CAPTURED IN INK
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If you don’t believe in love at first sight, this romance will change your mind.
Are you jaded about love and lust? So is 34 yr old Reesa Callahan who was dumped by her fiancee in the middle of a tragic family crisis that changed her life forever. No matter how sexy and nice, unless the man in her life is a home contractor, a plumber, or a potential employer, he can serve only one useful purpose to her. And even then, it can only be temporary. One night is all she can offer. Her life is way too complicated. She told Shane Larson that the night they met. Why can’t the stubborn man accept her limited reality and just leave her alone?
At 27, graphic novelist Shane Larson’s focus is on his next book release. When that is finished, he plans to complete his doctorate. Just like he told his nagging father and gloating brother, he had definitely not been looking for a serious relationship when a one-night stand ended up being the woman of his dreams. He knew the mysterious “Anne” was trouble when she wouldn’t give him her real name. Weeks later he’s almost given up hope when helping a friend accidentally leads him to Teresa Anne Callahan’s front door. Rather than it being the end of his search, he finds not only the woman he wants, but a whole family. Being in love with the right woman is just as wonderful as his father predicted, but does he have what it takes to love them all?
Reesa Callahan’s mind had been on making carpooling arrangements with a neighbor so Zack could go to basketball practice or she would have noticed the giant blond-haired man sooner. Looking like a conquering Viking striding towards her, Shane Larson wasn’t exactly a man you could pretend not to see. He had to be every bit of six-foot-four, she realized, watching as Shane steadily held her gaze.
The eyebrow piercing and the tattoo were menacing. A more rational woman would have been put off by that alone. His shaggy hair and unshaven face marred the romantic picture he made, but his sexy, confident, and determined gaze would have set any woman’s heart racing. Just like it did hers.
She told herself not to smile, but it was really hard not to. The rest of his body was as good as God made young men—youthfully attractive, firmly muscled, and the stuff of dreams. And she should know because he’d featured in hers for two weeks now.
Damn—he really was a giant, Reesa thought, tipping her head back and up when Shane stopped in front of her. Her fantasies about those huge shoulders of his were nothing compared to the reality of them. Her fingers curled into her palms remembering.
Damn. Damn. Damn.
“This is one of those weird life coincidences, isn’t it?” Reesa demanded, going on the offense before he could even open his mouth. “Look, Shane, do us both a favor and just go away.”
“Go away? Are you crazy? It’s taken me weeks to find you. God, I forgot how short you are,” Shane said, reaching down and stroking her smooth cheek with his hand as he smiled into her face. “I can’t believe you didn’t come back to me. I’ve looked for you every day.”
“Shane—stop the full court press here. There’s a reason they call it a one-night stand,” Reesa said softly but firmly, stepping back and away from his caressing hand. “You know I never meant for you to find me.”
“One-night stand? Is that what you think happened between us?” Shane asked. “Boy, were you wrong. That was us falling in love, which is why we’ve been thinking of each other so much since. Missing you has even been affecting my work.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. We had sex. We did not fall in love, Shane Larson. You don’t even know me,” Reesa said firmly, walking around Shane.
Shane caught up to her in one giant step. “Maybe not, but I want t o know everything about you. Now I at least know your real name, Teresa. You can’t hide anymore.”
“That’s not my name,” Reesa hissed.
“Want me to call you Ann, instead?” Shane asked, starting to get annoyed with her refusal to pay attention. “Zack told me your real name.”
“I—no, we are not talking about this. Just please go away. I have enough problems in my life to deal with,” Reesa said more softly, not wanting him to know how much his presence there unnerved her. “Go find one of those tall, leggy blondes who like you so much. Fall in love with one of them.”
“No woman could possibly follow you,” Shane stated firmly, ignoring the hurt her comment caused him. She had been all he’d thought about for two weeks, and it made him mad as hell to think she would lie about returning his interest. But his anger was not going to win her.
“Who’s the great kid?” Shane asked, changing tactics and the conversation, which was getting him nowhere.
“The great kid is my nephew, Zack. The little one he’s carrying is Sara. Chelsea and Brian are in the house. They’re my nephews and nieces, but I’m raising them. For all intents and purposes, I’m a single mother with four kids,” Reesa said, fighting the sinking sensation the words always caused in her. “Now you know what I was hiding and can see for yourself why a night of casual sex now and again is all I have time for in my life. So go away now, Shane.”
Reesa walked up the sidewalk passing by Zack and all the questions in his eyes about Shane. She walked by the minivan, opened the screen door, and went into the house.
Inside, her best friend in the world, Jillian Lansing, was sitting on the couch looking at fashion magazines with fourteen-year-old Chelsea. She wanted to tell Jillian about Shane showing up and ask her what to do, but there wasn’t any opportunity. Three of the four kids were all within hearing distance.
When Jillian let out a quiet expletive, Reesa knew Shane Larson had followed her into the house. She had no choice but to turn around and deal with him, which meant looking up almost a foot and a half into a face that was remarkably familiar to her considering this was only the second time she’d seen him. But she could get used to that face, Reesa admitted, even as unshaven and menacing as it was at first glance. Shane Larson was appealing to her on many levels, which was too bad because Reesa had no time for appealing. Reesa had no time for anything.
His brown-eyed gaze was calm but determined as it held hers. Her own gaze raked his face looking for some clue as to why such a young man was pushing her to let him into her life when she’d made it more than obvious that she had no interest in pursuing anything more with him.
“Look, Shane, I don’t know how you found me or what you think is going to happen, but I guarantee it’s not going to work out like anything you think,” Reesa told him.
Shane only smiled at her protest and looked over at Jillian. “You were the friend who waved at the club,” he said.
Jillian nodded. “I’m Jillian Lansing, also Aunt Jillian to these guys. This is Chelsea.”
Chelsea’s gaze swept Shane from his size fourteen feet to his glinting eyebrow ring. “Hi,” she said, her eyes going wide at his appearance.
Shane smiled at the girl. “Hi, Chelsea. My name is Shane Larson. I’m dating your Aunt Teresa.”
“We are not dating,” Reesa said firmly, practically growling the words.
“Maybe not yet,” Shane amended, “but we will be. I’m a great guy, Teresa.”
Zack came through the door with Sara still in his arms. The little girl tapped Shane on the shoulder and held out her arms. Shane took her and raised Sara high until her head almost touched the nine-foot ceiling of the entryway.
“Sara likes me,” Shane said to Reesa, his look daring her to deny it.
“Of course Sara likes you,” Reesa replied snidely, “she’s blonde and female. In twenty years, she’ll be your perfect woman. We’ve had this discussion before, and I’ve seen your preferences in person.”
“Yes you have,” Shane said boldly, his narrowed gaze and tight voice the only indication that she was ruffling his composure. “You see my ideal female every time you look in the mirror, Teresa Ann Callahan.”
As lines went it wasn’t all that bad, Reesa thought, but if she rolled her eyes up any higher, she’d be looking at the inside of her brain. What was it going to take to get rid of this guy?
Zack walked up and put a hand on her arm, drawing her attention away from Shane.
“Aunt Teresa, you’ll never believe this. Shane’s the artist who makes The Winged Protector novels. He’s the creator.”
Reesa swung a startled gaze to Shane. “The Winged Protector? Is that what’s on your tattoo?” she asked in a squeaky voice, unable to stop the question or prevent her awe from peeking through her resolution not to be interested. Her gaze went to his arm.
Shane just smiled and nodded, enjoying her surprise and turning his arm around to show her. “See? I told you I was a good guy.”
“I purposely picked the worst guy I could find. I can’t believe he turned out to be you,” Reesa said, turning on her heel and heading to the back of the house.
Shane watched her run away and had to fight the urge to laugh at her cowardice. It was going to take more than just sharp words to discourage him. The ache for her had hit him full force over and over while they had stood arguing in the street. He wanted to hug her and tell her it was going to be okay. He wanted to hold her until she attacked him again.
“Did you do something to make Aunt Teresa mad?” Zack asked tightly, his instinct to protect his aunt momentarily overriding his awe of Shane Larson.
Shane pulled his mind from its wishing and wanting to focus on the boy confronting him.
“Maybe I did make her mad. I might have made your aunt fall in love with me when she didn’t want to,” Shane explained, wanting to laugh at the kid’s shock at his frank statement. “I fell pretty hard for her when we met. Maybe I messed it up telling her too soon. I’ve never been in love before. It’s not like there’s a rule book.”
Zack laughed at the bold words, though he suspected the man wasn’t kidding, even if it sounded like a joke to walk in cold and announce you loved someone. Obviously, Aunt Teresa wasn’t buying it.
“Love? That’s crazy dude. But if it works out, I guess you won’t be any worse than the last guy,” Zack decided, following his pronouncement with a shrug.
Last guy? Shane wondered where the last guy was and why such a hot woman had been trolling for sex at a club if there was a potential guy in her life. Then he remembered that the “last guy” had to have been gone for at least five months. He and Teresa Callahan had ended their celibacies together. To Shane, it was one of the best things about that night. He now saw it as a sign that he and Teresa Callahan had been waiting to find each other.
The third installment in the Art of Love series, Captured in Ink is by far my favorite of the three stories. If you love passion with a dose of reality and a side of tenderness, then Captured in Ink by Donna McDonald should be first on your to-be-read list! ~ Leanna, Two Lips Reviews
The passion is tightly woven together as an artisan weaves silk and is smoothly conveyed by Ms. McDona ld. A reader of Captured In Ink senses the power of compassion and gratitude throughout the entire book. If a reader can not relate to this heartwarming and sensuous love story my heart aches for them. I loved this book! ~ a Recommended Read by Naunet, The Readers’s Roundtable
SERIES: Art Of Love, Book 3
LENGTH: 304 PAGES
RELEASE DATE: Dec 8, 2012