Montgomery Ink Book 4.5
Hailey Monroe knows the world isn’t always fair, but she’s picked herself up from the ashes once before and if she needs to, she’ll do it again. It’s been years since she first spotted the tattoo artist with a scowl that made her heart skip a beat, but now she’s finally gained the courage to approach him. Only it won’t be about what their future could bring, but how to finish healing the scars from her past.
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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan never thought she’d be a writer. Not really. No, she loved math and science and even went on to graduate school in chemistry. Yes, she read as a kid and devoured teen fiction and Harry Potter, but it wasn’t until someone handed her a romance book in her late teens that she realized that there was something out there just for her. When another author suggested she use the voices in her head for good and not evil, The Redwood Pack and all her other stories were born.
Carrie Ann is a bestselling author of over twenty novels and novellas and has so much more on her mind (and on her spreadsheets *grins*) that she isn’t planning on giving up her dream anytime soon.
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Hailey Monroe bit into her lip, closed her eyes, and moaned. Loudly. Dear gods and goddesses that was…heavenly. Earth shattering. World changing. Orgasm inducing.
That was the best damn cream cheese turtle brownie she’d ever baked in her life.
She may have baked pies, cakes, tortes, cookies, muffins, biscotti, and other kinds of decadence in her past. But right now, with this beautiful, mouthwatering cream cheese turtle brownie in hand, she knew she’d never achieve such greatness again.
At that depressing thought, she ate the last of her treat and frowned.
Seriously? The pinnacle of her success in life, the greatness she had hoped to achieve lay in a brownie.
A brownie sent from heaven, mind you, but a brownie nonetheless.
She quickly wiped up any spare crumbs then went to the sink to wash her hands. It was kind of upsetting that in her twenty-seven years of living, this baking achievement was it for her. Most people would think finding a cure for the common cold, painting something that reaffirmed beauty and life for others, or building homes for the unfortunate would be something that made a pinnacle a pinnacle. Instead, Hailey had dessert. This divine brownie.
It probably didn’t help her thoughts that she kept calling the damn thing heaven-sent and divine. It was just a baked good, one that crumbled when roughly handled, like the rest of them. It would be consumed wholly and forgotten in the next moment, never to be heard from again.
At least Hailey herself was stronger than that. Some days.
She cracked her knuckles, wincing at the pain in her joints—a wonderful side effect of all the drugs and treatments she’d poured into her system over the years—and rolled her neck. Today was a new day, a new adventure. It was the same mantra she repeated to herself every morning.
Hailey owned and operated Taboo, a café and bakery in the middle of downtown Denver. She had prime placement right off the 16th Street Mall and the business district. During prime hours, she had men and women in suits and neatly pressed clothes, begging for coffee and leaving with something sweet and delicious. No one could rightly say no to Hailey and her baked goods if she were really trying.
Her shop catered to more than just those in a hurry on their way to a meeting or working on a very important case. Families came in on late afternoons or on non-school days with children in tow. Her hot cocoa and cookies went quickly when school holidays met cold Denver weather days.
People in all shapes and sizes ventured into her shop, and she loved it. There was never a dull moment. Even when the place was only filled with a customer or two, they were hers. After thinking she’d never see the middle of her twenties, she was now looking at the back end of those years and owned her own business besides. She was a caretaker, a businesswoman, a baker…a survivor.