At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.
Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.
Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.
I stepped into the room, shoving my hands into the pockets of my hoodie, and stared appreciatively at the way Jericho’s thin black T-shirt clung to the well-defined muscles of his shoulders. We’d only crossed paths a handful of times during the years he and Landon had been friends, but I’d always thought Jericho was fucking hot. He had to lift weights. His biceps were clearly defined under all the ink, and judging by his ass and thighs, this was not a man who skipped leg day at the gym.
Fuck, I should not be looking.
“Um.” I tore my eyes away from his ass and sucked my lower lip into my mouth, briefly catching the stainless steel hoop that pierced it between my teeth. “My dad told me to come by to see you. Said you need someone to work the front desk.”
“I do.” Jericho poured water into the coffeemaker and shoved the carafe into place before jabbing at the power button. He pivoted to face me, arms crossed over his chest. “Are you interested?”
I lifted a shoulder. “I’m here, aren’t I?”
Jericho’s dark eyebrows drew down over his hazel eyes. Despite his youthful face, silver liberally threaded his short beard and hair, the close-cropped sides revealing more gray than black. Somehow it intensified his appeal instead of aging him prematurely. I knew he couldn’t be much more than forty—younger than Landon for sure—and I loved the fact that he clearly didn’t give a fuck about the gray. He was all natural, not trying to cover it up with that cheesy ass “Just For Men” shit. “If this is how you talk to your prospective employers, I’m surprised that gas station hired you.”
I started to reply, but Jericho held up a tattooed hand.
“This is how it’s going to be,” he said. “If you show up on time and do your work, you’ll get paid. If you do a good enough job, we can discuss an apprenticeship once I find a decent replacement.”
I tried to protest the apprenticeship thing, but he kept right on talking.
“Don’t steal anything. Don’t be rude to my customers. And don’t think I won’t send your ass packing the second you step out of line with me.” Jericho backed his words with a hard-eyed glare. “I’m giving you a chance because I like your father, and because someone helped me when I was doing my damned best to ruin my life. I’d like to pay it forward, but I won’t tolerate your bullshit. Got me?”
I tipped my chin. “Yeah, I got you.”
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Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, she loves them all (and has an over-two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She’s an avid tea drinker, a hockey fanatic, a vintage typewriter collector, and loves to travel so much she has “wanderlust” tattooed on her ankle and dozens of countries on her bucket list. Recently, she discovered the world of nail art and realized she’s pretty handy with a paintbrush—as long as it’s a miniature one.
As a bisexual and Latinx person, Piper takes great pride in her heritage. She grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and strives to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, son, and a cat that has Piper wrapped around her little paw. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life … even if it’s only in a book.
Blog Tour Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Bisexual Orientation: Gay Orientation: Pansexual Pairing: M/M Publisher: Riptide Publishing Tag: Age-Gap Tag: Art / Artist Tag: Friends to Lovers Tag: Part of a series Art & Soul series Avon Gale Permanent Ink Piper Vaughn