Bound by Ink (London Inked Boys Book 2)

By: Marissa Farrar

Hard-bodied, tattooed, and British... Meet the men of London tattoo studio, Carved in Ink.

Men like Kane Dalton shouldn’t be interested in women like Holly McCarty.

When she walks into the tattoo studio where he works, he is instantly obsessed. She’s sweetness and sin all swirled up into one glorious package and then poured into jeans so tight they should be illegal. Leaning over that creamy skin for hours while he works, only leaves him begging for more.

But though he’s supposed to be the bad boy, Holly is the one with secrets.

One night with her is never going to be enough. Can they work through the wreckage of Holly’s life, or will their romance be over before it even begins?

*Please note, each of the ‘London Inked Boys’ stories follows a different couple and can be read as a standalone, but they’re probably best read in order.

Chapter One

Holly McCarty stood on the street outside the tattoo shop, trying not to be intimidated by the graffiti on the walls or the fact it wasn’t exactly located in the nicest part of London. This place, Carved in Ink, had come recommended to her by a friend, and, when Holly had posted about it on a local forum, asking for people’s experiences, she’d received nothing but positive comments.

This would be her first tattoo. She’d wanted one for years now, but her ex had told her how cheap he thought they made women look. She’d agreed with him, not wanting to start another fight, while all the while coveting the styles of those funky young women with the sleeve tattoos and the cool hairstyles.

But she was thirty-two now and thought she was past all of that, but a discreet tat that meant something to her didn’t seem like such a big deal.

She’d already made the appointment ahead of time, had emailed the artist the picture she wanted. Still she hesitated, nerves churning her stomach. She was excited too, though. This marked a new chapter in her life. A way of drawing a line under the past and moving forward.

Plus, it would mean her ex wouldn’t come near her again. It would be good to have something permanently on her body that he hated. A kind of fuck you in ink. He wouldn’t be able to come back again if she had a tattoo.

A group of lads, in their late teens she reckoned, swaggered towards her on the pavement. They’d already noticed her just standing there, and she didn’t want them to walk past, intimidating her. They were probably harmless, but she couldn’t help feeling self-conscious.

Holly forced her brain to switch off and took a couple of hurried steps towards the shop before the young men reached her. She pushed open the door to a tinkle of a bell. Rock music was playing from speakers embedded in the walls, no doubt controlled by something technical she didn’t understand—Bluetooth or whatever it was called—but it wasn’t deafeningly loud.

A young woman with shiny brown hair and large dark eyes sat on the other side of the counter. She’d been scrolling through something out of sight on the computer in front of her but clicked it off when she noticed Holly had walked in. The sight of the other woman made something inside Holly relax. She knew three guys worked here and was glad to see it wasn’t a fully male environment.

“Hey,” said the woman, and Holly noted the accent, American maybe, or possibly Canadian. She’d always struggled to tell the difference. It was the same with the Australians and New Zealanders, though she’d never admit it to anyone. “What can we do for you today?”

Holly smiled back, nerves still knotting her stomach. “I have an appointment for eleven. Holly McCarty?” She said her name as though it was a question.

The woman’s smile widened. “Sure, Holly. Take a seat. You’re booked in with Kane. You already know what you’re having?”

She nodded. “Yeah, I’ve been emailing Kane, and he’s got the picture.”

Tattoos climbed up the woman’s wrist and inner arm. Holly figured you couldn’t work in a tattoo shop without acquiring some yourself. But then she realised the tattoos hid something beneath and found herself staring too long, trying to figure out what she was looking at. Scars. The tattoos were covering a number of scars carved into the other woman’s arm.

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