HEATHENS INK SERIES, BOOK 4
RELEASE DATE: 10.31.17
“I was sure my heart had withered away years ago, but then you smiled at me and I felt it beat again.” ~Gage
Years ago, I fell in love with my best friend’s little brother. Then, he took his own life, leaving me shattered and unable to piece my heart back together. I’ve been a zombie for nine long years. Until a crazy, gorgeous man walked into Heathens Ink and injected color back into my world of gray. No matter how hard I try to resist Beck he just won’t give up on me. I would need steel willpower to withstand his gorgeous long legs in his high heels, and his drawer full of lacy lingerie. But is this just a kinky hook up or does it have the possibility for more?
“We’re both broken, but our jagged edges fit together well” ~ Beck
When you’re half of a whole you never contemplate what life would be like without your matching piece. Since my twin sister, Brianna, died last year, nothing I do seems to quiet my soul. I know there has to be some way for me to feel happy and whole again. And, when I look into the pained eyes of the tattoo artist at Heathens Ink I feel like I have a purpose. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I have to find a way to put him back together.
Shattered Pieces is book 4 in The Heathens Ink Series and can be read as a standalone.
COVER DESIGN: K.M. Neuhold
COVER PHOTO: StockPhoto
“Dance with me.” Beck holds his hand out to me. His eyes spark with amusement at what I’m sure is the obvious horror in my expression.
“I don’t dance.”
“Come on, you’re supposed to be trying fun, new things. I’m not expecting Fred Astaire, just stand in my general vicinity and nod your head to the beat.”
I sigh in resignation and take Beck’s hand, refusing to notice how soft his skin is or how good it feels to touch someone, however casually.
Still clutching my hand, Beck starts to dance. He starts out tame, simply swaying to the music. But, before long he’s spinning and shimmying like a ballerina on crack. Even being goofy and over the top he’s utterly graceful. And the joy in his expression is heartbreaking in its beauty.
When he spins out and then into my arms like a tango dancer, a laugh escapes from my chest, too full of a warmth to contain it.
“You have a really nice laugh,” Beck says, smiling up at me.
My heart thuds violently against my ribcage. Some long-forgotten place in my brain wakes up from its long slumber and starts to make irrational demands like kiss him and make Beck mine.
I pull my arms back, forcing a smile as blood rushes in my ears. Beck isn’t mine. He can never be mine. I had someone who was mine and I broke him beyond repair.
“I’m afraid I’m a bit rusty,” I admit with chagrin.
“Never too late to pick it back up again,” Beck reasons, stepping close again but not so close to warrant another retreat on my part.
His lips are rosy pink and so soft, slightly parted and unbelievably tempting. I can’t remember if we were discussing laughing or kissing and I don’t really care.
“For the first time in a long time I’m starting to wonder if that’s true.” The hope my statement sparks in Beck’s eyes forces me to backpedal as guilt washes over me. “It feels wrong to imagine happiness is possible, even in some vague, future way.”
“I’m not going to give you any trite bullshit like saying Johnny would’ve wanted you to be happy. I didn’t know Johnny and even if I had there’s no way to know what he would’ve wanted because he’s gone. But you’re still here. You still have a life, a heart, and the right to be happy whether now or in a vague future.” The way Beck holds my gaze is like a cobra ensnaring a mouse. “You don’t need Johnny’s permission to move on and be happy. You only need to give yourself permission.”
I am a huge fan of this series so I was equal parts super excited and hesitant about this book. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with Gage in the first book but I was so afraid this book was going to break me. It totally did, but my god was it worth it. Kyleen was able to shatter my heart and knit it back together. I did cry reading it, but she didn’t leave me a sobbing mess.
Gage runs Heathen’s Ink with his best friend Adam. Gage is in love with Adam’s brother Johnny, who they lost to suicide 9 years earlier. Gage goes through life in a fog, going through the motions but never engaging in anything or with anyone. The amount of guilt he carries over Johnny’s death is staggering. Then a hottie walks into the tattoo shop for a tattoo and tilts Gage’s world on it’s axis.
Beck, short for Becket not Beckham is sassy, smart and gorgeous. The brooding tattoo artist just pushes all of his buttons. Beck is no stranger to loss himself, he is their to get a memorial tattoo for his twin sister who died suddenly a year ago of a brain aneurysm. While both are still grieving, Beck can’t get Gage to engage in conversation, or much of anything. He walks away thinking he will never see the enigmatic man again.
Then one night the guys from the tattoo shop drag Gage along to a club where Beck is unknowingly a dancer in a burlesque show. The two strike up an friendship and Beck makes it his mission to show Gage what he’s missing in life. Determined to find new hobbies that Gage will enjoy so he stops walking through life in a fog.
If his sister’s death taught him anything, it’s that life is too short for regrets and he’s going to make sure he doesn’t have any. As their friendship evolves into something stronger than either intended they must decide if they can take a chance on love or if the risk is too great.
Gage- I fell in love with Gage in the first book, I love a dark, broody character. The ones with painful pasts usually tend to fall harder and love fiercely, as long as you can get them to see past the pain. I just wanted to hold Gage, it was so hard to see him hang on to Beck so tight only to push him away at the same time. You could feel his fear and need like it was your own.
Beck- No matter what he has been through, Beck is a bright light. He shines for all to see, and that is exactly what Gage needs. From the lacy underwear, to the high heels, and the makeup, Beck let Gage see the real him, and Gage fell hard and fast. While he helps Gage wade through his own grief, he allows Gage to see his as well. He never lets his needs be pushed aside which allows their relationship to develop on equal ground. He let Gage see how unhappy he was in his professional life which was a stark contrast to the persona he lets everyone see.
While I was a tad bit afraid to read this one, I am so glad I did. Gage and Beck’s story was every bit as amazing as they deserved and I thought it would be. I’m glad Gage got the closure he needed with Johnny, which allowed him to move on with Beck.
Kyleen has come to be one of my go-to authors. Her work is amazing and you can tell she loves what she writes.
5 pieces of eye candy
I’m an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.