Title: Inked Hearts
Series: Lines in the Sand #1
Author: Lindsay Detwiler
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 21, 2017
“Six years, a
complex about my freckles, a love for pastrami, and a fear of failure.
That’s what he
gave me before slaughtering my heart and my faith in men.”
Suffering from the
sting of betrayal, twenty-eight-year-old Avery Johannas quits her job and moves
hundreds of miles away to Ocean City, the beach town of her dreams. With the
help of her zany roommate, Jodie, Avery finds a new career, home, and freedom.
Throughout her self-exploration, she makes only one rule: She won’t give her
heart to a man again. She’s living for herself this time.
But then she meets Jesse.
A tattoo shop owner,
the green-eyed Jesse Pearce is wild with a touch of mystery. As Jesse and Avery
explore Ocean City and their friendship, they’ll have a hard time drawing a
line in the sand between their hearts.
When summer nights
get a little more heated than either expected, they’ll have to ask
themselves: Can they let go of their notions of love, or will their
hearts be permanently inked by past pain?
There’s some soft rock music playing when I open the door to
Jesse’s apartment. The distinct smell of teriyaki sauce permeates the room,
dancing in my nose as soon as I walk through the door.
“Hey. That looks amazing on you,” he says. He’s wearing
black jeans and a button-up shirt. He’s gelled his hair, and hints of his
cologne permeate the room.
“Thanks. I love this. You didn’t have to do it.”
“I like to treat my artists well.”
“So you do this for all of them?” I ask, setting down my bag
on the counter.
“Only the good ones.”
He leans in to kiss me, and I realize how natural this has
become. It hasn’t taken long for us to settle into couple status. In
retrospect, it seems now like it was always coming. It seems unnatural for us
not to be like this—comfortable, kissing, and together.
I’m so glad that for once in my life, I broke my own rules.
Jesse leads me to his kitchen table, which is adorned with a
dozen pink roses. I smile, gently touching the petals of one.
“This is beautiful. Thank you.”
“Have a seat. Dinner is ready.” Jesse brings out a few
casserole dishes with rice, teriyaki chicken and vegetables, and even some egg
“Did you make all this?” I ask coyly, pretending to be
“Yeah, it was sort of rough because I’m not that great at
He stares for a moment as he sets the dishes down. I can
tell he’s trying to see if I believe him.
I look directly from him to the top of the refrigerator, at
a large take-out bag with a familiar Chinese restaurant’s name. I raise an
“That’s an old bag,” Jesse says, waving a hand but smirking.
“Yeah, okay. I just have a feeling this is going to taste
just like it.”
“Only because I worked so hard to get the secret recipe.”
I dig into the dishes, serving myself, laughing at the
trouble he went through. “You know, you didn’t have to dirty dishes on my
account. I would’ve been fine with takeout. I’m not a food snob.”
“That’s a good thing, because I’m not much of a cook.”
“Oh, and I am,” I say, referring to the pasta debacle.
“What a pair, huh?”
I shrug. “Could be worse.”
“I’ll drink to that,” he says, holding up his bottle of
beer. We clink bottles as we finish eating. To an outsider, I’m sure it looks
ridiculous. My fancy dress and necklace, sitting at a table eating take-out
To me, though, it’s perfect. The man I’ve fallen for sitting
beside me, Chinese food, and a comfort I haven’t had with anyone else.
As much of a mystery as Jesse Pearce was a few months ago,
he’s become as familiar as my new self.
I like this new Avery. I like Jesse’s Avery. I like the
Jesse and Avery we are together.
So when we finish eating and he gives me the look I’ve come
to recognize, I lean forward, kissing him with a fervor I’ve reserved for this
moment, telling him wordlessly that I’m all his.
As he leads me back to the bedroom and hastily unzips the
dress he painstakingly picked out for me, I smile.
For a long time, I didn’t think I wanted to belong to any
man. For a long time, I thought this part of myself was shut down.
But as Jesse’s hands travel down to the familiar hot-pink
underwear I’m wearing, I feel myself let go of all of those ideas I had before.
I’ve come to realize it’s okay to be his, because Jesse
doesn’t hold me back. He makes me who I want to be. He makes me the best
version of myself.
Loving him might be a risk, and losing myself completely to
him tonight might be my undoing. Letting him go, though, is not an option, not
when he tosses me back on the bed, and I feel every part of my being succumb to
the tattooed hunk moving perfectly on top of me.
And so, after a night of learning what adult sleepovers are
actually all about and mastering the sex-hair look, I let go of my rule.
I’m all in. I’m all his.
An English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink
and/or glittery, Lindsay’s the English teacher cliché; she loves cats, reading,
Shakespeare, and Poe.
She currently lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad (her junior high
sweetheart); their cats, Arya, Amelia, Alice, Marjorie, and Bob; and their
Lindsay’s goal with her writing is to show the power of love and the beauty of
life while also instilling a true sense of realism in her work. Some reviewers
have noted that her books are not the “typical romance.” With her novels coming
from a place of honesty, Lindsay examines the difficult questions, looks at the
tough emotions, and paints the pictures that are sometimes difficult to look
at. She wants her fiction to resonate with readers as realistic, poetic, and
powerful. Lindsay wants women readers to be able to say, “I see myself in that
novel.” She wants to speak to the modern woman’s experience while also bringing
a twist of something new and exciting. Her aim is for readers to say, “That
could happen,” or “I feel like the characters are real.” That’s how she knows
she’s done her job.
Lindsay’s hope is that by becoming a published author, she can inspire some of
her students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. She wants
them to see that any dream can be attained and publishing a novel isn’t out of
the realm of possibility.