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Her Hometown Girl
Belladonna Ink #3
I had doubts before the Big Day—doesn’t everyone?—but I didn’t expect to find my fiancée banging the caterer’s assistant right before the ceremony. Especially because he’s a guy. And we’re lesbians. The proper sort of Southern Californian lesbians who invest in hedge funds and wear bedazzled wedding dresses and wouldn’t be caught dead in a Subaru.
But then I became a runaway bride, headed straight for Belladonna Ink to get the kind of tattoo I always wanted and my ex always called trashy. She didn’t approve of a lot of things I did. I think maybe she didn’t approve of who I am.
So I’m determined to be as much of myself as I can manage. Dating my tattoo artist? I’m in. Cai is smart, sexy, and mysterious. Exactly what I need for a rebound. She keeps herself guarded, but I understand—I’m holding on to secrets too. The kind of secrets that make a girl want to run home to Mom, even if home is Idaho. Maybe especially then. I just didn’t expect Cai to come with me.
I wonder what it would take to get her to stay forever.
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About the Belladonna Ink universe:
Belladonna Ink is the hottest female-centric tattoo parlor in Southern California. It doesn’t matter if you’re cis, trans, het, gay, or spectrum, our host of female tattoo artists will give you beautiful ink, personally designed. We don’t believe in paint-by-number drawings—you’re worth more than that. Give us a chance and we’ll help you find the meaning in your personal scribbles, and turn your skin into our professional canvas.
Just one thing: it’s really weird, but all our friends and some of our artists keep falling in love. Maybe it’s something in the ink.
Check out Belladonna Ink!
As I write this, it’s the end of August. Another summer has come and gone. It’s been a good one for me. I went to Orlando for the RWA National Convention, which was awesome on its own. Plus I stuck around for an extra day at the end in order to visit Disneyworld, which I’d never been to. (It was awesome. Awe. Some. Even though it rained off and on all day and one of my souvenirs was a $10 Disney poncho.) And my family went camping at a local place that was hilariously kitschy. We participated in bingo at the pavilion on Friday night where our cards were stamped with the name of a church in Florida. (We’re in Wisconsin. Florida is a long, long way away. I’m not sure how it happened.) I grilled bacon and we had campfires every night and it was lovely.
But it wasn’t exactly the vacation I’d have taken had I been working with an unlimited budget.
I recently decided that for my 50th birthday, I’m taking a tour of Southeast Asia. That’s twelve years from now, so I’ve got some time to decide what I’m doing, but as of right now? I want to see everything. Go everywhere. I want to spend multiple days at Angkor Wat, enough time that I can find a place to sit for hours and simply be.
I’ve been fascinated with the Cambodian temple complex for most of my life, even when I felt really complicated about it. My dad served in the Vietnam War, and I know what we as Americans did to Cambodia and it’s all really not great. Tie that up with my complicated feelings about religion and you had a teenager who was really confused why she’d be so drawn to a spiritual place. I still don’t know my reasons. I still don’t know how to reconcile the western’s world intentions toward Cambodia. I’ll do my best to be respectful and that’s about the best I’m capable of. I have to believe it’s enough.
I also want something like the Four Seasons Golden Triangle in Thailand.
It’s in a land that’s achingly beautiful. Remote. I have never been anywhere that looks like that region of Thailand. I just haven’t. I want to fix that. I want to be able to relax on a porch and see nothing but jungle in a way that’s 180* from my home in Wisconsin.
But of course, I want to see other parts of Thailand, too.
When I was only 20, I was a young soldier stationed in Korea. As we rode the bus from the airport to a processing center, a grizzlied sergeant stood at the front of the bus, swaying as the driver braked and sped through crazy Korean traffic, and imparted a lot of knowledge. Much of what he said was stuff we needed to know. Basics about how to take the subway and things like that. But one thing he said stood out: “Don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce.”
That was ridiculous to me then, and it still is now. Whenever I’m presented with a menu and I’m not really sure what I want, the thing I get is the thing I cannot get or make at home. I ate my way through Korea, trying pretty much everything. (Except the food stand outside a subway station that served bugs. I never could manage that.)
When I’m 50 and on my grand adventure? I’m so going to eat my way through everything. Dress me in a kaftan and don’t take me home until you have to roll me.
About the author:
After a seminomadic childhood throughout California, Lorelie Brown spent high school in Orange County before joining the US Army. After traveling the world from South Korea to Italy, she now lives north of Chicago. She writes her Pacific Blue series of hot surfers in order to channel some warmth.
Lorelie has three active sons, two yappy dogs, and a cat who cusses her out on a regular basis for not petting him enough.
In her immense free time (hah!) Lorelie cowrites award-winning contemporary erotic romance under the name Katie Porter. You can find out more about the Vegas Top Guns and Command Force Alpha series at www.KatiePorterBooks.com or at @MsKatiePorter.
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To celebrate the release of Her Hometown Girl, one lucky winner will receive a bottle of Macallan single malt whisky! Contest IS restricted to both US entries and to those over the age of 21. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 9, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.