Guest ~ Tamsin Flowers: The Christmas Tattoo
Today we welcome Tamsin Flowers, here to share her Christmas release, The Christmas Tattoo.
December is here and so now we can all start to officially feeling the Christmas vibe. And to my mind there’s nothing like a Christmas love story to make you feel warmer than a glass of mulled wine all the way through! The Christmas Tattoo has all the perfect yuletide ingredients – sugar, spice, snowflakes, a carol service, Christmas trees and a burgeoning romance. Of course, it can’t all run smoothly – this romance has its ups and downs – plus some red hot encounters that our hero and heroine are powerless to resist!
When sexy red-head Bradie Clements comes home from Washington to nurse a broken heart and build bridges with her estranged father, she’s certainly not on the lookout for romance. After catching her boyfriend Kris in bed with her best friend and boss, all she wants to do is run and hide. But a chance encounter with local tattoo artist Colton Bassett leads to an unexpected appointment with his needle. Even though it’s cold outside, the temperature rises to boiling point as the two discover an irresistible attraction. But then Kris arrives on the scene to claim her back in time for his family Christmas and Bradie starts to remember what she saw in him. Tormented by jealousy and suspicion over Colton’s pregnant business partner, Bradie starts to wonder if her new romance is over before it’s begun…
Bradie followed him through to a small studio. The walls in here had the same patchwork of designs and there were two work stations, one with a black reclining barber chair and the other, a sort of articulated massage bench which could be arranged into a range of positions. A work station along one wall carried the tattoo artists’ equipment: a huge selection of ink bottles and a number of scary devices that looked for all the world like medieval torture instruments.
Bradie considered them and swallowed hard.
“Take a seat,” said Colt, going over to the bench and picking up a particularly vicious-looking instrument.
Bradie backed up and found the back of her thighs pressing against the arm of the barber chair.
“Sit. I can’t do you standing up.”
Bradie stumbled back into the seat, her breathing suddenly faster and the sound of her heartbeat drumming in her ears.
“But… I haven’t told you…”
Colt advanced on her and pressed a button on the device. A sudden whirring noise whined out of it.
Colt towered over her now. He turned the gadget off.
“You don’t remember me, do you, Bradie Clements?”
Bradie sat bolt upright.
Colt rolled his eyes.
“School. Only four years in the same homeroom, Bradie. We even went on a date once. But the less said about it the better.”
Bradie closed her eyes and delved back in time. The height… the dark eyes… a date to the movies.
“Colton Bassett? But you had black hair at school. And you were skinny.”
“Okay, enough,” said Colt, running a hand through his blonde hair. “It figures, I’ve changed. But you haven’t. Still the long red hair.”
“So why didn’t you say anything on the train?” said Bradie.
Colt put down the tattoo gun and perched on the edge of the massage table.
“I saw you and I remembered the date. I didn’t want to remind you of it.”
Bradie could see why. It had ended in disaster. She had been an innocent co-ed and Colt had tried to feel her up in the back row. She’d panicked and run out of the theatre and then spent the rest of the school year regretting it. The blood rose to her cheeks again. Shit, why did he keep having this effect on her.
“And now?” she said.
“Probably better to get it out in the open if you’re gonna be in town for a bit. Look, I’m sorry for the way I behaved back then.”
“No, I am. I always wished I’d stayed in there.”
WTF? She had some sort of runaway mouth on her this morning. She bit her lip.
“That came out wrong.”
“I’ll change the subject,” said Colt. “So what sort of tatt do you want?”
Bradie thought for a moment and then shrugged.
“A Santa sleigh?”
“Or perhaps a candy cane?” he said. “They’re always popular. But seriously?”
“I had a bad year, so something that means a new beginning maybe. Perhaps a few words or a quote.”
“Where would you have it?”
“Not on my arm or leg. Somewhere more private. My hip, maybe?”
The room seemed suddenly smaller, hotter. Colt stood up.
With shaking fingers Bradie popped the top button of her jeans and tugged the zip halfway undone. Then she pushed the waist band down a way to expose the jut of her hip bone.
“Here,” she said. It came out a whisper.
Colt came closer. He ran his thumb over the place she indicated, brushing the top of her black lace panties. His warm skin hummed against hers but his touch sent a red hot jolt of current up through her. Her breath caught in her throat as she was suddenly overwhelmed with a desire to stroke his skin in return.
“It’ll hurt, across the bone there.”
He moved his thumb a little closer to her navel, pushing the black lace and denim down a fraction further.
“Whereas here would be less painful.”
Bradie’s eyes met his. Colton Bassett. Her teenage crush. And now with his hands back where they’d been once before. Their eyes locked and his face came closer. Bradie took a deep breath as a surge of adrenalin, lust and anticipation flooded through her. Was this about to happen?
Tamsin Flowers loves to write light-hearted erotica, often with a twist in the tail/tale and a sense of fun. In the words of one reviewer, ‘Ms Flowers has a way of describing sexual tension that forces itself upon your own body.’ Her stories have appeared in a wide variety of anthologies and she is now graduating to novellas, for publishers including Cleis Press, Xcite Books, Secret Cravings and Totally Bound. This year, she entered NaNoWriMo, with the intention of penning her magnum opus in the very near future. In the meantime, like most erotica writers, she finds herself working on at least ten stories at once: while she figures out whose leg belongs in which story, you can find out more about her at Tamsin’s Superotica or Tamsin Flowers.