Tegan is LS Anders’ second book in the Exotic Ink series and having thoroughly enjoyed the first one, I could not wait to read Tegan’s story. Yes, I admit it, my expectations were high, but this book exceeded them and I was absolutely riveted from the first page.
Tegan Steele, Vehn’s best friend, is the new tattoo artist at Exotic Ink, the Manhattan studio, where Rayna Nichols, newly widowed, also works. Despite being attracted to each other, both carry quite a lot of baggage. Rayna’s husband cheated on her a LOT, and died in the arms of his latest flame – a woman who had been part of the Exotic Ink team. Tegan is in the process of trying to divorce a wife whose self-destructive lifestyle and behaviour destroyed any love he might have had for her long ago. On top of this, issues of abandonment and loss of self-esteem, simmer close to the surface, leaving their ability to trust, severely damaged if not irrevocably lost. Tegan hides behind a rather grim veneer, one Rayna is slowly shattering, but every time they get close, those insecurities rear their ugly heads and any chance of a HEA slips just out of reach.
Within the Exotic Ink series, LS Anders has created a captivating set of characters, who are more than simply work colleagues, they’re a family. Ok, they are a messy, somewhat dysfunctional, chaotically crazy family but one whose love and support is second to none and one, which provides a wonderful backdrop to Tegan and Rayna’s romance – hot and steamy though it might be (& believe me it sizzles).
Tegan and Rayna’s journey isn’t always a comfortable read. Their story dragged me kicking and screaming through a whole gamut of emotions, and there were times, even though I knew why he behaved the way he did, when I wanted to slap Tegan. But then, life, romance and love isn’t always perfect, shit happens, it’s how we surmount the obstacles along the way that gives us the strength to take that leap of faith, finally believing someone will catch us before we crash into an ignominious heap.
What more can I say – I loved this book, and am eagerly awaiting the third instalment.