Marks on my Skin by J.A. Howell {BOOK TOUR}

**Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language, explicit sex, and adult situations.** Kieran Donovan has always been a doormat to the women in his life. Begging his wife not to leave after finding her in bed with not one—but five men—only provides further proof of that. In need of an escape from an empty house and a broken heart, Kieran heads to Midtown to see his estranged brother, Liam. There he meets Shayne Wickham, Liam’s best friend. Shayne’s dark and sexy with a wild streak a mile long and a sexual appetite for things Kieran’s never even dreamed of doing. But after an intense, and all too brief encounter, he’s more than willing to learn. Despite the usual safeguards Shayne keeps around herself and her own wounded heart, she finds herself more than willing to show him the ropes…and the floggers…and the paddles.
Kieran’s never seen himself as dominant in any aspect of his life. But when Shayne submits herself to him, it ignites an inner strength and hunger he never knew he had—and feelings Shayne didn’t know she could have. So used to keeping others at an arm’s length, the ease with which she finds herself trusting Kieran is both exciting and unsettling. Could Kieran be someone she could finally trust her heart to—or will he leave her scarred like everyone else?
Just another mark on her skin.

J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.

“There’s a Paddle in my Trunk”
Lunch with Kieran had become a daily ritual over the last couple weeks he’d been in Midtown, and I was finding I rather enjoyed his company—minus the occasional snarky comment regarding my choice in extra-curricular activities. Liam had relaxed some, seeing that our interactions had turned quite platonic for the most part.
“Gino’s again?” I asked as we walked out to my car.
“Sounds good to me.”
I nodded and tossed him my keys. “You can drive Betty today. My wrists are killing me.”
A playful smirk tugged at the corners of his mouth and I rolled my eyes. “From tattooing, perv.”
He made himself the picture of innocence, drawing his lips into a pout and batting his long dark lashes.
“I didn’t say anything.”
I pulled the passenger door open and slid inside so he didn’t see my smile. “You didn’t have to.”
Kieran let out an indignant grunt, but mischief played behind those eyes of his and a grin spread across his lips. He pulled out of the alley and fifteen minutes later we were at Gino’s. We went inside and Kieran slid into the booth we’d sat at the first time we came here. I slid in across from him and sat down a little too hard. With a wince, I eased down against the seat. Kieran took notice, a wide toothy grin crossing his lips.
“Ya alright over there?”
“Yep, just fine.” I answered and flipped open one of the menus. I refused to give him anymore fuel.
The waitress came, placed our drinks in front of us, and took our orders. Calzones this time. Kieran gnawed at his bottom lip, gears turning behind his eyes. Here we go again. I shifted against the padded bench, winced, and his eyes lit up.
“Arse a little sore?”
“Maybe.” My eyes darted up to him. Two could play this game. Admittedly, I found his attempts to pry more than entertaining. He grinned at this little morsel and stabbed his straw in his drink, waggling an eyebrow at me. “Was somebody a naughty girl last night?”
I took a long sip from my soda, narrowing my eyes at him speculatively. The minute I answered him, he’d blush and change the subject, I just knew it. So I answered him. Honestly.
 “Yeah, I was. Darren bent me over his kitchen table and spanked me with a wooden paddle.”
Kieran blinked and his eyes widened a little, but to my surprise he quickly returned to his former, teasing expression. “Ya really like getting spanked, don’t ya?”
A trickle of warmth moved through me and I sat up, amused and somewhat turned on by this bolder side of Kieran. I wondered just how far he would take it.
“Yeah, I do. I’ve got a paddle in my trunk if you want to go outside and give it a couple swings.”
Kieran’s eyes went round again and he sucked in a breath—and soda, which he promptly sputtered across the tabletop. Lucky for him, the waitress came back with our food, though she frowned at the spray of soda. She wiped down the table then placed our dishes in front of us and Kieran gave her an apologetic look. His cheeks flushed and I turned my attention to the hot calzone on my plate, giving him a chance to recuperate.
“So ya said ya had ta pick up a few things fer the shop?” He asked, finally looking up from his plate.
I smiled. Of course he changed the subject.

“The Motorboat”
Kieran narrowed his eyes at me and brought the cup to his lips. “Why do they call it The Motorboat anyway?”
“Because it’s so strong it makes your lips do the motorboat thing when you drink it.” I couldn’t fight the grin pulling at my lips as he took a long sip.
“Sssssppppffffffff! Whoa!” He blinked, stared down at the coffee in disbelief, and smacked his lips a couple times.
Someone snorted from back in the kitchen and I unsuccessfully stifled a giggle. “See?”
He shrugged, cheeks reddening. “It’s not bad.”
“Mmm hmm.” I hid my grin, tilting my coffee cup to my lips. Kieran had a mustache of crema on his upper lip and before I could stop myself I ran a finger across it. His eyes shimmered and he flicked his tongue out to get the rest. It grazed my fingertip and I pulled my hand away as blood rushed to my cheeks. “Well, I should get going.”
“Where ya headed?” He took another sip and gritted his teeth to keep from motor-boating again.
“I was just going to do some shopping. Um…you know you don’t have to drink that whole thing to prove anything.” I giggled watching him shake his head after another sip.
“Pfft. It’s just a bit of caffeine.” He grabbed a lid and handed me one. “I was just going ta sit around and write…unless ya wanted some company?”
I should have said no, but nodded instead. Well, at least hopped up on that much espresso he could carry all my bags for me. Hell, with the amount of caffeine in that cup, he could probably haul a whole a semi over his head.  He followed me out and we headed a few blocks away to a clothing store. Kieran stopped and tossed his cup into a trashcan before following me in.
“Did you finally give up finishing it?” I glanced down at his empty hands.
“No, I finished the whole cup.”
I coughed and tried not to sputter out my own coffee. “Please tell me you’re joking.”
“What? I feel fine.”
I shook my head and turned to one of the clothing racks. “For now, you mean.”
He shrugged again and slumped down into a chair. I eyed him nervously but for the time being he did seem fine. I grabbed a few sales items off the rack and went to the back to try them on. When I came back out he was slipping off his jacket and beanie.
“You alright?”
“Yeah. Perfectly fine. Just feelin’ warm.” He smiled a bit wide. His pupils were huge and black and his feet bounced against the floor.
“Um, maybe we should go for a walk. Get you to sweat off some of that caffeine.” I placed the clothes down and went over to him. He jumped up to his full six feet like a spring.
“Sounds good ta me!”
Oh dear God…
 I grabbed his arm and led him out of the store, but had to double my pace to keep up with his huge strides.  “Slow down there, buddy.”
“Hmm? Sorry.” Kieran slowed down but it was still a brisk stride. I grabbed his hand and his fingers drummed against mine.  I cast him a nervous sideways glance and saw beads of sweat running down his jawline.
“Have you had anything to eat today?”
“Nope! Not really hungry though.” His words jumbled out together and he rubbed his eyes.
“Maybe we should go back to my place for a snack. You sure you’re still okay?”
“Yeah. Feck! It’s feckin’ hot out, innit?” He let out a huge breath and I shook my head at him.
“It’s fifty degrees and windy.” I slid a subtle finger up to his wrist and felt his pulse. It was thrumming like a hummingbird’s. “Yeah let’s go back to my place and get some food in you. And water. I think you need it.”
Kieran didn’t fight me and we made it back to my building in record time. I probably could have just hopped on his back and had him run there. He trudged up the stairs behind me, losing steam halfway up. His breaths started coming in heavy pants and I cast another wary look at him. The front of his shirt was soaked with sweat. We made it to my apartment without him collapsing or going into cardiac arrest and I went straight for the kitchen to make him a sandwich and a glass of water.
“Jahysus, I’m sweating like a pig!”
I turned around to find a shirtless, glistening Kieran standing in the middle of my studio apartment, dabbing sweat off his chest with his t-shirt. Suddenly it did feel a little warm out. I placed the food and water down on the coffee table and grabbed his hand, steering him to the couch.
“Why don’t you have a seat and eat something, hmm?”
“Oh, thanks! Feeling a little light-headed, actually.” He said in a breathless voice. I sat down next to him, watching him wolf down the sandwich and water. I grabbed him another glass, then another.
“Helping any?”
“A little.” He nodded, blinking and rubbing his eyes again. I touched my fingers to his carotid. His heart was still racing. I gave him another glass of water and his hands shook as he brought it to his lips.
“Maybe a hot shower will calm you down a little.”
“Shayne, I’m fine. Really!” He laughed, his voice equally as shaky as his hands.  Unconvinced, I pulled him off the couch and to the bathroom, sitting him down on the closed toilet. “I’m okay. Just a lil’ wound up.”
I turned on the shower and held my hand under the stream of water until it was comfortably warm. Kieran stood up behind me but I paid him no mind—until something brushed against my ass.
“Mmm hmmm.” The low husky sound told me exactly what it was that had touched my ass.
“You’re naked, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, ya said we’re taking a shower.” He ran his hand over my backside and pressed his erection against me again. I swallowed hard in an attempt to maintain my composure.
“No. I said you were.”
He giggled—actually giggled. “No, ya said a nice hot shower would calm me down. Ya didn’t say it would be by myself.”
Another hand slid around to one of my breasts.
“I-it was implied.” I stuttered. His breath tickled my neck and my muscles clenched with need, completely betraying my words. 

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