TYPE: Series Romance (Harlequin Blaze)
REASON FOR READING: I read some good things about this book from various bloggers and AAR gave it an A-
Twelve years ago Zoe Ford let Liam Masters break her heart. But now? There's not a chance. Zoe is as tough and wild as they come. So when Liam shows up at her tattoo parlor, she's more than ready to take him on again. That's not going to be a hardship, since he's hotter than he ever was.
This time she's staying in charge. And she's not going to consider their score settled until he's hot, bothered and begging for more! Then she'll move on as callously as he left her. Unless all that deliciously bad sex is just too good to give up….
THOUGHTS / OPINION:
This month' TBR Challenge is tortured hero and I think this book fits the bill pretty well, actually both H/H were tortured. Most of the time I don't find much 'blaze' in the Harlequin Blaze line but SGIB is definitely blazing and the characters and plot were great.
Liam Masters had a troubled childhood with an abusive father. After his mother died when he was 17, he was taken in by the Ford family and loved by them. He became very close to the Fords two children, Tom and Zoe. Tom was his best friend and Zoe, two year younger, fell head over heels in love with him as 15 yo girls do. She pursues him and offers herself to him. But Liam feels that would be a betrayal to the family he loves and took him in when he needed a home. And he doesn't think he's good enough for Zoe. So he rejects Zoe's advances and leaves town the next day which devastates her. She is incredibly hurt and goes out and does something stupid.
It is now 12 years later and Zoe is a tattoo artist and sings in a thrash band at night. Liam has got his act together now and is the owner of a custom bike shop (kinda like Orange County Choppers) and he is very successful. Right here I am completely enthralled with these two characters with their very unusual occupations. Loved them. Zoe appears to have a hard "bad girl" shell but on the inside she is still pretty vulnerable and sweet. Liam comes across a nude painting at an art gallery and is appalled to recognize Zoe as the face in the painting. He tracks down Zoe and discovers her working in a tattoo parlor and the sparks start to fly. Liam is shocked to find how she has changed from such a sweet girl into an angry bad girl with her heavy drinking, tattoos, and unapologetically sexual act during her nightly band performances. And of course he is determined to "save" her. He offers her a job in his bike shop as an artist.
Liam and Zoe are two wounded people. Liam was beaten by his abusive father and forced to watch his mother's abuse as well. He's afraid he will become his father and feels he'll never be good enough for any woman. Zoe feels worthless because she allowed herself to be used sexually by a sleazebag in high school and (spoiler: he got her pregnant which turned ectopic and the complications left her sterile) now she feels no man could possibly want her.
This book was hard to put down and very well written. It was pretty predictable sometimes in the way that Harlequins can be but I enjoyed it very much anyway. I loved the storyline with Zoe's artistic contributions in the bike shop. But Liam's stubborn attitude with his low self esteem made me want to slap him at one point. However, I love stories about the healing power of love and greatly enjoyed how Liam and Zoe work out their problems together. This is a short fast sexy read that I think most will enjoy.