November 12, 2014

REVIEW: Draw Me In By, Regina Cole

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In Regina Cole’s steamy novel of hot ink and delicious angst, two tortured artists take a leap of faith—but the past threatens to tear them apart.

After her parents pull the plug on her college fund to finance their nasty divorce, Hailey Jakes is desperate to pay her own way and finish her degree in graphic design. She can hardly believe her luck when the sexiest guy she’s ever seen hires her to be the receptionist at his tattoo shop. With sea-blue eyes, jet-black hair, and full sleeves of tattoos on his muscular arms, Neill Vanderhaven looks like the kind of guy who wouldn’t give her the time of day. In fact, he’s mesmerized by her—and it doesn’t hurt that she’s talented as hell.

But Hailey and Neill have more in common than instant chemistry: They’re both carrying serious baggage. Hailey’s parents split after years of blowout fights and sloppy affairs. Neill just got out of something serious with a woman who loved her bad habits more than she loved him. When they take the plunge on a new relationship, they’re both breaking their own rules.

But then a terrible misunderstanding brings Neil’s worst fears to life, and their connection threatens to come crashing down. What they have is more than skin-deep, but now Hailey and Neill need to decide whether the kind of love that lasts forever is worth such exquisite pain.

This is my first Regina Cole book and I absolutely fell in love with the characters and the story. I read it in about a day. I just couldn’t put it down. There was something so honest about to people from completely different backgrounds trying to find who they are supposed to be.

Neill has been through the wringer. Not only was his father an abusive drug addict but the first girl he ever gave his heart to ended up being one as well. She made his life a living hell and now that she is gone and his life is back on track he can’t let anything get in his way. Neill promised himself he wouldn’t trust someone that much again. When Hailey walks in looking for a job he knows that she is going to test his boundaries and the walls he has put up. But Neill is determined to fight their attraction every step of the way.

Hailey has always had parents who fought. A dad who liked to have sex with his secretaries and a mother drowning in her depression. She is happiest when she is away at college. When her parent’s relationship comes to an end her dad tells her she needs to come home. College is over for her. Hailey can’t stand the thought so she looks for a job so that she can pay for school on her own. She wasn’t ready for Neill. He gave her a job when no one else would and showing her a job that could make her happier than she ever thought possible. Now she just has to keep her growing attraction for him separate because she doesn’t want a relationship like her parents. And dating your boss is hard enough.

I loved both of these characters. Neill was obviously more broken that Hailey but he was a great character. He learns about what really matters and how to trust people again. He is really sweet, talented, and incredibly swoon-worthy. Neill had his problems and he worked through them the best he knew how. With the help of Hailey he got his life to where it needed to be. Hailey was an incredible heroine. She didn’t let her parent’s dysfunctional relationship stop her from getting her College degree. She knew what she wanted and she kept fighting to keep it. She was there in the best way for Neill and she seemed to handle everything that ended up happening to her amazingly.

The relationships in this book where pretty great. Neill and Hailey had amazing chemistry and their relationship didn’t seem forced or weird. They interacted well with each other and the other characters. I loved all of the people from the tattoo shop too. They brought comedic relief and some much needed guidance to both characters.

Overall this book was well written and the flow was perfect. The ending was a little abrupt but I thought the epilogue fixed a little of that. The pacing of the story line kept me interested and the little hints that something wasn’t quite right kept you guessing and turning the page. I loved every second of this book and I would definitely recommend it to contemporary romance readers!

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