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Series: Ink & Chrome #3
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Second Chance
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Also by this author: Falling Under
Mick Roberts, the newest partner at Twisted Steel's custom hotrod and motorcycle shop, looks like a man with everything. But secretly he still craves the connection he lost when his best friend Adam and the love of his life Jessilynn walked out. Then, he wasn't ready for the pleasure they promised. Now, things have changed.
Rich, powerful, and insatiable, Adam Gulati is used to getting what he wants. And there's nothing he wants more than Mick and Jessi. He hasn't seen either in over a year, but the second he sets eyes on them again his memories-and his desires-can't be denied.
After trying to live without them, Jessi Franklin realized no one else can satisfy her like Adam and Mick. The three of them need one another-in more ways than one. It's time to stop pretending and submit to the hunger they all share. But once they go down this road, there's no turning back. As deeply devoted as they are, no one knows what great bliss their forbidden fantasy will find-or the price they may pay . . .
ARC provided by Author/Publisher for honest review.
Coming Back is the third book in the Ink and Chrome series by Lauren Dane and can be read as a stand alone. I do recommend reading the first two books prior to this one because they give you so much insight into who the characters are and how their relationships formed. In my opinion, each book has gotten better than the last. Every character has grown through the series and you get to witness it through every chapter — from the first page of Opening Up to the last page of Coming Back. Their lives so intertwined that to remove one would be to cut off an integral part of the whole.
Mick has secrets. We see the way they haunt him through the eyes of Asa and Duke in the first two books and even though we don’t see into the heart of things, yet, we want to. You root for him even before you know or understand him. He’s that character that grabs you and doesn’t let go. His past shaped him into the man he is, for better or worse.
“You’ve gone through a lot of sh*t. Dealt with casual cruelty over your life. Everything you’ve experienced is part of who you are. It’s made you the man I love. The heart of a warrior. Dinged in places, maybe a little rusty here and there, but it’s strong. I love all the parts of you. Even the annoying parts that like opening the milk cartons the wrong way.”
My heart bled for Mick. When his secrets were slowly uncovered, when we learned of the loves he ran from, not because he didn’t love them with everything he was, but because it was unconventional and it scared him. He wasn’t ready to accept the love of Jessi and Adam. And they weren’t completely ready for the relationship either.
The beautiful tragedy of a love so powerful it pulled the three apart and left them torn for years. Bleeding in their own ways and healing in others. Growing. When they finally come together, they are better prepared for each other. Ready to accept things that are unchangeable. Ready to love and trust in each other.
“… look at us. Right here, being there for each other like we should have been. This is good, Jessi. This is us being us. And we can’t make it un-happen, but we can deal with it honestly now. We don’t have to break. We bend and fortify. Because no one is going to break us now. Do you understand me? … Together we can get through anything.”
Coming Back is a heart-felt story about acceptance, not only accepting the unfettered love given freely, but accepting that some love is toxic. That some people would rather beat you down than raise you up and having the strength to recognize that and walk away. Five emotionally charged stars and Five plus drenched panties for dirty talking, spanking hot, bossy alpha man (times two) smut.
Book Whore Says What?
1. Tell us something about you that we can’t find in your author bio:
I love sugar on sliced tomatoes during the summer months.
2. Top three things you must have while writing:
Tea, music, keyboard (I’ve got terrible handwriting!)
3. Do you outline your books or wing it? Why?
I started out a pantser but over time as my schedule changed and I learned more about my own process, I began to outline. I like to get a basic framework of the story in three acts and then let the real details bleed into the story as I write.
4. Do you ever judge a book by its cover?
I think a great cover is a really good marketing tool. I don’t necessarily think a bad cover is disastrous, but I think any time I can have an extra tool to help a reader want to pick a book up, that’s a very good thing. I have absolutely picked up new authors I’d never heard of because a fantastic cover caught my eye.
5. What are your favorite and least favorite romance themes?
I am a sucker for friends to lovers (especially of the older sibling’s best friend variety). Least favorite involve any sort of dodgy consent
Thank you, Lauren for taking the time to answer our questions!
“Shirt off, Jess,” Adam whispered in her ear like a fallen angel luring her to temptation.
“Just because it’s off doesn’t mean it has left my custody,” she told Mick as she whipped her shirt up and over her head. If she was expected to give back all the clothing she pilfered, she’d be naked a third of the time. She stole them, they were hers. That was the rule.
Mick’s grin made her tingly and swoony. Honestly, how could she ever have thought happiness was possible without these two people in her life?
“I’d never think to steal my shirts back once you have them.” Mick stepped close enough to slide his upper body against hers.
Laughing, Mick reached around her to get Adam’s shirt free as well. “You too.”
Jessi turned in their arms so she could get a look at Adam, and holy cow was she glad she had. Tawny skin played over his upper body. No ink but on his inner forearm at his elbow. Jessilyn. In her handwriting. He’d shown it to her the last time she’d seen him.
“I never told you why I put your name there,” Adam said as she slid her fingertips over his skin.
She waited for the telling and when she did, he smiled, grinding his cock into her.
“You’re my addiction. The thing I need more than anything.”
Always so tough. So taciturn and grumpy. And yet, so very tender it broke her heart sometimes. Hell, he’d broken her heart more than once too. It came with loving him, she’d finally accepted.
“Is that why you denied yourself?” She gave in and combed her fingers through his hair. “And denied me too, I might add.”
“I had to work through a lot of shit, and I couldn’t do it with anyone else. I had to do it alone.” His voice was rough, full of guilt and anguish.
“I hear the guilt in your voice. Let it go.” Selfishly, she wanted him to be unfettered when he came to her at long last. So she’d know he was there for good.
“So you don’t hate me?” he asked.
Startled, her eyes widened and she tugged on his hair to get his attention. “I could never hate you, Adam, and if I did, I wouldn’t be here. I’m here because I’ve always been here, just waiting for you to remember that.”
He pressed into her body as Mick gave no quarter at her back. Being squeezed that way kept her immobile.
And it was delicious.
He said nothing else before he bent to kiss her. At first slow, teasing, sexy kisses that heated her belly and made her knees feel like noodles. He licked at her lips, teasing her mouth open until she sighed happily.
Mick played his fingertips up her sides, brushing over the curve of her breasts. “When I saw these tonight I knew you’d worn that dress for me.”
“I admit that when I tried it on and it had all that tasteful side boob I knew you’d appreciate it,” Jessi said as Adam moved away from her mouth.
“Who doesn’t appreciate it?” Adam asked as he stepped back enough to grab the waistband of her pajama bottoms and shove them down her legs, along with her panties. “As far as side boob goes, yours is aces.”
Jessi laughed and then got nervous because they both still had pants on and there she was naked as a jaybird.
“Mick, why don’t you lead our angel to the bed?” Like a switch had been thrown, Adam took charge. He drew authority around himself like a cloak.
Mick backed her up slowly, caressing her shoulder before pressing kisses across her skin.
It was really happening. After years of going through the motions, here it was, the moment she’d been waiting for since she’d woken up to find out Mick had reenlisted.
Desire made her limbs heavy, left her movements languid as Mick shifted to lay her back on Adam’s big bed.
“I’m naked and neither of you are,” she said, proud she’d remembered all her words. She got snagged up in the details. The muscles and ink. Both men’s gazes roamed her face and her body and there was no mistaking just how happy they were to be right there.
The inner walls of her pussy contracted on nothing, sharpening the ache.
“Patience,” Adam said.
She raised a brow his way. “Are you new here?”
Mick, laughing, bent to kiss her.
A crack sounded and Mick groaned into her mouth as he moved forward. Did Adam just spank Mick? Jeez, they had to hold some of this super hot stuff back or she’d burn to cinder.
She opened her eyes to watch Mick straighten, a flush on his neck. Adam liked it too, getting caught up for a few moments before turning back to Jessi.
“I’m not new here, no. I know you’re impatient and greedy when it comes to orgasms.”
Jessi grinned at Adam, knowing there was a but coming along soon.
“But I’m in charge. You’ll get what you’re begging for. When I’m ready to give it to you.”
One of those sort‑of orgasms, the kind you had in dreams, stole through her as she squeezed her thighs together. He was going to kill her from desire. Or something. She really couldn’t wait.