Author: Jo Raven
Series: Inked Brotherhood #5
Published by Self-Published
Release Date April 2015
Genres: Erotic Romance, New Adult Romance
More Info: Goodreads
His name is Rafaele Vestri, Rafe to his friends.
He’s tall, strong, handsome. Distant. He often comes to the café where I work, but we don’t talk much. He looks at me, though. Stares at me, his gaze heated, and I can’t help but stare back. I want him, I won’t deny it. I’ve never seen anyone that beautiful, anyone that powerful, in my life.
But he’s growing more withdrawn by the day. Something’s up, and he won’t tell. I know about his past – the murder of his family when he was fifteen. I can imagine how much it must have cost him. So much violence contained in that strong body, waiting to be unleashed. What is he seeking? What is he training so hard for? Why is looking at me like he’s dying to touch me, but won’t dare?
Even as I try to stop thinking about him, get interested in other boys, I realize I can’t. I’m caught, body and soul, just like that. And I tell myself, Megan, girl… What have you gotten yourself into this time?
This is book 5 in the Inked Brotherhood series which started with Asher. It is a stand-alone work. No cliffhanger.
Rafe (Inked Brotherhood, #5)
New Adult contemporary (erotic) romance
by Jo Raven
Cover by Jo Raven
Model: Matt Sallis
Photographer: Gilles Crofta
Release Date: End March/Beginning April 2015
I’m staring at Rafe’s hand. Big, strong, callused. A scar runs from his thumb to the index finger.
He’s looking at me, waiting. What does he want?
I lift my hand, place it in his. It fits on his palm, smaller, darker, thinner. He seems as entranced by the contrast as I am. His fingers slowly curl, closing around mine. His lips part, but no sound comes from his mouth, and his gaze remains fixed on our entwined hands, pale lashes hiding the gold of his eyes.
Now I’m the one caught, transfixed. His mouth looks soft, vulnerable, at odds with his strong, angular features and the broad set of his shoulders. The need to touch his face is overwhelming, and I step closer, so close I can sense his scent. Not a cologne, but the deep scent of his skin, like musk and warm metal. I can see the rise and fall of his chest underneath the black Deathmoth T-shirt he’s wearing under his open jacket, see the outline of his strong pecs.
We’re standing so close our breaths mingle, and our bodies touch in places as we shift, feathery brushes that send fire across my skin, into my belly, making me ache. He places his hands on my waist and I grip his thick, sinewy forearms. My stomach drops as if I’m standing at the edge of a precipice, on the edge of a moment that can change everything.
What’s happening? It’s as if in the hollow darkness, the barrier between us is crumbling, the wall he’s set between himself and the world is falling.
His hands tighten on my hipbones and his lashes lift, his gaze moving to my mouth. His breathing is ragged. He tugs me against him, his fingertips digging painfully into my flesh, his arms flexing with barely controlled strength.
His arousal presses into my stomach, hot and thick, caught sideways in his jeans.
My mind fills up with static. Rafe wants me. There’s the solid proof of his desire. The heated gaze I’ve felt so often on me is translated into a physical reaction, and it makes me feel so hot I might burst into flames. He’s so handsome, I can’t help myself. I want to stroke his square jaw, drag my fingertips over the golden stubble on his cheeks, kiss those damnable dimples.
I whimper, the sound coming from deep inside me, and he freezes, goes so still I’m not even sure he’s breathing.
Then he jerks back, releases me so fast I’m left reeling.
“Fuck,” he hisses. He buries his fingers in his short blond hair, pulls, his mouth now hard like the rest of him, pressed into a flat line. “This is a mistake.”
A knot is gathering in my throat, in my chest, cutting off air.
I want to be mad at him, but his hands are trembling, and his amber eyes so full of pain I forget my anger before it even forms. He’s like mist, here and suddenly gone, lost into thin air. I have to touch him, touch his bare skin, prove he’s real.
“Wait.” I lift my hand to his face, fingertips skimming over the smooth skin of his cheekbone. Warm. Satin soft.
A pang goes through my chest, an ache that feels too much like sorrow, and I’m not sure if it’s mine or his.
He jerks away, his eyes wide on his pale face. He reaches up, his hand hovering over the spot I touched. Then he turns and rushes off into the crowd.
My hand is still hovering in midair. I don’t know for how long I stand there, staring at my splayed fingers, trying to figure out what happened. Or maybe trying to find another explanation for his reaction, desperate for him to be different to any other handsome, arrogant guy. Maybe I imagined the pain in his gaze – or maybe that pain is real but doesn’t make a difference. Traumatic past or not, he’s sorry he touched me, sorry he desired me. Big surprise. Why would he desire me, of all girls? There are so many vying for his attention. Girls who have witty, sexy things to say, and who don’t go stiff like cardboard when he touches them.
The thought of him touching other girls shouldn’t hurt quite as much as it does. And this is a bad sign. Very bad sign, Megan, I tell myself and lower my hand that touched him. I feel as if my fingertips are numb, burnt by the feel of his skin.
Five boys brought together by fate. Five young men trying to overcome their troubled pasts. Five tattoos marking them as a brotherhood built on tragedy. Will they find understanding and rise above the pain?
Five girls tied by friendship. Five young women fighting their own demons. Five lives laced with sorrow. Will they be strong enough to save the men they love and make them happy?
The series comprises five interconnected, stand-alone novels: Asher, Tyler, Zane, Dylan and Rafe.
Now eighteen, Audrey returns to her hometown for the first time after the accident – the car crash that took her dad and scarred her for life. She’s here to start again. Go to college and have fun. Make new friends. Get over the past.
But the past won’t let go. Asher is here – her first kiss, her first heartbreak. More handsome and distant than ever, he’s still the boy who used to be her best friend. That was before he changed into someone she hardly knows anymore – the boy who started getting into fights and gave her the cold shoulder for years.
Asher isn’t what she needs. In fact, she hates him and should try her best to keep away from him. Yet her body doesn’t seem to care about how she feels, and maybe, just maybe this time her body got it right. Not that she has much of a choice. Asher draws her like a bright flame, and if she isn’t careful, she’ll burn.
And that may not be such a bad thing after all…
Four years have passed since I left home, my parents, and my brother Asher behind – since I shut out my past.
And Erin. Four years since I last saw her, since I heard her voice and held her in my arms. I’ve spent my time forging a path from woman to woman, from bed to bed, trying to find an answer. But I think I’ve lost my way. There’s no light at the end of the dark.
No big surprise. I carry the dark inside me. I’m a bastard – branded as such from the start. I never give my phone number and address. I take my pleasure, and don’t come back for seconds. No commitments, no promises and no happy endings. Yeah, I’m a bastard down to the bone and I don’t give a damn.
But now I’m back in my birth town, the town I fled at eighteen – back to make amends to the brother I abandoned and watch from afar the only girl I’ve ever wanted. Hope isn’t a currency I can afford. I learned that lesson long ago.
Yet when she looks at me and says my name, I can’t help but hope.
They call me Zen-man, the cool-headed one, the protector. I keep an eye out for everyone, take them in, find them homes. They think I’m the calm and collected one, the self-assured one, the one who knows the way. They think they see me. They think they know me.
But they’re all wrong, because inside I’m broken. I have a jagged hole in my soul I can’t fix, a festering blackness. I’ve been to the pits of hell, and nobody comes back unscathed. Life in foster care fucked me up, and now a thread is all that’s holding me together.
So I sleep around and never date, keeping chicks away. One day I’ll snap, and when I do, there’s no telling who I might take down with me.
All the same, there’s this one girl who won’t be scared away. Dakota. She’s hot, and I won’t deny I want her. But she keeps coming back, pushing me, trying to get me to talk, to open up to her.
She has no idea she’s playing with fire. When the demons come, she’d better be far away from me, just like everyone else.
From the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Jo Raven comes the fourth installment in the Inked Brotherhood series which began with ASHER.
When you’ve tried your best for years and never managed to please your demanding parents… When you’ve fallen head over heels for someone who keeps ignoring you… When you’ve hit rock bottom.
Tessa is this close to giving up – on her authoritative parents and their demands, on her studies, on everything in her life.
Including Dylan. The one boy she has loved since she can remember. The one who dated her and promised her forever when they were fourteen, and then dumped her without an explanation only to ignore her ever since.
The one who shows up to save her from violence before the stroke of midnight, who kisses her and holds her close, only to tell her in the course of the same night he doesn’t love her.
Tessa knows Dylan has gone through some tough times, and they’re only getting tougher – but is he telling the truth about his lack of feelings for her, or is he running from his own demons?
The way Tessa sees it, she has two options: run away, leaving it all behind – or stay to fight against her controlling family, and win back Dylan. She has a feeling he needs her, and how can she leave when he’s the only man who’s ever made her feel alive?