Branding Gemma

Gemma Brower is determined to turn her life around. Having fallen about as far as she can, she’s ready to climb out of hell and find her way. She’s determined that she isn’t ready for another relationship after her last one ended so badly, but then she meets Synclair and Ryan Black, two brothers who are as different as night and day. She’s not the only one in instant lust. The brothers have resolved to have her any way they can get her.With her ex acting like a crazy stalker, Gemma has more on her mind than her love life. Trevor’s calls are escalating and she’s worried he may come after her. After one too many threatening calls, she confides in the brothers, who vow to protect her at any cost. But is Gemma ready to trust again? Her heart is already battered from one failed relationship after another. Dare she attempt to fall in love once more?

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Copyright ©2014 Paige Warren

She was surprised by how quickly they arrived in town. The previous day she’d been too preoccupied to pay attention to her surroundings as they’d driven to the Circle B. The town of Grizzly Pines was quaint, the main street lined with shops. A diner and coffee shop caught her eyes, as well as a small bookstore. Something told her they didn’t carry the erotic romances she liked to read. The spicier the better.

They turned down a side road, and about two blocks down, Cody whipped the truck into a parking space. The neon sign in the window read Skin to Skin. If the owner was as lethal to the female population as Cody seemed to think, she wondered just how often he got skin to skin with his customers. For all she knew, he was bucktoothed, had a paunch, and looked like the back end of a mule. Cody was probably worrying for nothing.

They entered the shop and a bell jingled over the door. A man at the front desk lifted his head and Gemma’s breath froze in her lungs. Was this the owner? Maybe Cody had something to worry about after all. Gray eyes met hers across the room and it felt like time stood still. She took in his appearance, everything from the hoop in his eyebrow, to the neatly trimmed beard adorning his jaw, to the way his sleeveless shirt hugged the expanse of his chest. His arms were covered from shoulder to wrist in tattoos.

His gaze strayed from her to Cody. “I didn’t realize you were bringing a guest with you. I thought you wanted your woman to be surprised by your tattoo.”

“My woman… Oh! No. God, no! This is Gemma, my cousin.” Cody couldn’t seem to correct the man fast enough and Gemma had to fight back a laugh.

The tattoo artist rose to his feet, his height topping Cody’s by a good two inches. He moved around the desk and she couldn’t help herself. Her gaze took him in from head to toe, caressing every muscle, every dip. She wanted a closer look at his ink, wondering about the meaning behind the marks. Was he tattooed anywhere else? She thought she saw a design peeking out from the top of his shirt. It made her want to strip him naked and investigate every inch of his body.

The man held his hand out to her. “I’m Synclair Black. This is my shop.”

“Gemma Brower,” she said, placing her hand in his. Tingles shot up her arm and made her nipples harden. It had been a while since she’d felt that instant attraction to someone, and the last time it hadn’t ended so well for her. Cody had been right about one thing. This guy had bad boy written all over him. She was practically salivating and they’d barely touched.

“Are we inking you, too?” he asked.

“Um, no. At least, not today. I’ve wanted a tattoo for a while now, but I don’t want to get just anything. I want it to mean something to me.”

His lips curved in a sinfully delicious smile and she felt her knees go weak. “That’s a wise decision. You let me know when you’re ready. I’ll be happy to sketch something for you.”