In Regina Cole’s steamy novel of hot ink and delicious angst, two tortured artists take a leap of faith—but the past threatens to tear them apart.
After her parents pull the plug on her college fund to finance their nasty divorce, Hailey Jakes is desperate to pay her own way and finish her degree in graphic design. She can hardly believe her luck when the sexiest guy she’s ever seen hires her to be the receptionist at his tattoo shop. With sea-blue eyes, jet-black hair, and full sleeves of tattoos on his muscular arms, Neill Vanderhaven looks like the kind of guy who wouldn’t give her the time of day. In fact, he’s mesmerized by her—and it doesn’t hurt that she’s talented as hell.
But Hailey and Neill have more in common than instant chemistry: They’re both carrying serious baggage. Hailey’s parents split after years of blowout fights and sloppy affairs. Neill just got out of something serious with a woman who loved her bad habits more than she loved him. When they take the plunge on a new relationship, they’re both breaking their own rules.
But then a terrible misunderstanding brings Neill’s worst fears to life, and their connection threatens to come crashing down. What they have is more than skin-deep, but now Hailey and Neill need to decide whether the kind of love that lasts forever is worth such exquisite pain.
Draw Me In is the first book I have read by Regina Cole and I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review so here goes...
This book was a bit of a slow starter and although Hailey is the first character we get introduced to I have to say I didn’t find her particularly likeable. She definitely grew on me but at times I just found her annoying.
Neill is a sweetie but again I struggled with his personality he was so unsure and angsty that I found it difficult to engage with his character.
I loved the dynamic of the tattoo shop and when Hailey and Neill were there they behaved like completely different people. I liked tattoo shop Hailey and Neill they were sweet and funny and nice, they bounced off each other and bantered.
Let’s be honest Dr Fields had Psycho written all over him from his second conversation with Hailey and I was expected the fall out to be much worse than it was. Personally I think that his character could have really ramped up the tension even more!
Both Hailey and Neill have some serious commitment issues and to be honest I don’t feel like they ever really resolved them, as a couple they just sort of glossed over the concerns they had and just moved on.
Please don’t get me wrong I did enjoy this story but for me I wouls have loved a bit more of everything, a bit more drama, a bit more angst and a bit more love. It definitely had a little of all of them but I feel like it would have had a much bogger impact if it was a bit more intense. The tattoo shop had a lovely 'Family' vibe and I loved all of the characters that worked there.
This is a nice story with messed up but nice characters so it gets 3 stars from me.
I almost floated back
to campus. Even the fact that the dining hall had long since closed wasn’t
enough to dampen my spirits. My keys jingled in the lock of my dorm room.
“Jackie?” I called softly as I opened
the door. An empty room greeted me, my side partially organized with a
haphazardly made bed and random stacks of books and folded clothes, Jackie’s
side a chaotic jumble with zero semblance of order. The bathroom door stood
open, our suitemate’s side shut.
“Must be out,” I said to myself as I
raided our small fridge. A Snickers bar from the tiny freezer and a Diet Dr
Pepper was a good dinner, right? I dropped into my desk chair, unwrapping the
candy bar and grabbing a cold, sweet bite. With the chocolate melting in my
mouth, I yanked open the desk drawer. The rest of my room might be a mess, but
my art supplies were always painstakingly organized. With pencils and sketchpad
in hand, and my blood sugar happily spiking, I started drawing. A strong
jawline shadowed with beard growth. An aquiline nose. Dark, curling hair that
laid playfully against the collar of his tee. And the eyes. Those eyes were the
hardest part. They weren’t just eyes, they were more than that. Portals to
another world or pools of lust itself. The metaphor might be melodramatic, but
dammit, they were gorgeous.
I concentrated as I lined each lash,
portrayed each tiny beam of light, each dark fleck in those stormy blue eyes.
When it was done, I sank back into the chair.
Neill. Neill Vanderhaven. I was
crushing hard on my new boss.
The door to the room opened suddenly,
and I jumped, slamming the sketchbook shut, nearly upsetting the remnants of my
soda in the process.
“Hey, Hales!” Lily, my suitemate and
good friend, nearly skipped into the room, her bright green earrings jingling softly;
her dark eyes were bright with excitement. “You really missed a good Frisbee
game this afternoon. Walt and Brian nearly killed each other. I didn’t know
before today that contact Frisbee existed. Whatcha working on?”
I clutched the sketchbook to my chest.
“Just doodling. Nothing, really.”
Lily flopped onto my bed, folding her
long legs beneath her. “I wanted to see if you could help quiz me. I’ve got a
chemistry test tomorrow, and some of these elements are tripping me up.” She
shoved her bangs away from her forehead, the silky hair flopping right back
into its previous position the moment her hand fell away.
“Sure,” I agreed, yanking open my desk
drawer. “No problem. Just let me put this away . . .”
“Oh, come on, let me see. You know I
love your drawings,” Lily cajoled as she reached for the sketchbook, fluttering
her long lashes. “You don’t have to be embarrassed.”
“I’m not.” I gripped the sketchbook
tighter. The spiral binding cut into my palm. “It’s
just . . .”
“Hey, you know I love your art. When have I
ever said anything mean about it?” Lily pouted, her normally thin lips going
impressively full when pooched out like a manipulative kindergartener’s.
I sighed in defeat. “You haven’t.”
“Oh yeah, and you haven’t told me how
the job search went today!” Lily bounced on the bed. “So give me your drawing
and tell me while I ooh and aah over your talent.”
“Dammit, Lil,” I groaned, but passed
the sketchbook anyway. The chair legs scraped across the wooden floor as I
turned the chair so I could face Lily.
Lily flopped the book open to the silky
red ribbon bookmark. Her jaw went slack, almond eyes rounding as she took in
the sketch. “Holy shit, Hales. Who the hell is this?” Her voice was breathy,
“That,” I said with a weak smile, “is
my new boss.”
“Holy shit,” Lily repeated in an awed
“You’ve got that right.”
Regina Cole, lover of manly muscled
arms, chest hair, and mini-marshmallows, has been reading romance since her
early teens. While she loves a love story of any heat level, she’s been drawn
to the erotic side and is loving every minute. When she’s not frantically
pounding away at the keyboard, she can be found fishing with her family,
playing with her dogs, trying out strange new recipes, or snuggling with her
hubby. She also writes mainstream romance as Gina Lamm.
As the title of my blog gives away I read a lot!!! I love the escapism of a good book and sometimes I even enjoy the release I get from moaning about a rubbish book.
Im not sure anyone will ever read my reviews but I'm going to do them anyway.... sometimes I read so much and so quickly that I can completely forget what ive read or the reasons I loved them so this way I can gain a little perspective.
I have a facebook page and I would love it if anyone who reads any of my reviews pops over to FB and gives me a quick like.
Also im constantly looking for recommendations so if you've read something you think I would enjoy please comment and let me know.