While the first book in the INKomplete Series, INKarnate, is always available to download and read for free, for this week only we’ve discounted the other three books in the series to just $0.99!
Book 1 — INKarnate: When Emily begins an apprenticeship at the renowned tattoo studio Inkomplete, she didn’t realise she was stepping into a world very different from her middle-class upbringing. But not everybody is happy about her dipping her toe into new waters. Famous tattoo artist, Matt Jones, knows she doesn’t belong.
Book 2 — INKapable: After her husband walked out on her, leaving her to provide for their daughter alone, Joe has no intention of relying on a man for anything ever again. As a successful tattoo artist, she can take care of what’s hers. The only thing she needs is a little fun every now and again. And if a gorgeous man offers her exactly what she needs, if they both know what they’re getting into, it can’t get messy, can it?
Book 3 — INKurable: Phee has breast cancer. As heart-breaking as it is, she’s determined to be strong so her friends don’t worry. They’re a family, so if she hurts, they hurt, and she can’t allow that. But when lines start to blur between her and her handsome surgeon, trying to hold everything together suddenly feels like the real fight.
Book 4 — INKonsolable: It’s been five years since Blakey’s beautiful wife Elizabeth died and his grief is just as sharp today as it was back then. But now he’s desperately lonely too. As he becomes closer to his friend Aisleyne, Blakey fights it with everything he has. How could he even think about moving on? No, friendship is all he has to offer. That will have to be enough.
Now, for a limited time only, you can get all four books for less than $3. That’s less than it costs for a good cup of coffee — how can you go wrong?
Remember a couple days ago we shared the first chapter of INKarnate where Emily applies for a job at a tattoo studio? Well, spoilers, but she gets called back in for a second interview. While you can read that interview from Emily’s point of view in INKarnate, we’re excited to offer as fun bonus content, that exact same encounter from Matt’s point of view.
Matt: The Other Side of the Interview
The girl walked from the room, her head held high, her gaze fixed forward, her sensible heels clicking on the floor. Matt waited for her eyes to flick over to where he was sitting, but she didn’t even so much as glance his way. That annoyed Matt; he wasn’t used to being ignored, he was used to women wanting his attention. He was the famous Matt Jones, talented and award-winning tattoo artist and unofficial face of the local kink scene. People came to this tattoo studio to be inked by him specifically, just for the kudos of having his work etched on their skin.
Which was why being ignored by this pretty girl was both frustrating and amusing.
He knew her reaction was partly because they’d had a silent battle of wills only a few moments ago, a battle that Matt wasn’t entirely sure who had triumphed. The girl—Emily, Matt reminded himself by looking at the resumé in front of him—was interviewing for the trainee placement at the tattoo studio along with a dozen other candidates. He’d noticed her immediately because she’d stuck out like a sore thumb.
INKomplete was known for both its artists and clientele; both firmly centred in the kink scene. Matt didn’t dress quite as overtly sexual as Josephina or Phoenix, but he’d certainly dabbled in the…er… nightly activities before. They all did. This girl quite clearly didn’t have a clue what she was getting herself into and it rubbed Matt the wrong way. She didn’t fit in. At all. She was dressed like a fucking school teacher—all prim and proper and in a matching twinset! How could she be so clueless about the job she was applying for?
The silent battle of wills had come from the first part of the interview. Blakey—the owner of INKomplete—had asked the candidates to demonstrate their artistic skills by designing a tattoo with a specific brief in mind. Matt had watched Emily closely as she worked. In fact, he’d had eyes for nobody else. He wanted her to fail. He wanted her to realise that she was out of her depth. He wanted her to realise that she didn’t fit in in at INKomplete.
He wanted her.
When was the last time he wanted a woman? And a woman who liked like Emily. She was nothing like the other women he’d dated… if the word “dated” covered consensual fucking with no strings. Matt would hazard a guess that this was a woman who had experienced nothing other than vanilla in the bedroom. In fact, he wondered vaguely whether she might be a virgin.
So, he’d watched her, daring her to rise to his silent challenge but hoping she’d fail. He didn’t like wanting someone to fail, but he also didn’t like the effect she’d had on him.
But the girl hadn’t failed. In fact, she had skill. There was no doubt about that. Even beneath his constant gaze, her finished work had stood out from the rest of the candidates. Towards the end, her drawings had grown cruder, more sensual, and Matt couldn’t help but wonder if it was in reaction to his watching. It was as if she’d understood his silent challenge and had risen to it.
It was really fucking hot.
The whole experience, of watching her draw sexy images whilst totally ignoring him, had really turned him on.
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d wanted someone the way he wanted her, and it made him angry. How could he continue to work if just watching her was such a turn on? And even now, the way she walked past him with her head held high… even then, he enjoyed the challenge she was issuing.
Was she doing it on purpose? Was that it?
Matt bolted upright in his chair. She was playing him, wasn’t she? How had he not seen it before? The disinterest. The indifference. The dressing so unlike anything that would fit in around her… it was all a game, wasn’t it? She was doing it to stand out. To get noticed.
And Matt had almost fallen for it.
“Well, there’s only one person for the job for me,” Blakey said, oblivious to Matt’s sudden epiphany. He was carrying the stack of the candidate’s artwork back to the table where Matt, Joe and Phee were sitting. Matt couldn’t help but notice that Emily’s sophisticated work was at the top.
Matt reached over and slid the heavy paper towards him. The closer it got, the more detail he could see. She’d worked in pencil—his own preferred method. It was exquisite. The last piece—the design of the tattoo sleeve—kept drawing his gaze. Emily had wound a three-tongued whip through a scattering of sensual images. An opened mouth, a rounded breast, splayed fingers. It made him think of sex—just like she knew it would. He pushed it away with disgust.
“Yeah, I agree,” Joe said, nodding. She came to stand behind Matt and pulled the work back towards them. She looked at it over his shoulder. “It really is wonderful stuff. So unexpected. I mean, she doesn’t look the part but… wow.”
Matt kept his voice calm though inside he wanted to shake his friend and tell her she was being played, just like he was. “You mean this Emily girl? Seriously? There’s nothing special here,” Matt snorted. “I mean, she’s a fucking pet portrait artist. They’re a dime a dozen.”
“That might be the day job but…”
“She’s got somethin’, hasn’t she?” Blakey agreed.
“Absolutely. I think she’s seriously talented.”
“And you?” Matt asked, looking at Phoenix. Had everybody been taken in by this girl’s cutesy act?
Phee didn’t reply immediately. She ran her hands through her flame red hair, studying his expression. She gave him a strange look. “Why do you look so angry about it, Matt? Do you know her?”
“No, of course not,” Matt answered, his tone colder than he’d intended. “But I think we’re overlooking the other candidate’s work. She’s not the best here,” he lied.
“Yeah, she is,” Blakey argued. He was shuffling through the rest of the artwork. “Nobody has even come close. I haven’t seen talent like that since you came along, Matt. I mean, the bald-headed girl did some interesting work but none of it can translate into tattoos.”
“She’s not the suitable,” Matt shot back, rubbing his temples. “She’s not the one.”
“What’s going on, Matt? Why are you so against her?” Phee asked, then her eyes widened. “Oh my god, have you slept with her? Is that what the problem is?”
Matt couldn’t stand to look at their curiosity anymore. How could he explain that they were being played? Angry but not able to reign the feeling in, he pushed away from the table and got to his feet. “Are you kidding me? Does she look like she’d fit in at the club?” He said, talking about Indecency, a club where people with a preference for firmer, kinkier sexual interactions were able to hook-up and meet like-minded partners. He knew she’d never stepped foot in there before… for starters, he would have noticed.
Joe laughed. She looked like she was enjoying his discomfort. “I don’t know what she might get up to at weekends, Matt. For all I know, she’s kinkier than all of us put together.”
“Not her,” is all he said. “She doesn’t fit in with us or our image.”
“We don’t sell the lifestyle, Matt,” Blakey broke in. “We sell our work. You know that.”
“I know. But she doesn’t fit, Blakes. Let’s discuss the other candidates.”
Matt didn’t usually weigh in on studio decisions but when he did, it normally went his way, so he was surprised when Blakey said, “I think we’re all agreed but you. Let’s take a vote.”
“My vote is for Emily,” Joe said immediately. Her gaze met Matt’s and her lips twitched upwards. “I think she’d be a good addition to the team.”
“Mine too,” Phee said.
Matt turned away from them with an angry sound. “I’m voting for the bald-headed girl,” he said, speaking solely to Blakey. When Blakey went to argue with him, Matt raised his voice. “That’s my vote, Blakey. You can’t argue with it. Her work is just as strong as Emily’s. Maybe even stronger. It might not translate into tattoos very well but it’s something she can learn on the job.”
“So, we’re at two to one on Emily, and Blakey has the deciding vote,” Phee said.
“I’m sorry Matt…” Blakey said slowly. “Emily is the strongest. I don’t know what’s going on between you two—”
“Nothing is going on!” Matt snapped, throwing his hands into the air. “She’s just not the best talent in the room. You’re making the wrong decision!”
“This is my studio,” Blakey said calmly. “And I say Emily is our girl. That’s my final decision.”
Matt wasn’t sure whether it was that the vote hadn’t gone his way, or the was Phee was smirking but he lost his temper. “You have got to be kidding me!” He roared. “No fucking way. She looks like a school teacher! Do you want to lose all credibility?”
“Lower your voice,” Blakey hissed, glancing at the door, concerned. “What’s gotten into you, Matt?”
Matt took a deep breath. He wasn’t sure where his outburst had come from. He rarely lost his temper… and he knew that arguing wasn’t going to get him anywhere. They had clearly decided in Emily’s favour. All he could hope for was that Emily might fuck up face-to-face. She might be beautiful, she might be talented… but she might also be awkward and difficult. “Look, let’s do a round of true interviews. Have a chat with each of the candidates. Get to know them. See who might be the right fit for the team.”
Blakey rubbed a hand over his huge stomach, considering. Then he nodded slowly. “Okay, if it’ll make you happy, let’s do that. But Matt, we might not change our minds.”
Matt gave a soft sigh of relief. He started to stack the chairs to the side of the room, just leaving one for the candidate in front of their table. “But you might. Let’s see the bald-headed girl first,” he suggested, wanting to avoid Emily for as long as he could. “Blakey, can you bring her in?”