|Tattoo by Cambria Hebert|
Take It Off: Book 7
March 10, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
(Contains: sexual content and graphic language)
Source: Complementary copy from publisher for Honest review
***This is a new adult contemporary novel and contains sexual content and graphic language. It is not intended for young adult readers.***
A tattoo gets them in trouble… He will get them out.
After years of cultivating an undercover identity, Brody West is finally off the case and free to live a life of his own. All that time spent in the company of criminals and killers left him a little jaded… and with an identity crisis. He isn’t sure who he is anymore, or who he wants to be.
To give him time to think, he takes a few days off to go fishing. On his way out of town, he makes a routine stop at the bank and finds himself flirting with the girl behind the counter.
But his flirtation is cut short when criminals burst into the bank and shoot her right before his eyes.
In attempt to administer first aid, Brody reveals a tattoo on his upper arm. A mark that will drag him and the girl into the kind of situation he was trying to get away from. But he can’t walk away because he’s the only thing capable of keeping Taylor alive and bringing down the guys who shot her—guys who are seriously dangerous.
Tattoo is the exciting, action-filled romance between Taylor, the smart, brave girl from the bank, and Brody, the undercover agent. A chance meeting at the bank turns into much more as both are brought together during a hold-up and forced into the hands of dangerous criminals. And along the way, those sparks they felt at the bank become a whole lot more.
There were several things that I really enjoyed about Tattoo:
* Steady action and pacing: There really weren't any dull moments to speak of. Hebert kept the story exciting and kept my attention throughout. Though some things were predictable, that didn't take away my enjoyment and the story's appeal.
* Intriguing characters: Taylor was a lot of fun to read about, both from her own perspective and from how Brody saw her, as we get dual POVs. I liked how brave, loyal, and true to herself she was. There wasn't any falseness about her. What you see is what you get. And I really liked her. Brody was a whole lotta alpha male. He was unapologetic for who he was, and how he lived within his job. But then we get to see a softer side to him as the story progresses and he reflects more on his life and what he wants in his future. I liked the different layers we got to see with both main characters.
* Exciting romance: I don't mind a speedy romance if I can get behind the characters, their intentions, and see their chemistry. Fortunately, I felt the chemistry between Taylor and Brody. Due to their circumstances, they were forced to not only get to know each other quickly, but also trust each other in their intense situation. With that trust, they were able to rely on each other and work together, and that just solidified their connection that much more. The zinging sparks and physical magnetism between them could certainly be felt. They were a really cute couple.
Overall, Tattoo was a great, fast-paced, romantic read. Perfect for those who like some escapism, like a man in law enforcement, like a girl who isn't a shrinking violet, and don't mind a speedy romance. This is part of a series, but each book can be read as a standalone.
3-1/2 to 4 STARS
The inside of the bank greeted me with a blast of cold air and was just as brightly lit as the sidewalk outside. The walls in here were white and so were the glossy tile floors. I stepped through the roped off line, lining up behind several others already waiting. Four tellers stood behind the long wooden counter, each with their own computer.
It seemed like I stood in line forever and I grew irritated because I just wanted to get the hell out of here and onto the open road.
Finally it was my turn and I moved down the counter toward the last window on the end. I yanked my wallet and bank card, then looked up.
Suddenly the amount of time I waited didn’t seem like such an inconvenience. In fact, if I had known she was the person waiting for me at the end of this counter I would have waited longer.
Her light scarlet hair was long and filled with loose curls that fell over her shoulder and down her chest. Her complexion was flawless with the flush of fresh peaches and her lower lip was fuller than the top, making it appear as though she had a permanent pink pout.
“How can I help you today?” she asked, politely, glancing up with crystal green eyes. I watched them widen slightly and rich satisfaction flowed through me. I wasn’t pretty like her but I wasn’t completely lacking in the looks department.
“Hey,” I said, leaning on the counter with both my elbows. The movement brought me a little closer to her. “I need to make a withdrawal.”
She glanced down at the bank card and ID I extended between us and then back at me. I gave her a lazy smile and she cleared her throat, taking the cards. She looked them over and then her polished fingernails flew over the keyboard.
I glanced at her chest, being distracted by her nice rack but my eyes finally finding the nameplate pinned to the front of her top. Taylor.
“How much would you like to withdrawal?” she asked.
She inputed the amount without saying anything.
“So,” I said, leaning toward her again. “You come here often?”
She rolled her eyes, but a small smile played on her lips. “Just the days I feel like earning a paycheck.”
I grinned. “Paychecks are overrated.” I drawled. “I’m going fishing.”
“Says the man with a huge bank account,” she quipped. Then she winced and looked up. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t-”
I laughed. The chagrin on her face and the way her cheeks bloomed with bright pink spots was entirely amusing. “Never said I didn’t work, just said I thought it was over rated.”
She relaxed when she realized I didn’t give a rats ass that she knew how much was in my account. “You should bait your hook with hot dogs. Fish love them.”
She was right, surprise rippled through me. “You can’t tell me a girl like you likes to fish.”
“And what,” she asked, arching a red brow in my direction, “is a girl like me?” she hit a couple keys and the little dispenser to my right started flinging out cash.
“You’re withdrawal is to your right.” she said professionally.
I let the cash sit there. “Are you a tomboy in disguise?” I whispered conspiratorially. I enjoyed the emotion, the animation that played over her features. She was beautiful that was no doubt but it seemed that she also had a lot beneath that pretty exterior.
“Don’t tell anyone,” she whispered back handing me a receipt. Her teeth were really white and really straight. I got this sudden craving to run my tongue along their smooth surface.
“You’re secret is safe with me.” I tore my eyes away to pocket the cash, not bothering to count it. Oddly, I trusted her. I never trusted anyone.
Behind me a loud banging sound boomed through the room and I tensed, spinning on my heels. Four guys pushed through the entrance, each of them pulling out a gun.
I couldn’t even get away from this shit on vacation.
Adrenaline spiked my system and began pumping through my veins and accelerating my heart. It didn’t take an idiot to guess why they were here. This was a bank and they had guns. I looked over my shoulder at Taylor who was watching the men with wide eyes.
“Get down!” I ordered quietly. “Hide. Hide good.”
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com