment. # # # Author: Cole Gibsen Title: WRITTEN ON MY HEART Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Embrace) ISBN: 978-1-63375-359-4 Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
some glimmer of love and hope found ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review******. This is an emotional read about a young woman who has gone thru a lot in her young life –Ashlyn was abused in her home until she took a stand and stood up to her abuser –which was her stepdad which led to a horrible beating and being kicked out of the only place she had to live. She only could live in her car for a while and with her damaged body, working was hard, finally, she was able to get the money up a place that has a roommate-would be nice except the roommate parties all the time. Ashlyn gets a job and at this new job, she meets some of people. One of her coworker, Emily, mentions about this tattoo on her arm that is a guy’s name- the guy’s name on her arm is her ex-boyfriend’s name, who is another guy that hurt her too. The coworker suggests covering it up and even says to do it with a another tattoo. She recommends a name of the great guy Ash could go to that owes her a favor. Ash takes the offer and thanks her . She is intrigued by changing what is on her arm and becoming something other than the poor girl or the laughing stock. Lane is the gentleman who Ash was sent to. He is a nice guy who takes care of his family and gives them the love they need when they need it and supports them with money and emotional support. When he meets Ashl, sparks fly and he knows there is something there between them . His sister Emily had sent Ash to him so he could re-do a tattoo for her. Lane is very interested in Ash but he has something going on and he doesn’t want to drag Ashlyn into his problems. So he acts out and pushes her away. He knows he acts like a jerk but he doesn’t know how to explain the feelings he is having for her, to Ashlyn and ask her if she feels the same so he just lashes out. Ashlyn still feels the same but this reminds her of her family and she backs aways. Then Lane realizes what he is doing and he seeks her out. There is a lot of dancing around the topic, especially that Lane is holdng on to a secret that he has and is afraid to tell Ashlyn for fear that she will run and never look back. This would have been a great story if there was a togetherness of the MC. If they fought their problems together. Also It seemed like this story took awhile to get into. It would go slow at times then about 50 % into the book is when I was able to get into it and from them on out, everything clicked. My rating: 3.5 stars ***
This book was a crusher. I don’t know how many times I felt that tug on my heart and was close to tears…ok, so yes, I actually did have tears! This was my first time reading this author so you go into it blind not sure what type of feelings you will have for a book but I have to say that Ms. Gibsen knows how to write a badass love story. You always have to give props to an author that knows how to incorporate a hot looking tattoo guy who has a tough side to him but still you are able to see the tender side as well. Well Ms. Gibsen did just that and in doing so I think I fell in love with Lane too. Ashlyn was a very broken girl who had been through some of the worse verbal/emotional abuse any child should have to endure. It not only came from her stepdad but her mother as well seeing that she was the person who allowed her daughter to be treated in this way. Whenever there is this type of abuse it doesn’t just go away when you walk out the door of the abuser this shapes your psyche and dictates how you feel about yourself for the rest of your life. It’s up to you if you learn how to handle this and are willing to open your life up to someone who actually might care and love you. Then there is Lane who had taken on so much responsibility at a young age and was always trying to do right by his family. He, too, had been broken in ways when it came to trusting and letting a woman into his life. Lane had others to think of who he always put first in his life; that is until Ashlyn stepped foot into his tattoo shop. The author tells a great story of how two people can overcome who they think they are or who they have to be to others in order to fall for each other. Lane and Ashlyn’s story is not a mushy love story but it has some grit to it. So if you can handle a little tugging on the ole heart strings along with a little bit of steamy sex, you will want to get your hands on this book. It’s well worth your time but be prepared because it is a book that you read straight through because it’s hard to put down. This book was provided as an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
Ashlyn Daniels has dealt with more pain and loss in her young life than most deal with in a entire lifetime. She didn't have the luxury of a normal home life, and suffered years of verbal abuse from the one person who was supposed to give her a stable and loving environment to grow up in, instead she was left heartbroken and abandoned. After being kicked out by her parents she moves in with her boyfriend, who turns out to be just as controlling and abusive as her step-father. After finally having enough she decides its time to find her inner strength and gain some independence, so she packs up her belongings and decides to leave the abuse behind. In doing so, she puts on a invisible shield and builds a wall around her heart for protection and for fear of letting anyone getting to close. As part of her new found independence she decides to have a tattoo removed from her wrist, since it's a constant and painful reminder of her abusive past. Little does she know that walking into Lane Garrett's tattoo shop not only rids her of her painful reminder, but it also changes the the course of her life.The question is can she truly let go of her past and discover the happiness she so truly deserves... From the moment I started this story I knew I had discovered a story that was going to take me on a emotional roller-coaster ride. I went from moments of having my heart in my throat and blinking back tears, to blushing and smiling from ear to ear. I connected to this story almost immediately and at times it was really hard for me to read, not because of the writing, but because it brought up memories that I tucked away along time ago. I can honestly say that I have never read something that has effected me so deeply, and in the same token been so inspiring! This is a beautiful written story that has forever left a imprint on my heart, and taken me on a truly life changing literary journey! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for a honest review.
I liked this book, I liked the characters, I liked how the story progressed. I really liked how Ash and Lane's relationship progressed. It wasn't insta-love it wasn't perfect, it seemed real. Ashlyn's life was far from easy growing up, and even though she's not past what happened to her completely she fights everyday to be her own person. She's surviving. Lane, I was really unsure about him at first. I thought what I assume Ash did when she first heard about Harper, that it was his girlfriend, or fiancee, and she wasn't wrong to not want to do anything with him when they started kissing for not wanting to be "the other woman" in a man's life. He kind of got pissy when she said that but he hadn't told her that, Harper was his 10 year old daughter. I really liked how this book ended, for the most part. I really would have liked legal action to be taken against the people who wronged her, but it wasn't and I thought that part was a little dumb. This book appears to be a stand-alone, but I would like more with these characters, I think there is more of their story to be told.
* Advanced Readers Copy received from NetGally in exchange for an honest review* I loved this book! It was sweet, emotional, sexy, hot and I had a roller coaster of emotions. I normally don’t read books with abuse but I really enjoyed this book so much so that I read it in just a few hours! This book was so down to earth but something Ashlyn the heroine said will always stay with me, I loved this quote! “It doesn’t matter if you have a mom and dad, it just matters if you have love.” This is the first time I have read a book from Ms.Cole and like is said before I totally loved it! This is about two people who had opposite lives. Lane has a loving family and he was raised with an amazing farther who was a cop as a role model and Ashlyn feared her life because of her stepfathers temper. The poor girl was really close to breaking, she would flinch and go into these panic attacks when there’s a mess! She feels like she would clean it immediately or else her stepfather would come and hurt her and call her stupid and break her self esteem some more! My heart broke when she was in Lanes tatto shop and she accidentally messed some soda and she started apologizing but somehow got worse when a glass jar broke. She had no idea there was glass on the floor when she was on her knees cleaning. Her situation pulled at my heart the entire time I read this book! Ashlyn was thrown out her home without any belongings, her stepfather had a bonfire with all her things now she is renting an apartment with a stripper and works at a coffeeshop. She had dreams and she was working real hard to make it all happen but then the unexpected happened, she got evicted from her home and she has take care of herself and a new puppy. Lane is a huge family man and when his dad died, he became the man of the house. He took that seriously, he made sure his sister is protected and didn’t get into trouble and now he has someone else he needs to take care of! When he was a teenager with raging hormones and that had consequences. Lane being a wonderful man did everything to take care of his family and he has a very popular tattoo shop but he works a lot to take care of his family. Ashlyn made a friend at the coffee shop and she met Lane one day when she went to get a tatto fixed for free thanks to her being a friend to his sister. I am happy that she got that name tattooed away because Chris the ex-boyfriend was such an asshat and I am really glad she stood up to him. When Lane found out she had nowhere to stay he decided she should stay at the apartment above his tattoo shop. Ashlyn and Lanes were getting closer and the chemistry between them where off the charts and I know it was only a matter of time before they would get together. Lane was holding a secret from her and that secret nearly pusses her away but thankfully he fought for her and made her see sense! Ms.Cole did a wonderful job in writing this book! It flowed so smoothly and I felt all the emotions they felt. I could not help but fall in love with Lane, he is just the perfect guy! Lane protected Ashlyn when it counted because she become his family. I would so recommend this book to everyone because this an amazing read!!
A fantastic book that completely swept me away. Once I started this one there was no putting it down. Ashlyn's struggles to overcome a horrific childhood and make it on her own made me want to weep for her. The best thing about her character was even after all she endured, she still has the kindest heart and hope. She never gives up! Lane was a little gruff at first but the way he looks after his family, loves his daughter with his whole being, and the kindness he showed Ashlyn when she needed it had me loving him so hard! This is a wonderfully written story that I highly recommend!
4 stars Written on my Heart was an emotional and heartfelt read. I really enjoyed reading Written on my Heart, it was one of those books that you didn't want to put down. I enjoyed seeing Ashlyn and Lane get together, they both had walls up and it was heartwarming seeing them open up to each other and let themselves be loved. Overall this was a good read and I highly recommend it.
I received this book from Entangled Publishing in return for a fair and honest review. This story is about two individuals who have both had to deal with an amazing amount in their pasts that most people wouldn't cope with, without curling up into a ball and hoping for everyone and everything to go away. Ashlyn is struggling to cope with her new flatmate and her job, especially when her past comes a-knocking. Lane is working all hours to try to provide for his family. Their paths cross when Ashlyn's co-worker, Emily, sends her to him to get a tattoo covered over. Their relationship is bumpy which makes a nice change, no insta-love here. This is well-written and has a smooth plot line. Although you are told some of what happened to Ashlyn, it doesn't go into too much detail. An enjoyable contemporary romance, recommended. Merissa Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
"Written on my Heart" by Cole Gibsen definetly touches your heart! Not only the story but even more the characters whic are so special! I always had a thing for boys with tattoos so Lane got me right from the very beginning.In combination with Ash who has to fight for her living every second, it was awesome to see how the two main, but also minor characters developed during the cause of action. At thisa point I also want to explain why I "only" rated this book with 4 instead of 5 Stars. For me it felt so natural to actually connect with the story. The only thing I missed from time to time is a more detailled description of their outward appearance. Of course I had this picture of this tattooed hottie in my head or the imagination of this skinny girl. But sometimes I wished to get just some more details to stretch out this image. " 'Move?' He laughs out loud. 'Sweetheart, you were racing Michael Phelps for the gold.' " This is only one of all these lines I marked while reading. I love the way how Lane sees Ash rigt from the beginning. It's so special and doensn't just feel like she is just one girl. The way he uses his humor to pusgh exactly the right buttons was awesome to experience. And then there is this enormous change of action which left me starring at my E-reader. That's definetly nothing I expected. So well done....(and no, you won't find this in the spoiler section of this review:D ). So what can I say-this book definetly was surprising and definetly has things in store for the readers which I neither expected.
This book is amazing. Ashlyn is on her own. She still jumps at shadows. She escaped an abusive home situation and a controlling boyfriend and is getting by the best she can. She writes her poetry when she can. She is working as a barista and renting a room from a stripper. While working at the coffee shop she is barreled over by co-worker Emily who is determined to be friends. When Em notices Ashlyn’s tattoo of her ex’s name she insists that Ashlyn visit this fantastic tattoo artist she knows who will cover it with something else so Ashlyn can start anew. Emily’s brother Lane is a gifted tattoo artist who has made his share of mistakes. When his father, a cop, died he took over the responsibility for his mother and Em. He has no room in his life for a women especially not one as fragile as Ashlyn. Life laughs at plans. At first I thought this was going to be the white knight and princess type of story but while our hero does have white knight tendencies our princess is plenty strong on her own despite outward appearances but everyone can use a bit of help from a friend now and then. Break out the tissues and ice cream and enjoy this heart lifting story.
There are many books that I typically want to refer to a friend but this is the exception…I’ll be referring it to ALL of my friends. ARC provided by Entangled Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. WOW! This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’m happy to say that I now have a new author to add to my list of favorites. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a book hangover…this one sure did it. This was a heartbreaking, yet heartwarming, read and I don’t know that I’ve read anything quite so realistic as this (other than a biography) . The writing was spot-on and not full of additional “fluff” to clutter up the true story. There is no insta-love and the characters aren’t perfect either and to me, that just makes this story even better. While the blurb sounds a bit typical for a romance, I assure you it’s not. Even though they are attracted to each other at first sight, Ashlyn and Lane can hardly stand to be in the same room as each other. They met through Emily, Lane’s sister, who works with Ashlyn at a coffee shop. Ashlyn had an abusive childhood and although she is a very caring, honest, up-front, strong, independent person, she feels like she’s just not good enough because her stepfather drilled that into her throughout her childhood. Lane is moody and as Ashlyn says, “he’s a little gruff on the outside but soft as a kitten on the inside”. He comes across as a total jerk in the beginning but once you realize where his standoffishness comes from, you’ll completely understand; He has his own responsibilities and past baggage to handle. As they cross paths a few more times, they are at odds with themselves because both of them are fighting the attraction they feel but eventually, they get over that. It’s not quick and painless like ripping off a band-aid but that just makes the story even more realistic. You’ll experience their struggles as well as their happiness because this is a book that you will feel.
Loved Lane .